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Inaugural Ride to Conquer Cancer – 2,850 Participants Raise $14 Million

June 22, 2008 (Toronto, ON) — Today, The Princess Margaret announced that 2,850 participants from across North America raised $14 million in The Ride to Conquer Cancer. In its first year, The Ride to Conquer Cancer has emerged as Canada’s largest cycling fundraising event. The Ride inspired 2,850 men and women, from eight Canadian provinces and 16 US states, to become involved in conquering cancer in a bold way.

Money raised through The Ride to Conquer Cancer means that The Princess Margaret can allocate crucial funds for its research arm, the Ontario Cancer Institute (OCI), which includes The Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute and The Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research. Here, a team of world-class doctors, scientists and support staff are engaged in the battle against cancer. As 3200 Canadians are diagnosed with cancer each week, the work of Princess Margaret personnel is critical.

“This multi-day event is for people wanting to do something bold in the fight against cancer,” says Dr. Jonathan Irish, Chief of Surgical Oncology at Princess Margaret Hospital. “Progress in research needs a sustained commitment over years to combat cancer and we are truly grateful for the support from so many riders and donors. The funds raised will allow us to support otherwise under-funded areas of research. With this year’s funds, The Princess Margaret can conduct further research into critical areas such as cancer stem cells, guided therapeutics and cancer metabolism.”

Although improvements have been made to treat the over 200 types of cancer in the last 20 years, many cancers are still often lethal with lung, pancreatic and ovarian presenting significant treatment challenges. In 2008 alone, there will be an estimated 159,900 new cases of cancer diagnosed in Canada and 72,700 deaths because of cancer.

“The Ride to Conquer Cancer provides essential funding for The Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute at The Princess Margaret,” says Paul Alofs, President and CEO of The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation. “The Ride supports breakthrough cancer research where an elite team of cancer researchers, clinicians and staff are working on the discovery of new cancer therapies, with the ultimate goal of conquering cancer.”

After a moving Opening Ceremonies at the Direct Energy Centre at the Canadian National Exhibition, participants embark on the first 100 kilometres of the ride. Tonight, they camp at Mohawk College to rest up for the final 100 kilometres on Sunday, taking them on the final leg of their journey from Hamilton to Niagara Falls. Family, friends, and supporters are invited to greet and cheer on the Riders as they make their way to the finish line.

Swiss Chalet is the Presenting sponsor for this first-time event. Gold sponsors include Ford, Via Rail, CTV, Jack FM and the Globe and Mail. Other official event sponsors and suppliers include Resolve, IBM, EastDell Estates Winery, Steam Whistle Brewery, Sobeys and Coca-Cola.

For more information about the event, or to register as a participant for next year, please contact (416) 815-RIDE (7433), or sign up online at www.conquercancer.ca. The second annual Ride to Conquer Cancer in Toronto is already planned for June 12 to 14, 2009.

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