Ohio State Newark Student Gears Up for Second Pelotonia Ride
Hearing just three words from a friend provoked The Ohio State University at Newark student Elijah Lithiluxa to do something he never considered before: Ride in Pelotonia. The then-sophomore bought a used, two-gear bicycle and pedaled 25 miles to raise money for cancer research. And he will do it again this year.
“I never really understood it until I rode,” said Lithiluxa about the spectators and supporters along the route. “It’s not just a whole bunch of people in one spot. Throughout the whole 25 miles, there were people everywhere. The most motivating thing, though, is the survivors who rode. There was a survivor who happened to cross the finish line at the same time I did. I have never seen anything so inspiring.”
Pelotonia is an annual bike ride that raises money for The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James). In 10 years, Pelotonia riders have raised $184 million. Ohio State Newark participates annually with a team of riders, virtual riders and volunteers made of faculty, staff and students. In 2018, the 45 members of Team Buckeye — Rolling for a Cure raised $51,544.54.
“I want to exceed my goal. It’s more than just a number to me,” said Lithiluxa who has witnessed family and friends lose loved ones to the disease. “I want to make a difference. Pelotonia — being a huge event — so many people know about it. It’s easy getting people behind it.”
Lithiluxa and the rest of the Ohio State Newark peloton need your support. They will hold a pancake breakfast on April 20, 2019, from 8 a.m. to noon in the John L. and Christine Warner Library and Student Center. The Pancakes for Pelotonia menu also includes bacon, fruit, juice and coffee. All donations go directly to cancer research at OSUCCC — James.
Pelotonia 2019 will be held Aug. 2–4. Lithiluxa plans to extend his ride to 35 or more miles. Raising money and awareness, he says, is the best thing he can do to make cancer less scary.
“To represent the university is an amazing feeling. I carry that with pride.”
The Ohio State University at Newark offers an academic environment that is inclusive of diversity, challenging but supportive with world-renowned professors and access to Ohio State’s more than 200 majors. It’s where learning comes to life. Research, study abroad and service learning opportunities prepare students for their careers in ways they never expected.