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Surgeons Participate in Pedal the Cause 2021

Department of Surgery faculty and residents joined the fight against cancer by participating in this year’s Pedal the Cause event. This annual fundraising challenge raises money for cancer research at Siteman Cancer Center and Siteman Kids at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.  

Event participants register to ride one of eight cycling courses or spin on a stationary bike, commit to fundraise a certain amount of money, then enjoy two days of celebration and cycling. This year, Pedal the Cause raised over $3.4 million for cancer research. 

WashU Surgeons at Pedal the Cause
William Gillanders, MD, Terence Myckatyn, MD, and Ryan Fields, MD, during the 2021 Pedal the Cause event.

Faculty have been riding in Pedal the Cause since the organization’s first event in 2010. Each year, surgeons from multiple specialties, including Surgical Oncology, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, HPB-GI Surgery and Urology, come together to raise the funds that will hopefully lead to a cure for cancer. Last year the Urology team, led by Sherb Figenshau, MD, became members of the Lifetime Bronze Impact Society, a collection of individuals or teams that have raised over $100,000 throughout their Pedal the Cause history. 

Urology resident Nimrod Barashi, MD, and faculty Douglas Coplen, MD, Sherb Figenshau, MD, and Dane Johnson, MD, at 2021 Pedal the Cause event.

Not only do many faculty members participate in the event, but they also have led research projects at Siteman Cancer Center that have been funded by Pedal the Cause. Research conducted by Department of Surgery physician-scientists, including William Gillanders, MD, Ryan Fields, MD, William Hawkins, MD, Terence Myckatyn, MD, Rebecca Aft, MD, and Eric Kim, MD, has been directly funded from Pedal the Cause donations.   

Below are quotes from faculty about why they participate in Pedal the Cause and the importance of the event.  

“I am proud to join Pedal the Cause in the fight against cancer. I ride to raise funds for research. I ride for my mother who had breast cancer and benefited from improved therapies. I ride for the thousands of women who I have performed breast reconstruction for and bring value to my career.”  

Terence Myckatyn, MD 

“I ride for my patients – some of the bravest, strongest, most courageous people on this planet. Every dollar we raise goes DIRECTLY to cancer research. It supports the innovative trials and studies that lead to victory against cancer. Pedal the Cause is hope – not just for the patients, not just for the family members, but for the physicians and the scientists working to battle cancer. It’s hope that we will can have the funds we need to do it, it’s hope that we will continue to be able to treat the patients with therapies that are much more effective and much less toxic. A world without Pedal the Cause is a world without a lot of progress in cancer recently.” 

Ryan Fields, MD

“I have a very special connection with Pedal the Cause. In addition to participating, initial funding from Pedal the Cause allowed us to start a number of really exciting projects that are now in clinical trials. I am immensely grateful for the support for my research.” 

William Gillanders, MD 

“I am proud to join Pedal the Cause in the fight against cancer. Pedal the Cause is near and dear to my heart as a Siteman Cancer Center physician. I take care of many women battling breast cancer helping them to restore part of their bodies and their lives. It takes world-class research to create a world without cancer. It also takes research to enrich and improve the lives of these women battling cancer currently.” 

Marissa Tenenebaum, MD

“With donations that come to Pedal the Cause, we can fund bright new people and bright new ideas. Without this kind of funding, without this kind of fundraising, without this community partnership, Siteman wouldn’t be where it is today.”  

William Hawkins, MD

“My mother died of pancreatic cancer 16 years ago. Seed money from the Pedal the Cause funded preliminary research efforts directed towards finding new treatments for pancreatic cancer. As a result of this researchers at Washington University were able to obtain a 5-year pancreatic cancer research grant worth 10 million dollars from the National Cancer Institute. I ride because 100% of donations go to funding research.” 

Douglas Coplen, MD