Saturday May 27th, to Friday June 2nd, 2017.
7 Days In May is a cycling event and fundraiser that was founded in 2012 to increase awareness about pancreas cancer and to raise funds to help find a cure for this deadly affliction. The statistics are staggering: 95% of those diagnosed will die within 5 years. 75% of patients will die within the first year following diagnosis. Pancreas cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer related death in Canada and, sadly, it is on track to move to the second leading cause in the next 5 years. Survival rates have not improved in the last 40 years. Great strides have been made, thankfully, in addressing other forms of cancer – breast, colon and prostate cancer, for example. The survival rates for these forms have cancers have improved dramatically in the past 10 years, for which we are all very thankful. We believe that through increased awareness and heightened focus in the research and medical communities, similar improvements can be made for pancreas cancer. It is time to make a difference in the lives of those impacted by pancreas cancer. 7 Days In May has been created to help stimulate this improvement.
Where Did The Idea Come From?
Gord Townley admittedly is the “Chief Instigator” for 7 Days In May. In 2009, his mother, Lorraine Townley, was diagnosed with pancreas cancer. Although senior in years (she was 83 when diagnosed), Lorraine was determined to beat the disease. She was eligible for surgery (the whipple procedure) which she had in January 2010. Subsequently, Lorraine underwent 18 months of chemo therapy, enrolled in a clinical trial to help measure treatment success, and was given a clean bill of health on August 10, 2011. But, as with many pancreas cancer patients, the disease came back with a vengeance and in November 2011, Lorraine succumbed to the cancer and passed away. Obviously, Lorraine is greatly missed by her family. While sipping a Christmas Eve scotch later that year, Gord came up with the idea of creating an event that would honour his mother’s memory and fight, and help raise awareness and funds to fight pancreas cancer. Maintaining good health through physical activity is one of the key preventive measures that everybody can do to help prevent the onset of pancreas cancer. Gord as a cyclist, saw the obvious link between a challenging riding event that would require some preparation, and endorsing a healthier, more active lifestyle. Fred, Gord’s brother in law, had the notion to ride around Lake Ontario (1100 KM) the next summer, and the idea behind the 7 Days event was born.
Why May? Why 7 Days?
To get ready for an early season ride of 1100 KM, Gord started training early in January. Winter weather is not fun to ride in outside, so Gord trained indoors on a trainer, or in spinning classes. During one of these sessions, the Blue Rodeo song, “5 Days In May” was playing and Gord was inspired. May presented the opportunity for a ride earlier in the season than other major fund raising rides. But, in speaking with a few people interested in riding around the lake, they all thought that 5 days was too much riding in a short period. A quick People On Bikes Facebook poll was launched, and 80% of respondents indicated that a 7 day trip would be viable. The concept for 7 Days In May was complete.
We recognize that not everybody can take 7 days from their busy schedules to commit to full day rides around Lake Ontario. And, getting to Toronto to take part in the full ride can make the prospect even more daunting. But, it is possible for people to participate in local rides closer to their neighbourhoods. It is our hope to extend further across Canada and potentially have rides in other countries. It would be great to create an international movement for 7 Days that increases awareness of pancreas cancer around the world. Single day rides are a start, but we’d like to see people commit to 7 days of activity. To start making exercise and physical activity part of everybody’s lifestyle that will not only help prevent pancreas cancer, but also improve the health and well being of all participants. 7 Days In May is more than just a ride, or a challenge. We want to see it become a movement to raise awareness and funds so that we can help patients everywhere beat pancreas cancer. Great things are happening in the field, but more needs to happen. Let’s work together to change people’s lives and give patients diagnosed with pancreas cancer hope. Hope to survive more than 1 year. Hope to survive more than 5 years. Hope to live. Now, we think that is something worth participating in. We look forward to riding with you in May… where ever you are.Back To Top Of Section
Saturday May 27th – Friday June 2nd, 2017
7 Days In May is an annual charity cycling event. There are three aspects of 7 Days In May: i) a single day riding event featuring a 160KM ride, ii) a weekend-long riding event where we ride to Cobourg Ontario one day, & Kingston Ontario the next, and iii) a 7 day event where we ride around Lake Ontario. This year, 7 Days In May will be held from May 27th – June 2nd, 2017 with our single day rides held primarily on Saturday, May 27th.
The official ride start location is Richards Memorial Park in Mississauga, Ontario. All rides including the single day, weekend-long, and 7 day “Lake Riders” start together after a short opening ceremony.
You can also join the Lake Riders as they travel around Lake Ontario over their 7 day adventure. Again, you have options. Here are some of the more popular rides that people have chosen in the past:
i) Day 1 (Saturday, May 27th) to Cobourg, ii) Day 1 and Day 2 – ride with us for the weekend. May 27th to Cobourg and May 28th to Kingston, and iii) Day 7 – meet us in Niagara Falls and ride to Mississauga on June 3rd. Transportation back to your starting destination will be coordinated for riders who ride with us on Saturday May 27th, and Sunday May 28th: Please contact us when you register so we can plan accordingly. All riders are provided with full van support.
7 Days In May is fundamentally about raising awareness and finding a cure for pancreas cancer. This deadliest of cancers receives less than 2% of the funding through general cancer research, yet has a 5 year survival rate of less than 5% – the only “major” cancer with a single digit survival rate. Here is some more information on this killer and where you can find out more information.
About Pancreas Cancer
Pancreas Cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in Canada and most people who develop pancreas cancer do so without any predisposing risk factors. Because the pancreas lies deep in the belly in front of the spine, pancreas cancer often grows silently for months before it is discovered. Early symptoms can be absent or quite subtle. More easily identifiable symptoms develop once the tumor grows large enough to press on other nearby structures such as nerves (which causes pain), the intestines (which affects appetite and causes nausea along with weight loss), or the bile ducts (which causes jaundice or a yellowing of the skin and can cause loss of appetite and itching). Unfortunately, most pancreas cancer tumors are found after the cancer has grown beyond the pancreas or has metastasized to other places. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, an estimated 4,800 new cases of pancreas cancer will be diagnosed in 2016.
It is estimated that 4,800 Canadians (48,960 in the US and more than 338,000 worldwide) will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2016; approximately 4,600 Canadians (40,560 in the US) will die. Pancreas cancer is the 4th leading cause of cancer-related death in Canada and the United States and the lifetime probability of developing pancreas cancer is approximately 1 in 79. It has the highest mortality rate of all the major cancers – 95% of patients die within 5 years of their diagnosis and 75% of patients die within the first year. It is the only leading cancer killer with a 5 year survival rate still in the single digits at 5% and the survival rate has not improved in the last 40 years. Pancreas cancer is difficult to detect and spreads quickly. Vague symptoms including back/abdominal pain, weight loss, jaundice and nausea usually appear after the cancer is at an advanced stage making it difficult to treat. There are no detection tools to diagnose this disease in its early stages when surgical removal of the tumor is still possible. Surgery offers the best chance for long term survival. Only 15% of patients are diagnosed early enough to be eligible for surgery. The most common form of surgery for removal of a pancreas tumor is the whipple procedure which is followed by chemotherapy or a combination of chemotherapy/radiation. Approximately 52% of all patients are diagnosed when the disease has spread to surrounding organs leaving little hope for survival (only 2% will survive ten years). Statistics are courtesy of the National Pancreas Cancer Canada Foundation. For more information, details and programs, we encourage all of our visitors to view Pancreas Cancer Canada’s web site.
Signs & Symptoms
The signs and symptoms can be confusing to not only patients but also to healthcare providers because they vary depending on where the tumor is located in the pancreas (the head, body or tail). When they do appear, they can include:
- Pain in the upper abdomen or back
- Jaundice – yellowing of the eyes or dark urine and pale stool
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Indigestion-like pain
- Diabetes late in life
- Constipation and/or diarrhea
- Nausea and vomiting
- Overall skin itch
These symptoms are not sure signs of pancreas cancer but have been linked to a diagnosis. Anyone with these symptoms should see a doctor so that the doctor can diagnose and treat any problem as early as possible.
Progress Is Being Made
Despite the dire statistics, some significant progress has been made in the past few years. 7 Days In May is about awareness and finding a cure, but it is also about hope. On a regular basis, we will be posting about major accomplishments and our favourite stories, so watch for those and return to our site regularly for updates.
7 Days In May is more than just an annual charity cycling event. In memory of Lorraine Townley, her surviving children have created a charitable foundation that is dedicated to raising awareness and funds to cure pancreatic cancer.
How The Foundation Is Structured
For simplicity, low administration costs, and to have a viable infrastructure, we partnered with the Toronto Foundation as the parent organization for the 7 Days In May Foundation. Working with the Toronto Foundation provides a transparent, fully audited, well funded and reputable organization that ensures our funds are secure and our commitments can be fulfilled. So far, they have been a helpful, involved and enthusiastic partner and we are happy to be part of their family.
How Funds Are Collected
In 2017, there are two ways that funds will be collected for 7 Days In May.
- All year round you may donate directly to the fund by going to the 7 Days In May Foundation page on the TF web site and making a donation. Receipts will be issued by the TF and mailed to you at a later date. At this time, the TF is not able to issue on line tax receipts, although they are working on that and should have it in place in time for our 2015 activities. Or,
- Donations can be made to any of our participating riders in the 7 Days In May event. All of our fund raising riders are listed on the “Donate” page within this site. By choosing any rider, you will be directed to the Canadian Cancer Society web site that is hosting the donation pages for each rider this year. If you choose to donate in this manner, you will receive an on line tax receipt issued by the Canadian Cancer Society, which has a direct affiliation with the NCIC Clinical Trials Group. While this seems a bit complicated, the reason we are using Canadian Cancer Society this year is to limit the amount of steps required in getting the donated funds to their final destination, to ensure that administrative costs are minimal, and to allow us to track all donations by rider – because riders get recognition and rewards the more they raise.
How Funds Are Collected
We are proud to announce that once again our efforts are directed 100% towards supporting the NCIC Clinical Trials Group in Kingston, Ontario who have included Canada in a very important clinical trial that is targeted at significantly improving the survival odds for pancreatic cancer patients that are eligible for surgery (aka the whipple procedure). It has been a pleasure to work with the NCIC Clinical Trials Group. They have been a very enthusiastic partner for 7 Days In May. Our Lake Riders will meet with the group in person prior to leaving Kingston on Monday, May 29th.
The PA.6 Clinical Trial
PA.6 is a Clinical Trial studying the benefit of chemotherapy to help prevent recurrence for patients who have had surgery for pancreatic cancer. The PA.6 Trial is a joint Canadian-French international trial, led in Canada by the NCIC Clinical Trials Group, and currently being conducted at several cancer treatment centres across the country. The only known cure for patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer is to remove the cancer by surgery. Unfortunately, even when surgery removes all of the cancer, the risk of recurrence is very high. Clinical trials have shown that cure rates are higher when surgery is followed promptly by chemotherapy, called adjuvant chemotherapy. The usual adjuvant chemotherapy consists of a drug called gemcitabine, typically given over a 6-month period.
For more information about the PA.6 Clinical Trial, please visit the clinical trials website: PA.6 Clinical Trials Website
For more information about the Canadian Clinical Trials Group, please visit their website: Canadian Clinical Trials Group Website
During the 7 Days In May ride, there are many opportunities to get involved as a volunteer. Whether you are interested in manning one of the refreshment stations, helping to coordinate the riders during our May 27th rides, operating our photo booth, and much more. There is lots to do, and if you aren’t a cyclist, but still want to make a contribution towards our fight against pancreas cancer, then volunteering is the perfect solution. All volunteers will receive a certificate of participation, and as a registered charity we are eligible to award community service hours. If you are interested in volunteering with 7 Days In May, please use our contact form below. Your help makes a big difference in making our charity possible, you’ll love being apart of the our team!
- Pancreas Cancer Mortality Rate 95%
- Number Who Die Within One Year of Diagnosis 75%
- Pancreas Cancer Survival Rate 5%
- Amount of National Funding Received 2%
Countdown to 7 Days In May 2017: May 27th, 2017
Weekend Ride: Saturday May 27th, and Sunday May 28th. This is a great option for anyone who is interested in riding full days with the group, but perhaps cannot spare any time away from work. This ride follows the routes for Day 1 & Day 2.
7 Days Around Lake Ontario: Saturday May 27th to Friday June 2nd. So one day just isn’t enough for you? You have visions of Le Tour De France, and Paris-Roubaix running through your mind? This is the ride for people who like BIG rides – 7 days around Lake Ontario, and all in the name of raising funds and awareness for Pancreatic Cancer Research. The average daily distance is 160 KM and the ride is fully van supported.
Van Support: The entire ride is van supported with our trusty SAG Wagons. No, they are not frumpy vehicles, rather they are Support And Gear vehicles that follow along with the group. Carefully spaced out, they offer you the food, water, and repair assistance you may require whether you are pushing towards the front of the group, sitting in the middle, or hanging back.
Day 1 Route
Single day riders heading to Cobourg and the 7 day Lake Riders will head out with all other riders following the same route through Toronto, travelling the gently rolling bike path along Lake Ontario. Of course, the key difference is that once they hit the 75KM turn around point at Balmy Beach Club, this group will continue heading east for a very nice 155KM ride to Cobourg. From the Beach, the ride leaves Toronto along Kingston Road and takes secondary roads through Pickering before hugging Lake Ontario again in Whitby along some very nice bike paths. The route continues east through several parks and smaller towns (Bowmanville, Newcastle, Port Hope) until we ultimately reach Cobourg. We will help manage return trips to the GTA, so come along if you can.
Day 2 Route
Day 2 was voted by last year’s riders as their favourite riding day. Predominantly through small towns, we continue our eastward journey along Lake Ontario until we reach Prince Edward County. The route takes us through the rolling hills of the county to Picton, where we get a short break and take the Glenora Ferry across the bay where we continue along the Loyalist Parkway towards Kingston. Most of the last segment is through historic and scenic locations along Lake Ontario.
Day 3 Route (includes alternate)
Day 3 starts with a visit to the NCIC Clinical Trials group at Queens University in Kingston where the riders will meet the team that they are supporting. We are all looking forward to that visit! After that meeting, the group heads to Gananaque at which point riders can choose one of two options while we refuel at The Socialist Pig restaurant (one of our favourite spots). The group preferring the longer route will continue east to Prescott, cross over to the US in Ogdensburg NY, and the start their westward journey towards Alexandria Bay, where they will reunite with the rest of the group for dinner and other festivities.
Alternatively, if some riders would like a shorter day (if one considers 125 KM of riding to be “short”), they will turn west from The Socialist Pig, and ride back towards Kingston where they will take the Kingston to Wolfe Island Ferry. Once on Wolfe Island, the riders will head south, grab the second part of the Ferry ride to Cape Vincent, and then head east towards Alexandria Bay, NY for the happy reunion with the other part of the group.
Day 4 Route
On our ride in 2012, this was the heavy wind and rain day, so we didn’t enjoy the scenery or the roads as much as we should have. The ride starts by hugging the St. Lawrence from the south side through many small towns until we come to Cape Vincent, at which point we head south. It is also at this point, that the route becomes more rolling and we see more trees and farms along the road. We continue south on secondary road #3 until we come to Mexico! Okay, Mexico Point – we aren’t heading that far south. Once at Mexico Point, we head west on 104 to Oswego. A couple of steep climbs on the way, but nothing we can’t handle!
Day 5 Route
Day 5, the shortest of the full day rides, is 127 KM of scenic roads between Oswego and Rochester along the south shore of Lake Ontario. We will ride past and through several state parks and some very lovely small towns. Lots of apple orchards and farms on our way. The last push in to Rochester is our only Category 5 climb of the tour, but the reward is huge! It is on this night that we feast (and we feast, and we feast feast feast feast!) at the renowned Dinosaur Bar-B-Que. If you wanted to crash with us for a couple of days, Day 5 is a good one for dinner alone!
Day 6 Route
Last year, Day 6 was the most unpleasant. Strong winds along the shore of Lake Ontario forced us to head in land to the Erie Canal bike path, which we followed in to Niagara Falls. Well, we enjoyed that detour so much, that we have changed the route for this year. After 5 days, Lake Ontario has started to look pretty much the same anyway, so heading in land was a pleasant change. And, if you haven’t ridden the Erie Canal, that too is very nice cycling route. Flat roads, nice scenery, wonderful small towns. A very nice ride to be sure. Our ride ends the US version of our journey as we ride back to Canada across the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls, and then we are home in Ontario. There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home…
Day 7 Route
After a quick stop at the Horseshoe Falls (photo opportunity!), we follow the Niagara River north to beautiful Niagara-On-The-Lake, and then we follow Lake Ontario and the Waterfront Trail all the way around towards Hamilton. In Hamilton, we will take a quick side step up the “mountain” to visit the Juravinski Health Centre, one of the participants in the PA.6 Clinical Trial. From the Juravinski Centre, it’s all downhill and flat through Burlington, Oakville and finally to Mississauga and we are home after just over 1100KM has been completed. The beer and food that evening taste exquisite, I can assure you.
WATCH VIDEOS FROM THE RIDEWatch videos from each day of our 2015 ride, and see each individual day of our 1,160km trek around Lake Ontario.
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS, PARTNERS, & SUPPORTERSIf you are interested in sponsoring, partnering with, or supporting 7 Days In May in any way, please get in touch with us.
Weekend Ride2 Days of Riding Through Ontario.
May 27th, & May 28th, 2017.
- Two fantastic days of riding through some of Ontario’s most beautiful countryside. The Day 1 ride ends in Cobourg, Ontario. The Day 2 ride ends in Kingston, Ontario. A perfect ride for those who can’t spare any time off work. Both days are fully van supported rides.
- The price listed above includes: Van Support, Lunches & Snacks, Custom 7 Days In May Jersey, Loot Bag, Preferred Hotel Rate, Breakfast on Sunday, and The Ride!
- Looking for more info? Click here to read about each day of riding.
MINIMUM FUNDRAISING REQUIREMENT: $250
Around The Lake RideA 7 Day Ride Around Lake Ontario!
May 27th to June 2nd, 2017.
- This is an experience you’ll never forget – make new friends, see places close to home you’ve never had the chance to see, and a personal challenge you’ll be proud that you accomplished. Our 7 day around-the-lake ride is fully van supported with refreshments, mechanics, and smiles.
- The price listed above includes: Van Support, Lunches & Snacks, Custom 7 Days In May Cycling Kit, Loot Bag, Preferred Hotel Rate, Breakfasts, and The Ride!
- Looking for more info? Click here to read about each day of riding.
MINIMUM FUNDRAISING REQUIREMENT: $750
Single Day of Riding160kms - Final Destination Cobourg.
May 27th, 2017 or any other day of the ride.
- Join us as we depart on our 7 day journey – this 160km route snakes through the western GTA, and through the rolling hills of scenic Port Hope and Cobourg. All rides are fully van supported.
- The price listed above includes: Van Support, Lunches & Snacks, Custom 7 Days In May Jersey, Loot Bag, Preferred Hotel Rate, and The Ride!
- Looking for more info? Click here to read about each day of riding.
MINIMUM FUNDRAISING REQUIREMENT: $150
May 6th Family RideOur family ride is a great alternative for people who may want to ride shorter distances, or who can’t join us between May 27th to June 2nd. Also known as “7 K’s In May” there will be 7, 30, 60 & 75km options available, and the ride will be followed by a picnic lunch. This is a great chance to help us make a difference for those with pancreas cancer.
GET IN TOUCH WITH US
Whether you are interested in volunteering, have questions about the ride, or are looking to get involved as a sponsor or partner – we want to hear from you! Send us a message through the contact form below and we’ll get back to you shortly.