I'm riding: Big Hitter

Team: Bartlett's Bikers

ID: 134

Lifetime total: $73594.1100


As a medical oncologist specializing in the treatment of lymphoma, I ride in my 8th Pedal the Cause to help keep the momentum of cancer research alive. My patients inspire me to continue to find better answers for treating lymphoma and many other cancers that too often continue to challenge us. The seed funds provided by PTC allow scientists at Siteman and SLCH to explore innovative ideas and collect preliminary data that will serve as the basis for larger trials funded by the National Cancer Institute and other national organizations.

Every year, I ride to honor my patients who have lost their battle with cancer - many of whom were supporters of my previous PTC rides. I ride in memory of Kris Schell, my young patient who helped start Bartlett's Bikers in 2010, a year before her death from lymphoma. This year, I am extending my distance from 20 miles to 37 miles in honor of Michael Hartman who was always willing to go the extra mile during his battle with lymphoma. When Michael died in September 2016, his family and friends donated thousands of dollars to Bartlett's Bikers/Pedal the Cause 2016 to honor his memory. I thought of Michael this winter when I saw To Kill a Mockingbird at the Rep and was reminded of Atticus Finch's words...I wanted you to see what real courage is.....It?s when you know you?re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do. Michael, like so many millions of patients, had the courage to see it through no matter what. He participated in multiple clinical trials, even one where he was the first human to ever receive a new drug. He never questioned whether he would continue.

I am extremely grateful to my many patients, friends, and family who continue to donate to PTC year after year to show their support for Siteman Cancer Center. Each year I ask myself (for about a minute) whether I can get up for the fundraising again and whether I have the nerve to keep asking for donations. Then I remember ALL of my patients who get up each day with a much bigger challenge than asking someone for money and the answer is easy. Of course I will keep riding and raising money for PTC!

100% of your donation will go directly to cancer research at Siteman Cancer Center and St. Louis Children's Hospital. Thank you so much for donating to Pedal the Cause.