Columbia's Velocity Rides Again to Raise Funds for Cancer Research

October 12, 2018

For the second year, Velocity, Columbia’s Ride to End Cancer, raised more than $1 million to support cancer care and research. The outdoor cycling event on Sunday, Oct. 7, was even bigger than last year’s inaugural ride, with more than 800 participants—including more than 600 cyclists, virtual riders, and sponsors.

Lee Goldman, MD, Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine at Columbia’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, said it was wonderful to see so many people —including our faculty, students, patients, family, and friends—out in support of the seond annual Velocity event.  

“I am grateful for your efforts, whether you rode, volunteered, fundraised, or just cheered here at the finish line. What you’ve done today will help our team at Columbia change and save more lives, because 100 percent of participant fundraising benefits research and patient care at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center.”


Dr. Lee Goldman, left, with Dr. John Chabot and survivor Irwin Goldberg at Velocity. (Photo by Charles Manley)


Riders selected one of four routes, with distances ranging from 10 to 62.5 miles (100 kilometers). At each starting point, one of Columbia’s faculty and a cancer survivor offered inspirational remarks before the cyclists hit the road.

Cory Abate-Shen, PhD, interim director of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center and a Velocity participant, said, “I first came to Columbia in 2007, and it truly is a remarkable place. The level of collaboration, intellectual discourse, and dedication is unmatched with my experience at other institutions.  

“I’m proud to be a part of the Columbia family, and I’m proud to now be a part of the Velocity family. That is why—although I haven’t ridden a bike in more than seven years—I rode for 10 miles today!”


Blue team riders, including Dr. Cory Abate-Shen, left, starting on the 10-mile route. (Photo by Melanie Einzig)


All of the routes converged with riders crossing the George Washington Bridge on their way to the finish line at 168th street on Columbia’s Irving Medical Center campus. Participants enjoyed a post-ride celebration and closing ceremony with remarks from Columbia faculty and cancer survivors.

Irwin Goldberg, a gallbladder cancer survivor, expressed thanks to all of the participants, his cancer care team at Columbia, and his surgeon, John Chabot, MD, the David V. Habif Professor of Surgery (and Velocity cyclist): “I had total confidence in Dr. Chabot and his talented caring team that they would do whatever it took to put me on a path of recovery.”