Director of Clinical Operations for Prime Therapeutics, a pharmacy benefit management company.
I was inspired to start riding for Pelotonia after a friend's father lost his battle with cancer and talked about the incredible people at The James. Shortly after my first year of Pelotonia we found out that my mother had MDS which eventually became acute myeloid leukemia. While my mother lost her battle with leukemia 5 years ago, the people at the James Cancer Hospital and the larger movement to help end cancer continue to inspire me to do what I can. I know that someone can't do everything but everyone can do something. This is my something.
It has varied depending on the year. I started with a letter writing campaign and a social media outreach through posts and individual messages. You can't underestimate your personal network. Those who I had previously lost touch with or just knew as an acquaintance or distant relative often donated the most due to their own personal experience with cancer. I then leveraged my list from the year before to focus attention on people that had been generous in the past. I have tried selling bracelets and having "matching funds" campaigns and garage sales as well.
In the past few years I've worked together with a small group of friends to hold a big event with a big impact called Drag for Pelotonia. After months of planning, the 3-hour event usually satisfies the fundraising goals for the 6 to 10 of us who participate. A the silent and live auction coupled with drag performances including many local legendary talent who donate their time, raises between $30,000 to $50,000 each year.
I love simply community! When my workplace stopped having a team, I was looking for a "Pelotonia home." My friend Shannon had mentioned Simply Community as a team and a concept. We are not affiliated with any larger organization or any specific business or neighborhood, we are simply a community of people dedicated to the one goal of ending cancer.
My favorite movie is always Jurassic Park. The movie and the plot are both examples of impossible things coming to life. The spirit and courage of the filmmakers mirror the spirit and courage of the scientists with that dramatic endeavor. When I hear people say curing cancer is impossible, I think about those who choose to dream big and the rewards that come from the hard work of reaching for those goals.