Beginning Friday, August 21 and ending Saturday, August 22, three Atrium Health teammates rode 240 miles in honor of the Levine Cancer Institute – as well as people who have been affected by cancer and the healthcare workers who care for them.

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Atrium Health Teammates Cycle 240 Miles in Support of Levine Cancer Institute

Beginning Friday, August 21 and ending Saturday, August 22, three Atrium Health teammates rode 240 miles in honor of the Levine Cancer Institute – as well as people who have been affected by cancer and the healthcare workers who care for them.

On Friday, August 21, three Atrium Health teammates – Aaron Harper, Chris Hinson, and Wim DeNeef – took a 240-mile bike ride to highlight the work of  Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute (LCI), a U.S. News & World Report ranked “Top 50” cancer center in the nation. With more than 25 cancer care locations, LCI provides access to top-ranked physician expertise, groundbreaking clinical trials and the latest cancer treatments across the Carolinas. The 24-hour-long bike ride also honored those who have survived cancer and those who have lost their lives to cancer, as well as the everyday heroes who provide healthcare to cancer patients every day.

Beginning Friday, August 21 and ending Saturday, August 22, three Atrium Health teammates rode 240 miles in honor of the Levine Cancer Institute – as well as people who have been affected by cancer and the healthcare workers who care for them.

A passion for cycling and helping others

Beginning Friday, August 21 and ending Saturday, August 22, three Atrium Health teammates rode 240 miles in honor of the Levine Cancer Institute – as well as people who have been affected by cancer and the healthcare workers who care for them. Aaron Harper is an enthusiastic recreational cyclist who’s logged thousands of miles, often waking up as early as 4:00 a.m. to get in a ride before traffic gets heavy and work and family obligations fill his day. He’s completed several cross-country adventures, riding with a team of paralyzed and disabled athletes all the way from California to North Carolina in 14 days. He describes his role as senior HR Strategic Business Partner at Atrium Health as creating strategy and supporting numerous initiatives, including military veterans, within the system.

“I enjoy cycling,” says Harper, “and if there’s a good cause involved, I’m happy to organize a ride to promote it.” He’s been involved with previous bike rides that helped raise awareness of the rehabilitation and adaptive sports programs at Atrium Health, causes which are also near and dear to him.

Originally, Harper had hoped to participate in the annual “24 Hours of Booty” ride that took place in July and benefits the 24 Foundation (Levine Cancer Institute is one of the beneficiaries of the ride), but he was unable to attend. However, he still wanted to show his support for the cause.

“I’m glad to be able to honor this group and support all the cancer care efforts in the Atrium Health system,” says Harper. “Plus, this way, we get to visit more sites and go beyond the immediate Charlotte area.”

Biking for a cause

Beginning Friday, August 21 and ending Saturday, August 22, three Atrium Health teammates rode 240 miles in honor of the Levine Cancer Institute – as well as people who have been affected by cancer and the healthcare workers who care for them. Wim DeNeef has been with Atrium Health Cabarrus for 21 years, and is the assistant vice president for rehabilitation services, overseeing areas physical and occupational therapy, speech pathology and audiology in acute care hospital, outpatient clinic and acute medical rehabilitation settings.

DeNeef describes himself as an “avid amateur cyclist” who loves being on a bike and usually rides about 4 times per week. Like Harper, DeNeef has ridden on several long-distance bike rides before and completed a ride from Charlotte, N.C. to Macon, Ga. alongside several Navicent Health teammates to support patient rehabilitation and adaptive sports programs.

“When Aaron reached out to me about a month ago, I was interested in doing this ride both as a cyclist and as someone who’s had family members affected by cancer,” says DeNeef. “I rode in memory of my sister-in-law, who we lost to breast cancer earlier this year. So there was an element of personal reflection in doing the ride in addition to the fact that it’s a good cause and that I enjoy riding.”

DeNeef says he also appreciated the chance to promote the wide array of cancer services that are available through all the Atrium Health sites the team visited.  

The best part of the ride? “Riding at night was something different that we don’t always get to do,” DeNeef says. As for the worst part, there really was no worst part, he explains. “Even during the challenging parts of the ride — weather, climbs — a little bit of discomfort is nothing compared to what cancer patients go through and the dedication that our cancer providers show every day.”

A ride representing infinite care

The 240-mile ride took Harper, Hinson, and DeNeef from the Levine Cancer Institute to Atrium Health Union West, Atrium Health Union, Atrium Health Stanly, Atrium Health Cabarrus, Atrium Health University, back to the Levine Cancer Institute, then to Atrium Health Pineville, Atrium Health Kings Mountain, Atrium Health Cleveland, Atrium Health Lincolnton, to Carolinas Rehabilitation (CR) Mount Holly, and then ending at Levine Cancer Institute. The three riders took turns riding and following the active rider in a car, logging the 240 miles within a 24-hour timeframe.

Beginning Friday, August 21 and ending Saturday, August 22, three Atrium Health teammates rode 240 miles in honor of the Levine Cancer Institute – as well as people who have been affected by cancer and the healthcare workers who care for them.

“The shape of the ride, if you look at it on a map, was a sideways figure-8 or an infinity symbol,” Harper points out, symbolizing the infinite care that LCI teammates provide to cancer patients.

DeNeef adds, “Connecting the dots by visiting these locations was a great way to show everyone how many services we have to offer, and how we have a positive impact on the community. We’re here to help people deal with the effects of cancer, no matter what.”


If you want to support the work of the Levine Cancer Institute, you can make a donation.

For expert cancer care, make an appointment at the Levine Cancer Institute.