Tag Archives: hope lodge

Joshua Johnson rides for those who can’t… Who are you riding for?

POHR rider Joshua Johnson recalls his experience with the Cleveland Hope Lodge and shares the inspiring story of why he rides for those who can’t.


2012 was the first year I participated in the Pan Ohio Hope Ride…as a rider. You see, I’d been involved once before. In 2009,  I was a patient/guest at the Hope Lodge in Cleveland. During the kickoff dinner, I clearly recall the excited cyclists and their families enjoying a wonderful meal and time spent together before the event began the next morning. However, times were not so cheery for my wife and I. For the next year, I would be fighting for my life against cancer.


In 2011, after making a miraculous recovery from two surgeries, chemotherapy, and nearly life ending complications, I began to set my sights on the upcoming POHR. I was never a cyclist to begin with. In fact, I spent my college years playing football as an offensive lineman at nearly 300 pounds. Cycling offered me a window to regain some of the athleticism I had lost. I was determined to participate in the Hope Ride again, only this time I’d be riding in it myself.

When people ask me who I’m riding for, I never hesitate: I ride for those who can’t. I ride for those who will be staring through the Hope Lodge windows at me. I ride for those who have gone before me in their own battles with cancer. For those who shared conversations with me in hospital beds next to mine. I ride, most notably, for those I never saw again.

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The POHR has impacted my life in two noticeable ways. First, it has obviously provided me a way to give back to the Hope Lodge and its staff for all of their outstanding, selfless effort. I was the recipient of unmatched hospitality while staying there and now I am able to raise donations to benefit others in need of that wonderful resource. Second, the POHR has become an outlet to raise awareness among those who may not know my story and provide encouragement for those facing their own battles. 

My favorite and most memorable part of the event has to be the kickoff party. Don’t get me wrong, the feeling of accomplishment after completing the ride is wonderful! But I truly enjoyed visiting with the guests/patients at the Hope Lodge and encouraging them. I guess this part goes hand in hand with my advice for new and returning riders: Try going inside and striking up a conversation with the people on the other side of the glass. You never know, they may be riding beside you next year!

Here’s to a wonderful POHR 2013!





Carole Blackschleger Rides For Many… Who Are You Riding For?

Team Charlene rider Carole Blackschleger shares her experience with the Hope Lodge and why she chooses to ride Pan Ohio to remember and honor many loved ones in her life.

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Who are you riding for?

I’ve dedicated 2013 to the memory of my mother, Marion Fuerst – a wonderful human being who happened to be my mother and my best friend. She fought several courageous battles with cancer, eventually succumbing to it. I am also riding for my dear friend, George Bush, who repeating Pan Ohio riders know. He is in treatment for prostate cancer and will be pushing and encouraging many riders this year!

As I have for many years, I am with Team Charlene in honor of George’s wife, who lost her battle with cancer. Team Charlene and other friends will still be keeping her in our thoughts, and George in our prayers. You can call us Team Bush!

How did you get started with POHR?

The POHR founder, Kathleen Bond, introduced me to the event as I was looking for a way to say thank you to the Hope Lodge system. Thanks Kathleen. In 2008, I was diagnosed with ocular melanoma. My oncologist recommended treatment in Boston. It was scary! In a matter of a week or two I had to arrange time off from work, do pretesting, arrange transportation, deal with the thought of cancer…but thanks to the ACS Navigator, I didn’t have to worry about lodging; I had a place to stay at the Hope Lodge in Boston.

Hospitality, compassion, friendship and so much more – the Hope Lodge was a true blessing! This is why I really ride, I could never repay the Hope Lodge for all it did for me in that scary time of my life.

Final thoughts on the ride…

There is no better feeling of gratitude than riding out of downtown Cleveland. The  streets are closed for us, police escort the riders and bystanders line the roads cheering us on. It can be overwhelming.

As far as fundraising, I have had success with yard sales. I let everyone know proceeds go to the ACS Pan Ohio Hope Ride and they usually pa me a higher price. The best preparation is getting on your bike and riding. This year I have invested in a performance road bike. I hope it helps with the hills, better gearing than my race road bike.

If you haven’t ridden before be ready for a thrilling time. If you have ridden before…you know, and you’ve come back!

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If You Build It, They Will Ride!

Announcing the Inaugural PA Hope RidePAHR_banner2013all-layers-v2

Pennsylvania Hope Ride celebrates its first birthday 

In 2007, Kathleen Bond’s vision for the Pan Ohio Hope Ride had no boundaries, other than staying within Ohio state lines.  In 2013, that vision crosses the border in to Pennsylvania for the inaugural PA Hope Ride.

“Like cancer, our Hope Lodges have no boundaries, and hope for a future without cancer doesn’t stop at state lines,” said Bond, an East Central Division Board Member and co-Chair of the Pan Ohio Hope Ride.

The PA Hope Ride will commence in Hershey, Pennsylvania on Saturday, June 29.  Like its sister ride, the PA Hope Ride will include overnight stays at local colleges.  The two-day ride kicks off with a dinner reception on Friday, June 28 at Elizabethtown College.  At the conclusion of day one, the riders will stay at Kutztown University.  The ride will finish on Sunday, June 30 in Philadelphia.

Similar to the Pan Ohio Hope Ride, the Pennsylvania Hope Ride will raise money and awareness for American Cancer Society programs such as its Hope Lodges.

“Our Hope Lodges enable cancer patients access to leading edge treatment even when it may be found far from home,” said Bond.

Like its counterparts in Cleveland and Cincinnati, the Hershey Hope Lodge and AstraZeneca Hope Lodge in Philadelphia have saved millions of dollars in hotel costs for guests who traveled to those two cities for cancer treatment.

“The miles our cyclists pedal and the dollars they raise mean more cancer patients everywhere will have access to care and realistic hope for a life with less cancer and a lot more birthdays! ”

To find out more about the Inaugural PA Hope Ride occuring June 29-30, 2013 or to participate on the POHR Team that will be riding this event visit www.PAHopeRide.org

How your donation helps: Hope Lodges

Imagine if someone you loved was diagnosed with cancer.  What would you do?  Where would you even start?

Then, to make things even worse, imagine if you learned that the only place for your loved one to get treatment was far from home.  Where would you stay?  How much would a hotel bill cost while you wait for weeks of hospital stays to be over?

This is precisely why the American Cancer Society created the Hope Lodges.  The Hope Lodges provide a place for families to stay while they’re loved ones are undergoing cancer treatment.  It saves them the stress of worrying about where they’ll sleep, and lets them focus on their loved one.  And since the other guests of the Hope Lodge are going through the exact same thing, they also find a nurturing and understanding community.

Donations raised by the Pan Ohio Hope Ride will benefit Hope Lodges directly.  Your donation makes a real difference for people whose lives have been affected by cancer.