The Collaboration of Scientists for Critical Research in Biomedicine, or CSCRB Inc., a Gainesville-based nonprofit group, presented a gift on Thursday to the University of Florida Health Cancer Center’s treatment-resistant breast cancer research fund in the amount of $16,150.
The gift represents $15,000 raised through CSCRB’s Pink Pumpkin Pedal-off charity bicycle ride and $1,150 resulting from sales of the organization’s copyrighted Pink Ribbon Cycling Jersey.
“This gift is very meaningful to us because it represents community involvement in support of breast cancer research taking place right here at UF that honors the memory of the women among our friends and families who have been lost to breast cancer and celebrates those who are breast cancer survivors,” said Barb Wills, a member of CSCRB.
Wills and fellow CSCRB member Barb Thomas have been deeply affected by the disease — at the age of 7, Wills lost her mother to breast cancer, and Thomas is a breast cancer survivor. These experiences led the women, both of whom are avid cyclists, and other members of the group to establish the Pink Pumpkin Pedal-off charity bicycle ride in 2012. The first-time event raised $15,000 in support of UF Health triple-negative breast cancer research. In addition, sales of the organization’s Pink Ribbon Cycling Jersey, which Thomas designed following her breast cancer experience, added $1,150 to the total gift in support of UF Health research of treatment-resistant breast cancer. The gift is made in advance of this year’s Pink Pumpkin Pedal-off charity bicycle ride, scheduled to take place Oct. 12.
“Private gifts like this to our cancer research funds are so important to scientific discovery, because they facilitate our ability to identify and support new and promising scientific investigations that haven’t developed far enough along to be competitive for the larger, federal grant awards,” said Paul Okunieff, M.D., UF Health Cancer Center director, chair of radiation oncology in the UF College of Medicine and the Marshall E. Rinker Sr. Foundation and David B. and Leighan R. Rinker chair. “Seed grants can literally lay the scientific foundation needed for an investigator’s grant application to even be considered for an NIH/NCI award.”