Adam Klein is continuing his crusade to raise money for cancer research — and this time, he’ll be pedaling for a cure.
The 26-year-old winner of Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X is serving as the honorary captain of The 2017 Coast 2 Coast 4 Cancer Ride, a 21-day, cross-country cycling journey by Bristol-Myers Squibb employees with the goal to raise $1 million for cancer research.
Klein was on hand when the ride kicked off from Cannon Beach, Oregon on Sept. 6, and he’ll be there for the ride’s completion 3,000 miles away in Long Branch, New Jersey. Klein, 26, is scheduled to join riders on the trip from St. Louis to Indianapolis.
“It’s definitely more that I’m used to,” he tells PEOPLE. “I’ve been training and staying in shape. I’ve started using clipless pedals, and there’s definitely a big learning curve involved. I fell down immediately the first time I got on the bike. But I’ve worked with some of the Coast 2 Coast 4 Cancer riders to get myself ready.”
With a fundraising goal of $1 million, all money raised will be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to $500,000, by Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Klein has been working with Stand Up To Cancer since walking away with the $1 million prize on Survivor last December. After the finale, he donated $100,000 to the organization. He has continued working with them ever since.
Klein has a driving force behind his philanthropy. Just two days after Survivor filming ended, his mother, Susie, succumbed to lung cancer. She was 60 years old.
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So with all the things Klein could do to raise money for cancer research, why ride a bike?
“This is actually really personal to me,” he says. “The way my family would vacation was to ride bikes together. I started my Survivor audition video on a bike in Argentina with my family. My mom loved to bike, and this was one of the things we always did together. So I feel like my mom is with me every time I get on a bike.”
“I may not be the most physically fit person to ever play Survivor,” Klein says, “but there are many participants who have never even ridden a bike before doing this, and they choose to do it because it’s so important.”
“Cancer doesn’t stop,” Klein says. “So we’re not going to stop in our fight against it.”
To join with Klein to support cancer research, donate here.