We may have different reasons for coming together and different ways of showing our support, but we all share one goal: helping Columbia solve cancer.

The stories below represent the passion of our community and why Velocity is important to them.

 We would love to hear from you. To have your story featured in our communications or on our website, please email us at ride@velocityride.org.

Stephanie's Story

Stephanie, a Velocity Your Way participant, not only works for Columbia’s Cancer Center but also has a personal connection to our cause. Her step-dad, Joseph, was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1980. It was the beginning of a decades-long journey with cancer, and a longstanding relationship with Columbia’s Cancer Center.

Over the next forty years, Joseph faced multiple medical issues, including two more cancer diagnoses: liver cancer in 2019 and prostate cancer in 2021. Each time, Columbia doctors gave Joseph the treatment and expert care needed to overcome these new challenges.

Angel's Story

In 2020, 28-year-old Angel, was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic testicular cancer. After 12 weeks of intense chemotherapy, Angel rang the bell for his last treatment. In March of 2023, he was officially cancer-free.

Tragically, Angel passed away unexpectedly one month later, unrelated to his cancer. Amidst the pain the Casas family feels surrounding Angel’s loss, they’re also incredibly grateful to Columbia’s Cancer Center.

Angel’s sister, Tahis, rode in Velocity 2023 as captain of team “Bodies By Angel” in honor of her brother’s legacy and to pay homage to the place that saved his life.

Mavis' Story

As a nurse, Mavis’s mom was knowledgeable about healthcare and knew to see a specialist as soon as she noticed something was off. Unfortunately, she received insufficient care and a misdiagnosis. By the time she went for a second opinion, her cancer had metastasized and she was gravely ill. She passed away shortly after.

Mavis’s mom wasn’t treated at Columbia but if she was, Mavis is sure her quality of care would have been much better. That’s why Mavis–an alumna of Columbia Law School–has supported Velocity. It’s her way to spread awareness and ensure that more people can receive the quality care that can hopefully make all the difference.

Sam and Terri's Story

In 2010, Terri’s husband Sam was diagnosed with a very aggressive b-cell lymphoma. While a stem cell transplant put his cancer in a good place, surgery, treatments and radiation caused Sam to develop multiple necrotic masses that interfered with major organs. 

Someone on the surgical board of Sam’s local hospital had heard about Dr. Tamoaki Kato, a surgeon at Columbia who is a pioneer in organ surgery. In 2016, Dr. Kato and his team performed a 20-hour ExVivo surgery that saved Sam’s life.

Linda's Story

For Linda Ury Greenberg, volunteering and fundraising for Velocity is about helping save lives. Her mother-in-law and father-in-law both died from cancer and several of her friends have had to undergo treatment for their own diagnoses. Their strength and courage through immensely difficult times inspires Linda to do her part to solve cancer.

And as an employee and alumni of Columbia University, joining Velocity was a no-brainer, which is why she’s been an enthusiastic volunteer and fundraiser for Velocity since 2018.



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