About Portraits

To visit the Portraits Project website click here

The Portraits Project is a collection of narratives that demonstrate how Americans respond to cancer based on their unique life experiences and individual beliefs. From the retired teacher in Washington D.C., to the young dancer in Portland, the Illini 4000 believes that everyone has a story to tell. While interviewing cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers from all walks of life, our riders are able to truly discover how cancer has impacted the American lifestyle. By recording these unique narratives from the communities we ride through each year, our organization provides a space for people to share their stories of hardship, strength, joy, sadness, courage, and above all, hope.

Since 2007, the Illini 4000 has collected over 200 narratives, and the Portraits Project continues to endure and evolve. The project is a unique trademark of the Illini 4000 and demonstrates that there is much more to our organization than fundraising and cross-country bike rides. The Illini 4000 strives to interact with communities across the nation in order to give a voice to the American cancer experience. We hope to foster a nationwide community and create a resource for people battling cancer by sharing these stories with the people we meet along our route, through the Portraits Project website, and through physical galleries held in the Champaign-Urbana community.

“(Cancer) affects everybody. We all know someone. . . . It affects the old, the healthy, children, regardless of race.”
-Kathy Hoerner
Cancer Fighter and Caregiver
Murrysville, Pennsylvania