The Fight Continues

by Steve Brooks, P.E.

Imagine a sea of orange. An army gathering on the edge of Seattle’s Gas Works Park – One team. One fight against cancer. On August 14th, I was one of the 1,500 cyclists proudly wearing orange who participated in Obliteride.

Like many of us, the expertise found at Fred Hutch has touched my life.  My mom is a cancer survivor, and my friend Steve was part of a clinical trial that added great value to the next great breakthrough. I am incredibly fortunate my daily work and professional goals match my personal goals. We work on continuing to make Fred Hutch the most energy-efficient buildings in the country, and minimize operating effort in over 1.5 million sqft of high-tech space.

Events like Obliteride allow us all to give back our time and resources to fund the cutting edge research that does not always get the funding attention of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  So, we joined a team to ride! We could have had our own team, but we want to be close to the science and the people doing the amazing things. We joined Jim Olson, MD and the Project Violet team to meet and ride with the scientists.

I’ve participated in Obliteride every year, and this year was by far my most enjoyable time. Partly had to do with a little more training this year; partly because of the flawless planning and logistics of the event. From the kickoff – getting served salmon directly from Tom Douglas – to the sunny and relaxing finish party at Gas Works Park – I was inspired by the Obliteride support personnel and the cheering fans along the course. An especially big thank you to the kids in Montlake selling lemonade with the great offering free refills on the way back!  That kid is going places.

The teams and individual riders have so far raised nearly $2 million to fund cancer research at Fred Hutch, with donations continuing to roll in for the next month. The riders, organizers, volunteers, and scientists are confident their dollars and research will one day lead to better treatments and cures for the more than 14 million people around the world diagnosed with cancer every year.*

Obliteride may be over, but UMC’s commitment to supporting Fred Hutch in the fight against cancer continues. Thank you to all who participated, donated, or volunteered at this year’s Obliteride. Your efforts are making a real difference in continued research to cure this awful disease.

Photos from Obliteride can be found here.

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