ONAMIA, Minn. (KMSP) - Dr. Arden Virnig plans to ride 900 miles by the end of this month, and, along the way, raise thousands of dollars for children’s cancer research. Arden is competing in the Great Cycle Challenge USA, raising money for the Children’s Cancer Research Fund.
Arden’s daughter, Mary, died of gangioneuroblastoma, in 2010. Before dying, Mary suggested her dad bike to raise money. In 2015, Arden starting fulfilling her wish — biking on a tandem with one empty seat to symbolize his daughter's absence. This year, Arden is carrying a warrior stick his daughter held on to throughout her fight with cancer; the stick symbolizes her fight.
“Mary was my warrior, but every kid who gets diagnosed with children’s cancer has to take on a fight that is really so heart wrenching,” said Arden.
On his bike rides, the Onamia resident says he spends a lot of time thinking about children fighting cancer.
“It’s not like a heart attack that killed grandpa and grandma. I know these kids have put up a huge battle, a fight, and have suffered so much with all the treatments,” said Arden. “I just hope we can somehow make that easier, better. There has to be a way.”
Arden has until the end of the month to reach his goal of 900 miles. Right now, he’s raised the most money in the state, and second most in the country.
You can follow Arden’s journey, and contribute to his cause here.