Why I Ride: Joe Schemmer
Joe and Bill Schemmer
“I know riding 30 miles will not be easy, but it won’t be anything compared to what I, and so many others, went through when battling cancer. I’m riding in honor of cancer survivors, those who are currently fighting for their lives, and for those who have lost their battle – especially my brother, John.” - Joe Schemmer, two-time cancer survivor
Early detection is key to the succesful treatment of any cancer. With several friends and family members who have battled the disease, Joe Schemmer quickly arrange for cancer screenings when he developed a long lasting, aggressive cough. Unfortunately, Joe’s intuition was correct, and a subsequent nodule biopsy revealed lung cancer. He underwent therapy and remained in remission for two years, but in 2009, Joe had a recurrence.
Knowing he needed expert treatment, Joe sought out the Abramson Cancer Center (ACC) for guidance. Always keeping the patient in mind, ACC physicians teamed up with Joe’s prior care team to come up with a personalized plan that ensured he would get the best possible treatment, but in the hands of the initial care team who Joe already knew so intimately.
Joe is now seven years cancer-free and he credits partnering with the Abramson Cancer Center for saving his life. The two-time cancer survivor is eager to support Penn Medicine by participating in the Breakthrough Bike Challenge – a bike ride that will support early career physician-scientists committed to eradicating cancer. “The physicians and staff at the Abramson Cancer Center were great to me and my family. When you are sick, timing is everything and the people at Penn were right there for me when I needed them. Now I’m ready to be there and support them,” Joe shared.
Joe knows the devastating loss cancer can bring, as he lost his brother John to lung cancer in 2013. Joe’s brother Bill will be riding beside him as they embark upon a 30 mile course – promising to be both challenging and inspiring. The brothers are not avid cyclists, but with a little training and their passion to find a cure, the mileage will be no match for the duo. “I know riding 30 miles will not be easy, but it won’t be anything compared to what I, and so many others, went through when battling cancer. I’m riding in honor of cancer survivors, those who are currently fighting for their lives, and for those who have lost their battle – especially my brother, John.”