The Ride Spotlight

Spotlight: Brent Bahnub

Riding to Reduce the Threat of Cancer

March 17th, 2021  |  Rob Kelly

It’s been 10 years since Brent Bahnub was successfully treated for thyroid cancer. Given the high cure rates for this disease, he views this experience as a “closed chapter” in his life. But a scarier chapter opened when his wife, Jodie, tested positive for a BRCA1 gene mutation that increased her risk of developing cancers that are potentially more serious than what he experienced.

As a precaution, she underwent a double mastectomy and hysterectomy to reduce her cancer risk. “The preventive surgeries dropped her cancer threat dramatically,” Bahnub says. “However, we won’t know if our three children carry this mutation until they are tested —which will be their choice once they become adults.”

Bahnub’s and his wife’s experience have led to his ongoing support for cancer research. Since 2015, he has raised thousands of dollars in a cancer ride in Ohio, where he lives. And this year, Bahnub, a University of Wisconsin alum, will participate in The Ride to support cancer research at the University of Wisconsin. “I want to see in my children’s lifetime better treatments and ways to prevent this mutation from being passed to future generations,” he says. “And The Ride could help get us there.”

Bahnub looks forward to being part of The Ride and raising money for high-risk, high-reward research projects that might not otherwise get funded. He also intends to help make this event grow. He’s off to a good start in this regard. He has recruited several of his former UW roommates to ride with him. “We’ll watch the Badgers beat Notre Dame on Saturday and then do The Ride the next day. It’ll be a great weekend.”

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