THE SUNSUPER RIDE TO CONQUER CANCER ANNOUNCES $4.6 MILLION RAISED AS INAUGURAL RIDE BEGINS IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Largest cycling fundraiser in Western Australia’s history draws 1,219 Riders and helps fund life-saving cancer research at Western Australian Institute for Medical Research in Perth

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

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October 20th (Perth): The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer announced 1,219 Riders raised over $4.6 million for the Western Australian Institute for Medial Research (WAIMR) as the first annual Ride commenced Saturday morning at McCallum Park in Perth. Ride participants will cycle over 200 km through Western Australia with an overnight camp in Pinjarra before returning to Perth for a highly emotional finish on Sunday.

“We are thrilled with our first annual Sunsuper Ride To Conquer Cancer and most grateful to everyone involved including all our riders, sponsors, crew members, volunteers and thousands who have generously donated to help make this inaugural Ride an incredible success for the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research,” said Professor Peter Klinken, Director or WAIMR.

“The Western Australian Institute for Medical Research is dedicated to improving the health of the community we serve across the state, nation and globe. One in two Australians will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and this year alone, 43,000 deaths will be attributed to cancer in Australia while over 115,000 new cases will be diagnosed. Funds raised by The Ride are already being put to use funding ground-breaking cancer research here in Western Australia, which is helping to improve treatments, diagnosis and therapies, leading to better patient outcomes for all Australians,” Professor Klinken added.

2012 is the inaugural Ride in WA, which became the largest cycling fundraiser Western Australia’s history. The Ride draws thousands of participants from across Australia and brings together communities of survivors, cyclists and supporters who train and fundraise for months in order to participate in the annual two-day journey through WA.

“I was pregnant with our second child when my husband Andrew was diagnosed with his second bout of cancer,” said Karen Cheng of Perth, WA.

“Watching someone you love go through cancer makes you feel completely helpless, but The Ride has given me a means to actually impact a cause that helped saved my husband life. Today, thankfully he is cancer free and we have three healthy boys, but we worry the cancer will come back. If he can battle and beat cancer twice, then I can raise funds and ride the 200km to support the research that will one day help someone else,” Mrs. Cheng added.

Ride dollars are put to use immediately at WAIMR supporting a range of cancer research initiatives that aim to uncover the genetic and environmental causes of the disease. “Our teams have identified numerous genes associated with cancers such as leukaemia, breast, ovarian and prostate, as well as those contributing to a number of nerve, muscle and mental health disorders,” says Professor Peter Leedman, Deputy Director at WAIMR.

“These breakthroughs have already positively impacted the lives of many people and inspire us to pursue these vital research initiatives. Funds raised in real time by The Ride, enable this life-saving research to carry on and support our teams in developing plans for our people, research, programs and new platforms,” Professor Leedman added.

The “Ride to Conquer Cancer” became known as the “Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer” when one of Australia’s largest super funds, Sunsuper became the event title sponsor.

“Cancer research, specifically, genetic and environmental causes of the disease need more funding and is paramount for all Australians in both preventing cancer and ensuring a better outcome for those who are having it,” said Tony Lally, CEO of Sunsuper.

“Sunsuper’s 1.2 million members and 650 staff fully support WAIMR and the life-saving research they are taking on. Nearly all of us have been affected by cancer in some way, so for many of us The Ride is quite personal. We are honored and inspired by their world-class teams and the life-saving work they do for all people,” Mr. Lally added.

Professor Klinken said event sponsorship is a vital component to any charitable initiative and is thrilled by the contributions from all event sponsors such as Sunsuper or WA’s MACA Limited, which rallied more than 100 members of its workforce along with friends and family to raised over $500K, in addition to their event sponsorship.

“The contributions from our event sponsors are critical, and help us pay for the cost of the event. This enables us to allocate more Ride-funded dollars into our latest research initiatives. We are extremely grateful to all our sponsors for their generous support,” Professor Klinken added.

Registration for the 2013 Ride opened on Saturday and the 2nd annual event will be held October 19th & 20th of next year in WA.

“We invite everyone to join us next year for our second annual Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer,” said Professor Klinken.

“For more information and to register, go to www.conquercancer.org.au or phone 1300 99 RIDE (7433),” Professor Klinken concluded as thousands of riders cheered and the 2012 Ride commenced.

Ride organizers expect hundreds of people to attend public cheering stations along the route.

For a map of The Ride routes, visit www.conquercancer.org.au.

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ABOUT THE WESTERN AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE FOR MEDICAL RESEARCH:
WAIMR is dedicated to improving the health of the community it serves – across the state, nation and globe. Its research aims to uncover the genetic and environmental causes of a range of diseases. The ultimate goal is to prevent disease developing and to create improved treatments if these conditions do emerge. The WAIMR team has identified numerous genes associated with diseases such as leukaemia, diabetes, cancer (especially breast, ovarian and prostate), as well as those contributing to a number of nerve, muscle and mental health disorder. More information can be found at www.waimr.uwa.edu.au

MEDIA CONTACT:
Gary D. Turner
Communications Director, The Ride To Conquer Cancer
Mobile: 0467 808 576
gturner@conquercancer.org.au