The ride of his life
Two-day fundraiser at Cycle Annex to benefit South Pasadena priest, triathlete with rare cancer
By Sara Cardine 11/21/2012
Partnering in a “Ride for Jon” event, South Pasadena’s Cycle Annex hosts seven, one-hour indoor cycling classes Friday and Saturday to raise money for the family of Jon Dephouse, a husband, father and priest at St. James Episcopal Church fighting a rare and aggressive form of cancer.
The 32-year-old South Pasadena resident received a diagnosis of Pleomorphic Rhabdomyosarcoma, a type of muscle cancer that typically affects children, less than one month ago and is already entering his second round of high-dose chemotherapy. Over the next six months, he’ll endure four more rounds of chemo, six weeks of radiation therapy and “a surgery in there, somewhere,” he said Friday.
The cancer and its treatments are extremely tough, but tougher still is Dephouse’s faith that with this incredible challenge comes a divine gift.
“It’s a crummy thing to get a diagnosis like this and have to drop everything and focus on it,” he said. “Ironically, at the same time, it’s like there’s a present hiding in this dark tunnel. I know this is absolutely going to be a life changing experience for the better when we get through all this.”
He counts his blessings it was he, and not his sons — 5-year-old Caleb and Josiah, 1½ — diagnosed with this form of cancer, which the National Cancer Institute estimates affects about 4.5 of every 1 million US children under age 14. Unlike Dephouse, 50 percent of all people with this sarcoma are diagnosed by age 10.
The family has health insurance, but the costs of treatment, transportation and childcare are swiftly mounting. So as a sign of support, neighbor Melissa Burton organized the Cycle Annex fundraiser.
Dephouse and wife Sarah Lynn have long been part of the Cycle Annex family — she as a spinning instructor and he as a former instructor-turned-regular member — so holding the location was a perfect fit, Burton said Thursday.
“The instructors are giving of their time, because they know how important it is to support one another,” she added. “We just want people to come ride, if they want to start the season of giving correctly and do something to burn off the bird, why not do it for a good cause?”
Classes are 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 7 a.m. to noon Saturday. Bike rental is $39.25, all of which goes directly to the Dephouses. To participate in The Ride for Jon, or to donate money to Jon’s family, visit rideforjon.eventbrite.com or call The Cycling Annex at (323) 993-8565. Learn more at bikingbeforedawn.blogspot.com.