A Decade of Highlights

It all began in 2013, when Stewart Kohl (center) made a $1 million gift to create VeloSano Bike to Cure. “VeloSano is a passion of mine,” says Kohl, a Cleveland Clinic Distinguished Fellow who co-chaired The Power of Every One Centennial Campaign. “We’ve taken something as healthy as a bicycle and turned it into a weapon to fight cancer.” 

VeloSano is a global fundraising movement to discover the cures of tomorrow for cancer, today. It connects the cancer community with Cleveland Clinic’s expanding impact in research, innovation and care.


This unique partnership ensures an accelerated path to finding cures by making good on our promise: 100% of every dollar raised supports transformative, lifesaving cancer research.  With more than $47 million in direct funds raised to date — as well as $85 million in external funding generated thanks to VeloSano — this movement has brought innovative treatment, therapies and comfort to patients across a wide range of cancer specialties. What began as a weekend-long bike ride in Cleveland has become the link that connects philanthropy to research, research to patients and patients to cures. 

Bicycle race focused on man with black helmet sunglasses gray long sleeved shirt in front of starting line that says Velosano

The inaugural Bike to Cure Weekend in July 2014 drew nearly 800 riders and raised $1.96 million.  

Bald man with glasses and facial hair wearing white lab coat with white shirt and blue patterned tie

“VeloSano has been a catalyst for us to do true translational science,” says Justin Lathia, PhD, Vice Chair of the Department of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Sciences at Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute. Dr. Lathia and his team have developed a new compound to use against glioblastoma, the most lethal primary malignant brain tumor. “Through VeloSano funding, we’ve been able to take high-risk ideas and test them in the laboratory,” Dr. Lathia says, “then get larger follow-on funding that has enabled a clinical trial, which has been extremely gratifying.”

Crowd at bicycle race focused on black boy with yellow helmet wearing blue shirt that says Trike & Bike

Launched in 2018, Trike & Bike Benefiting VeloSano is a series of community-organized bike rides for children. It provides a unique opportunity for young fundraisers and their families to have fun and stay active while supporting a great cause: pediatric cancer research at Cleveland Clinic Children’s.  

Two woman wearing white lab coats one with dark straight hair one with brown hair and glasses both holding a sign that says

Among the dozens of research projects funded by VeloSano is a new way to fight head and neck cancer. The effort is led by the Taussig Cancer Institute team of Jessica Geiger, MD (left), a medical oncologist and program leader for Head and Neck Medical Oncology, and Natalie Silver, MD (right), a head and neck surgical oncologist and Director of Head and Neck Cancer Research. Their work has demonstrated that personalized messenger RNA nanoparticles can help a patient’s own immune system fight cancer cells.  

Man walking on grass behind stadium wearing sunglasses medical mask blue Velosano shirt red shorts white socks black shoes

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, VeloSano went virtual in 2020. Participants were able to take part from anywhere in the world, in any way they could. No bike? No problem. Whether they walked, swam, ran or even embroidered, the mission was the same: provide critical funding for lifesaving cancer research.  

Man with brown hair wearing blue striped tie and white lab coat

Daniel Rotroff, PhD, is working on a novel way to better detect liver cancer using a saliva-based test. “The resources we’ve received from VeloSano have allowed us to collect patient samples, generate and analyze data, develop models and obtain a patent,” says Dr. Rotroff, Director of the Center for Quantitative Metabolic Research at the Lerner Research Institute. “Now we’re working to develop a point-of-care test. It speaks to the value of VeloSano funding that allows us to pursue the more creative ideas that we believe have the ability to transform cancer care.”  

People finishing bicycle race with right hand raised in fist in front of signs Bike to Cure Velosano Cleveland Clinic

As VeloSano celebrated its 10th year, Bike to Cure Weekend in September 2023 was the biggest yet. A record-breaking 2,600 riders participated, representing more than 30 states and five countries.