The Pelotonia Impact Awards were created to highlight those in the community who embody Pelotonia's mission and are going above and beyond in different ways in support of cancer research.
Read below to discover this year’s winners:
The Mary Hyatt Courage Award recognizes a cancer survivor who embodies courage, perseverance and grit and has been instrumental in advancing the Pelotonia mission through grassroots activism, leadership, fundraising, and volunteerism.
Michael Nestor has dedicated his professional life to raising funds for cancer research, having worked at cancer nonprofits for more than a decade. He has participated in Pelotonia six times, raising more than $140,000 personally for the mission.
Last year, Michael himself was diagnosed with a rare sarcoma. During his courageous fight and treatment at The James, Michael’s endless positivity, optimism and courage has inspired everyone around him.
The First-Year Rider Award recognizes a new member of the Pelotonia community who brings newfound energy, excitement and passion to recruitment, fundraising and advancing our mission of ending cancer.
Abigail McLean decided to participate in Pelotonia only a couple months before the actual event, while sitting around a table chatting with friends. She went out the next day, bought a bike, and has been passionate about the cause ever since. Abigail became known in the community initially because of #AbigailsRadiationRides: a series of Instagram posts where she rode her bike before going to her radiation appointments at The James.
As an outlet for processing her own cancer journey, Abigail embraced everything about the Pelotonia experience. She hosted a series of fundraising events, became the highest fundraising first-year participant ($23,235 raised) and completed a 100-mile Ride.
The Pelotonia Legacy Award recognizes an individual who has participated as a Rider, Challenger or Volunteer for 10+ years, and has exhibited unparalleled leadership and passion for the Pelotonia mission.
Dr. Perry is someone who is naturally driven to give. He’s been a part of Pelotonia since the first Ride and his passion for the mission has only increased throughout the years. He’s well known in the community for the training rides he hosts, as well as the annual Velvet Ice Cream Ride that many use as a last ride before Pelotonia Ride Weekend (and an opportunity to indulge in some delicious treats).
As the Captain of teamCOPC, he has inspired and encouraged his team members to raise over $1.6 million for Pelotonia since its formation.
The Pelotonia Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes a volunteer whose unselfish and dedicated service has made a significant difference in the Pelotonia community, while demonstrating a commitment to our collective One Goal.
The First Aid Lead Volunteers have been instrumental in Pelotonia’s 2021 safety plans for both Riders and Volunteers. These Volunteers have met monthly with Pelotonia staff to imagine (and then re-imagine) Ride Weekend and the safety precautions that were needed. This was all done in the midst of their own jobs as essential workers during a pandemic.
The countless hours of behind-the-scenes work they put in each year includes inventorying every supply bin (they know exactly how many band aids we have and need!), monitoring and recruiting Volunteers for all first aid shifts, training site leads for every rest stop and venue along the route, creating training/nutrition tips to share with the Pelotonia community, and more. As a community, we all have a safer and smoother experience because of these four individuals.
The Pelotonia-Funded Researcher of the Year Award recognizes the outstanding achievements of a Pelotonia grant recipient. The award highlights the importance of career research funding and how support from the Pelotonia community is making a tangible difference in the work of researchers and the lives of patients.
Dr. Jennifer Woyach is a hematologist-oncologist who specializes in treating patients with blood cancers, particularly chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and B-cell lymphomas. She serves as an associate professor in the Division of Hematology at The Ohio State University, and was recently named co-leader of The Leukemia Research Program at the OSUCCC - James.
Dr. Woyach truly exemplifies what it means to be a leader in the fight against cancer - from treating patients, to receiving a Pelotonia Idea Grant and Pelotonia Fellow to help improve CLL treatment outcomes, to mentoring the next generation of researchers in her lab.