7th Annual Crush Challenge Bike Ride Supports Cancer Research and Fellowship


The 7e the annual Crush Challenge bike ride raised over $ 75,000 for the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. The funds will advance research into the nontoxic treatment of lymphoma.

Crush Challenge begins with 25- and 37-mile bike rides through beautiful Napa Valley as part of a series of one-day events hosted on October 9, hosted by the Leuze Family Charitable Foundation and ZD Wines.

Norman deLeuze, founder of ZD Wines, was the inspiration for the Crush Challenge. Diagnosed with aggressive cancer, the iconic Napa winemaker sought treatments beyond traditional radiation and chemotherapy with UC Davis oncologist Joseph Tuscano, who specializes in blood cancers.

As Brett deLeuze, president of ZD Wines explains, “My father, Norman, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. After the diagnosis, he went in search of non-toxic treatments. During his trip he met Dr Tuscano. The relationship resulted in the UC Davis deLeuze Family Chair focused on finding non-toxic cancer cures. Today, Crush Challenge continues to support this research and the UC Davis Health Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Crush Challenge activities include the Food and wine market at North Yountville Park.

Tuscano is researching alternatives to treating lymphoma and has discovered a naturopathic remedy that has shrunk deLeuze’s tumor and prolonged her life. Although deLeuze eventually passed away from cancer, ZD Wines and the deLeuze family continue Norman’s legacy by creating the DeLeuze Endowed Professorship and the annual Crush Challenge.

The best teams are recognized

This year, the ZD Wines Zero Defects cycling team earned its stripes as the best fundraising cycling team, generating approximately $ 25,300 in donations.

The 55-member UC Davis cycling team, co-led by UC Davis Health CEO David Lubarsky, raised $ 16,554 through the race.

“We’ve all been touched by cancer in one way or another so it’s great to team up with others who have similar experiences and train together as we work to finish the Crush Challenge and raise money and raise awareness for important research that can save the lives of future cancer patients, ”said Lubarsky.

Tuscano has cycled with the UC Davis team and is grateful for the growing interest in the Crush Challenge, which not only raises funds but also raises awareness of the critical importance of research on the Cancer.

“I see the faces of victims of lymphoma and other blood cancers on a daily basis, but I also carry with me the kindness of those whose faces I will never see and yet they support us in this challenge to ‘crush the cancer’. and I’m grateful because we can’t do it alone, ”Tuscano said.

Tuscano rode in honor of Gustavo Barisone, a scientist from the Tuscano research laboratory who died of pancreatic cancer this year. Barisone was honored at the event with the annual The Power of Influence award, presented by the deLeuze family.

“Dr. Barisone has dedicated his life to battling a disease that ultimately claimed his life and is one of the many anonymous heroes of research who fight cancer every day,” said Tuscano.

Women’s cycling club honors member who died of leukemia

A Sacramento-area women’s bike club called Bodacious Biking Babes joined the Crush Challenge this year, which raised nearly $ 3,000. The group rode in honor of fellow cyclist Sandy Bussey Cole, a longtime club member who suffered from breast cancer and then leukemia at UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Pictured (L to R): Nancy Cabral, Colleen Rich, Kathy Degroof, Michele Tackett, Pam Lee, Tuscano and Tim Lee.

“Dr. Tuscano was Sandy’s favorite oncologist and she was hoping to join him in the Crush Challenge race. Sadly, she lost her battle with cancer last year, so we decided to ride this in her honor. year, ”said Colleen Rich, a close cycling friend.

The “Girls on the Bike,” as they call themselves, made photo buttons of Sandy to wear over their hot pink swimsuits.

Tuscano also wore his photo button on his UC Davis Health jersey.

“Sandy is a perfect example of why we ride and why we need more research funding,” Tuscano said of the wife, mother, cyclist and businesswoman of El Dorado Hills.

Food and wine for all

Non-cyclists enjoyed the post-ride fundraising events, supporting the Crush Challenge by purchasing tickets for a Barrel tasting at ZD Wines in Rutherford and the lively and musical hall Food and wine market at North Yountville Park.

There was also a Lobster porridge and ZD wine dinner in the evening, but it sold out quickly. Next year, it would be wise to purchase tickets as soon as they become available!

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute designated center serving the Central Valley and Interior of Northern California, an area of ​​over 6 million people. Its specialists provide compassionate and comprehensive care to more than 100,000 adults and children each year and provide access to more than 200 active clinical trials at any time. Its innovative research program engages more than 240 UC Davis scientists who work collaboratively to advance the discovery of new tools to diagnose and treat cancer. Patients have access to cutting-edge care, including immunotherapy and other targeted treatments. Its office of community outreach and engagement tackles disparities in cancer outcomes among diverse populations, and the cancer center offers comprehensive education and workforce development programs for the next generation of people. clinicians and scientists. For more information, visit cancer.ucdavis.edu.

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