Velocity riders

Columbia’s Velocity Ride Raises $1.5 Million, an All-Time High

October 16, 2019

More than 1,000 riders, volunteers, and supporters came together on Oct. 6 for the third annual Velocity, Columbia’s Ride to End Cancer, helping to raise $1.5 million and surpassing past fundraising records to support cancer research and patient care at Columbia’s Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center (HICCC). 

As riders crossed the finish line at Haven Plaza, many shared heroic stories about how they have been helped by Columbia’s cancer center.

Ken and Linda Leiby, who are both battling cancer, shared their personal stories about why they participated in Velocity after being treated at Columbia. As Ken Leiby explained, “We wanted to start giving back to the incredible team at Columbia for all that they have done and continue to do for us. I was treated at Columbia for prostate cancer. This, coupled with Linda’s incredibly intense and rapid introduction to the world of pancreatic cancer, have left us with a keen appreciation for the value of research and for the advances being made on an ongoing basis at Columbia.”

Lee Goldman, MD, Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine and Chief Executive of Columbia University Irving Medical Center, greeted riders at the finish line. “We’re leaders in precision medicine and immunotherapy, with new discoveries that help us treat cancers that were once considered untreatable,” he said. “This cutting-edge research is paired with a level of individualized care of the patient as a person. Velocity helps us raise essential funds so we can continue with this life-changing and life-saving work. And it takes our message to the streets of New York and to the tri-state area.”

Anil Rustgi, MD, director of the HICCC, also spoke at the Finish Line Festival that celebrated the riders and volunteers. “Rest assured, your fundraising is going to work to help fuel the next generation of cancer therapies and cures. While it might be tough getting up the Palisades Push just before the GW Bridge, that’s nothing compared to what our patients endure every day. We are able to tell more stories of survival because of your commitment and generosity, and on behalf of all of my colleagues at Columbia, thank you.”

More: The Focus Is Community for this Velocity Team

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