Pedal the Cause was founded in 2009 by two-time lymphoma survivor Bill Koman and his wife, Amy, as part of their mission to fight cancer.
Because of their far-reaching efforts throughout the community, the Komans recently received the 2013 Outstanding Philanthropist Award from the St. Louis Regional Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).
While Bill was fighting cancer, he received treatment from the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University. Bill wanted to give back to the place that had saved his life and to help more patients achieve good outcomes.
As a result, he launched the Cancer Frontier Fund, an initiative of The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital to accelerate cancer research at Siteman. One way to fuel the Cancer Frontier Fund is through Pedal the Cause. Funds raised through the cycling event are directed to cancer research at Siteman and St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Since 2009, Pedal the Cause has raised more than $6 million for cancer research in St. Louis.
Jay Indovino, executive director of Pedal the Cause, credits the Komans’ personal and professional drive for the success of the event.
“Bill and Amy have created both the vision and the platform for making a difference in our fight against cancer,” Jay says. “Their generosity is tremendous, but more importantly, they have motivated the entire St. Louis community to join them in this fight. That takes incredible vision, energy and determination. The Komans think big and create big goals. They motivate you to attain levels that you didn’t think were achievable.”
While Pedal the Cause is the most focused philanthropic initiative of the Komans, they are deeply engaged in both St. Louis and in their other home location of San Diego as donors and board volunteers. In addition to Pedal the Cause and The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital, the Komans tirelessly give their time, enthusiasm and financial support to other organizations that focus on health and wellness, youth and education, social needs and the arts.
“The Komans created the catalyst for making cancer research a priority in the St. Louis region, but it takes an entire community to make meaningful progress,” Jay says. “Pedal the Cause has become a sustainable event that transitioned the Komans’ vision into our entire community’s vision. Their leadership is being expressed through thousands of riders and donors who will now carry the torch for our one shared goal: A World Without Cancer.”