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Pedal-powered cancer research

27 May 2019

lifesaving researchSince 2005, a group of cyclists in British Columbia have undertaken an annual, one-day, 400 km bike ride from Kelowna to Delta in support of the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS). The cycling event, called Ride2Survive, is the largest independent fundraising event benefitting CCS. 

Fifteen years ago Kerry Kunzli joined 16 other cyclists on a challenging long-distance bike ride in support of cancer research. He loved it and has been organizing Ride2Survive with his wife, Vicki, ever since.

On the day of the Ride, cyclists start their day at 3:30 a.m., often riding for up to 19 hours before finishing at 10 p.m. The demanding route goes through 9 cities and includes over 12,000 ft of uphill mountain cycling.

“One unique thing about the Ride2Survive is that we ride together the entire distance as a team,” says Kerry Kunzli, event organizer. “On our journey, we need to work together to ensure our goal time is met. We start together, we ride together and we finish together.”

Over the past 15 years, Ride2Survive has raised $7 million that CCS has invested in funding research for hard-to-treat cancers. Each year the team designates the funds to a specific researcher or project, such as Dr Greg Stanisz.

Thanks to funds raised at Ride2Survive, Dr Stanisz and his team have made remarkable advancements in brain cancer treatment. Dr Stanisz and his team demonstrated a new MRI method that could predict whether radiation therapy was working in people with a brain tumour called glioblastoma as early as 2 weeks into the treatment. They also found that their MRI technique could predict which tumours were likely to progress and spread.

 “We ride to make a difference and give back to the cancer cause,” adds Vicki Kunzli, event organizer.

This year, Ride2Survive will celebrate its 15th anniversary on June 22. Click here to help the team meet their fundraising goal so they can continue funding ground-breaking cancer research.