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Putting the Brakes on Cancer

April 28, 2014 | Erin Kim

Every spring, the TD Five Boro Bike Tour attracts 32,000 cyclists to New York City for an unforgettable 40-mile journey through traffic-free streets. It’s the biggest bike ride in America, and riders from around the world know that there’s no better way to experience the Big Apple.

In the 37th annual tour on Sunday, May 4, ten members of Team CRI will be amongst those pedaling across five bridges that connect the boroughs of Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. But underneath those helmets are riders with a desire to grab life by the handlebars, each with a determined goal and inspiring story to tell.  

When Luc Vautmans, a 42-year-old resident from Antwerp, Belgium, was diagnosed with phase IV metastatic melanoma in September 2013, his doctors only gave him a few months left to live—perhaps long enough to spend time with his wife and three children until the new year. But Luc then enrolled in an experimental clinical study at the University Hospital in Leuven, Belgium, to evaluate the effectiveness of two cancer immunotherapies in treating the disease: nivolumab in combination with ipilimumab.

Now more than six months later, Luc, who enjoys skiing in the Alps, riding his motorbike, and, recently, skydiving in Dubai and Spain, will be biking and fundraising with his daughter, Ran, for Cancer Research Institute and for the critical research that will provide other cancer patients more options with new immunotherapies.

But Luc and Ran Vautmans are not the only ones who see the significance of participating in endurance events to fundraise for cancer research. They will be joined, to name a few, by Renee Berman and Susan Berkley, two friends who will be biking beside each other; investment banking associate Michael Gilroy (pictured on right), and Yared Yawand-Wossen, who has previously biked in other tours.  

Although registration for the TD 5 Boro Bike Tour is now closed, you can still help fundraise for cancer immunotherapy research by sponsoring any of this year’s Team CRI cyclists or joining any of the other upcoming marathons.
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