From Grad Cap to Bike Helmet
Submitted by Villanova
Erin Mack '12 A&S is used to helping people. As an EMT with Radnor Fire Company and TriBoro Volunteer Ambulance Corps in Park Ridge, N.J., and a lieutenant in Villanova EMS, helping those in need is part of who she is.
Mack's penchant for assisting others was evident in June 2009 when she encountered an overturned vehicle and six injured people on the New Jersey Turnpike. She remained on the scene until Emergency Services arrived and continued to work alongside them. Mack was honored for "outstanding bravery under conditions of personal risk to one's own safety" by the 200 Club of Bergen County.
Yet, it wasn't until the summer of 2011 that those realities hit close to home. Within a week's time, two people close to her – Mack's childhood best friend and her uncle, a Villanova alumnus – received cancer diagnoses.
These experiences impacted Mack and led her to join the fight against cancer.
One week after commencement, Mack embarked on a 70-day, 4,000 mile charity bike ride from Baltimore to San Francisco. The event, called the 4K for Cancer, raised over $1 million to support cancer patients and their families through organizations like the Ulman Cancer Fund.
Along the way, Mack participated in various cancer outreach programs in each of the cities she stopped in – from visiting cancer hospitals and cooking dinner for cancer patients and their families at the Hope Lodge, to working with local organizations to support the cancer community through projects and fundraising.