BUFFALO, N.Y. — Cancer hasn't stopped because of the pandemic, and neither has the potentially life-saving research taking place at Roswell Park every day. A new fundraiser this weekend will raise critical funds for these efforts by putting some of the top cyclists around ice at Buffalo RiverWorks.
We're used to seeing hockey games on the ice at RiverWorks, but on Friday, March 19th and Saturday, March 20, they're trading out the skates, sticks, and pucks for bikes. Eleven local cycling studios will be leading 45-minute spinning classes on Friday and Saturday to raise money for the cause.
For the Rebel Ride crew out of East Amherst, they will be riding in memory of of Noel Santiago, a classmate they recently lost to cancer.
"He was diagnosed and succumbed to his illness less than a year of diagnosis, so we're riding in his honor," instructor Lori Morreale told 2 On Your Side. "Really great guy, fun loving, always sat in the front row, always was the life of the class. He sang to every single song, high-fived everybody coming in. and he was just one of those rock star riders."
The event has already raised more than $150,000. Rise Fitness out of Hamburg is at the top of the leaderboard, with more than $16,000 raised so far.
"We are a small studio in the Village of Hamburg, like honestly, I cannot even get over the amount of love and passion and effort that our members have put forth," Owner Ren Gibson told 2 On Your Side.
Roswell's fundraising manager, Mackenzie Giancarlo, says the funds are coming at a critical time.
"People are still being diagnosed with cancer," she said. "The trials and tribulations of the last year have been hard on everyone, but to get that cancer diagnosis by yourself in a room alone, I think has been really hard on so many people. Just kind of remembering that that's still out there. So Roswell still needs donations, Roswell still needs support."
Many of the in-person sessions are sold out, but there are virtual options to ride along at home. To learn more, donate, and register for the event, click here.