Cancer Center

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Ridin' for Research and Ellen's Icebreaker Support MCW Cancer Center

Over $88,000 in Funds to Support Cancer Research and Seed Grants


Below: Joanne Dixon (second from right) and the Ridin' for Research team present their contribution to the MCW Cancer Center. Dr. Paula Trackman (far left), Cancer Center Associate Director of Basic Sciences, rode in this year's event.

The MCW Cancer Center is deeply grateful to two organizations that donated over $88,000 to support cancer research. Ridin' for Research and Ellen's Icebreaker both presented checks to the MCW Cancer Center in April.  

The Ridin' for Research 13th annual indoor cycling event was held on March 3rd in the warehouse space of Crossfit 100 in Glendale.  Over 160 riders and 30 plus volunteers came together and raised nearly $70,000 for cancer research at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Joanne Dixon is the organizer and is currently planning the 2014 event. This high-energy fundraiser recruits endurance spinners, who collect pledges for their time on the bikes.  

From 2001- 2013, Ridin’ for Research has raised over $1.1 million to support cancer research.  At this year's event, Dr. Paula Traktman, Cancer Center Associate Director of Basic Sciences, raised pledges to support her 80 minutes of non-stop spinning!

Ellen's Icebreaker, a “polar plunge” organized by JX Peterbilt to benefit gastric cancer research at MCW, took place on March 16, 2013 at Nagawicka Lake in Waukesha. That morning, firefighters spent three hours cutting through 18 inches of ice, and 42 participants braved the frigid waters in support of cancer research.  Jumpers included Dr. Doug Rizzo, Associate Director of Clinical Operations and Cancer Service Line Director.  More than 100 spectators lined the banks of the lake to watch. Afterwards, JX Peterbilt hosted a gathering for friends and family at a restaurant in Waukesha.  

The event was held in honor of Ellen Smith, who is currently being treated for gastric cancer.  She is the wife of JX Peterbilt's general manager  Rick Smith.  Rick, Ellen, and their two children used the proceeds from Ellen’s Icebreaker to establish the Ellen Louise Mechling Smith (ELMS) Endowed Fund for Gastric Cancer Research at the MCW Cancer Center. 

Funds donated to the MCW Cancer Center are often used to award seed grants to our cancer research investigators.  Seed grants are critical to the development of novel ideas and projects, new investigators, and the future of cancer research, and provide investigators with the initial support they need to further their science, collect data, publish, and secure peer-reviewed funding. 

Thank you to both of these groups, and everyone who participated in events to support cancer research at MCW.  

Above: Dr. Doug Rizzo, Associate Director of Clinical Operations at the MCW Cancer Center, takes the plunge to support cancer research. To the left, Jeff Rehm, Executive Director, Imaging Services at Froedtert Health. 

Visit our Get Involved page and  learn how you can participate in community events that support the MCW Cancer Center.  

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Page Updated 08/29/2014