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Training and Education Command

United States Marine Corps
Ride for Life: Depot Marine bikes to Washington;

By Cpl. Aubrey Bell | | July 21, 2000

MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT, PARRIS ISLAND, SC -- Staff Sergeant Terry Butts, staff non-commissioned officer-in-charge of the Douglas Visitor Center here, wants to raise cancer awareness by conducting a weeklong cycling trip to Washington, D.C.The accomplished triathlete, who is training currently for the Hawaii World Championship Ironman Triathlon, planned the ride to raise money for the American Cancer Society, after losing his mother to cancer earlier this year."My mother passed away last March from breast cancer that was misdiagnosed," said Butts. "I went on a Humanitarian Transfer for six weeks, and when I saw her I thought, 'What an awful thing for anyone to have to go through.' I saw my mother ... and the pain and suffering ... and decided there must be something I could do."What Butts decided on was a weeklong, 695-mile cycling trek from Beaufort to Washington, collecting donations for the ACS and spreading awareness along the way. He plans to leave Sept. 1, and is hopeful this will raise the public's knowledge and awareness of cancer. "Its not something you would want your worst enemy to go through, let alone a loved one," said Butts. "So, the best thing I could think of was that I'm pretty good on a bike, so why not ride that bad boy as far as I can in a week and try to raise some money for the ACS."Butts hopes this will turn into something bigger than one person, and this ride will coax other riders into joining him next year. His original plan was to ride across the U.S., but the 45 days it would require and the logistics of having a Support and Gear Wagon to provide food, water and tires along the way was unfeasible."Hopefully along the way the word will get spread and we can generate some support for ACS," said Butts. He is currently collecting support from donations, and sponsorship by offering advertisement space on his riding gear."For every business who donates $1,000 or more, and sends me camera ready artwork by Aug. 15, I will have their logo put on my riding gear," said Butts, who has already received support from Lowcountry Bicycles, Apex Realty, Lifefitness, and Jog Mate. He has also received a lot of support from Marine Corps Community Services, and his command, according to Butts."Everyone at MCCS has been an incredible support," said Butts. "I have support from the Headquarters and Service Bn., and they allow me the time to train, and offer any other support I need ... so I can concentrate on giving the Marine Corps a good name."Butts is currently training by riding 300 - 375 miles a week on his bike, running 60 - 80 miles, and swimming 12,00 - 15,000 meters. He also noted that he will not be using the donations to support himself during the D.C. trip."I am making a tally of all the sponsorships I receive each week, and sending them to the ACS. I'm getting support in other ways for hotels," said Butts. "If we don't get that support, then we'll just have to do what we have to do to get by."To sponsor Butts on his ride for cancer awareness, send a check or money order to: American Cancer Society, c/o SSgt. Terry Butts, P.O. Box 5094, PISC 29905-0094.

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