Just received word about a cycling event that is in progress and will conclude this weekend at Rockland Lake. Details follow:
The 1,000 mile Ride For the Cure to benefit GIST Cancer Research Fund will conclude on Saturday in Rockland Lake State Park in Congers.
The organizers are hoping that cyclists will join the core team for the final leg of the ride from Millerton, NY, to the park. Television news anchor Harry Martin will be among the local celebrities participating in the ride.
This 1,000 mile, 10-day bicycle ride was organized in 2006 by Peter Thomas, a British cancer patient suffering from a gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST). He wanted to call attention to this little known form of cancer and to raise money for the GIST Cancer Research Fund. Peter has passed away, but The 2009 Peter Thomas Gist Cancer Research Fund 1000 Mile, 10 Day Cycle Challenge continues the dream that he inspired.
A 15-member team of friends and family departed Montréal, Québec, Canada on September 24 and will finish at Rockland Lake. This trip will cover a distance of 1,000 miles (1600 kilometres) in 10 days. Some of the cyclists will then participate in the annual “round the lake” walk in Rockland Lake on Sunday which is an activity coordinated by the Gist Cancer Research Fund (www.gistinfo.com ).
The team is looking for the cyclists to join them on the final leg of the journey from Millerton to Rockland Lake.
GIST is an extremely rare sarcoma known as gastrointestinal stromal tumor. It is what the National Cancer Institute calls an orphan cancer because it affects a relatively small number of patients, and little is known about it. It was so uncommon that it was often lumped with another sarcoma, leiomyosarcoma. GIST does not respond to chemotherapy or radiation treatment. Surgery is the only treatment and GIST returns in 90 percent of the cases.
A cancer that strikes just 8,500 Americans a year doesn’t attract national attention or federal money. When GIST researchers apply for grants, no matter how sound their science, they are usually turned down, with the federal research money going to the more popular cancers. This makes private funding from such nonprofit groups as the GIST Cancer Research Fund all the more important. Doctors, surgeons, oncologists and most importantly, patients, need to be aware of what GIST is and where to find hope.
Because of this, a GIST patient and her husband, Tania and Robert Stutman, formed the GIST Cancer Research Fund, to raise awareness of GIST and raise money for GIST research. They also helped spearhead formation of an Internet support group and launched a Web site, www.gistinfo.org . The 2009 Peter Thomas Memorial Ride and Walk for the Cure are the two cornerstone fundraising events for GIST. Both are centered at Rockland Lake State Park on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
The walk has become the largest annual gathering of GIST patients, caregivers, researchers, doctors and pharmaceutical company representatives in the world. More than 500 people from across the United States and as far away as Australia have participated in the Walk.
To get more information on the 2009 Peter Thomas Memorial Ride and registration, visit the website at www.giste2e.net or send an email to Enquiries@giste2e.net. For more information on the disease itself, go to www.gistinfo.org
The following is the official route:
Thursday, September 24, 2009 Day 1 • Montreal to Sherbrooke, Canada
Friday, September 25, 2009 Day 2 • Sherbrooke to Kingfield, Maine
Saturday, September 26, 2009 Day 3 • Kingfield to Brewer, Maine
Sunday, September 27, 2009 Day 4 • Brewer to Bar Harbor, Maine
Monday, September 28, 2009 Day 5 • Bar Harbor to Belfast, Maine
Tuesday, September 29, 2009 Day 6 • Belfast to Yarmouth, Maine
Wednesday, September 30, 2009 Day 7 • Yarmouth to Newburyport, MA
Thursday, October 01, 2009 Day 8 • Newburyport to New Salem, MA
Friday, October, 02, 2009 Day 9 • New Salem to Millerton, NY
Saturday, October 03, 2009 Day 10 • Millerton to Rockland Lake State Park