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Bike Ride Becomes a 'Big Event' for Cancer Research at Duke

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Duke Health News 919-660-1306

DURHAM, N.C. -- One lone bike ride from Greensboro to Durham in 1995 has turned into one of the largest fundraising events in the Triad. Ten years and more than $2 million later, "The Joann Gaddy Grimes Big Event to Fight Cancer" has expanded to offer new and exciting family activities, including a classic car show.

All proceeds from the event support research and treatments at the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center.

This year's "Big Event" will be held on Saturday, May 15, at Hagan-Stone Park in Greensboro. The event features a 100K bike ride through Guilford and Randolph counties; a newly designed 28-mile scenic bike ride beginning and ending at Hagan-Stone Park; a family-friendly 5K walk or jog and a classic car show. Advance registration is available by visiting http://www.bike4duke.org. Participants also can register on the day of the event.

Registration times for the various events are: 8:30 a.m. for the 100K Challenge Bike Ride; 9 a.m. for the Classic Car Show; 10 a.m. for the 28-Mile Scenic Bike Ride; and 11:30 a.m. for the 5K.

Joann Gaddy Grimes and her husband David Grimes are founders and organizers of the event. A breast cancer survivor, Joann Grimes is diligently trying to help find new and better treatments for cancer.

"After discovering I had cancer, and going through all of the treatments, and then being cancer free, I knew I couldn't just sit back. I had to give back, and the best way I know to give back is to raise more money for this cause," she said.

The Grimeses are joined each year by people of all ages to raise thousands of dollars. Last year, two of the top fund-raisers were teen-agers Taylor Haskin and Sam Hyman who together raised more than $15,000.

This year's honorary event chair is Shirley Spears, a board member and active volunteer for the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center as well as for numerous non-profit organizations in Greensboro. Spears' husband Alex died from cancer in 2002. This year's "Big Event" is dedicated to Nancy Weaver Emerson of Mebane who died in September 2003 after a 20-year battle with cancer.

"Nancy was such an inspiration," said David Grimes. "While she fought her own battle with cancer, Nancy also worked every day to help and comfort other cancer patients. Nancy deeply believed in the 'CAN' in cancer. She lived her life to the fullest with optimism and hope. We should all learn from her wonderful example."

For more information or to register for the event, visit http://www.bike4duke.org or contact Stefanie Ratledge at sratledge@carolina.nc.rr.

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The Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center (DCCC) was established in 1972 by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as one of the original eight comprehensive cancer centers; today, it is one of 38 such centers. The DCCC was ranked seventh among cancer treatment hospitals in 2003 by US News & World Report. Duke had the fourth largest number of cancer patients with 7,600 impatient admissions in 2002. Thirty percent of those patients are from outside North Carolina. The DCCC treats about 5,000 new patients with cancer each year and cares for 11 percent of all cancer patients in North Carolina.

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