Cancer touches everyone – whether through a personal diagnosis, coworker, or that of a friend or family member. It’s a disease that is hard to beat, but organizers at BellRinger are up for the challenge as they aim to leave cancer in the dust during their second annual bike ride.
“We ride for an important cause: to identify, prevent, detect, and cure cancer,” says Dr. Louis Weiner, Director of Georgetown University's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and founder of BellRinger.
The first BellRinger ride was held in October 2022. Over 700 riders participated, and more than $1.4 million dollars was raised to benefit cancer research at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. For the second annual ride scheduled for this October, BellRinger is aiming to double that, with a new goal of $2 million. They’re already ahead of their ridership goal, as well. “We expect to have over 1,000 riders this year,” says Chris Timko, executive director of BellRinger. “That would put us on pace to become comparable with some of the other largest rides in the country.”
The ride is growing quickly, and so are the donations, which are being used to fund new groundbreaking therapies. “Dr. Weiner’s idea was to launch BellRinger to fund that young cancer researcher who hasn’t had their break, but has the big, bold new idea that could change the game,” says Timko. The funding has also backed concepts that have shown promise in a lab setting, but need an extra push to reach the clinical trial stage.
As bikers ride miles on the BellRinger trails, they’re pushing cancer research miles ahead —and that calls for a celebration. The night before the ride features live music, food, and a chance to meet fellow riders. The day of, those who cross the finish line will be greeted by friends and family cheering them on, more music, and fun. It’s accessible to anyone who wants to partake, as riders can customize their ride lengths, starting in Georgetown and ending in Maryland. For those who can’t make it in person but want to support the cause, there’s a “virtual ride” option.
“Everybody becomes a cancer researcher if they ride. Every mile you ride, every time you turn a pedal – you’re raising money to work towards a cure,” says Dr. Weiner. “I can think of no higher mission in life than trying to do that.”
Date: October 20-21, 2023
Location: Washington, D.C.