South Surrey’s Lara Gastaldello

South Surrey’s Lara Gastaldello

Ride raises $11 million for cancer research

Close to 3,000 cyclists raised a record $11.1 million in last weekend’s Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer, supporting leading research at the BC Cancer Agency.

Riders crossed the finish line at Marymoor Park in Redmond, Wash. Sunday after a journey of more than 200 kilometres that began Saturday morning in Vancouver.

As the BC Cancer Agency’s fundraising partner, the BC Cancer Foundation will invest the funds directly into breakthrough cancer research focused on improving outcomes for cancer patients across B.C.

“For the third straight year, we have had tremendous support for the ride in communities right across B.C.,” foundation president and CEO Douglas Nelson said in a release. “The foundation is extremely grateful to all the volunteers, crew members, riders and their supporters.

“The funds we have raised will have a significant impact on cancer patients and their families throughout the province and will help bring us closer to achieving our vision of a world free from cancer.”

Research projects the ride continues to support include the Pediatric Genome Sequencing Project, the ANGELYC Project for lymphoid cancers and the BC Generations Project.

The BC Cancer Foundation also helps fund the purchase of state-of-the-art equipment, such as the BC Cancer Agency’s second PET/CT scanner, which significantly reduces patient wait times.

Dr. Poul Sorensen, a senior scientist with the agency as well as a rider, said he feels “honoured to ride alongside these inspiring and committed people.”

“Their hard work to raise funds makes a huge impact in my research of childhood cancers – their support will make it possible to improve and extend the lives of our youngest cancer patients,” Sorensen said.

Registration has already begun for the fourth annual Ride to Conquer Cancer, June 16-17, 2012.

Call 1-888-771-2453 or visit www.conquercancer.ca for information.