IOWA CITY, October 23, 2019 — Courage Ride, a bicycle ride that raises funds for sarcoma cancer research, presented a check for $100,000 to the University of Iowa’s Sarcoma Research Program during an October 23rd ceremony at the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Ben Millr and Dr. Munir Tanas accepted the check on behalf of the center’s Sarcoma Cancer Research Program.
Over the past 15 years, Courage Ride has raised over $610,000 for sarcoma cancer research – having a major impact on cancer patients and families who benefit from the research.
All proceeds from the Courage Ride go to the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center Sarcoma Research Program. Courage Ride donations make up 85% of all sarcoma seed grant funding at the University. Since 2005, those dollars have seeded numerous sarcoma research grants, several that have developed into larger, more extensive sarcoma research studies, and support one of the largest sarcoma tissue banks in the Midwest.
Courage Ride is a non-profit charity bike ride held each August through the rolling Amish countryside between Iowa City and Kalona to raise research dollars for sarcoma cancer. The event, offering multiple routes of varying paved distances, started and finished for the first time at Big Grove Brewery and Taproom in Iowa City. This year’s event was held Saturday, August 17th.
The 15th annual Courage Ride once again bested last year’s event by attracting a record 537 cyclists from 10 states.
Courage Ride was founded by Jackie and Tom Bailey of Riverside, Iowa in 2005 to honor the courage of their son Seth, who passed away at age 25 after battling sarcoma for eight years.
Sarcoma is a rare cancer comprising less than 1% of all adult cancers and 21% of childhood cancers. There are over 150 subtypes of sarcoma that are categorized as either soft tissue or bone. Though very aggressive and difficult to treat, many survive. More research is needed to find better treatment options and eventually a cure.
The American Cancer Society’s 2019 estimates for soft tissue sarcomas in the United States (these statistics include both adults and children) project that 12,750 new soft tissue sarcomas will be diagnosed (7,240 cases in males and 5,510 cases in females) and 5,270 Americans (2,840 males and 2,430 females) are expected to die of soft tissue sarcomas.Over 100 adults and children in Iowa are diagnosed with sarcoma each year.
The significance of Courage Ride is underscored by the fact that funding for cancer research has been shrinking over the past 10 years, according to the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). And yet cancer remains one of the nation’s costliest diseases. Sarcoma receives 1 to 2 percent of all cancer research funding.
The 2020 Courage Ride will be held, Saturday, August 15th at Big Grove Brewery and Taproom in Iowa City.