|$0 My Commitment: $1,750.00|
Most Pelotonia riders use this space to tell their personal story of how cancer has affected their own lives. They can tell you about losing their parents, siblings, spouses, and even children to cancer. I myself lost three grandparents to cancer decades ago, but I can’t even begin to compare that with many of the stories you will read on some of these profiles.
Along with my grandparents, my personal motivation for riding in Pelotonia also comes from a book, “The Emperor of All Maladies” by Siddhartha Mukherjee. In the book, the author talks about the long history of cancer and its treatment. It was a depressing read…until I got to the end. The author finishes the book by talking about chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), which one would not expect to form the backdrop for an uplifting story. As recently as 2000, a CML diagnosis meant a life expectancy of 3-5 years, and the main treatments were interferon (which was ineffective and brutal) and bone marrow transplant (which was often fatal). Then, in 2001, a new drug (imatinib) was introduced that completely arrested the development of CML in most (but not all) patients, with remarkably few side effects. Today, according to the National Cancer Institute, “someone with CML who is in remission after two years of imatinib treatment has the same life expectancy as someone who doesn’t have cancer.” I think if you don’t get teary-eyed to read that sentence, then you haven’t been paying attention. And I’m going to add my own observation, which is that because CML is not communicable disease, there is no reason to think that this drug will ever stop working; it will be just as effective against CML a thousand years from now as it is today, a gift to future generations.
CML is probably the most dramatic example I could come up with, but it’s not the only one. The HPV vaccine, immunotherapies, stem cell therapies, are all examples of recent advances in cancer treatment.
But how did all these new treatments come about? Well, it’s pretty simple. We gave really smart people the job of researching cancer, and then gave them the resources they needed to do that research. And that’s what we have to keep doing, because as much as we’ve learned, there’s still more that we don’t know.
And Pelotonia is a great way to do just that -- give some really smart people the resources they need to find the next breakthrough. All the expenses of this event are already paid for, so 100% of any money you donate here will be going to directly to research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center-James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. Please join me in supporting this cause, and we can make the world a better place, while perhaps even saving the life of someone close to us.