Olivia Blackwell (left), along with her mother Megan and brother Henry, celebrated the success of Ken Ballantyne’s (right) fundraising as part of Team Olivia. [Courtesy photo]

Moab resident Ken Ballantyne raised $2,294 and rode 665 miles in June to support cancer research and a local child battling cancer.

Ballantyne’s ride is part of the Great Cycle Challenge USA, which raises money in support of research to develop better treatments and to find a cure for childhood cancers. Participants in Great Cycle Challenge USA set a target number of miles to ride by bicycle during the month of June as a personal cycling challenge to fight kids’ cancers. Then they spread the word about their challenge and ask for donations.

Ballantyne, who has participated in Great Cycle Challenge every year since 2016, rode as part of Team Olivia this year in honor of 5-year-old Moab resident Olivia Blackwell. She is receiving treatment for T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Ballantyne said he surpassed his original fundraising goal of $1,000.

Olivia’s mother Megan told the Moab Sun News that Great Cycling Challenge USA is important to raise not only money but awareness.

“It makes me feel like there is a ton of support out there that we didn’t realize,” she said, adding that it means a lot to her “to know there are people out there who are willing to do this for kids like Olivia.”

Ballantyne said donations can still be made through mid-July at greatcyclechallenge.com/Riders/KenBallantyne or by calling him at 435-260-1896.

Donations accepted through mid-July