CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WTVO) — Two dozen U of I students are on a summer-long bike ride.

The group is raising money and awareness for cancer research. Bicyclists with the non-profit Illini 4000 are about a quarter of the way through their three month cross country journey. They rode through Champaign on Wednesday. Some of the money raised will go to the Illinois Cancer Center there for therapeutics, imaging and new diagonistics.

It is a cause very close to one of the riders.

“My grandmother, my mom’s mother, she passed away of leukemia when my mom was 21, so, I never got to meet her, but that’s who I’m riding in honor for primarily,” said Matthew Hawthorne.

The Illini 4000 are heading up toward Chicago now and will then go west. They are expected to be at their destination of San Francisco on August 6.