Shelby Perkins' Ride Across America


It seems every year some of our great St. Mary’s seniors grab their bike and helmet and cycle…across the entire country. Maybe it’s inspired by all the biking done on the path, or maybe it’s just because St. Mary’s students have an innate desire to help others, but this trend isn’t slowing down.

This summer, senior Shelby Perkins will be biking with a group of other college students from Baltimore to Seattle. This trek is a total of 4,000 miles and will take Perkins 70 days. She is biking to raise money for The Ulman Cancer Fund. On her donation page she says that even though none of her close family members have suffered from cancer so she bikes for Chastity Dunnaville, a fellow alumni from Perkin’s High School, Notre Dame Prep. Perkins wrote that “Chastity was the perfect example of a Notre Dame Prep girl who was always nice, helped out around school, and worked hard no matter what.”

Chastity was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma. She went on to continue living her life and volunteering at Notre Dame Prep until she passed away in December 2012. Perkins says that “Chas stands out the most in my life but I’m also riding for those who have fought and survived cancer.” This opportunity is a chance for Perkins to give back to people. Like many St. Mary’s students, Perkins values service; she says that “helping others is what life should be about.”

Perkins choose to ride with this foundation because it “supports young people our own age who have cancer and it’s a group that faces really unique problems when it comes to cancer so I think its people I can relate to more.” This is not the first St. Mary’s senior to go on this voyage. Perkins found inspiration in past St. Mary’s alumni who have done similar rides in the past. She says that “as soon as my friends did it this past summer I knew I had to sign up.” Perkins trains in her free time now. Next semester “I planned my schedule to have Monday, Wednesday, and Friday off from class” in order to do so. She intends to increase mileage over the next semester with “lots of running and biking and swimming and mental preparation.” The St. Mary’s community applauds her and shares her excitement. She says that “thankfully the people I’m riding with are super awesome and supportive and we’re all already helping each other.”

Perkins has a set goal to raise $6,000 by the time of her ride. Right now she has achieved $1,475. You can look at her donation page and donate to her cause at