Wrapped up in protective rain gear, around 250 LOWVELO participants braved the cold and winds to show up in person to celebrate LOWVELO21 at the Isle of Palms on Nov. 6. They were all there for a great cause — raising money for lifesaving cancer research at MUSC Hollings Cancer Center.
Riders took the bad weather in stride, accepting that some routes had to be revised for safety reasons, but it didn’t deter the mission. Some were glad they had signed up for the enclosed stationary cycling classes, but others seemed to embrace the challenge of the wind and rain.
“It was cold, and the wind really hit you on the bridge, heading back into Isle of Palms. But what we went through today is nothing compared to what cancer patients and their families go through every day,” said Gerard Silvestri, M.D., a researcher and an MUSC Health lung cancer pulmonologist at Hollings.
This year’s event had a record number of participants — more than 800 — with many doing the virtual Home Team option. Participants have until Dec. 31 to continue to fundraise.
Hollings director Raymond N. DuBois, M.D., Ph.D., was among those who took to the streets Saturday to raise awareness about cancer and raise money for research.
“This type of event really brings the community together because cancer affects everybody in one way or another,” DuBois said. “It is heartwarming to see so many people come out, despite the weather, to show their support for Hollings Cancer Center.”
LOWVELO21 Recap Video
Check out this video to see all the fun our participants had and get a sense of what LOWVELO21 was all about.
LOWVELO offers a unique opportunity to bring researchers, physicians, cancer survivors and the community together. For cancer survivor and LOWVELO ambassador David Zaas, M.D., CEO of MUSC Health-Charleston Division, the event was a time of reflection. In 2017, Zaas was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia and given less than a 20% chance of survival. Thanks to treatment afforded through a phase one clinical trial, Zaas said he feels better today than ever before.
“I actually began riding a bike after my bone marrow transplant to exercise and stay in shape during my own cancer journey,” Zaas said. “I hadn’t done that before my diagnosis, so being here for LOWVELO really brings that full circle. I started biking five years ago, and now I get the chance to continue riding to allow, hopefully, other patients to be as fortunate as I was in their own cancer journeys.”
Participants had their own reasons for riding in LOWVELO21 — many shared those reasons on the Why I Ride wall that greeted …….