UPDATE: DCI's V-Riders Top $20K

V Ride 2019 square

David Brizel, MD, at Victory RideUPDATE (Aug. 30, 2021): Virtual and in-person riders on Team DCI topped $20,000 in total funds raised and continued to hold the number 4 spot on the Teams Leaderboard. David Brizel, MD, (left) was the number one fundraiser for Team DCI with $4,999.58.

Image Caption
"Recovering from knee surgery this year did not slow me down, biking the #victoryride and cajoling with with friends (like) William Kim, MD" -- DCI urologic oncologist Daniel George, MD, via Twitter, 2021 V-Ride

The V Foundation's Victory Ride to Cure Cancer is back this summer as a LIVE cycling event and celebration, to be held on Aug. 28. Meanwhile "virtual" riders on Team DCI have already raised more than $15,000 since July 28.

Robin Famiglietti, V Ride 2020
Between Peloton workouts at home, an Asheville ride and a few trips on the local Tobacco Trail, Duke Cancer Institute chief administrator Robin Famiglietti, PhD, MBA, FACHE, cycled more than 200 miles in the 2020 Victory Ride to Cure Cancer.

In 2020, the V Foundation for Cancer Research Victory Ride to Cure Cancer cycling fundraiser was transformed into a personalized, socially-distanced, and hot month-of-August "virtual" event.

Riders chose their own routes and logged their miles; escaping pandemic lockdowns to hit the road or staying home to ride their stationary bikes.

They shared photos via the Strava app and social media; cheering one another on with the "Don't Ever Give Up" spirit of the late great basketball coach Jim Valvano who founded, with ESPN, the V Foundation not long before he passed away in 1993.

The 32-member Team DCI raised nearly $19,000 dollars.

Fast Forward

This summer — with the Covid-19 pandemic still going full tilt, but with many people now vaccinated against the virus  — V-Riders have been given two options for participation:

  • Track your own any-time-any-place routes from July 28 through August 28 (MyVictory Month virtual experience) and fundraise through the V-Ride site
  • Participate in the in-person V-Ride & Celebration on August 28 for riders and families and fundraise through the V-Ride site

Captained by Michael Kastan, MD, PhD (executive director, DCI, and member, V Foundation Board of Directors), Team DCI has 19 members listed on its V-Ride roster this year. (There's still space to join!)

With four more days to go, including the LIVE ride this weekend, the team has already raised more than $15,000 and has climbed to fourth place on the Teams Leaderboard.

David Brizel, MD, at 2020 V Ride
David Brizel, MD, during the 2020 virtual V-Ride

Radiation oncologist and co-director of DCI's Head & Neck Cancer Disease Group, David Brizel, MD, is Team DCI's top fundraiser to date. He's raised more than $4,600 for the cause.

In second place, as of August 24, is Brizel's patient Robert Russell, a seven-year tonsil cancer survivor from Morehead City, NC, who has raised nearly $2,100.

Both Brizel and Russell are repeat V-Riders. The summer heat, two years running, has not deterred them. They also held the #1 and #2 spots on the team last year.

"Since 1987, I have been a cancer researcher and a clinical oncologist caring for patients with this disease," writes Brizel on his V-Ride fundraising web page, which features the oncologist swimming with dolphins. "On August 28, I will have the honor of pedaling in the 2021 Victory Ride to Cure Cancer, a cycling event that helps to fund the V Foundation for Cancer Research. I would like to ask for your support by making a donation to support world-class cancer centers in North Carolina and across the U.S."

This is Robert Russell's cancer story, on his V-Ride fundraising page, in his own words: "My Story. It begins May 2014. I was diagnosed with at Duke Cancer Institute with Advanced Stage HPV-associated Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Oropharynx. So I started treatments at Duke Cancer in July. I had to do 35 radiations, 10 rounds of chemotherapy and many many nights spent on the 9th floor at Duke Hospital. During that time I had issues such has failure to thrive, malnutrition, constipation, abdominal pain, orthostatic hypertension, neutropenia, mucositis, gerd, pneumonia and all the side effects of radiation and chemo. After all of that I went home for a few months and ended up getting down to 137 pounds. Dr. Brizel (Duke Cancer) put a feeding tube down my nose and I threw it up. Then I had to go back to Durham in February 2015 for 70 Dives in Duke Hospital's Hyperbaric Chamber, which worked. After that I started gaining weight eating without numbing throat and taking pain pills. Now I have a very dry mouth, tinitus and worry a lot. That’s it I am alive. My doctors at Duke Cancer were Dr. Dumphy, Dr. Esclamado and Dr. Brizel. I could not have done it without them." (Russell's journey was covered in the DCI blog in 2018: Tough Love And Healing For Tonsil Cancer Survivor)

Team DCI V-Ride regular Tom Vibert, who was treated at DCI by John Strickler, MD, is marking his ninth year of stage-4 colorectal cancer survivorship this year.

Tom Vibert at 2019 Victory Ride to Cure Cancer
"Let's get in cancer's face!" — Tom Vibert, nine-year, stage-4 colorectal cancer survivor. (photo taken at the 2019 Victory Ride to Cure Cancer)

The Greensboro, NC, resident is featured on the 2021 Victory Ride to Cure Cancer homepage. Hear his story and learn why he participates annually in the Victory Ride, in this interview that aired on CBS-17 today.

One in two men and one in three women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.

It's not too late to join Team DCI and cycle your way toward saving lives, whether "virtually" or at this weekend's LIVE ride and celebration. Even if you're not cycling, you can still support the team and the cause.

Event Day August 28

The in-person 2021 Victory Ride to Cure Cancer, to be held on Aug. 28, starts and finishes at NC State University’s Centennial Campus. Riders can choose from 10-, 30-, 60- or 100-mile routes and spin classes in beautiful, scenic Raleigh, NC. (Find information on parking, ride day schedules, maps, safety tips and a gear checklist in the Event Guide)

Event-day riders must commit to raising $250 by August 28. Those event-day riders who have not met the minimum will have the option to pay the balance with a credit card at packet pick-up or at the event.

Pre-Event Packet Pick-Up will be on Thursday, Aug. 26, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Inside-Out Sports in Cary. (Riders will be able to turn in final donations, complete check-in and pick up their rider bibs and bike tag at packet pick-up, plus shop for any final items needed.) Ride packets can also be picked up at the Victory Ride on event day, August 28.

The August 28 post-ride celebration features local food trucks, craft beer and live music. There will also be a specially designed obstacle course just for kids.

Learn More About the August 28, 2021 Victory Ride to Cure Cancer & DOWNLOAD the Event Guide

Join the "Victory Ride to Cure Cancer Club" on Strava and Track Your Ride(s)

Join or Support Team DCI

Since awarding its first grant in 1994, the V Foundation has funded more than $260 million in cancer research grants nationwide with one goal: "to accelerate Victory Over Cancer® and save lives by funding game-changing research and all-star scientists." One hundred percent of rider-raised funds will support cancer research at Duke Cancer Institute, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and Wake Forest Baptist Health Comprehensive Cancer Center, as well as breakthrough cancer research nationwide.

DISCOVER: A Selection of V Foundation-Funded Research at DCI 

Under the Microscope: Solving the mysteries of an aggressive childhood cancer
Michael Deel, MD, from Duke Cancer Institute has dedicated his career to studying this fusion-positive rhabdomyosarcoma (a form of sarcoma that normally begins in muscles that are attached to bones and help the body move), with a goal of giving patients a better shot at a long and healthy life (V Foundation blog, July 20, 2020)

The Future of Cancer Research Starts Here
Through the V Scholar grant program, the V Foundation for Cancer Research supports young, tenure-track faculty early in their cancer research careers. Yarui Diao, PhD, was interviewed about grant funding to bring new technology to the field of rhabdomyosarcoma. (V Foundation blog, May 12, 2020)

Diversity Training Pilot For Research Teams Launched 

With the support of a $71,000 grant from the V Foundation, medical sociologist and assistant professor Nadine Barrett, PHD, refines a curriculum that focuses on building knowledge, awareness, skills and implementation strategies to address a lack of or limited engagement with racially and ethnically diverse populations who could be potential research participants and collaborators in research. The name of the pilot study/program is “Just Ask: Diversity in Clinical Research Training Program. (DCI Blog, February 18, 2019)

The V Foundation Announces Canine Comparative Oncology Grant Program
From 2015 to 2018, the V Foundation awarded more than $700,000 for canine comparative oncology through a collaboration between NC State College of Veterinary Medicine and Duke Cancer Institute. Executive director of DCI, Michael B. Kastan, MD, PhD, and William Eward, DVM, MD, interviewed. (V Foundation blog, Oct. 25, 2018)

Under the Microscope: Enlisting the Body’s Own Defenses in the War on Cancer 
With funding from the V Foundation, David Ashley, MD, director of The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at DCI, and his colleagues plan to change the prognosis for children with diffuse pontine gliomas. Ashley applies immunotherapy, along with growing knowledge about the genetic causes of brain tumors, to develop treatments that could mean longer lives for these children, most of whom die within a year of diagnosis. (V Foundation blog, Sept. 13, 2018)

The V Foundation Announces Designated Grants Awarded for Translational Research in Lung Cancer The V Foundation for Cancer Research, through the Richard Jones Fund and the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund, and in collaboration with the Lung Cancer Initiative of North Carolina, announced the awarding of two lung cancer grants each $200,000, including one to Qingyi Wei, MD, PhD. (V Foundation blog, Sept. 19, 2017)

Big Ideas: Featuring Kris Wood, PhD
Kris Wood, PhD, a 2013 V Scholar , came to cancer research with a degree in chemical engineering. He’s a nuts and bolts guy, looking at how cancer cells work, how they become resistant and how that resistance can be overcome. (V Foundation blog, June 6, 2017)

Big Ideas: Featuring Jeffrey Clarke, MD, & Jennifer Freedman, PhD
Jeffrey Clarke, MD, and Jennifer Freedman, PhD, are part of a research team focused on lung cancer. The grant, supported by the Lung Cancer Initiative of North Carolina and the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund, has these scientists examining an especially important question – why are some cancers particularly aggressive in certain racial groups? And what can we do about it?
(V Foundation blog, Feb. 28, 2017)