The grand finale of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)’s Road to Victories seven-week, cross-country cycling event took place on Saturday, Oct. 21 at Jennings Beach in Fairfield, where crowds of supporters gathered to celebrate and cheer on the riders. The 3,400-mile coast-to-coast ride began on Sunday, Sept. 3 in Manhattan Beach, Calif. The team of cyclists encompassed patients, loved ones and supporters — all personally impacted by multiple myeloma, an incurable blood cancer.
Sponsored by Janssen Oncology, the Road to Victories endurance event has raised nearly $410,000 — and counting — for critical myeloma research, as well as broadened awareness and community support. The inspiring team of 18 cyclists included five patients, as well as loved ones, supporters, and MMRF and Janssen Oncology employees. Seven cyclists completed the entire coast-to-coast ride. Another group of 11 cyclists, including four multiple myeloma patients, rode the first eight days of the journey – 546 miles through the Mojave Desert and then up mountain passes to Flagstaff, Arizona.
“We are inspired by and grateful for our team of dedicated cyclists, and thrilled that Janssen Oncology is sponsoring this important cycling event to further myeloma research and help empower patients,” said MMRF president and Chief Executive Officer Paul Giusti, a New Canaan resident. “These riders give hope to all touched by multiple myeloma that patients can lead active lives and achieve victories over cancer. Funds raised at events like this fuel the MMRF’s precision medicine research model, helping us develop breakthrough treatments with ever increasing momentum toward a cure.”
Patient riders included: Chuck Wakefield, 71, Grapevine, TX (Cross-Country Rider); Carmen Phaneuf, 48, Little Silver, NJ (7-Day Desert Rider); Randi Schwartz, 48, Ft. Lauderdale, FL (7-Day Desert Rider) Jim Hall, 68, Glen Allen, VA (7-Day Desert Rider); Tony Gaddis, 49 , Phoenix, AZ (7-Day Desert Rider).
Road To Victory Riders: Mike Grant, 55, Little Silver, NJ (Cross-Country Rider); Kiel Weston, 34, Schenectady, NY (Cross-Country Rider); Marty Perlmutter, 67, Orlando, FL, (Cross-Country Rider); Darrell Rose, 58, Colleyville, TX (Cross-Country Rider); Bob Goodheart, 61, Midland Park, NJ (Cross-Country Rider); Michael Morales, 48, New York, NY (Cross-Country Rider); Michael Dreyer, 47, Brookline, NH, (7-Day Desert Rider); Chip Marasco, 45, Yorba Linda, CA (7-Day Desert Rider); Rob Trilling, 57, Hollywood, FL (7-Day Desert Rider); Paul Avery, 46, Aurora, CO (7-Day Desert Rider); Rob Forbes, 46, Doylestown, PA, (7-Day Desert Rider; Janssen employee); Megan Farina, 47, Furlong, PA (7-Day Desert Rider and Janssen employee); Alicia O’Neill, 58, Norwalk, CT (7-Day Desert Rider and MMRF employee).
For more information about the event, visit RoadToVictories.com and follow #RoadToVictories.