Cancer Won’t Stop For a Pandemic, and Neither Did the Ride for Roswell

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Against unlikely odds, the Ride for Roswell’s 2020 Summer of the Ride in Buffalo, New York, was a remarkable success. In the midst of a global pandemic and the unemployment rate still recovering from an all-time high since the great depression, the riders, volunteers, and sponsors rallied together like never before to raise over $3.6 million in donations for cancer research. The 25th anniversary of this event also provided a rare sense of community during a time when the public could not physically be together, while exercising and encouraging a healthy lifestyle.

In comparison to previous years, this summer’s Ride was quite a bit different. Historically being a one-day event, the event organizers decided that, instead of canceling the fundraiser, they would reformat the structure of the Ride to host Saturday and Sunday events each week from August 1 through August 21. This allowed for acceptable distancing between the riders, volunteers, and onlookers, given the contagious nature of COVID-19. Over the course of 21 days, a mass of 5,158 riders rode in teams on various routes throughout New York State on a mission to raise donations for this important cause. 

Team Open Access

This year, Impact Journals sponsored team Open Access in the Ride for Roswell. The team name was chosen to represent the open access principles which allow for scientific information to be accessed from journals, such as Aging and Oncotarget, with no cost or access barrier to the readers. The team is joined by like-minded riders who share these same principles to support cancer research.

Impact Journals was proud to take part in this event for the third year in a row. Sergei Kurenov, Director of Surgical Simulation at the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, was team captain for the Open Access peloton. 

Sergei says that his father passed away from lymphoma, and he participates in the Ride for Roswell to support and expedite the research needed to cure various types of cancer. His work at Roswell Park entails the development, creation, and implementation of innovative diagnostic and surgical pre-planning software based on 3-dimensional CT or MRI imaging.

“We created a team of riders supported by open-source, cancer-related scientific journals, Oncotarget and Aging,” Sergei said. “Both of these journals publish high-impact research papers of general interest and biological significance in all fields of cancer research. Open access journals play a tremendous role in the fight against cancer because they provide fast, reliable, and free scientific information.” 

Team Open Access
Members of Team Open Access (Photo courtesy of Sergei Kurenov)

Donations In Use

Each year, the funds donated from the Ride for Roswell are used at the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, which was founded in 1898 as the first research institute for cancer in the world. However, the pandemic has put a hold on many researchers’ ability to collaborate in a lab and thus, has slowed the output of cancer research – for now.

“In addition to funding open-access software development, the funds we raised at this year’s event will be used for general support of cancer research at Roswell Park for years to come,” Sergei said.

Next Year

Impact Journals continues to look forward to this event as one of their community commitments every year. Despite a global pandemic, the 2020 Ride for Roswell was a huge success and has the riders already thinking about next year’s Ride. Team Open Access and Sergei are planning to ride again next year in the fight against cancer. 

Click here to listen to an audio version of this post.

To view photos from the Summer of The Ride, click here

To donate or learn more about the annual Ride for Roswell, click here.

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