Sat, May 25, 2024

The “Business of Cancer” and how you can help

Paceline is getting ready for its annual October bike event to raise money for the Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University. This will mark the 5th year for PaceDay.  Funds raised will support unique cancer research being conducted at the Cancer Center.

Paceline President, Martyn Jones said the community movement has raised more than $1 million since it began in 2019.

“Thanks to founding partner, Medical College of Georgia Foundation, 100% of all participant-raised funds support innovative cancer research at the Georgia Cancer Center. Recently, we announced nine new cancer research projects from 2022 funds raised by the Paceline community,” Jones added.

Dr. Balveen Kaur, associate director for cancer research at the Georgia Cancer Center, said they send out a request for proposals (RFP) for researchers and doctors with a project they are developing. A review panel discusses the applications and chooses the best projects to support.

“And there’s quite a diversity in the kind of science that we fund,” she said. “So, while we have some projects that are looking at really basic science mechanistic questions, we have some that are doing translational drug development. We have some examples of projects that we funded this cycle that are looking at using artificial intelligence to develop the next generation of biomarkers, which can really predict patients who might be better able to benefit from new treatments that are being developed.”

Kaur said they also have a project that investigates “financial toxicity,” the financial impact cancer treatment can have on patients. She said they have patients, a lot of them from rural areas, who struggle financially.

“For some of these patients, the diagnosis of cancer is so scary that it’s very difficult for them to tell their physicians,” she said. “Some of these patients think about their chemotherapeutic drugs versus milk for their children. There are programs that can help patients with these issues, but a lot of times, physicians don’t realize that. So, one of the projects we funded this year was to talk about issues like that.”

While funds raised by Paceline provide vital support to researchers, the organization also provides a special kind of support to cancer patients. The feeling someone is on their team and has their back.

“It’s the entire team spirit. The entire motivation that this drive kindles is amazing. There are so many examples of things that, I’ve been here one year, and I have noticed the impact that Paceline has on the community,” she said.

This year’s PaceDay will begin with an opening ceremony at The Augusta Common at 5 p.m. on October 14. There will be music, food trucks, and stories from people fighting cancer.

The rides kick off from Augusta Common at 8:30 a.m. on October 15 with three road routes. There is also “The Cyber City Circuit,” a one-mile loop through downtown Augusta for young and less experienced riders.

Riders must be 14 and older to ride the 25, 50, or 70-mile routes. Ages 10-13 may only ride the Cyber City Circuit.

Registration for the PaceDay rides is at www.paceline.org. Volunteers can also apply on that website.

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