CHESTERFIELD — He is a four-year prostate cancer survivor and his cousin is battling multiple myeloma. For those reasons, and to show solidarity with his work colleagues, a South Jersey man will tackle a leg of a cross-country bicycle ride later this month.

Carlon Burt's involvement in the Coast 2 Coast 4 Cancer ride dates back to March, when he began working with a coach who monitors his training progress on a weekly basis online. Other coaches do the same with Burt's Bristol-Myers Squibb cohort, more than 100 of whom will be riding from Cannon Beach, Oregon all the way to Long Branch starting Wednesday.

Burt's assigned leg comes late in the event, slotted sixth out of seven: a three-day, 225-mile trek from Indianapolis to Pittsburgh from Sept. 19-21.

The overall goal is to raise $1 million for the V Foundation for Cancer Research, but for Burt, the journey is understandably more personal.

"We put the names of the people on our backs, and we ride for them, and it's very inspirational and it's just a great way to create awareness," Burt said.

He added that it's always good to do something to feel like you are making a difference.

"I've had a number of people reach out to me on Facebook, call me directly, just to thank me for participating in the Coast 2 Coast 4 Cancer bike ride, just to share their stories," he said.

To find out more about Burt's ride, and others, go to cancerbikeride.org.

Patrick Lavery is Senior Producer of Morning News and Special Programming for New Jersey 101.5, and is lead reporter and substitute anchor for "New Jersey's First News." Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email patrick.lavery@townsquaremedia.com.

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