Annual Bike for the Fight Fundraiser to be Held by Israel Cancer Research Fund 

The Fight of Our Lives 

On October 21st, Israel Cancer Research Fund (ICRF) will hold its sixth annual Bike for the Fight (BFF) at Equinox Fitness Commerce Court, at 199 Bay Street. 

Bike for the Fight, a non-profit cancer fundraising effort, was first conceptualised by Israeli athlete Tom Peled, as a way to deal with the grief of losing his father to stomach cancer in 2011, and in the hopes of raising awareness about the disease. Peled partnered with ICRF, and in 2013, joined them in BFF. 

Jennifer Ouaknine, Executive Director at ICRF, said that what makes ICRF unique is that its researchers “stay in Israel and by keeping them in Israel, we strengthen the State of Israel,” which she said “is where the magic happens.” “We’re funding basic cancer research” and “the ah-ha moment of scientific discoveries.” 

(L-R) Bryna Goldberg is ICRF International Chair & Immediate Past President; Fern Reich is an ICRF Board Member

Ouaknine said that before she was a part of ICRF, she wondered what was being done for cancer research. “On the inside, you see that so much is being done globally, but specifically in Israel,” which “leaves me hopeful. You realise how much work our scientists are doing and how much good it is doing.”

Some of the drugs that have been developed through ICRF are Gleevac™, which has been proven to successfully treat Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) and Velcade® to treat melanoma, which CEO of DNA Labs Canada Inc. and ICRF Board and Executive Committee member Moni Lustig told Village Living is “a major achievement.” 

On the inside, you see that so much is being done globally, but specifically in Israel [which] leaves me hopeful. You realise how much work our scientists are doing and how much good it is doing.

 

Training hard to achieve this year’s ICRF fundraising goals is an accomplishment in and of itself

Losing both of his parents to cancer prompted Lustig to get involved, with ICRF’s fundraising efforts, as a volunteer. He is “hoping that other people won’t have to suffer … cancer is a very vicious disease” which he said “takes away loved ones too early.” Lustig is pleased with past results from previous BFF fundraisers. Since its inception it has grown every year. “You want to do everything you can to ensure this event continues to grow,” Lustig said. 

Cancer is a very vicious disease [which]…takes away loved ones too early…You want to do everything you can to ensure this event continues to grow

The fundraiser is especially meaningful to cancer survivors, their families and any of the countless number of people whose lives have been touched by cancer in one way or another. Ouaknine’s sister, Judy Michaelov, who recently finished undergoing treatment for breast cancer, has signed up for the event. Regardless of the physical challenges involved, and despite the fact that she has never ridden a spinning bike before, Michaelov “is up for the challenge.” 

Participants can set up a fundraising page online, either independently, or as part of a team. You don’t have to be an athlete, but you can feel like one for the day! On October 21st, lend your support to this very worthy cause, so that perhaps one day, being touched by cancer will become the exception rather than the rule. 

Limited spots are available. To register, or to make a donation, go to: http://www.icrf.ca/event/bike-for-the-fight/

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