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Author's profile photo Christine Donato

Ride Hard. Breathe Easy. Begins on August 24!

The countdown has started. Only days until 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.  On Thursday morning, August 24th, John will leave from the SAP Newtown Square office and begin 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 USD for lung cancer.

When he leaves on the 24th, 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.

We can follow John’s progress on via a custom app that the SAP Enterprise Analytics team created.

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’re local to Newtown Square, PA and would like to see John leave on this ride, join us at 9AM EST on August 24 at the SAP Newtown Square office.

The News is joining us, as well as music, farewell wishes, snacks, and bikes to test ride.  Cannondale Bicycles plans to bring a selection of 2018 bikes for SAP employees and guests to test ride including the recently launched Synapse and all-new electric bike, Quick NEO.

If you’d like to get involved with the initiative and help support the ride, you can donate to the cause at . 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 29th and 30th, 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 hashtagging #beatlungcancer. Help us show support for John.

We can also follow John’s progress via Facebook Live videos posted throughout the ride via

You’ve got this, John! Good luck and be safe!


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