News Archive

Triking the Erie Canal to Support Nazareth Clinic

Published June 25, 2018

“The stroke affected both my speech and my walking, but when I get on my trike I feel great!”

It was nine years ago that Doug Volland’s wife, Jan, came home and found her husband on the floor. As a nurse, she recognized he was having a stroke. Volland was in a coma for three weeks and his wife was told he may not survive.

But today, Volland is thriving in his new normal. The former mechanical engineer who once owned an engineering firm, ran marathons, participated in high-intensity boot camps, and rode 100 mile “centuries” on his bicycle, is now taking on the challenge of a Trike-a-Thon.  He’s riding his trike for three days, July 6-8, from Buffalo to Rochester along the Erie Canal.

“We’ll go about 30 miles each day, but it will end up being close to a 100-mile trek,” he says.

Volland decided to participate in the Trike-a-Thon to raise money for the Neurogenic Communication and Cognition Clinic or “NC3” at Nazareth College’s York Wellness and Rehabilitation Center (YWRI).

It’s a clinic very near to his heart. He's always pushed himself in his therapies to get better and today he continues to work 3 times per week with students and professors at Nazareth’s YWRI for physical therapy, and speech therapy.

Part of the training for graduate students, the NC3 clinic provides speech, language and cognitive therapy to people who have experienced a stroke, traumatic brain injury, and neurological diseases for free.

“Nazareth students and professors have helped me so much, I’ve come a long way. Everyone here is so excited to help me get stronger, I can’t describe it,” said Volland. “It’s so nice to come here, to see the excitement each week.”

When Heather Coles, manager of the NC3 clinic at Nazareth, met Volland in the fall of 2012, he could say very little, she said. He now says sentences.

“You help you, Doug. You are so highly motivated. You push yourself every session, and you may not realize it, but you teach the students each week as they help you,” said Coles. "If you can’t do something on the first try, you say ‘hang on,’ you try again, and you are teaching them patience and helping them learn different approaches.”

Volland takes his can-do attitude along for the ride with everything he does. He also loves to cook and even helped improve his speech by dictating his favorite recipes to a Nazareth speech pathology student, who typed blog posts for him. He had to name and categorize all of the ingredients, along with structuring the instructions using correct grammar and syntax.

His positivity is contagious and it’s no surprise that a group of Health and Human Services students and professors will rally around him, riding for a day with the Trike-A-Thon on Sunday, July 8.

He welcomes anyone to join him on the Trike-a-Thon. “Join me for 1 mile... or the whole trip, it’s up to you! The trip is free but donations are appreciated!”

Donations can be made directly to Nazareth. Specify “Other” on the form and then type “Trike-a-Thon.”


For More Information

Julie Long | Chief PR Officer | (585) 389-2456 |

Trike-a-Thon Facebook event

Nazareth College’s academic strengths cross an unusually broad spectrum of 60 majors, including education, health and human services, management, the fine arts, music, theater, math and science, foreign languages, and the liberal arts. The coeducational, religiously independent, classic campus in a charming suburb of Rochester, N.Y., challenges and supports 2,300 undergrads and 700 graduate students. Nazareth is recognized nationally for its Fulbright global student scholars and commitment to civic engagement. Rigorous programs, an uncommon arts and sciences core, experiential learning, career skills, and a global focus prepare graduates for not just one job, but for their life’s work.