CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - It's called the Pan Ohio Hope Ride, put on by the American Cancer Society. Pretty simple idea, raise money and awareness by simply pedaling your bike from one end of the state to the other.
At the finish line Sunday afternoon people rang bells, blew horns and cheered. Every rider that crossed the finish line in downtown Cleveland has truly accomplished something. Four days ago they started in Cincinnati and after 328 miles they finish in Cleveland, at the Sherwin-Williams headquarters.
But we want you to meet a special rider, 70-year-old Robert Allen of Columbus. For Robert, this ride may have meant a little more.
"2001, I had basal cell carcinoma. 2004 I had basal cell carcinoma. Now 2017 I got prostate cancer," Robert told us feet from the finish line.
In June, while getting ready to ride in his fourth Pan Ohio Hope Ride, Robert was diagnosed with cancer for the third time. But he told told his doctor, he wanted to wait to start treatment.
"We started talking to the doctors I said I wasn't going to start anything until after the ride and after my 41st wedding anniversary which comes up August 6th," Allen explained with a smile on his face.
In fact during the entire interview he had an amazingly positive look on his face for a man in his position.
"Cancer is not going to change my life. I'm going to do what I have to do," Allen said.
All total 374 riders helped raise about $810,000 for the American Cancer Society on this ride. Much of that money will support programs like the Hope Lodges where families, stay for free during treatment at hospitals away from home. Over the past 11 years this ride has raised more than seven million dollars.
Now facing treatment for prostate cancer, Cleveland 19 News Reporter Dan DeRoos had to ask Robert one last question.
"Will you ride again next year?"
"Well as soon as they open up the registration. When is that going to be opened up?" Allen said with a grin of confirmation.