Fourth-year medical student Peter Ketch got involved The Ride to Fight On! during his first year of medical school, after hearing about the West Cancer Center’s mission. “Professors, older students, and some physicians talked about it a lot and how much fun the event day was, so I had to sign up,” he said. “Each year, I have gotten more involved and now am grateful to sit on the steering committee for the event. The vibe is so inspiring and contagious and empowers everyone to keep fighting cancer, in their own way.”
UTHSC will join with several community organizations and individuals September 15 to raise money and awareness for those battling cancer, highlight cancer survivors, and honor those who have lost their battle with the disease.
The event will take place at Shelby Farms Park from 7 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. All UTHSC faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to participate on behalf of Team UTHSC. The event has raised over $2.5 million dollars for cancer research and patient services in the past six years.
“Several people affiliated with UTHSC are participating this year,” Ketch said. “I encourage everyone who is able to sign up.”
Michael A. Whitt, PhD, interim associate dean and chair of the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, & Biochemistry and director of Graduate Medical Education Research in the College of Medicine, has participated in the event for the last five years and plans to do so this year as well.
“I participate for two reasons,” he said. “Both of my parents had cancer. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was in grade school and was a survivor until I was a sophomore in college, when she finally succumbed to the disease. My father was diagnosed with bladder cancer much later in life, but it was not identified until after it had metastasized, so the disease claimed him, too. The second reason is because of the fantastic work done by everyone at the West Cancer Center, and anything I can do to help their cause is well worth it.”
Those who don’t want to walk or run may volunteer, donate, or be a “virtual participant.” Participant activities will include three cycling distances, a 5K run, and a one-mile tribute walk. Post-race festivities will include vendors, sponsors, kids’ activities, brunch, entertainment, and tributes to honor and remember those affected by cancer.