September 27, 2017
The Inaugural Cedars Ride for Hope and Gratitude in Lake George Raised over 54,000 for Cell Therapy Unit at MUHC
(Montreal: September 25, 2017): Cheered on by family and friends 16 riders enjoyed a glorious day on Saturday riding 106-km in the Adirondacks through stunning countryside, gently rolling hills and majestic river valleys and lakes as part of The Inaugural Cedars Ride for Hope and Gratitude in support of the Hematology/Oncology Cell Therapy for Blood Cancers at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC).
“Thanks to Cedars and family and friends for making the ride an enormous success and helping us raised over $54,000 for Dr. Laneuville’s leading-edge program,” stated Rob Callard, a cancer survivor and the driving force behind the ride. “I am grateful for the care I have received at the MUHC and set up the Ensign Ewart Research Fund in tribute to my late father. Dad was a Montreal businessman and historian who taught my brother and me the importance of charity and a humble respect for those less fortunate.”
Cell Therapy / Immunotherapy has shown new promise in the treatment of blood cancers and other applications and is being utilized as an alternative to certain forms of chemotherapy. By establishing a new Cell Therapy Unit under the direction of Dr. Pierre Laneuville, doctors, researchers and patients will benefit from this promising and burgeoning area of research in the fight against cancer.
Speaking at the dinner after the ride, Dr. Laneuville, Associate Professor of Oncology at the MUHC, past President of the Canadian Hematological Society and past Chairman of the Canadian Consensus Group on the Management of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia, noted, “Rob is an inspiration for all of us in the way he has addressed his personal challenges and in his commitment to giving back and making a difference in the lives of others. Thanks to his leadership and the generosity of the other riders and their supporters we are that much closer to setting up out clinic and further advancing research into cell therapy and immunotherapy for blood cancers.”
In early 2009, overweight and tired of feeling unwell and lethargic, Rob set out to finally abandon dieting and adopt a healthier lifestyle. Getting on a bike and riding every night helped him improve his physical fitness and lose more than 80 pounds in two years. In September 2011, and thanks to the weight loss a tumor was discovered on his abdomen which was quickly diagnosed as an advanced form of incurable but treatable non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
“Hope and Gratitude are the words I live by every day,” explained Rob. “They are a constant reminder of the hope that we conquer this complicated disease, and the gratitude for life and for the wonderful people I have met and surround me in my life.”
Cedars Cancer Foundation
Cedars Cancer Foundation is a hospital-based charity whose mission is to support comprehensive cancer care for all cancer patients – pediatric, adolescent and young adult (AYA), adults and those in palliative care – who are being treated at the MUHC.
Cedars Cancer Foundation also provides a range of free services and support programs to look after the minds, bodies and spirits of cancer patients.