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Ride for Dad, in memory of Michael Haas

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My Journey to Pelotonia 2023

Ever since I can remember, I’ve enjoyed riding bikes, for casual fun and more recently for commuting in Boston to Dana-Farber Cancer Center, where I managed the CyTOF core. I loved being able to zip past traffic and get to work more efficiently. This also changed my perspective on death, as riding a bike in Boston can be risky business if you aren’t careful. My perspective on life and death was radically changed in 2021.

In May of 2021, I was graduating from Boston University’s LEAP Program with a Meng. in Biomedical Engineering after leaving DFCI the previous year to study full time and start Ionic Cytometry Solutions, my company specializing in data analysis and consultation in the high-parameter cytometry space, with a strong focus on immune-oncology, cell therapy, and immune-therapy.

In June of 2021, my dad called my brother and I with news that his stage 4 colorectal cancer had metastasized to his spine, lungs, and liver. With my background, I knew right away that this was grim. That week, I finished the very first proposal and project for a new, big client, barely. I couldn’t stop thinking about dad and what could be done about this situation. I knew I would regret it if I didn’t try to go and be there for dad in what were likely his last months on Earth.

After discussing it with my wife, Ally, for a few days, and discussing the plan with my dad and his wife, Jerri, we packed up our two cats and some boxes of necessities and drove the 816 miles from Boston to Wilmington, Ohio to stay with dad and Jerri to help care for dad however we could.

At first, it did take some adjusting to get used to the space, but we dove right in with caretaking, just to help make sure dad felt taken care of more than anything at this point. Over the next couple of months, his condition worsened as the cancer spread and he entered Hospice care after a last ditch chemo effort. Fortunately, he lived directly across the street from the Foster J. Boyd, MD Cancer Center, an affiliate of the James Cancer Center and Clinton Memorial Hospital (one of his former employers) in Wilmington. This made his treatment and ER visits, of which there were many in the several months we lived with him, much easier for him to handle.
On the 15th of October, 2021, surrounded immediately by my brother, Jerri, and I, with my wife’s hand on my shoulder, dads hand in mine, and many of our close family in the room with us, my dad lost his battle at the age of 52.

In his life, my dad followed in his father’s footsteps as a dedicated Scoutmaster during my brother and I’s time in Scouts (primarily of Troop 399 at St. Cecilia Parish, Cincinnati, OH), he worked his way through the ranks as a volunteer firefighter and EMT for Madison Place, Fairfax, and LMFR fire departments, and was an Emergency Room nurse for decades, with his cumulative career, spent taking care of others, spanning over 30 years.

Hearing the stories of the lives dad touched as a mentor and caregiver over the years inspired me to promise him that I would ride in the Pan-Mass Challenge in honor of him after he passed. They continue to inspire me and although the venue has changed, the inspiration is the same. It took me two years to commit to live up to my promise to ride for dad, but here I am doing it.

I am grateful and humbled to ride for my dad, Michael ‘Mike’ Haas, and look forward to his guiding energy on my 101-mile ride to raise money for The James Cancer Center on August 5th at Pelotonia 2023!

As the core principle in our mission, Ionic Cytometry Solutions, believes in giving back and will be matching all donations to Pelotonia through my link, up to a total of $1,010, or $10/mile.

In addition, for every $1 raised between now and October 15th, 2023, I will ride an additional mile after the Pelotonia 2023 event until completion. Follow my journey on Instagram and LinkedIn for updates!

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Donations (2)

  • Austin Black
    • $30 
    • 10 mos
  • Chelsea L Peters
    • $10 
    • 10 mos
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Organizer

Eric Haas
Organizer
Forestville, OH

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