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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Over 580 Cyclists raise over $350K for the Big Move Cancer Ride for Niagara Health

The 2019 Niagara Health Foundation’s Big Move Cancer Ride attracted 581 riders and over 230 volunteers to White Meadows Farm on Sunday, September 8, raising more than $350,000 and counting to support patients of Walker Family Cancer Centre at Niagara Health. 

Featuring multiple courses weaving throughout Niagara region, the non-competitive ride attracted cyclists from beginner-to-expert level who pedalled 25km, 50km, and 75km kilometres, with 74 riders participating in the all new Family Ride. 

The Walker Family Cancer Centre at Niagara Health provides a full continuum of cancer services including radiation treatment for some 2,500 Niagara residents diagnosed with cancer each year. The Walker Family Cancer Centre in St. Catharines has been recognized internationally for the work it has done to improve patient experience. 

“The Big Move funds helped us build the Walker Family Cancer Centre at Niagara Health, delivering excellence in cancer care close to home,” said Dr. Janice Giesbrecht, Chief of Oncology Niagara Health and Medical Director of the Walker Family Cancer Centre. “We continue to help meet the needs of cancer patients at Niagara Health by supporting the next MRI machine and this year, funds will continue to help us develop state of the art precision radiation treatment, allowing more patients to receive specialized care in Niagara.” Giesbrecht added, “Inspiration comes one pedal at a time.” 

Big Move riders began registering for the 2019 ride in May and have collected nearly 4,000 online pledges in support of the Walker Family Cancer Centre. Along with the amazing fundraising efforts of the riders, the Niagara Health Foundation is fortunate to have a number of financial and product sponsors like Niagara Fallsview Casino and TD Bank who support The Big Move Cancer Ride to help make the ride a success. 

“The Big Move Cancer Ride is such an important local fundraising event for so many people,” said Roger Ali, President & CEO of the Niagara Health Foundation. “Everyone who participates, riders and volunteers alike wants to do their part to ensure we have the excellent cancer care, close to home. The Big Move allows these critical services to continue and to grow each year.” 

Since the ride began in 2009, the Niagara community has supported The Big Move to the tune of over $3,700,000 million. With 2019 totals still rolling in, the Niagara Health Foundation expects to break the $4,000,000 total raised through the event. The Big Move will continue to collect donations and pledges for riders until October 31, 2019 online at 

In addition to The Big Move Cancer Ride, the Niagara Health Foundation proudly raises funds for Niagara Health sites in Welland, Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, Port Colborne and Fort Erie. 

Background Information 

Big Move Cancer Ride Stats* 

Since the inaugural event in September 2009, approximately: 

  • $3,700,000 has been raised for the Walker Family Cancer Centre 
  • 581 cyclists participated in the event 2019, up from 484 in 2018 
  • 230 volunteers helped make the event a huge success 
  • 74 riders participated in the first ever Family Ride 

Walker Family Cancer Centre – How donations are used 

  • Proceeds from the Big Move Cancer Ride stay in Niagara to support the equipment needs of the Walker Family Cancer Centre located at Niagara Health’s St. Catharines site. 
  • The Cancer Centre is built on more than 25 years of quality care and treatment provided to cancer patients in the Niagara Region by the centre’s dedicated care team. 
  • The regional Cancer Centre provides radiation treatment, chemotherapy and other systemic therapies, surgical oncology consultation, psychosocial support and palliative care. 
  • Most cancer patients can now receive their chemotherapy and radiation treatment in Niagara region, which means they can be close-to-home in Niagara. 
  • More than 7,500 people receive care at the cancer centre every year, with 75,000 patient visits in 2018. 

Funds raised by the Big Move Cancer Ride have supported: 

  • The Walker Family Cancer Centre building and Radiation Services 
  • New endoscopy equipment to assist in diagnosing and treating cancer patients 
  • Equipment to bring Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT) to Walker Family Cancer Centre. VMAT is an advanced radiation therapy treatment technique that allows for more targeted radiation to cancer tumours, avoiding unnecessary exposure to a patient’s healthy tissue. Patients who are treated with VMAT experience shorter periods of higher intensity radiation which can reduce side effects from radiation exposure. VMAT was introduced at the cancer centre in September 2017 and while the technique is used to treat specific prostate cancer patients, treatment will be expanded to other types of cancer in the near future. 
  • Software updates for CT equipment 
  • A portion of the 2019 Big Move Cancer Ride funds raised will be directed to precision radiation treatments for both curative and palliative cases for lung cancer and oligometastatic cancer, and equipment to support the development of Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) treatments to allow for a greater number of patients to be treated at WFCC with enhanced precision radiation therapy. 

Inspired Riders 

  • Our supporters have their own personal reasons for participating in The Big Move Cancer Ride – some in memory of, or to honour a loved one touched by cancer. Others celebrate their own cancer recovery and many riders who just want to be part of something “big” to ensure the people who live in Niagara can access cancer care close to home. 
  • Check out our Big Move Rider Profiles to find out what motivates our long-time participants. 

Media Contact:

Chris Green
Office: 905-378-4647 Ext. 44248
Mobile: 905-980-9029


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