As long as the medical community seeks a cure for cancer, Dr. Kami Maddocks, an Ohio State University physician and researcher, said she would ride in Pelotonia.

Maddocks is a physician and researcher specializing in the treatment of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Hodgkin disease and chronic lymphocytic leukemia at Ohio State University and the James Cancer Hospital, and this year marks the seventh time she will ride in Pelotonia.

"I will ride as long as I am able and we still have cancer to cure," the 37-year-old Upper Arlington resident said. "It is such a fantastic atmosphere of thousands of people coming together for the benefit of this one goal.

"Every single day, I am able to witness people who have benefitted from Pelotonia dollars, both directly and indirectly, and the impact is phenomenal."

Maddocks rides with the Team Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma peloton, or Team CTCL for short, a subdivision of Ohio State's superpeloton, Team Buckeye.

On Aug. 5 and 6, she plans to bike 180 miles for the second time in Pelotonia.

She also had raised $2,555 as of June 30, and she is buoyed to continue because the fundraising ride is a frontline offensive in the cancer fight, she said.

"I received a $100,000 (research) grant from Pelotonia," Maddocks said. "The drug I study now has FDA approval in several different types of lymphoma and chronic leukemia, both as initial therapy or therapy after relapsing from chemotherapy.

"Research funding from government sources such as the (National Institutes of Health) continues to be more and more difficult to obtain, which has led to funding through other nonprofit agencies and mechanisms to be of critical importance in advancing science and the treatment of many diseases, including cancer."

Maddocks plans to ride alongside Gretchen McNally, a friend and nurse practitioner at her clinic.

She said the two plan encourage each other as they take on the longest Pelotonia route – from Columbus to Gambier the first day and back to New Albany the second – but they should have more than enough motivation to keep pedaling simply by reflecting on the patients they see every day, she said.

"When it came time for Pelotonia (registration) this year, it seemed like I had a handful of patients who were not doing well and I was running out of good trial options for them," Maddocks said. "I recognized that although we have come so far, we have so far to go, and it just seemed like the right thing to do to challenge myself more for my patients and to help bring more options to the table for these patients and future patients like them."

In preparation for Pelotonia, Maddocks is taking "long rides" every Saturday, followed by shorter ones the following day, when her schedule permits.

She credited team captain Anna Maria Bittoni, a clinical dietician at Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center, for organizing her peloton's charge against cancer.

Maddocks said everyone who rides in Pelotonia is working to bring about a better world.

"I have witnessed firsthand how Pelotonia dollars have provided access to life-saving therapies to people who would not have otherwise had those options," she said. "It is so critical that we continue to do anything we can – ride, donate, volunteer, virtual ride – for this cause, as it is not only helping people here in Ohio, but the research being done here is literally helping to impact and save lives all over the world."

nellis@thisweeknews.com

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