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Pedal The Cause

Seeding Best New Ideas To Create A World Without Cancer

The St. Louis region’s largest peer-to-peer fundraising event has found a new home. Formed solely for the purpose of ultimately “curing all cancers for everyone,” Pedal the Cause will hold its 15-year celebration and ride weekend Sept. 21-22 at the Family Arena in St. Charles.

Pedal the Cause has donated nearly $46 million—from 38,000 riders collecting more than 450,000 donations—in its 14-year history to fund adult and pediatric cancer projects. “Working to create a world without cancer,” the nonprofit organization held its most successful fundraising effort ever last year and donated more than $5 million to be used for the best new ideas in cancer research.

Pedal the Cause was founded by two-time lymphoma survivor, Bill Koman, who received treatment from the Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis. The nonprofit organization began and continues to follow the bold model of using 100 percent of participant-raised donations to fund critical cancer research.

To date, Pedal the Cause has funded 219 cancer projects producing groundbreaking results that lead to new treatments, cures, preventions and early detection diagnostics. “This ‘100 percent model’ is made possible by the generous support of sponsors, led by presenting sponsor Edward Jones,” says Eleanor Goedeke, director of communications and marketing for Pedal the Cause.

“The hope is that we are finding treatments and cures that we can share with the world and that will ultimately lead to a cure for cancer.”

For every dollar Pedal the Cause donates to cancer research, an additional $12 on average is obtained through outside funding to continue this research, garnering $550 million for cancer research since 2010.

“Pedal the Cause has made a significant impact on my research and allowed me to pursue research that has been first of its kind not only regionally but also nationally and internationally,” says Katherine Fuh, M.D., surgeon and assistant professor in obstetrics and gynecology at Washington University School of Medicine. “The most promising result has been discovering a new pathway in ovarian cancer that causes cancer to spread. This could mean treating a patient with a drug to block the spread of cancer.”

Through its annual cycling challenge, Pedal the Cause provides funding for cancer research in its earliest stages at Siteman Cancer Center, ranked a top 10 cancer center nationally by U.S. News & World Report, and Siteman Kids at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

“Cancer research projects typically aren’t eligible for large federal or private grants until they have proven their initial concept,” Eleanor says. “Pedal the Cause donations ‘seed’ the best ideas to allow the cultivation of proof of concept and critical data. Over time, these projects have produced groundbreaking results that lead to new treatments, preventions and early detection diagnostics.”

Since 2010, Pedal the Cause dollars have accelerated research exploring, among other things, personalized vaccines, the genetics and DNA of cancers, and exciting developments in immunotherapy such as CAR-T and natural killer cell therapies.

Registration for Pedal the Cause 2024 opens March 25. Participants can ride, spin, volunteer, be an “Inspired” virtual participant or a Kids Challenge rider. Ten courses include distances of 10 to 100 miles.

“We have so much to look forward to,” says Pedal the Cause Executive Director David Drier. “Our new home in St. Charles is emblematic of our growth as a regional event. Our courses cross three counties, two states and two major rivers. Not only will the courses provide a safer, less crowded and scenic experience for our riders, but our new home gives us room to continue to expand and therefore increase our donation each year to fund vital cancer research. In our new home, the sky is the limit.”

“Our new home in St. Charles is emblematic of growth as a regional event."