By: Laurie Fenton Ambrose, President and CEO of Lung Cancer Alliance
An encore is described as “something that follows a success.”
Last year, John Matthews found success with Ride Hard Breathe Easy. The cross-country bike ride took John coast to coast, from Philadelphia to San Francisco, over the course of 52 days to honor his mother and the lung cancer community. In the process, he raised $93K for Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) and The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF).
But John is not done. In fact, he plans to raise another $100K this year while continuing his mission to raise $1M to support awareness efforts.
John’s encore is a continuation of his unwavering commitment to the lung cancer community – this time on two fronts!
This Thursday, Ride Hard Breathe Easy starts in Philadelphia and will cross eight states before ending in Washington, DC on September 14. I had the privilege of meeting John for the first time a few years ago in DC during our National Advocacy Summit. I heard the same deeply personal story he shared with members of Congress about how lung cancer had impacted his life and knew then that he had the drive to accomplish so much for the cause. Last month, at the most recent Summit, I was honored to present John with the 2018 Volunteer Leadership and Advocacy Award for his many contributions to lung cancer advocacy including Ride Hard Breathe Easy.
Join Me and Ride with John in November!
The second element of this year’s campaign will take place this November during Lung Cancer Awareness month. The Ride Hard Breathe Easy Challenge is an effort to mobilize volunteers no matter where they are located to raise awareness for lung cancer by biking a combined total of 24,901 miles (enough miles to circle the globe!).
Lung Cancer Advocates are a Key to our Success
Advocates, like John, play a crucial role in changing minds and educating people about lung cancer by sharing their own, real-world, perspective about what this disease can do to individuals and families. Lung cancer remains the leading cancer killer nationwide, claiming more lives than breast, prostate and colon cancers combined, yet, sadly, people still think of lung cancer as a smoker’s disease even though 80 percent of those diagnosed are former or never smokers. Through this effort, John not only honors his mother’s memory, but also serves as a shining example of how one person can make a difference by bringing their energy and conviction to a cause.
We are there for you, John and Team
This year, LCA again joins ALCF to support Ride Hard Breathe Easy. We can accomplish so much more when we are on the same page fighting for greater compassion for our community who often find indifference and stigma following a lung cancer diagnosis.
We encourage you to join John on this year’s journey. Follow him on social media, connect with him on the route, commit your riding miles or send a donation. Go here to learn more.
We’re proud to be on your team, John! See you at the finish line!