Jacob's son, Eli, inspires him to ride in the Courage Classic. Eli was diagnosed with a craniopharyngioma brain tumor at age 2. Today, 7-year-old Eli is cancer-free and doing well three years after completing treatment at Children’s Colorado.
“It’s definitely the hardest thing I have ever faced as a parent,” said Jacob.
This summer, Jacob is riding in his fifth Courage Classic tour. Eli has only seen the tour from a buggy in tow and from the finish line, cheering on his dad. This year, he gets to pedal his way up mountain passes and through three counties.
“We ride to repay Children’s Hospital Colorado, particularly the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, for all they have done to save my son Eli’s life,” said Jacob.
The father and son are riding together on a tandem bike, along with family and friends.
Jacob, a postdoctoral researcher at University of Colorado Denver, is one of the world’s few researchers working to eliminate the kind of tumor Eli had. His goal is to help other people affected by the cancer his son battled.
The seasoned Courage Classic rider is facing a new challenge this tour: Eli shouting for him to pedal faster.