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John's Story

former patient John next to a "register to ride" poster

John Robinson was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) in 1984, and given a 35 percent chance of survival. He beat the odds, and will be riding for the cure in the Ride to Conquer Cancer this October.

When I went home from the hospital, I looked in my family's 1970 encyclopedia, to learn more about my cancer only to realize that the chance for survival back then was 0 percent with a life expectancy of less than six months. I beat the odds, thanks to the research and work done by the doctors, nurses, volunteers, and fundraisers back then when there wasn't a cure. It is amazing to see that today, with the innovative research and therapy happening at the ACC and by the work of Dr. Levine and his lab, survival for patients with ALL are approaching 90 percent!

As a survivor, I believe I have a responsibility to pay it forward just like those prior to my diagnosis did. I need to share the importance of research dollars that will help current and future patients beat their odds. To celebrate my 30th year cancerversary, I will be participating in the Ride to Conquer Cancer this October to show my support.

To see how research has evolved over these last 30 years is a great stride, but there is still much more we can do. I truly believe there will be a cure within my lifetime and as a survivor I want to say I had a part in finding that cure. We need to make sure we can open encyclopedias and see 100 percent chance survival for cancer!

The Ride to Conquer Cancer ©

Join Penn Medicine's Abramson Cancer Center (ACC) on October 11 to 12, 2014 in the Ride to Conquer Cancer© (RTCC) — an unforgettable and epic bike ride through Pennsylvania's picturesque scenery — towards one life-changing destination: to cure cancer. The ride isn't just for cyclists, it's for anyone who wants to see a cure for cancer.

At two-days and 150+ miles the RTCC will be a physical challenge — and an emotional and inspirational weekend — that will give you a chance to join forces with our physicians, patients, and families to leave everything on the bike course and raise serious funds and awareness in the ACC's fight to cure cancer.

The funds raised through the ride will be put to use immediately, powering the ACC's vision to eradicate cancer as a cause of human disease and suffering through precision medicine, novel research, next-generation therapies, and compassionate care.

Join Today

This event will be remarkable and will bring together communities of cancer survivors, cyclists, and their supporters with a common goal to conquer this disease. Join the ride in October by registering today at or by calling 844-777-7433.

Before the ride, you will have access to:

  • Expert coaching
  • Training rides in your area
  • Personal web page for fundraising
  • Helpful manual
  • 2014 ride commemorative item

During the ride, participants will have access to:

  • Event-day ride jersey
  • Support along the route
  • Catered meals
  • Entertainment at camp
  • Massage and medical care

About this Blog

The Penn Medicine Giving blog highlights and promotes philanthropic contributions to Penn Medicine and the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine.

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