Ultra-endurance cyclists, Mark Herbst and Paul Millar, will embark on what’s known as the world’s toughest bike ride, Race Across America, which is longer than the Tour de France and completed in less time, all to raise funds for Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH).
From June 15 to 22, Herbst and Millar will cycle a 4,800-kilometre route, crossing 12 states and climbing 170,000 vertical feet. The race officially ends on June 27, but the duo plan on finishing five days early.
Their fundraising efforts will support the recent purchase and equipping of RVH’s new linear accelerator used to deliver radiation treatments to cancer patients. Specifically, the funds they raise will be used to purchase additional tools and advanced technologies that can be added to the accelerator in the future.
“We are in the process of installing our fourth linear accelerator which will enable the radiation team to deliver the most advanced high-quality care available, close to home,” says Dr. Matt Follwell, chief of Oncology, RVH. “As always we rely on community support for equipment and in this case these funds will be used to purchase state-of-the-art accessories for the accelerator that will help develop our stereotactic radiotherapy and radiosurgical programs to improve the patient experience.”
When the ride gets tough, Herbst will draw strength and inspiration from his wife Jackie – the motivating factor in taking on the challenge.
In November 2014, she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and has since had two additional bouts with the disease. Thanks to the exceptional care and treatment she received at RVH’s Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer she is now cancer free. The couple are very grateful all the cancer testing, imaging and treatments were done at RVH.
“RVH has played an integral part in my personal cancer journey,” she says. “Over the past five years, with three bouts of cancer. I have been lucky to have an amazing team of surgeons, oncologists, emergency physicians, nurses, and technicians who have helped me through this journey.”
They hope that funds raised for this important piece of equipment will help ensure cancer patients maximize their treatment outcomes with minimal side effect.
Photo: Mark Herbst is participating in the Race Across America to raise money for Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre in honour of the great cancer care his wife Jackie – now cancer free – received.