Ride Hard. Breathe Easy. Begins Today

Today, SAP employee John Matthews kicks off his 3,400-mile, cross-country bike ride, called Ride Hard. Breathe Easy.

John is riding to raise awareness and funds for lung cancer in memory of his mom, who passed to the disease in 2001, and in memory of all those who lost the battle or are currently fighting.

The ride sparked from “Kathleen’s Krew,” the 5K team that John and his family formed when his mother was first sick, purposed to raise money for lung cancer research. However, John knew he could do more than 5Ks, so in the fall of 2016, SAP’s Rick Knowles put John to the test and announced to 100 employees that John was going to ride across the country on bike. From that day on John and a team of about 50 volunteers have planned, promoted, and trained.

Now, almost a year later, John is ready.  This morning, John leaves from SAP’s Newtown Square office and begins his months-long venture to cycle across the United States, finishing in October in San Francisco.

As John’s mom, Kathleen, would frequently say, “Many hands make light work.” Among family, friends, colleagues, businesses, and lung cancer organizations, John has had ample support to execute his journey. With more help and momentum, we’re confident that he will reach his goal of raising $1 million for lung cancer.

When he leaves, John will be accompanied by SAP’s Marty Mrugal and John Burd.  The three men plan to ride the first 80 miles together, rain or shine.

As SAP CEO Bill McDermott said, “John has 87,000 SAP colleagues around the world with him on this ride. We believe in him and we’re proud of him. Together we’ll help John win the fight against lung cancer.”

From all of us, John, we wish you good luck:

If you’d like to get involved with the initiative and help support the ride, you can donate to the cause at www.rhbe.org . Funds raised from Ride Hard. Breathe Easy. will go to support the work of The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation and Lung Cancer Alliance.

When John reaches the halfway mark of his journey, on September 29 and 30, we ask you to join in by doing something active and fun to raise awareness for lung cancer, positing a video or picture of it to social media, and hash-tagging #beatlungcancer. Help us show support for John.

Follow John’s progress on www.ride4lungs.com via a custom app that the SAP Enterprise Analytics team created.

You can also follow John’s progress via Facebook Live videos posted throughout the ride and read more RHBE blogs.

This story originally appeared on Business Trends on the SAP Community.