The Ride brings in $300,000 for cancer research

A recent community biking event in Dane County brought in over $300,000 to support research at the UW and the Carbone Cancer Center.

The Ride 2017 had more than 1,200 participants, including 325 cancer patients and their families, as well as UW faculty, researchers, doctors and many others.

The route began in Sun Prairie, and branched out into several paths ranging from three miles to 100 miles so that bikers of all skill levels could take part.

“Our mission is to accelerate cancer cures by funding promising research,” says Deric Wheeler, associate professor of human oncology and director of The Ride.

This fundraising event, in its second year, was started by the UW Department of Human Oncology. Money raised goes toward research projects in the form of Ride Scholar Awards and scholarships.

This year’s event more than doubled the amount The Ride raised in 2016, bringing the two-year total to over $500,000, according to UWCCC spokeswoman Susan Smith.

Six individuals were funded in 2016, and according to a release from UW-Madison, a greater number will be selected this year. Researchers can send in proposals for why their project should be funded, and selected winners will be recognized at the January 27 UW men’s hockey game.

Four research project leaders were recognized in 2016: James Cleary, a professor of medicine and palliative care expert, for his work to make pain medications more widely available to cancer patients; Dustin Deming, an assistant professor of medicine, for his studies of genetics and immunotherapy treatments for colorectal cancer; Jessica Miller, an assistant professor of human oncology, for her work in advanced CT scanning to improve radiation therapy; and Zachary Morris, an assistant professor of human oncology, for studies into immune system stimulation with radiation.

The Ride also gave scholar awards to two groups: The UW Precision medicine Molecular Tumor Board, which researches cases referred from all over the Midwest and offers advice on treatment; and the Child Life Program at American Family Children’s Hospital, which helps young patients and their families deal with the emotional stress associated with child illness.

Organizers are planning The Ride 2018 for Sept. 23 next year.

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–By Alex Moe