The following message was sent to all Ohio State students, faculty and staff on Thursday, July 1, 2021.
You probably have heard of a phenomenon called the butterfly effect, which basically holds that the small flapping of a single insect’s wings in one part of the world can be enough to cause a hurricane thousands of miles away.
While it might take a very long time, the connection is real. Had that one butterfly not moved at just the right moment, the conditions would not have been right for that storm to occur.
The butterfly effect illustrates how small changes can lead to significant results.
That’s what Pelotonia is all about — a series of small acts by a group of passionate people working together toward achieving the goal of ending cancer.
Founded in 2008, Pelotonia is a three-day experience that combines cycling, entertainment and volunteerism, all with the purpose of raising money to directly fund innovative cancer research taking place at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC - James).
Our supporters have raised $222 million to date. Every penny goes to support the life-saving work being done every day at the OSUCCC - James, where researchers, physicians and staff work together to translate scientific discoveries into therapies that prevent and treat cancer. We are making it possible for people who face cancer to live longer, better lives — providing patients with targeted, less toxic options leading to more hope.
This year, I am serving as the honorary chair of Team Buckeye, the university’s superpeloton, which encompasses 80+ teams created by Ohio State health care providers, staff, students, faculty, alumni and our friends and family. Our group of riders includes researchers, doctors, nurses and staff who have dedicated their lives to fighting cancer; riders who are cancer survivors; and Buckeyes who are riding to support or remember loved ones.
There’s another, more personal element to my involvement in Pelotonia. I am a cancer survivor, having been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma as a senior in college. It is truly humbling to have the opportunity to give back by helping raise money to support the kind of innovative research that saved my life and will undoubtedly save countless other lives in the future.
So far, Team Buckeye has more than 1,500 participants and has raised $910,000 in 2021. That’s a strong start. I know we can do more — and we will, with your help. There are a number of ways you can get involved during Pelotonia weekend, Aug. 6-8. Opportunities include:
- Rider – Strap on your helmet and pump up your tires for one of the many ride options during the three-day August event. Choose whichever mileage is attainable for you, and invite your network to support your ride.
- Challenger – Take part virtually by choosing one of up to five activity goals to inspire your network of donors. With a $100 minimum commitment, this is a way to participate in this exciting weekend without riding.
- Volunteer – There are so many opportunities to lend a hand, from prepping peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for riders to providing first aid on ride weekend. Every minute of your time, arguably your most precious commodity, counts. There’s no fundraising commitment, just show up with a willingness to work.
- Donate – Find a rider or challenger and support their fundraising efforts. Every dollar committed to Pelotonia contributes to our ability to end cancer.
Now through July 11, anyone registered for Pelotonia as a Rider, Challenger or Volunteer who recruits someone to ride will receive $50 toward their fundraising. The individual who registers to ride will also receive $50 to kick-start their fundraising. Team Buckeye will replicate this incentive program for our members. Read more about this incentive.
Again, remember that butterfly effect — every small effort counts, and adds up to make big changes. I know I can count on you, Buckeyes, to contribute in whatever way you can to support Pelotonia and all it represents.
I hope to see you out on the road soon. Be safe, and stay strong!
Kristina M. Johnson, PhD