Skip to Main Content
Spirit & Sports

Molly Ranz Calhoun feels Pelotonia’s power of hope

For our alumni association leader, this year’s ride celebrates incredible care during her cancer experience — and resilience and discoveries to come.

Three people pose for this photo in front of the entrance to the Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center, part of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. The three are Molly Ranz Calhoun and the doctors who treated her cancer. They stand closely as they pose, seeming like they have a good relationship, and all smile as they squint a bit in the bright sunshine.

With Molly Ranz Calhoun are Dr. Doreen Agnese, left, and Dr. Sachin Jhawar, integral members of her health care team at Ohio State. Agnese is a surgical oncologist, clinical geneticist and researcher, while Jhawar specializes in radiation oncology and clinical and translational research. (Photo by Jodi Miller)

As a longtime rider in Pelotonia, Molly Ranz Calhoun ’86 has always been passionate about the event that has raised millions for cancer research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. This year, her commitment carries even greater meaning.

That’s because Molly is riding not only as president of the alumni association and co-captain of Team Buckeye, but for the first time, as a cancer survivor herself.

Molly’s journey with breast cancer began just two weeks after she rode in last year’s Pelotonia. “I remember getting the call telling me that I had cancer,” she says. “It was stage 1, and the tumor was only a centimeter in size. That seemed pretty simple — but it wasn’t so simple. It was cancer!”

What followed felt like a whirlwind of appointments with oncologists and surgeons at the Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center.

Through surgery, recovery and radiation, Molly found strength in the support of Tommy Calhoun, her “rock” of a husband, their kids and a network of survivors. “Hearing from women who have gone through this is so important,” she says. “When you are able to talk through others’ experiences, it becomes manageable because you know they got through it and that means you can, too.”

This August, Molly will celebrate being cancer-free by riding 100 miles in Pelotonia alongside two of her sons. While her husband may not share her passion for cycling (“He doesn’t understand why you would ride a bike 100 miles if you own a car,” Molly says with a laugh), having family by her side will make the ride all the more meaningful.

Cancer looks different for everyone, but for those receiving a diagnosis, Molly offers this advice: Don’t be afraid to talk about it and tap into the amazing network of support. “It’s about having that community of people who have been through it, who can relate to your experiences without feeling sorry for you,” she says.

That support network is what so many find valuable about Pelotonia as they navigate the challenges of living with or loving someone who is battling cancer.

“At its core, Pelotonia is about coming together as a community to celebrate survivors, honor loved ones and fuel the critical research that will ultimately lead us to a cancer-free world,” says Joe Apgar, CEO of Pelotonia. “Riders like Molly embody the spirit of hope and resilience that defines our organization. By sharing their stories and rallying their networks, these individuals show us the power of what’s possible when we unite in our shared mission to end cancer.”

As Molly prepares for this August’s ride, she carries with her the strength of a survivor, the love of her family and the unwavering support of a Buckeye community committed to a cancer-free future. They’re powerful reminders that together, we can achieve what seems impossible.

Support Pelotonia

Registration is open for the August 3–4 Ride Weekend and September 21 Gravel Day. Sign up and find other ways to support Pelotonia on its website.

Rate this story
Average: 4.8 (13 votes)