More than 13 hundred riders who braved early morning showers to gather at the start line for the Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer on Saturday morning let out an enthusiastic cheer as they heard that the ride had raised $5.2 million.
Harry Perkins Institute Director, Peter Klinken told the crowd of riders and their supporters that the money raised through Australia’s largest fundraising event series would support world-leading cancer research programs.
“We send our thanks and gratitude to this amazing community of riders, sponsors, crew members, staff, volunteers and thousands who have donated and helped to make our 2nd annual Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer a remarkable success,” he said.
“Our mission at WAIMR is to improve the health of the community we serve across the state, nation and globe. A staggering one in two Australians will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and this year over 43,000 Australians will die from the disease, and over 115,000 new cases will be diagnosed,” Professor Klinken said.
“Funds raised through The Ride currently power ground-breaking cancer research here in Western Australia. As a result, we are improving treatments, diagnosis and therapies, which is leading to better patient outcomes for all Australians”.
Professor Klinken said event sponsorship and corporate involvement helped the overall effort to make a substantial impact on cancer in WA.
He paid a special tribute to MACA Limited, The Ride’s powered by sponsor, which mobilized 230 employees to raise over $1 million this year.
Cancer survivor Sue Hurt, who rode with her team “Living Well with CML” told the audience that she was diagnosed in 2007 with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia – a rare incurable blood cancer.
“Those of us with CML are grateful to be alive and owe this to the dedicated scientists who wanted to tackle cancer in new ways,” she said.
“We are alive thanks to those CML Patients who were willing to go into clinical trials with an unproven and untested idea. Every single day people are surviving another cancer because of the work done in CML. Now that is truly awesome but there is still much work to be done.”
Craig Godfrey, the spokesperson for Sunsuper, who also took part in The Ride, said that funding for cancer research was vital to both prevent the disease and help ensure the people who were diagnosed had the best options available to beat it.
“Our community of 1.2 million members and over 650 employees are behind and fully support the Harry Perkins Institute and the life-saving research underway by their world-leading researchers. Just about every one of us has or will be affected by cancer, so for everyone here today this is personal. We are honoured and inspired to participate in this incredible effort,” Mr. Godfrey said.
Riders in Team WAIMR and Team MACA led the colourful peloton of teams who covered more than 200 kilometres on their road bikes, camping overnight at Pinjarra and returning to McCallum Park on Sunday for a family celebration at the finish line.
Registration for the 2014 Ride has now opened. For more information and to register, go to www.conquercancer.org.au or phone 1300 99 RIDE (7433).
To see photos of the 2013 event, click here.