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Calhoun organizes biking fund raiser to benefit cancer programs

by Carolyn Pennington - February 19, 2007

Coach Jim Calhoun is organizing a new statewide event called the Big Y Jim Calhoun Cancer Challenge Ride to benefit the Health Center’s Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center and Coaches vs. Cancer, a program established in 1993 by the American Cancer Society.

Calhoun, a prostate cancer survivor who was diagnosed in 2003, will participate in the bike ride.

The event will include rides of varying lengths and will take place on June 9, starting and finishing in Simsbury.

“Today, I stand as a cancer survivor determined to join the fight to help others attain even better opportunities than I had to be proactive in the fight against cancer,” says Calhoun.

“From my own personal experience, I can attest to the priceless value of research findings on lifestyle, diet, proactive screenings, and early detection.

Calhoun says he received “exceptional care” as a patient at the UConn Health Center, and that’s why he created the Big Y Jim Calhoun Cancer Challenge Ride to benefit the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center, as well as the Coaches vs. Cancer program.

Dr. Peter Deckers, dean of the UConn School of Medicine and executive vice president for health affairs at the Health Center, says “We are proud to be associated with a remarkable event of this caliber.

“Coach Calhoun is once again demonstrating his commitment to the Health Center, as he has so often in the past,” Deckers adds.

Among other things, Calhoun has been instrumental in the advancement of the Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiology Center.

Coach Jim Calhoun
Coach Jim Calhoun
Photo supplied by Division of Athletics

“An event such as this not only raises awareness about the importance of cancer research, treatment, and prevention, it will also help to raise much needed funds for the Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center,” says Dr. Carolyn Runowicz, director of the Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center and immediate past president of the American Cancer Society.

“We are honored to have someone of Coach Calhoun’s stature spearhead this effort.”

A portion of the funds raised – $25,000 – will go to support the work of Coaches vs. Cancer, with the balance directed to the UConn Foundation Inc. to benefit the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“I want to make this a very special event that will keep getting bigger and better every year,” says Calhoun.

There will be rides of 10, 25, and 50 miles, with riders participating from across the state.

To register for the ride as a single rider or as a team, visit the Big Y Jim Calhoun Cancer Challenge Ride website

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