The Chainlink

Over the past three years I have fallen madly and deeply in love with cycling. The challenge to push my physical limits, the adrenaline rush on a descent and the camaraderie of fellow cyclists make me feel more alive than any other sport.

At the same time I was exploring and expanding this wonderful addition to my life, my best friend, T., told me she was battling lung cancer. She was my age, had never smoked a cigarette and was raising her young daughter. Advances in research made chemotherapy more bareable (she said) and she looked into clinical trials outside of Chicago, but the writing was on the wall. It took her around this time last year.

Now I have an opportunity to commemorate the first anniversary of her death by participating in a charity bike ride called Pelotonia ( that raises funds for cancer research. Founded in 2008, Pelotonia was established with one goal: end cancer. Thanks to the incredibly generous support from funding partners, 100% of every dollar raised by Pelotonia Riders, Virtual Riders and Volunteers goes directly to fund cancer research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center. This is a chance to truly multiply your efforts: since 2009, Pelotonia has raised over $130 million for innovative cancer research.

One of the greatest things that I can do is to walk up to a patient who has cancer and to be able to say to them, ‘I’ve got some really good news.’ How I’m able to say that? It’s because of you, and what you do participating in Pelotonia.

- Dr. Michael Caligiuri, Director at OSU Comprehensive Cancer Center, CEO at James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute

Photo by Ronit Bezalel

Riding my bike to raise money through Pelotonia is making the world a better place for my family and friends and your family and friends. T. would tell me that if she could just wait it out for a while, science would catch up to the disease that was ravaging her body and she’d be able to beat it. The research wasn’t fast enough for her, but it might be there for the next young mother or my own children. Would you please use the link below to donate even just $10.00? Every little bit helps me get closer to my fundraising goal and, most importantly, kicks cancer in the teeth!

Every dollar raised by Pelotonia Riders goes directly to fund cancer research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. - Pelotonia website

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Caroline Rodriguez-Nelson
Caroline is an attorney and mother of four living in Oak Park. She rides with the fabulous Oak Park Cycle Club and the incomparable Chainlink team.

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