|$0 My Goal: $1,250.00|
Hello, thank you for visiting my Pelotonia Rider Page!
My name is Jeremie Smith and I am the Academic Program Coordinator at the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at The Ohio State University. I am also currently serving as Captain of the Ohio State Buckeye - College of Arts and Sciences sub-peloton.
I am passionate about multiculturalism and have devoted my professional life to helping young people develop knowledge and skills to build bridges across cultural divides and contribute to the development of a more inclusive and pluralistic society.
The coronavirus pandemic has canceled many summer events and the annual Pelotonia ride is no exception to this. Rather than riding with 10,000 others working together to raise money for cancer research, we will be setting our own goals while maintaining social distancing and adapting to the changed circumstances with which we are all living.
This challenge to set a personal goal was a difficult one for me. In the past two years, my fundraising efforts and cycling have focused on the general goal of contributing to the end of cancer and supporting medical researchers and paracticioners. I decided this year to set two goals, each more specific and more personal:
1. I will ride from my home in Columbus, Ohio to Urbana, Illinois. This city is where my wife and I lived during our graduate school years and the location of the Mills Breast Cancer Center, the wonderful caregivers that saved my wife and unborn son's lives. I will do this 345 mile ride over three days, self-supported and limiting social contact by camping in state parks and riding alone. When I arrive in Urbana, I will drop off Thank You cards from my wife and I, one for the Mills Breast Cancer Center and also for the two amazing oncologists that got us through this, the most frightening period of our lives. This ride of gratitude will give me time to reflect on the last 4 years of Maggie's recovery and be a genuine physical challenge.
2. I will do a century ride with Terry and Josh. Soon after moving to Columbus, there were two people that made me feel welcome in the cycling and Pelotonia communities, Terry Bradley and Josh Platt. I rode my first group training ride with them two years ago and they were encouraging and endlessly kind to me. This past January, Josh lost his father to cancer. He and Terry plan to ride 100 miles for Pelotonia in his honor and have decided to keep that mileage goal. I plan to join them and support them through this ride, date and route TBD.
I support Pelotonia's efforts to raise money for cancer research because I feel indebted to those that have contributed to the incredible advances in understanding and treating cancer. I have been proud to fundraise almost $10,000 over the last 3 years of being involved with Pelotonia. I hope that I can encourage people to support this research by sharing our story.
4 years ago my wife, Maggie, and I were overjoyed to find out that we were expecting our first child. This elation was replaced with terror when she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer a couple of months later. I remember sitting in my living room that day, feeling like my entire world was coming apart at the seams. We felt like a Category 5 hurricane was blowing through our lives and all we could do was hold on, white-knuckled, and hope that modern medicine would prevent our love story from being cut short.
Maggie's team of doctors at the Mills Breast Cancer Center in Urbana, Illinois, collaborated on an ambitious treatment plan that included a mastectomy surgery and 12 weeks of chemotherapy during her pregnancy, and another round of chemo and 2nd mastectomy soon after delivery, all carefully planned out with the goal of saving her life while also minimizing the risk to our unborn child. This treatment plan was made possible by exponential advancements made in cancer research, particularly breast cancer research, over the last several decades.
Maggie's treatment plan was multi-faceted and arduous, made much more complicated by the fact that doctors had to constantly monitor the health of our baby. In May of 2016, Maggie had her first mastectomy. Throughout that summer, we spent endless hours in the chemotherapy infusion room, where Maggie received just enough of the powerful chemotherapy drugs to kill the cancer cells but doled out carefully to minimize the risk to the child growing in her womb.
Maggie was also in the last stages of completing her PhD in Microbiology at the University of Illinois. She defended her dissertation in August, radiantly rotund in the third-trimester of pregnancy and beautifully bald from chemo, but living the life she chose for herself. A month later, on September 14, 2016, we welcomed our healthy son, Isaac, to the world. That day, holding my wife's hand and looking into my son's eyes for the first time, I remember thinking that I would never be able to fully express how grateful I was to have them both by my side.
Today, 3 1/2 years later, Maggie's active treatment is complete and she is cancer free. Our son is healthy, happy, and the joy of our lives. We moved to Columbus, Ohio in August of 2017 and are starting to feel a sense of normalcy as the demands of parenthood occupies much of our attention. Maggie is currently participating in survivorship programs and follow-up treatment at the Stephanie Spielman Breast Cancer Center. She is a course coordiantor at OSU's Center for Life Sciences Education so OSU is the 3rd campus we have shared (Hanover College, University of Illinois, and The Ohio State University).
We both feel a responsibility to find meaningful ways to give back and express our gratitude for all of the countless people that helped with Maggie’s treatment and supporting us through this difficult time. Participating in Pelotonia provides an opportunity to raise funds and awareness for cancer research while joining a community of people in celebrating life, love, and cycling!
Last year, we were asked by the folks at Pelotonia to do an interview for the Pelotonia Podcast One Goal. If you are interested in listening to that podcast episode, you can find it here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/7-for-isaac/id1473890364?i=1000449097523
Please join me in supporting this cause, where 100% of your donation will go directly towards cancer research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center-James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.
Founded in 2008, Pelotonia was established with the objective to fund life-saving cancer research. Focused on a community of passionate fundraisers and centered around a three-day experience of cycling, entertainment, and volunteerism, the Pelotonia community has raised more than $184 million for high-risk, high-reward cancer research. Last year, 8,470 Riders from 40 states and 13 countries participated along with 3,576 Virtual Riders and 3,056 Volunteers.