Jeff Rice was astounded to learn how the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute plans to wipe out cancer forever. And he hopes it happens within his lifetime.
This disease comes in numerous forms and affects countless people in just as many ways across the globe. Rice said Dr. Michael Caligiuri, former CEO of the hospital, revealed to him that research is directed at immunology.
A tremendous amount of research is focused on the DNA and immune system of individuals in an effort to not only effectively treat existing cancer cells, but to hopefully vaccinate people at a young age in order to prevent cancer one day, said Rice, executive director of Fisher’s Office of Career Management.
“And that’s one primary way they’re going to be able to find a cure for many, many forms of cancer,” he said.
This year’s Pelotonia marks Rice’s fifth since he traded in his running shoes for a bicycle.
“My doctor said my knee would likely become bone on bone if I didn’t stop pounding it on the pavement,” he said. “I needed something new to do. My wife knew that, so she bought me a bike. I got on it and I haven’t gotten off of it in six years.”
His love of cycling, combined with inspiration from Margie Bogenschutz, led him to becoming a rider for Pelotonia. Rice said Bogenschutz, the senior director for Undergraduate Career Management and Recruitment, had been a rider for years and eventually became a virtual rider, meaning she still raised money without actually putting foot to pedal.
Rice then learned of Pelotonia’s fundraising model, where registration fees and corporate donations cover administrative costs of the event, meaning every donated dollar goes toward cancer research.
“I wanted to be a part of what I thought was fantastic research, an unbelievable fundraising model and an opportunity to do something that affects every person on the planet,” Rice said. “We’ve all got a story about cancer in our lives. That’s how pervasive it is.”
And while Rice insists any donation to Pelotonia is crucial, he hopes the Fisher community will support Fisher’s Peloton.
“I think part of it is it’s a community-building activity,” he said. “Fisher is about many things, and one of the aspects of the Fisher culture is community.”
Rice recalled how the college started Fisher Impact Day several years ago. The annual community service tradition is similar to Pelotonia in many ways, Rice said.
“It’s an awesome opportunity for a group, a unit or an organization to rally around a cause, which once again affects everyone walking the planet,” he said.
Rice will make sure people get their money’s worth. Riding in his first Pelotonia five years ago, he was told the trek would be 50 miles, but he discovered it is technically 47 miles.
Now, to ensure he rides the full 50 miles, Rice’s wife drops him off at Longaberger House — a five-mile ride to the Pelotonia’s Downtown start line.
His 50-mile commitment is a 50-mile commitment.
If Rice’s desire to go the extra mile — or five — isn’t proof enough of his commitment to the annual event, then look no further than his email signature, where he calls donating to Pelotonia a chance to achieve “the miracle of our lifetime — a cure!”