Inaugural Cleveland bike ride to cure cancer informational meeting at Hudson library May 20

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Heidi Coburn, a Hudson resident and cancer survivor, will get on her bike July 19 and ride 48 miles all for one purpose - to beat cancer. Coburn is participating in VeloSano, a Cleveland cycling event that is raising money for cancer research at Cleveland Clinic.

On Oct. 17, 2007, Coburn was diagnosed with carcinoid cancer (slow-growing malignancies that usually occur in the lower section of the small intestine or appendix). She was treated at both Cleveland Clinic and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. In August of 2008, she an her husband Michael rode for the first time in Boston's Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) and have returned multiple times since.

The PMC is an annual bike-a-thon that raises more money for charity than any other single event in the country. It has raised $400 million for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute's Jimmy Fund in its 34-year history. A similar effort was launched closer to home in Columbus, which has resulted in more than $60 million in 5-6 years.

These are incredible numbers and an annuity-like model that VeloSano hopes to replicate for Cleveland Clinic. Latin for "swift cure," the inaugural VeloSano ride is scheduled for July 19-20 in downtown Cleveland and features six fully supported ride routes that range from 25 to 230 miles over the course of either one or two days. 

Routes take cyclists east along the lakeshore and through scenic Cleveland Metroparks and Chagrin River Valley. The two-day ride takes cyclists into Erie, Pa., and back to Cleveland on July 20. All riders depart the morning of July 19.

Opening ceremonies will be July 18 in Cleveland's Mall B Convention Center. 

Whether an avid cyclist, a compassionate crusader, or a spirited fan, people can participate in VeloSano. Everyone has his or her reason for participating and has been affected by cancer in some way.

Each cyclist commits to raising between $1,000 and $2,000 for cancer research, depending on the length of the ride selected. Riders have until Oct. 1 to reach their fundraising commitment. Thanks to the dedication of VeloSano partners, 100 percent of proceeds raised by participants are applied to cancer research at Cleveland Clinic. 

Those interested in joining the Hudson VeloSano team, volunteering for the event or simply learning more are welcome to attend an information night May 20 at 7 p.m. at the Hudson Library. For additional information or questions, contact Michael Coburn at michael.coburn7@yahoo.com.

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