As chief of the Division of Hematology-Oncology in the Perelman School of Medicine, Lynn Schuchter spends much of her time in the clinical setting working with melanoma patients. But on Saturday, Oct. 11, and Sunday, Oct. 12, she will be one of a host of Penn faculty and staff connecting with cancer patients outside of the exam room and onto the road as part of the first annual Ride to Conquer Cancer benefitting Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center.
“It’s a wonderful call to action, for my patients and our melanoma researchers to ride together in a united project to advance treatments,” says Schuchter, who will lead a team of cyclists during the Ride. “I think that riding shows commitment to cancer research in a different way by raising funds and awareness.”
The Ride will take place over two days, covering 150 miles through Pennsylvania’s picturesque countryside with an overnight camp midway, where participants will enjoy pre-set tents, hot meals, showers, live entertainment, massages, and other activities. Funds raised through the Ride will directly support the groundbreaking work of the Abramson Cancer Center.
“This year, there will be nearly 80,000 cancer diagnoses in Pennsylvania, and it’s estimated that one in four deaths in the United States will be caused by cancer,” says Abramson Cancer Center Director Chi Van Dang, who is also co-leading a team for the Ride. “The funds raised through the Ride will be used to power our breakthrough cancer research, and world-class education, and patient care programs right here in Philadelphia.”
Cyclists will begin the ride at Belmont Grove in Fairmount Park, continue to Emmaus Community Park in Lehigh County, and return to Philadelphia, with pit stops for fresh food and beverages. Public cheer stations will be set up along the route to support riders as they pass through local communities.
Schuchter says that although it’s been a challenge to work training hours into her already busy schedule, being involved with the Ride has been an incredible experience for her and her colleagues.
“I’ve kept in touch with some of the families whose loved ones we weren’t able to save years ago, who weren’t able to participate in some of the new advances we’ve had, and it’s inspiring and moving to know I’ll be thinking about them as I’m riding 150 miles,” Schuchter says. “I think that people do understand the power of philanthropy, but this is a very direct way for someone’s efforts to have an impact on advancing research in a very meaningful way.”
For more information on the Ride, to volunteer, or to donate, visit ph14.ridetovictory.org.