Why they Ride for Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey

Cancer survivors, doctors, caregivers and others share why they support ‘Century for the Cure’ bike ride
July 25, 2017

Scott GlickmanNew Brunswick, N.J. – The annual Century for the Cure bike ride that supports Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey is gearing up for another successful event with an aim of raising $350,000 this year to add to the $2 million already raised since its inception 13 years ago. Registration for this year’s October 1 event, which features route options of 100, 62, 40 and 25 miles, is open at www.centuryforthecure.com. Many know the story of Warren Township resident Scott Glickman (pictured right), the founder of the ride who battled stage 4 non-Hodgkin lymphoma nearly two decades ago and decided to ‘give back’ to Rutgers Cancer Institute by starting the ride. Through the years, so many others became involved. Learn more about why they ride, in their own words:

Robert Rose
Husband of Hodgkin lymphoma survivor

Robert and Courtney RoseMy wife Courtney was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in 2002, and was treated and cared for by an incredible team of doctors, nurses and social workers led by Dr. Roger Strair. She has been in remission ever since.  In 2010, I had the great honor of riding alongside Dr. Strair and meeting many of the wonderful people on his team. It was a life changing experience, to say the very least, and I will be forever indebted to all of them. I dedicate every single mile that I ride to Courtney and to my mother-in-law, Susan, and my mother, Helen, who also had their own battles with cancer. 

I also dedicate the ride to the incredible doctors, nurses, and staff at both Rutgers Cancer Institute and RWJ, who became like family to us. Their exceptional level of care, compassion, and support made each and every day a little bit easier to deal with in the face of this horrible disease. If cancer has affected your life in any way, shape, or form please consider donating to this worthy cause and sharing my story with your loved ones.

Helene Greenberg, RN
Pediatric hematology/oncology treatment nurse, Rutgers Cancer Institute;
Century for the Cure Rutgers Cancer Institute team captain (2016, 2017)

Helene Greenberg, RNI heard about Century for the Cure from a patient’s father. He was training hard to participate in the ride, knowing the funds would go directly back to Rutgers Cancer Institute to potentially helping his child. This was very inspirational, and since I have been riding for years I decided to join the cause the following year. It is a powerful experience to ride with those who have been affected by this disease and to witness the comradery between our staff and some of their former patients.

Century for the Cure marries my two passions: nursing and biking. The ride has been a great way for us to say thank you and celebrate the hard work that goes into the event and the funds raised for cancer research.

Kamran Rafieyan
Long-time rider

I was historically a casual cyclist, putting in 20 to 30 miles on weekends during the warmer seasons.  A friend pulled me into one of the bigger charity rides and the whole thing just felt somewhat large, impersonal, and inefficient.  It was also for a cause that wasn’t really close to home for me.  My father and other family members were battling cancer at the time, and so I did some research to find a ride with that focus.  I stumbled across Century for the Cure, which is based right in my hometown of Warren, and I was immediately drawn in by the story. Here was a ride where the founder and organizer is a cancer survivor, and dollars raised by each rider go directly to charity thanks to ride sponsors and the incredible effort of a large number of volunteers.

I started out with the 40-mile ride and within two years worked my way up to the 100-mile ride, which is the greatest physical accomplishment of my life.  I’m still slow and steady and take a good seven to eight hours to complete the whole race.  It’s not about going fast though, it’s about raising money for cancer research, and everybody involved is extremely supportive.  When it gets really tough during the ride, what motivates me is to think of my father, who passed away a few years ago and who was in pain every day for a long time.  Century for the Cure is my way of trying to make a difference in the battle against cancer.

Mike Jones, MD candidate
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Mike JonesMy initial connection to the cancer community began right before college when a high school classmate was diagnosed with cancer. This left an extraordinary impact on me, as everyone I knew was beginning their next chapter in life, but my classmate was at home receiving cancer treatment. I soon became involved with an organization that provides support to young adults affected by cancer, but I wanted to bring more awareness to this population. My connection to the cancer community grew immeasurably in 2013 and 2015, as I cycled across the United States, a cumulative 8,692 miles, raising money and awareness for young adults with cancer.

Currently, I am a second-year medical student at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and joined Century for the Cure to continue giving back to the cancer community. As a student, I have an opportunity to conduct my own research, and I have seen directly how researchers here are on the front lines of developing innovative therapies that could shape the future of cancer treatment. The money raised by the ride goes directly to this research, directly to changing the future of medicine. Cancer is a disease that changes lives, but together so can we!

Chris Gaffney
Hodgkin lymphoma survivor

Chris GaffneyIn 2010 I was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma.  I finished my treatment in December of the same year, and have been cancer free since.  I started cycling in 2014, and as I was looking for an event to try for my first long organized ride, I came across Century for the Cure and Scott's story. I immediately felt a connection.  The ride was the perfect event, as I was looking for a way to give back and I wanted to prove to myself and others that having had cancer does not define you or restrict you in any way.  During my first year I was riding alone and I was taken under the wing of a complete stranger who helped me along for most of the ride.  We have done many more events since then but Century for the Cure is one of our favorites.  There is a powerful feeling to contribute to such a great cause; it really changes your outlook on life. You are not powerless, you are not helpless, and you can actually make a difference by riding. I love that the proceeds go to research, and that we can raise awareness of the work being done to find a cure. 

Helmut Zarbl, PhD
Research member, Rutgers Cancer Institute Cancer Metabolism and Growth Program;
Professor of environmental and occupational medicine, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Helmut Zarbl, PhDIn January 2016 I was involved in a serious car accident (not on my bicycle, thankfully!). I was on my way to work when someone stopped suddenly in front of me to make an illegal left turn.  The SUV I was driving was totaled and I sustained serious neck injuries. Although my neck is sore I am back...it feels good to ride again, because the cause is just too important to worry about some discomfort. I need to ride for my dad, for friends and family members suffering from various forms of cancer. It affects so many of us and the need for research dollars has never been greater.

My ride this year is dedicated to my brother-in-law Steve who is battling lung cancer. Please support my efforts and that of others so we can continue to make a difference.

Along with multiple route options, there are also options to register as a ‘virtual’ rider or volunteer.  Learn how you can participate at the October 1 event at www.centuryforthecure.com.
 

About Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey (www.cinj.org) is the state’s first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. As part of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Rutgers Cancer Institute is dedicated to improving the detection, treatment and care of patients with cancer, and to serving as an education resource for cancer prevention both at its flagship New Brunswick location and at its Newark campus at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey at University Hospital. Physician-scientists across Rutgers Cancer Institute also engage in translational research, transforming their laboratory discoveries into clinical practice that supports patients on both campuses. To make a tax-deductible gift to support the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, call 848-932-8013 or visit www.cinj.org/giving. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheCINJ.

 

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Michele Fisher
Phone: 
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