McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Cycling for a cause

by Susan Bubak
Published: April 29, 2008
From left are Mohamad Alshurafa, Eric Hul and Ellen Korol.
Eric Hul (centre), Mohamad Alshurafa (left) and Ellen Korol are participating in "The Ride to Conquer Cancer," a fundraiser for cancer research at Princess Margaret Hospital.
— Photo by Susan Bubak.

Eric Hul, Ellen Korol and Mohamad Alshurafa have one thing in common. They have all been touched by cancer, a disease that will claim the lives of 73,800 people in Canada this year.

That's why the graduate students in health sciences have banded together to participate in The Ride to Conquer Cancer, a fundraiser for cancer research at Princess Margaret Hospital. The two-day event will take the cyclists on a 200-km journey from Toronto to Niagara Falls.

Cancer has affected each of the students in some way. The mothers of two of Hul's friends are battling cancer, some of Korol's high school classmates have died of cancer and pancreatic cancer claimed the life of Alshurafa's uncle last year.

"I'm dedicating this to him," said Alshurafa of his participation in the cycling event.

The team, called the McMaster HSGST Research Riders, hopes to raise more than $10,000.

In preparation for the event, the students are trying to squeeze in some training time between their coursework and research.

"It's very physically demanding," said Hul, who has been training on a stationary bike and riding outside when the weather permits. "We have to get used to being a bike for two, three or four hours at a time. I've never done 200 kilometres, let alone all in one go."

The event runs from June 20 to 22. The cyclists will start their journey in Toronto and travel through Mississauga and Halton Hills until they reach Hamilton, where they will camp out on Saturday night. The next day, they will hit the road again, heading towards the Niagara escarpment and Welland Canal, crossing the finish line in Niagara Falls.

If you would like to help support the team, please click here.

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