Survivor Commits To Changing The Course Of Cancer

May 1, 2018
By: Jessica Hyland, Writer

Jim ScalesAccording to the American Cancer Society, one in two men and one in three women in the United States will be affected by cancer in their lifetime. It is estimated that in 2018 there will be 1,735,350 new cancer cases diagnosed — 55,130 of those in North Carolina. In keeping with its mission to achieve victory over cancer, the Jimmy V Foundation last fall announced a new fundraising bike ride that will help steer a new course for cancer research.

The inaugural Victory Ride to Cure Cancer will be held on Saturday, May 19, in Raleigh, North Carolina. The ride is a local event that will benefit breakthrough cancer research across the country, but will specifically support the research at Duke Cancer Institute, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Wake Forest Baptist Health Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Jim Scales, 70, is a two-time prostate cancer survivor who recently joined Team Duke Cancer Institute (DCI) for the Victory Ride. Since taking up cycling as a sport seven years ago, Scales has logged over 21,000 miles on his bike. 

In 2002, Scales was diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer at UMass Medical Center. Ten years later, after relocating to Raleigh, Scales’ prostate cancer returned. He then sought care from Duke prostate cancer specialist, Judd Moul, MD, and underwent radiation and hormone treatments for six months before being declared cancer free again. 

Six years later and with no evidence of disease, Scales now undergoes semi-annual active surveillance scans. However, he remains a familiar face at DCI by volunteering on a weekly basis and leading orientation sessions for new DCI volunteers. 

“Volunteering at Duke has given me a unique perspective on what it is really like to be a part of the Duke community,” said Scales. “I’ve met new volunteers who have worked 20 to 30 years at Duke and are now returning to volunteer themselves. The commitment of the volunteers at DCI helps to create that extended family feeling within the walls of the cancer institute.” 

In addition to continuing his volunteer work, Scales also wanted to participate in a charity bike ride to benefit cancer research, so he jumped at the opportunity to ride with Team DCI in the Victory Ride this summer. This opportunity allowed Scales to combine his passion for riding with his commitment to fund a cure.

“I thought the event was a perfect fit for me,” said Scales. “Hope is what fuels us — in fighting cancer, hope looks toward the day when the disease is no more. We will get there by supporting research, providing encouragement for those who need it and honoring loved ones we’ve lost. It’s my hope that we find a cure, that we change the numbers against cancer and achieve victory.” 

Cyclists can choose between a 30-, 60- and 100-mile event. Each level requires riders to raise at least a $250, a fundraising goal chosen to celebrate the V Foundation’s 25thanniversary. Reigstration is $60. 

Scales rides more than 100 miles weekly, and while he has finished a few 65 mile charity rides, he has never ridden 100 miles for one event. This was the challenge Scales was specifically looking for in a ride.

“Personally, my goal is to finish,” laughed Scales, speaking about his goals for the charity ride. “I think it will be challenging, but I also know I am riding to support research that saves lives and I know how underfunded this research is. I encourage everyone to join me as I saddle up to help fund these world-class cancer centers that are located right here in North Carolina.”  

For more information or to register with team DCI, captained by Michael Kastan, MD, PhD (executive director of Duke Cancer Institute), Duke University Cycling Team coach Ben Turits, and cancer survivor Ryan Switzer, visit www.victoryride.org.