As Easy as Riding a Bike

Lineup of DCI V riders on the move

(from right to left) DCI's David Brizel, MD, Dan George, MD, and Dr. George's wife D'Ann saddle up for a V Ride on Aug. 30

DCI radiation oncologist David Brizel, MD, and his patient, six-year tonsil cancer survivor Robert Russell are interviewed by WNCN CBS-17 about their V Ride 2020 plans.

Robert Russell hits the NC coastal roads

Colon cancer survivor Tom Vibert is interviewed by WTVD ABC-11 on his V Ride plans

Eight-year Stage-4 Colon Cancer Survivor Tom Vibert on a couple solo V Rides

Colorectal cancer survivors Ryan Switzer & Tom Vibert and a DCI teammate

Team DCI V-riders on a group ride

(next several photos) Tom Vibert, Ryan Switzer, Brent Daffron, Craig Demko, Kara Bonneau, Jeff Zillmer, Jim Farrell, Cid Cardoso, Jason Biggs, Lauren Phillips, Sarah Tolen

Over the River & Through the Woods

Eight-year colorectal cancer survivor Ryan Switzer (center) with DCI teammates

(Scroll through all 10 photos above)

Ryan Switzer's Strava screenshot dedicated to Chadwick Boseman
Colorectal cancer (CRC) survivor Ryan Switzer dedicated his August 30 V Ride to actor Chadwick Boseman who passed away from colon cancer days before. He gathered a small group of friends, including fellow CRC survivor Tom Vibert.  (Read Ryan's cancer story: "Giving Back")

The V Foundation for Cancer Research re-imagined its cool springtime Victory Ride to Cure Cancer this year to be a more personalized, socially-distanced, hot month-of-August event. 

Riders chose their own routes — anytime, any place — and tracked their miles on the Strava app. They shared photos through the app and social media; cheering one another on with a "Never Give Up Spirit."

Survivors and supporters alike rallied from Raleigh to the coast and beyond. Over the river, through the woods, and even by the dock of the bay.

Team Duke Cancer Institute — captained by eight-year colorectal cancer survivor Ryan Switzer and executive director of DCI, Michael Kastan, MD, PhD — once again led the charge.

Even with the challenging "virtual" format, the team raised nearly as much funds as last year.

The 32-member team topped the leader board with $18,879.56 raised as of September 3; three days after the official conclusion of the event.

Duke Cancer Institute radiation oncologist and co-director of DCI's Head & Neck Cancer program David Brizel, MD, was the top fundraiser for Team DCI — raising more than $3,300. Coming in second was his patient, six-year tonsil cancer survivor Robert Russell, who raised more than $2,800.

Robin Famiglietti V Ride
Between Peloton workouts at home, an Asheville ride and a few rides on the local Tobacco Trail, Duke Cancer Institute chief administrator Robin Famiglietti, PhD, MBA, FACHE, cycled over 200 miles, in this, the 3rd Annual Victory Ride to Cure Cancer. DCI was a proud sponsor of the event.

Midway through August, the two were interviewed by CBS 17 on their progress. The TV station called for others to join them, noting that "raising money for cancer research is as easy as riding your bike."

By Sunday, August 30, Russell had biked 455 miles, with only 45 miles left to make his 500-mile goal.

"I'm going to ride in the morning then after work tomorrow night — to get as many in as I can...I'm going for it," said Russell, who took up cycling to keep healthy only after surviving cancer. (Read about his cancer journey: "Tough Love And Healing For Tonsil Cancer Survivor")

Tom Vibert on WTVD Ch 11 talking about plans for the Victory Ride to Cure Cancer
Watch Tom Vibert's interview with WTVD ABC 11 about living and thriving with stage 4 colorectal cancer.

The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded by ESPN and legendary basketball coach Jim Valvano in 1993, not long before Valvano passed away, with one goal in mind: to achieve Victory Over Cancer.

To date, the foundation has awarded over $225 million in cancer research grants across the country.

One hundred percent of rider-raised funds will support research by Duke Cancer Institute, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and Wake Forest Baptist Health Comprehensive Cancer Center, as well as breakthrough cancer research nationwide.