In May of 2014, Bob Volz was a happy and healthy 34-year-old husband to Katie and father to two little boys, PJ (3) and Henry (1). Some chest pains over Memorial Day weekend concerned him enough to get a chest X-ray. Next thing he knew, Bob was diagnosed with a rare sarcoma (Pleomorphic Rhabdomyosarcoma) in his chest. He underwent a huge surgery on June 4, 2014, to remove the tumor as well as 2 lobes of his right lung. By late July, he started on a path that included multiple chemo regimens, a clinical trial, and a targeted therapy. As with so many others, Bob fought his battle with great courage, strength, and faith in Jesus Christ. But ultimately, Bob joined his Father in Heaven on May 11, 2015.
Bob was so much more than a cancer patient. He was a husband, father, son, brother, friend, and doctor. He was passionate about helping others, having done medical work after the earthquake in Haiti, and prior to that in Guatemala. He pictured himself as a medical missionary some day. He loved his patients and coworkers everywhere he studied and worked, including Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Starship Children's Hospital in Auckland, New Zealand, and finally Gundersen Hospital in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Bob's connection to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics began in 2006 when he joined the Residency program there for Orthopedic Surgery. In 2011, he and Katie had their first baby there, and that same year Bob graduated from the residency program. During that time, he worked with (and learned from) Courage Ride Doctors - Dr. Buckwalter and Dr. Ben Miller. (In fact, he first encountered Ben Miller at Rush when he was a med student!) Finally, during Bob's cancer treatment, he and Katie made several trips to Iowa City to see Dr. Milhem - known to all as Mo! Even though a couple of the trips to Iowa City included 24-hour infusions, it seemed like "coming home". The University of Iowa brings a family-feeling that even cancer can't drive away.
So you see, this ride and this cause - raising money that goes toward sarcoma research AT Iowa - is so very close to home!! In Memory of Bob, his friends and family want to say thanks to everyone who works hard to put this event together. We are also looking forward to riding in unity with others who continue to fight. And we fight with them. Together we can raise money, raise awareness, and someday find a cure for all kinds of cancer.