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Cancer survivors join The Ride to Conquer Cancer

Dennis McLaughin
Dennis McLaughin
Dennis McLaughlin

Cancer! The mere word instills fear in a great many of us. You hear the word, the diagnosis, then wonder, “How am I going to fight this?” or “How will this affect my family” or the worst thought of all, “Am I going to live through this?” At Penn Medicine's Abramson Cancer Center, cancer patients are given hope, given medical treatment and hopefully a cure to the cancer the patient is facing. Cancer treatments have to be researched and funded though. The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania is a national leader in cancer research, patient care and education, and an integral part of Penn Medicine. For the first time, the Abramson Cancer Center are going to raise funds for research with The Ride to Conquer Cancer.

The Ride to Conquer Cancer will be a two-day, 150 mile cycling event through Pennsylvania's picturesque countryside with an overnight camp midway where participants will enjoy pre-set tents, hot meals, showers, live entertainment, massages and other festive activities. The Ride start and finish will be held on October 11th and 12th of this year, and pit stops with fresh food, beverages and public cheer stations will be set up along the route to support Riders as they pass through local communities.

Chi Van Dang, MD, PhD, director of the Abramson Cancer Center stated "This year there will be nearly 80,000 cancer diagnoses in Pennsylvania and it's estimated that one in four deaths in the United States will be caused by cancer. At the Abramson Cancer Center, we are dedicated to reducing cancer incidence, mortality and morbidity in the community while training future cancer researchers and improving our ability to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. The funds raised through The Ride will be put to use immediately to power our breakthrough cancer research, and world-class education and patient care programs right here in Philadelphia”.

According to Ride to Conquer Cancer for the ride, the “ 2-day cycling adventure begins as you gather with fellow Riders for an inspiring Opening Ceremony, where we’ll remember those lost to cancer and honor those continuing the fight. After an energizing sendoff, you’ll Ride out of Philadelphia with a renewed sense of purpose, as you follow the route through some of Pennsylvania's most beautiful scenery.” www.

Participants in the ride have to raise funds for the amount of $2500.00. Fundraising can be done in many different ways which each participate can choose to do. Participates include those who have fought cancer, those who are riding in memory of a loved one and those who just want to kick cancer’s butt.

One such participate is Dennis McLaughlin of Upper Darby. McLaughlin, 60, is a married father of 4 who works for a telecommunications company. Last year during a routine colonoscopy Dennis was diagnosed with colon cancer. McLaughlin then had to have surgery to have his colon resected, lymph nodes removed, followed by chemotherapy and radiation. Follow up tests this year showed no sign of the cancer and will continue follow up for years to come.

McLaughlin is not an athletic. He hasn’t even ridden a bike in years but he is training to participate in the ride. McLaughlin explains “I saw an ad for the ride on TV, and went to an orientation that was given. The orientation provided me with the information and I realized I can do that.” Kevin Friel is an outreach coordinator for the ride and met with McLaughlin to support him in this endeavor. Friel states, “90% of our participants have a connection to cancer. They are looking for a way to help others fighting the disease and to help raise funds for research.” The organization provides training rides and they provide orientation sessions where they will learn more about bike basics in case they never changed a bike tire or they want to know the difference between a road and a mountain bike.

The Ride to Conquer Cancer is still looking for volunteers and riders for the October 2014 ride. More information may be found at their website .

The Ride to Conquer Cancer

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