Take a bike ride, save some lives


by MIMI JUNG / KING 5 News


Posted on June 11, 2014 at 8:23 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 11 at 10:16 AM

It’s a bike ride that saves lives.

Obliteride is a fundraising bike ride that connects cancer survivors, supporters and people in the community to raise money for Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. The event is August 8-10, but organizers are busy getting the word out now and recruiting riders.

Last year, 700 riders participated and raised $1.9 million. Organizers are hoping to double the riders and money this year. All of the money raised will stay in Seattle and go directly to research at Fred Hutch.

"And that's really compelling. A lot of people know people who work here. They want to fund local research and the more great research that we have happening right here, the better our cancer care is locally, if and when people need it," said Amy Lavin, Executive Director at Obliteride.

Nina Garkavi, one of the hundreds of Obliteride volunteers and a brain cancer survivor, was at the finish line last year handing out flowers to the cyclists.

"I couldn't believe that so many people were committed and openly saying that they are doing this fundraiser for cancer research," said Garkavi.

Garkavi was diagnosed with brain cancer three years ago at the age of 22. She knows first-hand how important it is for scientists to continue doing research for new cancer treatments, because her cancer fight may not be over.

"I realize that even though I'm a survivor, how long is that going to be for? Do I have to worry about it coming back? Will it be treatable if it comes back? If they've done everything they can now, they need to find something else in case something else happens," said Garkavi.

Obliteride has four routes to choose from, ranging from 25 miles to a two-day, 150-mile ride. Participants are required to raise a minimum of $1,000.
Event organizers say raising the money or riding is not as intimidating as you might think.

"If you're an active, able-bodied individual, and that's somebody that goes on a couple walks a week, going out there and riding a few miles between now and August 10 is very achievable. And if you're somebody who loves to be on your bike, Obliteride is an amazing weekend of cycling and celebration, as we say," said Lavin.

More information on Obliteride