Courage Ride, honoring the life of Seth Bailey, is an annual bike ride through rural Iowa. Courage Ride is dedicated to improving the lives of those affected by sarcoma.
Courage Ride, UI Biomedical Engineering Student and Iowa City Bike Shops Team Up To Help 11-Year-Old Osteosarcoma Survivor Devin Martz Ride A Bike Again.
Courage Ride, a cycling fundraiser returning for its 12th year on August 19, has raised over $380,000 since 2005 to advance local research on sarcoma, a rare form of cancer, and to support one of the largest sarcoma tissue banks in the Midwest.
The event is expected to attract over 500 participants including this year’s patient honoree Devin Martz, an 11-year-old from Muscatine, IA. After being diagnosed with osteosarcoma in May 2016, Devin had rotationplasty surgery to remove his knee and the cancerous tumor within it. Surgeons rotated Devin’s lower leg 180 degrees and connected it to his upper leg to allow his ankle to function as his knee.
Conor Bryant, a University of Iowa biomedical engineering student, is currently designing and assembling a prosthetic device that will allow Devin to ride a bike again and participate as a cyclist in this year’s fundraising event at the Iowa Mennonite School near Kalona, IA. Conor is doing this project in memory of his college friend Nik Jiruska who courageously fought Ewing’s Sarcoma.
Iowa City bike shops Geoff’s Bike & Ski and World of Bikes have each generously donated bikes for Devin and his brother to receive at Courage Ride this year.
The Courage Ride committee is very excited about this project and would like to express its sincere admiration for Conor Bryant, Geoff’s Bike & Ski, World of Bikes, the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics community and all of our wonderful Courage Ride supporters for making this project happen for Devin and his family.
Courage Ride Check Presentation
Members of the Courage Ride committee presented a check for $80,000 to the University of Iowa’s Sarcoma Research Program during a Nov. 1 ceremony at the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center. Accepting the check were Dr. Ben Miller and Dr. Munir Tanas, the Center’s Sarcoma Program leaders.
The ceremony also included the presentation of a check for $13,631 from the 100+ Men Who Care—Hawkeye Chapter to Courage Ride. The donation played a part in helping Courage Ride fly past its goal of $60,000 by $20,000. Courage Ride 2016 also bested last year’s event by attracting 498 participants over last year’s 378.
All proceeds from each year’s Courage Ride go to the University of Iowa Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center Sarcoma Research Program. Eighty-five percent of the program’s research funding comes from Courage Ride. To date, the $300,000 raised by Courage Ride has supported 22 sarcoma clinical trials and created the Midwest’s only sarcoma tissue bank.
The significance of Courage Ride is underscored by the fact that funding for cancer research has been shrinking over the past 10 years, according to the American Association for Cancer Research. And yet cancer remains one of the nation’s costliest diseases. Approximately 15,000 sarcoma cases are diagnosed in the U.S. each year and over 6,000 are expected to die from it. Over 100 adults and children in Iowa are diagnosed with sarcoma each year. Sarcoma receives 1 to 2 percent of all cancer research funding.