Largest cycling fundraiser in Australia’s history draws 1,519 participants and funds the translation of discoveries into treatments, diagnostics and prevention strategies at Queensland Institute of Medical Research
The Rio Tinto Ride to Conquer Cancer announced 1,519 Riders and 294 crew members raised over $5.2 million for the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) as the 2nd annual Ride commenced on Saturday morning in Brisbane. Ride participants will cycle over 200 km through southeast Queensland with an overnight camp at Lake Wivenhoe before returning to Brisbane on Sunday.
“I’d like to say thank you to everyone involved today: the riders, their supporters, the volunteers and the thousands of people who have donated so generously to help make our second annual Rio Tinto Ride to Conquer Cancer a record-breaking year and incredible success for QIMR,” said QIMR Director, Professor Frank Gannon.
“We are on a mission at QIMR to prevent and cure diseases through research. This year, 23,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer in Queensland and 7,500 people will die from it. The Ride gives a vital boost to the cancer program at QIMR and 27 ground-breaking research programs investigating the causes of more than 13 cancers including skin, brain, colorectal, breast, ovarian, blood and lymphoma are underway thanks to funds raised last year by The Ride. Many of the scientists working on these projects are riding here today and the funds raised for QIMR will allow us to continue to do more research and better research on the cancers in the community,” added Professor Gannon.
In two years The Ride raised over $9.9 million for QIMR making it the largest cycling fundraiser in the history of Australia. The annual event draws thousands of participants from across Australia and brings together communities of survivors, cyclists and supporters who train and fundraise for months in order to participate in the two-day ride.
“I was diagnosed with serious melanoma in 2000 and have had three others since,” said Klaus Bartosh of Brisbane, who is riding for the second year.
“Every rider here today has their own story and motivation for participating, but there is an untold sense of camaraderie from the start, along the route, at camp and especially at the finish, which is quite emotional. We’re all here together with the same goal of raising money for vital cancer research at QIMR, so that we can find a cure in our lifetime. And that is why I ride,” Mr Bartosh added.
Funds raised by The Ride support QIMR research projects like the QSkin Study.
“QSkin is the largest study specifically focused on skin cancer in the world,” says Professor David Whiteman, Head, Cancer Control Group at QIMR
“We are working to develop tools that doctors and patients can use to predict a person’s risk for developing melanoma and other skin cancers. Funds raised by The Ride are vital to ensuring this ground-breaking research can continue; and as a result of our research, more people will live better lives right here in Queensland,” Professor Whiteman added.
In 2011 the first annual “Ride to Conquer Cancer” became known as the “Rio Tinto Ride to Conquer Cancer” when Rio Tinto became the event title sponsor. In two years, over 340 Rio Tinto employees, their family and friends raised over $760K for The Ride in Queensland.
“Cancer research, the advancement of therapies and ultimately prevention is very important to our staff, just as it is to all Queenslanders,” said Doug Ritchie, Chief Executive of Rio Tinto Energy.
“As title sponsor of The Ride, Rio Tinto is very proud to support QIMR. The institute is undertaking vital work here in Brisbane that helps Queenslanders affected by cancer, and helps save the lives of people around the world,” Mr Ritchie added.
Professor Gannon says event sponsorship is one of the most important components to any charitable initiative.
“The generous contributions from each of our sponsors allow us to invest more of the funds raised directly into research programs at QIMR. We are extremely grateful to all our sponsors for their support,” Professor Gannon added.
Registration for the 2013 Ride opened on Saturday. The 3rd annual event will be held 17 and 18 August of next year in Queensland.
“We encourage everyone to join us next year for our 3rd annual Rio Tinto Ride to Conquer Cancer,” said Professor Gannon. “For more information and to register, go to www.conquercancer.org.au or phone 1300 11 RIDE (7433),” Professor Gannon concluded as thousands of Riders cheered and the 2012 Ride commenced.
Ride organisers expect hundreds of people to attend public cheering stations along the route. For a map of the Ride routes, visit www.conquercancer.org.au.