Big Mover’s ride into the future of the Walker Family Cancer Centre

September 14, 2017

Nearly 500 riders, over 200 volunteers and countless sponsors were inspired to support the Walker Family Cancer Centre at Niagara Health Foundation’s 9th annual Big Move Cancer Ride on Sunday, September 10th.
The ride, a grown-in-Niagara, non-competitive cycling event, raised nearly $340,000 for the cancer centre this year, well above its $300,000 goal.
Touching speeches were made by participating riders, cancer patients and care providers at pre-ride ceremonies to inspire cyclists before setting off on their route and to remind everyone that their support is truly making a difference for local cancer patients in Niagara.

Debbie, a rider in this year’s event, shares her connection to the cause.  “I am very grateful to be here and able to ride today.  If it weren’t for the wonderful care and help that I received from the doctors and staff at the Walker Family Cancer Centre, I may not be here today, so thank you.”

Dr. Janice Giesbrecht, Director of the Walker Family Cancer Centre, and Dr. Ranjini Tolakanahalli, head of medical physics at the cancer centre, thanked participants for their incredible dedication and shared the impact of their support.
“The funds from the Big Move first helped us build the Walker Family Cancer Centre at Niagara Health and in the last years they’ve gone to support the equipment that we need to deliver quality care to cancer patients,” said Dr. Giesbrecht.
Over the years event supporters have helped to fund tools for cancer diagnosis and screening throughout the hospital including endoscopy and laboratory equipment.  Within the cancer centre itself, money raised has been put towards state-of-the-art radiation treatment equipment like Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (see below to learn how this technology is making a difference for patients).
Roger Ali, OneFoundation President and CEO, was inspired by the community’s support of the event.  “It’s amazing to see how our community comes together at the Big Move Cancer Ride to raise funds and ensure that we have the best healthcare services for all residents of Niagara,” said Ali.
Since the ride began in 2009, nearly 4,000 riders have cycled over 300,000 kms through Niagara. Along with the support of more than 1,800 volunteers and numerous sponsors, the event has raised close to $3.5 million for cancer care at Niagara Health.  The most important number, however, is the thousands and thousands of patients who have been able to receive close-to-home care at the Walker Family Cancer Centre thanks to this incredible dedication.
Thank you to all of our supporters for riding, volunteering, sponsoring and cheering along with us!

We look forward to seeing everyone again at the 2018 Big Move Cancer Ride that is set for Sunday, September 9th, 2018 - the 10th anniversary of the ride!

Visit for full event details.
Your dollars at work: Funding the future of cancer care

Proceeds from the Big Move Cancer Ride helped bring modern radiation technology to the Walker Family Cancer Centre.

Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT) is an advanced radiation therapy treatment technique that allows for more targeted radiation to the cancerous tumour and avoids unnecessary exposure to a patient’s healthy tissue. Patients who are treated with VMAT undergo shorter periods of higher intensity radiation, reducing side effects associated with radiation exposure.

VMAT is new in North America and was introduced at the cancer centre in September 2017.  Although the technique is currently being used to treat specific prostate cancer patients, the team plans to expand treatment to other cancers in the near future. This is only the beginning for advanced radiation therapy at the Walker Family Cancer Centre.

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Philanthropy is based on voluntary action for the common good.  It is a tradition of giving and sharing that is primary to the quality of life.

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