Paul Litwin, programming manager in Collaborative Data Services, was already riding a wave of team-captain success. He had just led a Healthy Challenge team to first place two years in a row when another opportunity presented itself.
"While on CenterNet, I read about an orientation session for The Ride to Conquer Cancer," Litwin said. "Right away, I knew that event would become my next challenge."
The Ride to Conquer Cancer, an international cycling event, is set to begin Saturday, June 20, in Vancouver, B.C., with opening ceremonies followed by the first leg of the course. After camping overnight, the riders will finish their sojourn Sunday afternoon in Seattle. Funds raised by U.S. riders will be donated to the Canary Foundation to support early detection cancer research at the Hutchinson Center.
Litwin dubbed his cycling team Fred's Wheels, dedicating his ride and fundraising efforts to a cousin who died of lung cancer. His first teammate is the Center's Damon May, scientific software engineer in Computational Proteomics, who just bought a new bicycle—his first in 10 years.
"It was a no-brainer for me, joining the ride so I could improve my cycling skills while giving back in support of important research," May said. At work, May is part of a pancreatic-cancer research team that receives funding from the Canary Foundation. He has gotten up to riding speed quickly, commuting to school and work and training with Litwin on evenings and weekends.
Both men have raised upward of $2,000 in their first weeks of pledge appeals to friends, family and colleagues. They invite others to join them by donating or by taking part in the cycling event. Donate to Center team members' rides via http://cdsweb01.fhcrc.org/theride. Registration for The Ride to Conquer Cancer is still open; to sign up, call 1-888-771-BIKE or visit www.conquercancer.ca.