The Enbridge Ride To Conquer Cancer announced 4,852 participants raised $18.1 million for The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation as the 5th Annual Ride commenced in both Toronto and Niagara Falls on Saturday morning. Ride participants will cycle over 200km, across six routes between the two cities with an overnight camp at Mohawk College in Hamilton, where Riders will enjoy a range of amenities, including hot meals, beverages and entertainment.
“Thank you to every single Rider, Donor, Sponsor, Volunteer, Crew Member, Doctor, Researcher and every single person who played a role to make our 5th annual Ride another record-breaking event,” said Paul Alofs, President and CEO of The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation.
“Last year, there were more than 177,000 new cancer cases diagnosed in Canada and 75,000 Canadians passed away from the disease. As one of the top five cancer research centres in the world, The Princess Margaret is on a mission to conquer cancer in our lifetime, and the $18.1 million raised from this year’s Enbridge Ride To Conquer Cancer is already being put to use funding Personalized Cancer Medicine, which is helping to improve and save more lives every day,” Alofs added.
In its fifth record-breaking year, The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer continues to be the largest cycling fundraiser in Canadian history, having raising over $80.2 million for The Princess Margaret alone, and $149.3 million for cancer institutes across Canada since its inception five years ago. The annual event draws tens of thousands of participants across the nation and brings together communities of survivors, cyclists, supporters and everyday people who each train and fundraise for months in order to participate in the annual two-day Ride. This year’s event drew participants from seven countries, eight Canadian provinces and 19 U.S. states.
“I have taken part in the Ontario Ride since its inception in 2008, and I am truly honoured to be part of an event which brings thousands of people together to make drastic impacts in the fight to conquer cancer,” says Denise Dorfman from Toronto.
“While I’m riding 200km every year, I am thinking of my sister who fought a brave six-year battle with cancer. I miss her and while I can’t bring her back, this event is my chance to honour her and all those who have been touched by cancer,” Dorman added, who is already registered for 2013 Ride.
Funds raised by The Ride support The Princess Margaret’s creation and implementation of Personalized Cancer Medicine, which detects cancers earlier, diagnoses cancers more precisely, targets treatments more specifically and provides comprehensive physical and emotional support.
“Our personalized treatment and care programs make remarkable impacts on how patients survive and live with cancer,” says Dr. Jonathan Irish, Head of Surgical Oncology at The Princess Margaret Hospital.
“Vital funds from The Ride help support our ongoing research programs such as immunotherapy, stem cell or tumour hypoxia programs, our research platforms including our world-leading image-guided technology and robotic surgery, clinical trials that support specific cancer types and our world-class BioBank initiative. Finally, we have over 150 highly skilled clinical scientists and over 1,000 people employed in our research initiatives. Dollars raised by The Ride help us support these teams, enabling breakthrough research to continue,” Dr. Irish added.
In 2011, “The Ride To Conquer Cancer” became known as “The Enbridge Ride To Conquer Cancer” when Enbridge Gas Distribution became the National title sponsor.
“We are thrilled by this year’s overwhelmingly successful effort for The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation and are humbled to support their goal to conquer cancer in our lifetime,” says Paul Green, Director of Public & Government Affairs at Enbridge Gas Distribution.
“Our team of 200 Riders is participating because many of us have lost family and friends to cancer. This entire journey has been quite emotional for many of our team members and colleagues. The Ride has brought us together, not just as Enbridge colleagues, but as a team of everyday men and woman determined to contribute to conquering cancer,” Green added.
Alofs says sponsorship of all types is absolutely critical to any charitable initiative.
“The contributions from Enbridge and all of our sponsors enable more of the funds raised by The Ride to be put to use funding cancer-related programs at The Princess Margaret. We are beyond grateful to all our sponsors for their generous support,” Alofs added.
Moments before the start of The Ride, Alofs and event organizers addressed thousands of participants simultaneously in both Toronto and Niagara Falls, and shared the final, total number of participants and funds raised for 2012 Ride. Audio and visual from each location was simulcast and displayed on screens at both venues in an attempt to bring together event participants, crew and volunteers for a common, celebratory moment.
Ride organizers also released the dates and opened registration for the 2013 event, which will be held June 8th & 9th.
“We hope everyone will join us next year for the 2013 Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer,” said Alofs.
“For more information and to register, go to www.conquercancer.ca or phone 877.699.BIKE,” Alofs concluded as thousands of Riders cheered and the 2012 Ride commenced.
Ride are organizers expecting thousands Ontarians to attend cheering stations along the route. For a map of the Ride routes, visit www.conquercancer.ca.