Reid’s Ride returns July 21

Jul 11, 2019 by

Published July 10, 2019

By DAN TOMASELLO

LYNNFIELD — A highly anticipated town tradition is inching closer to making its triumphant return.

The 15th annual Reid’s Ride bike-a-thon will take place on Sunday, July 21. The 28-mile bike trek spans from Lynnfield High School to Stage Fort Park in Gloucester.

One of the North Shore’s most popular summertime events, Reid’s Ride raises funds for the Reid Sacco Cancer Alliance and serves as a tribute to the life and legacy of Reid Sacco. Reid was a Lynnfield High graduate who passed away in April 2005 after a courageous two-year fight with sarcoma.

The funds raised from the bike-a-thon will be used to support new treatments for adolescents and young adults (AYA) fighting cancer in hopes of finding a cure.

“Reid’s Ride raises funds to initiate and support clinical research, specialized programs and clinics and professional education all in an effort to improve the lives and outlook for adolescents and young adults diagnosed with cancer,” said Lorraine Sacco, Reid’s mom.

After Reid passed away, the Sacco family started the Reid Sacco Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Alliance. Since the alliance’s inception, the organization has funded scientific and clinical research geared toward finding better treatments and cures for the cancers predominantly striking young adults.

“By April 2005, Reid had undergone multiple rounds of chemotherapy and radiation and had already lost a leg, a lung and a kidney to his disease,” said Sacco.  “He and we knew that the arsenal of weapons was depleted. For two years, we were frustrated that the arsenal of treatment options available to Reid was so small, so impotent and so toxic. It didn’t take us long to learn the reasons. Reid’s age doomed him to fall into a tragically underserved cancer population we have called adolescents and young adults. His cancer was also relatively rare. 

“At the time of Reid’s battle with cancer, AYAs were almost universally ineligible for clinical trials because trials typically focused on pediatric patients, adult patients or patients with more common cancer types,” Sacco continued. “The good news is that this is finally changing. In March 2019, the FDA published a long-awaited ‘Guidance Document’ encouraging the inclusion of AYAs in all phases of clinical trials for new cancer treatments. In May, the American Society of Clinical Oncologists (ASCO) officially commended the FDA for this action. Because all clinical trials must be approved by the FDA, this ‘guidance’ is a most powerful force in expanding access of AYAs to potentially life-saving clinical trials. Reid’s Ride had an enormous influence in all of this because of the awareness it has raised about the AYA cancer gaps in clinical research and access to experimental treatments.”

Sacco noted the funds raised from Reid’s Ride enabled the alliance to launch two “landmark” programs: The Reid R. Sacco AYA Program at Tufts Medical Center in Boston and the Reid R. Sacco AYA Cancer Program at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford.

“In addition to providing age-appropriate treatment to AYA cancer patients and vastly improved access to clinical trials, these programs have trained dozens of newly minted oncologists in this specialized area,” said Sacco.  “Continued support from Reid’s Ride is helping these programs expand their reach to more patients and to launch new services and programs specifically addressing unmet needs for AYA cancer patients. The Reid R. Sacco AYA Cancer Program at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center created a Comprehensive Fertility and Sexual Health Team, which immediately launched a new service to provide consultations on fertility risk and preservation options to all AYA patients with a new cancer diagnosis. The Reid R. Sacco AYA Cancer Program at Tufts Medical Center is pioneering the next leap forward in the training of doctors about the special needs, perspectives and considerations that come with treating AYAs diagnosed with cancer. That leap will begin with the first-in-the-country AYA Cancer Fellowship Program, led by Tufts Medical Center.”

The bike-a-thon’s proceeds are also used to grant one or more scholarships each year to Lynnfield High School seniors.

The 14th annual Reid’s Ride raised over $215,000 and featured nearly 400 riders. The ride has raised over $2.75 million the past 14 years.

“Proceeds from Reid’s Ride have made possible unprecedented improvements in the care and treatment of cancer patients and cancer survivors ages 15 to 39,” said Sacco.

Sacco said she is looking forward to the 15th annual Reid’s Ride.

“It has been another extraordinary year of progress in fighting adolescent and young adult cancers because of the proceeds raised by Reid’s Ride riders, donors and sponsors,” said Sacco. “But we have more work to do. That is why the theme for this year’s ride is, ‘No More Loose Ends for AYAs diagnosed with cancer.’ Reid’s Ride continues to stand by its pledge to make sure that no AYA cancer patient will be denied access to the specialized care, breakthrough therapies, and access to clinical trials they so badly need. Ultimately, our mission remains to make sure that all AYAs battling cancer are given every chance possible to survive and thrive and to resume a normal trajectory for building careers, raising families and living life to its fullest.”

Similar to previous years, the route for the 15th annual Reid’s Ride begins at LHS at 7:30 a.m. and concludes at Stage Fort Park in Gloucester. Cyclists will be making the trek through some of the most popular and beautiful cycling routes across the North Shore ranging from hilly cornfields to seaside communities along the Cape Ann seashore.

The 28-mile route is moderately challenging depending on a rider’s cycling experience. Riders of all ages and abilities have conquered the last 14 rides with great success. All riders are required to wear helmets. There will also be technical chase teams monitoring the entire route for riders who need assistance.

Additionally, a rest and refreshment stop will be set up at the ride’s halfway point, located at Endicott College’s lower parking lot. The lot is located across the Wylie Conference Center and Inn.

How to register

If townspeople want to register for the 15th annual Reid’s Ride, they should visit the ride’s fundraising page at http://www.firstgiving.com/Reidsride.

Residents can register to ride, join or create a team of riders, and will be able to create a personal or team fundraising page. Participants can raise funds from family members, friends, classmates and colleagues. Prizes will be awarded to the riders and teams who raise the most funds.

If residents cannot attend this year’s ride, townspeople can become a virtual rider if they want to raise funds in order to fight the cancers impacting adolescents and young adults.

The registration fee for all riders is $100 and the fundraising minimum is $250. The online registration site will close at 12 p.m. on Saturday, July 20. If residents miss the deadline, townspeople will still be able to ride in the event. Registration for same day riders opens at 6:30 a.m. at LHS, where participants can pay the registration fee and the donations collected. Participants will also be able to pick up a complimentary 2019 Reid’s Ride T-shirt and a bib number.

Riders will depart from LHS at 7:30 a.m. In addition to being able to rent bikes from Urban AdvenTours, participants will also be able to rent an electric bicycle from Cape Ann Electric Bike Rentals.

“To rent a conventional bike, call Urban AdvenTours directly at 617-670-0637 to reserve yours,” said Sacco. “Mention you are renting for Reid’s Ride for a discount. For an additional $25 fee, Urban will have bikes waiting for riders at Lynnfield High School the morning of the ride and will be collecting bikes at Stage Fort Park. The number of bikes that can be transported is limited, so reserve yours as soon as possible.

“To rent an electric bike, call Kathy Reed at 508-284-0058 and be sure to mention that you are renting yours for Reid’s Ride to qualify for a discount,” Sacco continued. “The cost is $40 for the day, up to 35 miles. But only 20 e-bikes are available, so call to reserve yours ASAP. Cape Ann Electric Bikes will deliver rented e-bikes at the starting line at Lynnfield High School, and they’ll pick them up at the finish line at Stage Fort Park.”

Sponsors

Sacco noted Dunkin’ Brands is Reid’s Ride’s premier sponsor. The ride’s major sponsors are The Bruins Foundation, CAM Media, Cataldo Ambulance, Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse, Everett Bank, Fuddruckers, Landry’s Bicycles, MarketStreet Lynnfield and North Shore Smiles. She said there are more than 45 other companies and organizations sponsoring the 15th annual Reid’s Ride.

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