STATEMENT REGARDING COVID-19 & THE 2020 RIDE

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic the 7 Days In May 2020 ride will be postponed until September 13, 2020. It is also important to note that due to uncertainty with the Canada and United States border, we will be riding solely in Ontario for this year’s ride. We recognize that this situation is constantly changing, and encourage you to follow us on social media via the below hyperlinks for the most recent updates from our team. If you would like to reach out to us directly, or would like to be added to our email distribution list please click here to use our contact form. Stay healthy, and stay safe. – The 7 Days In May Team 

Follow us on Facebook | Follow us on Instagram | Follow us on Twitter

THE 7 DAYS IN MAY 50K CHALLENGE

Presented by our partners at EY, this year we will be offering a shorter 50km distance from Downtown Toronto to Whitby. A Fun ride, and a great way to make a difference in the lives of those affected by pancreatic cancer. 

REGISTRATION FOR 2020 IS OPEN!

There are a few remaining spots on our popular Around-The-Lake ride, and plenty of room for cyclists looking to join us for the wtwo day ride as well as just those looking to ride Sunday September 13. It’s an experience you will never forget. Learn more below!

HEAR WHAT OUR RIDERS ARE SAYING

It started out as, ” just a good reason to ride around Lake Ontario”. Pancreatic Cancer seemed to be the underdog of funding for cancer research. No admin fees and 100% of the money raised going to research was the hook for me.

$189,051 RAISED FOR PANCREATIC CANCER RESEARCH IN 2019

And building momentum for 2020! Every dollar makes a difference in the lives of those afflicted with pancreatic cancer. 

WATCH OUR RIDE VIDEOS

Each day during 7 Days In May, we release a daily video to highlight our journey and share the experience with you.

STATEMENT REGARDING COVID-19 & THE 2020 RIDE

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic the 7 Days In May 2020 ride will be postponed until September 13, 2020. It is also important to note that due to uncertainty with the Canada and United States border, we will be riding solely in Ontario for this year’s ride. We recognize that this situation is constantly changing, and encourage you to follow us on social media via the below hyperlinks for the most recent updates from our team. If you would like to reach out to us directly, or would like to be added to our email distribution list please click here to use our contact form. Stay healthy, and stay safe. – The 7 Days In May Team 

Follow us on Facebook | Follow us on Instagram | Follow us on Twitter

THE 7 DAYS IN MAY 50K CHALLENGE

Presented by our partners at EY, this year we will be offering a shorter 50km distance from Downtown Toronto to Whitby. A Fun ride, and a great way to make a difference in the lives of those affected by pancreatic cancer. 

REGISTRATION FOR 2020 IS OPEN!

There are a few remaining spots on our popular Around-The-Lake ride, and plenty of room for cyclists looking to join us for the two day ride as well as just those looking to ride Sunday September 13. It’s an experience you will never forget. Learn more below!

WATCH OUR RIDE VIDEOS

Each day during 7 Days In May, we release a daily video to highlight our journey and share the experience with you.

$189,051 RAISED FOR PANCREATIC CANCER RESEARCH IN 2019

And building momentum for 2020! Every dollar makes a difference in the lives of those afflicted with pancreatic cancer. 

7DIM_NEW_NEW_logoRiding to Beat Pancreatic Cancer

A Cycling Fundraiser Like No Other 

“Every day in the 7 Days in May ride is memorable with high-points, and sometimes lows. All are worth doing come rain, wind or blazing sun. My memories are of the incredible organization behind the fun, the helpful and happy support team, friendships and camaraderie, the thrill of riding in a peloton, the scenery around the lake and fun evenings with the first beer at the end of the day. Riding with riders who may not have done a ‘century’ before and the thrill of completing another yourself, the satisfaction of helping a rider in need and the generosity of others when you need it. Finally, the pride of being part of an incredible charity fund raiser” [Noel]

7 Days in May is an epic charity cycling event. We ride to beat Pancreatic Cancer and have fun in the process. It’s a challenge, and deliberately so, that’s what makes it worthwhile and worthy of our (your) support. For some, a ride like this is up there as a bucket-list item, and for good reason. 

Our close-knit team (of less than forty riders) circumnavigates Lake Ontario (c.1,200km) through spectacular scenery in Ontario and New York State. 

For those unable to make the commitment for the full Lake Ride, who still want to get involved, there are shorter one or two-day options available. So, whether you’re an aspiring or returning rider, or simply want to support our efforts through a donation, read on, we know you’ll be inspired!

 

A Unique Cycling Experience

“It started out as ‘just a good reason to ride around Lake Ontario’. Pancreatic Cancer seemed to be the underdog of funding for cancer research.  No admin fees and 100% of the money raised going to research was the hook for me.” [Steve].

There are some great causes out there offering huge, well-organized one and two-day cycling events. The reality for these guysevents, is their significant overheads dilute the impact of every dollar raised. Our ride is very different. 

7 Days in May is of a size that enables it to fully cover its more modest administrative. costs through rider fees, partner in-kind support and some sponsorship monies. This means, that when you ride with us, you get the satisfaction of knowing every dollar you raise goes straight to our cause; a major plus-point for your fund-raising promotions and a great motivator for tired legs!

So, if you’re looking for a more intimate, intense and impactful experience, you’ve arrived at the right place.

 

A Very Personal Affair 

“Knowing that every single dollar go directly to the research is priceless, makes a difference when we try to raise money for a cause.  My friend and teammate Lara is a big reason as she’s been battling Pancreatic Cancer since December 2015.” [Patricia]

Born out of the painful loss of his mother Lorraine, who lost her battle with Pancreatic Cancer in 2011, our founder and ‘Chief Instigator’ Gord Townley determined to honour her memory. Now in its eighthninth year, Gord (and his family) remain the nucleus around which like-minded cyclists come together to make a real difference. 

Many of our riders share Gord’s story of losing someone close, often returning year-after-year to participate. Together, they create a unique camaraderie that is inclusive of newcomers and brings people together in a common purpose. You’re riding with kindred spirits. 

The distance and duration (sometimes up to 8 hours in the saddle per day, over a full week) makes for a very different vibe. You’ll create great memories and make friends-for-life on an emotional, fulfilling and energizing journey that is also a physical and mental achievement.  

What is pancreatic cancer?

Pancreatic cancer starts in the cells of the pancreas. A cancerous (malignant) tumour is a group of cancer cells that can grow into and destroy nearby tissue. It can also spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body.

Cells in the pancreas sometimes change and no longer grow or behave normally. These changes may lead to non-cancerous (benign) tumours such as a pancreatic pseudocyst or serous cystic neoplasm (SCN).

Changes to cells of the pancreas can also cause precancerous conditions. This means that the abnormal cells are not yet cancer, but there is a chance that they may become cancer if they aren’t treated. The most common precancerous conditions of the pancreas are mucinous cystic neoplasm (MCN), intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN) and solid and pseudopapillary neoplasm.

But in some cases, changes to pancreatic cells can cause cancer. Most often, pancreatic cancer starts in cells of the pancreatic duct. This type of cancer is called ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas. About 95% of all pancreatic cancers are ductal adenocarcinomas.

Rare types of pancreatic cancer can also develop such as adenosquamous carcinoma.

Another rare type of tumour can start in endocrine cells in the pancreas. These types of tumours are called pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours (pNETs). Depending on how different the cells are from normal cells (differentiation) and how fast the cells are growing (grade) these tumours can be classified as a precancerous or cancerous tumour (called pancreatic neuroendocrine carcinoma).

The pancreas is a flat, pear-shaped gland behind the stomach. It is part of the digestive system. The pancreas is also part of the endocrine system. The endocrine system is the group of glands and cells in the body that make and release hormones (which control many functions such as growth, reproduction, sleep, hunger and metabolism) into the blood.

Keeping Our Eye on the Prize

“I wanted to do something that felt ‘larger than life’… and “EARN” every penny we raised. I have come back in some capacity each year since, because of the people. It’s rare to find yourself amongst such an amazing group of riders and people who do this because they can – and if you can, why wouldn’t you?” [Danielle]

In the brutal fight against Pancreatic Cancer, and considering the relative size of the event, 7 Days in May punches above its weight in terms of funds raised per rider, and overall. Success has been exponential, starting from humble beginnings with just $16,909 in 2012, its inaugural year and rising to $189,051 in 2019. 

That’s $682,385 to-date, and though not the finish line per se, the prize of $1m cumulative by 2021 (year ten) is well within reach. Quite frankly, this is well beyond Gord Townley’s wildest dreams when he embarked on this venture. 

This is all down to the dedication of the riders and support team, and the generous backing they receive through donations. But as you can see from the gravity and size of the task, we can’t take our feet off the pedals yet – literally!

 

Time’s Up on Pancreatic Cancer

“(I learned about 7 Days In May…) When a friend and neighbour was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. Like so many others, with virtually no awareness of how extensive and lethal it is, I was shocked to learn how little funding is directed towards the fight against such a deadly disease.  The fact I had to search-out information highlighted the lack of awareness. My friend succumbed within 2 years.  I felt the need to do something, however small, to honour him.” [Martin]

Anyone impacted by this horrible affliction needs no reminder that Pancreatic Cancer is a killer and devastates those it leaves behind. We rejoice in the progress made tackling other forms of cancer (e.g.; breast, colon and prostate cancer), all of which have seen major improvements in survival rates in recent decades. Sadly, this is not so for Pancreatic Cancer which continues to struggle for attention and money. 

This is the ‘orphan-cause’ 7 Days in May has adopted with a passion, and not a moment too soon!

Pancreatic Cancer may only be the tenth most diagnosed cancer, but don’t be misled; difficulties in achieving early diagnosis, its aggressive nature and thus far limited treatment options, make it lethal too often. In 2019 it was the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in Canada. If we don’t act now, it will become # 2 by 2030! 

 “Riding with a smaller group of like-minded people and fund raising for an excellent cause that has been underfunded for decades.” [Sharon]

It’s time to change that narrative.

 

Research is Key

“Meeting the researchers who receive 100% of funds raised, and learning how important it has become to them, is a real motivator for all riders and puts a face to the frontline battle in the fight against Pancreatic Cancer.” [Martin]

While raising awareness is important, beating Pancreatic Cancer requires greater focus on understanding the disease. The key to better diagnosis, treatment, and ultimately a cure, is research. So, that’s where we channel our precious funds.

Until now this effort has been largely self-directed, and we have enjoyed a long and successful partnership with the Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG) team at Queens University, Kingston. Recognizing however, that the research community itself has become better organized in Canada under the PancOne™ initiative, we are now happy to effectively ‘outsource’ decisioning to them as experts, confident in the knowledge that they are best positioned to know where to direct our funds for greatest impact. 

An example is the COMPASS and PanGen™ trials. These helped discover different subtypes of Pancreatic Cancer paving the way for clinical trials that will test new treatments. In 2019, our funds have supported two innovative clinical trials that build upon this prior work to impact how Pancreatic Cancer will be treated. The first will test  chemotherapy to shrink Pancreatic Cancer tumors before surgery, the second is a cutting-edge collaboration between researchers in Canada and the US using tumour samples to quickly test the effectiveness of several different drugs on an individual patient’s tumor to establish the right course of treatment.

Ride Safe to Save Lives

The safety and wellbeing of our riders is paramount.  Experienced riders are already aware of the inherent risks of our chosen pastime, our roads are busy (and sometimes hostile) places. But we should also be aware of our responsibilities to other road-users, and the benefits of riding defensively. Generally, we are well received and acknowledged for what we’re doing, and receive great encouragement en route, but we make every attempt to mitigate risk. So, here’s what happens:

 

  • All riders are provided with access to GPS downloads of the daily routes. 
  • Everyone carries a mobile phone and key contact details.
  • There are daily pre-ride safety briefings, route overview, hazard identification and end-of-day reviews.
  • Huge emphasis is placed on ‘safe group riding’ and rules of the road, as well as proven best practices. 
  • Ride leaders marshal groups through built-up or congested areas / construction works.
  • We ride smart, signalling road hazards to each other. 
  • We’ve ‘got each others backs’, whether it’s physical or mechanical – no-one gets left behind.

Well-Oiled Machine

“The moment when the support crew showed up with rubber gloves for us on a day that rained non-stop was very memorable (and a game changer!). The crew takes care of every last detail and are quick to adapt to whatever is thrown at them.” [Patti]

The wellbeing of our riders is essential. Despite our modest size, riders enjoy a level of in-ride support second to none when compared to our bigger cousins. Our three Support and Gear (SAG) wagons are staffed by an incredibly loyal team of volunteers who are both familiar with the routes and critical to keeping your bike, body and soul on the road. They are a welcome sight with refreshment stations every 25-30 km or so, and they actively scan the route as the group(s) ‘stretch out’ during the day to be on hand when needed. We just couldn’t do it without them!  

“Opting for a 50km ‘extension’ into Niagara-on-the-Lake on day 6 gave me the satisfaction of my first ever 200+km day – exhausted! Can’t wait to have a crack at the new Finger Lakes route.” [Gavin] 

‘Epic’ can sometimes be an overused adjective, but in the case of 7 Days in May, it’s entirely appropriate. The duration and distance have few peers on the cycling fundraising calendar. Every day is different for the rider, but with the ride now entering its ninth year, we thought we’d use the occasion to switch-it-up, change some of the waypoint destinations and improve accommodation options. Additionally, we’re offering something genuinely novel and exciting for new and returning riders. Day 5 along the Finger Lakes in northern New York State is the most varied and challenging single day yet to feature on the ride, further justifying the ride’s epic moniker.

2020 also provides the opportunity to reconfirm the 50km Day Ride option which, although belatedly introduced in the lead up to the 2019 ride, now features prominently as a great starting option for those wishing to get engaged at a different, but no less important level.    

Moving Up a Gear!

Significant lump sum donations (whether corporate or private) can be a game-changer for a fundraising ride the scale of 7 Days in May, they’re a welcome and legitimate way of enhancing our cycling performance! Here’s how you can make the difference: 

 

The Power of a Bequest

To illustrate our point, in 2019 a generous bequest from an Estate matched (dollar-for-dollar) the funds raised by our riders. The impact was seismic and helped bolster our total raised over the previous year by $50,000 – that’s a 37% increase! 

Clearly this was a major contribution, but we happily entertain any and all offers to boost our coffers in pursuit of our goal. If you (or someone you know) is in a position to make such a gesture, please contact us.

 

The Force of Corporate Support

Corporate muscle has the potential to energize our efforts in unimaginable ways. Bequests can make a single year outstanding; an ongoing sponsor partnership gives us permission to dream big! Consequently, we’re not shy in making our case for a share of corporate budgets. Consider this: 

Donations made to larger, perhaps better-known causes can leave a company’s contribution buried among the pack, vying for recognition. By partnering with an emerging organization, the size of 7 Days in May, your brand has an opportunity to take center-stage among a select few (alternatively ‘take the podium alongside?). 

7 Days in May offers a win-win for those seeking a genuinely fresh, socially responsible, public relations opportunity – Pancreatic Cancer knows no bounds. By associating themselves with our now fast-emerging cause, brands have the chance to separate from the pack and distinguish themselves.

Moreover, our sponsors enjoy an unusually direct line-of-sight to where their money goes and a closer relationship with organizers and participants; they’re ‘part of our team’. Plus, you get the satisfaction of knowing that your sponsorship helps offset our already low overhead, with the rest going direct to research. 

Details of our standard sponsorship packages are available, though we’re always open to creative ideas to support and promote our shared objectives. We invite you to contact Gord Townley to discuss.    

7DIM_NEW_NEW_logoRiding to Beat Pancreatic Cancer

A Cycling Fundraiser Like No Other 

“Every day in the 7 Days in May ride is memorable with high-points, and sometimes lows. All are worth doing come rain, wind or blazing sun. My memories are of the incredible organization behind the fun, the helpful and happy support team, friendships and camaraderie, the thrill of riding in a peloton, the scenery around the lake and fun evenings with the first beer at the end of the day. Riding with riders who may not have done a ‘century’ before and the thrill of completing another yourself, the satisfaction of helping a rider in need and the generosity of others when you need it. Finally, the pride of being part of an incredible charity fund raiser” [Noel]

7 Days in May is an epic charity cycling event. We ride to beat Pancreatic Cancer and have fun in the process. It’s a challenge, and deliberately so, that’s what makes it worthwhile and worthy of our (your) support. For some, a ride like this is up there as a bucket-list item, and for good reason. 

Our close-knit team (of less than forty riders) circumnavigates Lake Ontario (c.1,200km) through spectacular scenery in Ontario and New York State. 

For those unable to make the commitment for the full Lake Ride, who still want to get involved, there are shorter one or two-day options available. So, whether you’re an aspiring or returning rider, or simply want to support our efforts through a donation, read on, we know you’ll be inspired!

 

A Unique Cycling Experience

“It started out as ‘just a good reason to ride around Lake Ontario’. Pancreatic Cancer seemed to be the underdog of funding for cancer research.  No admin fees and 100% of the money raised going to research was the hook for me.” [Steve].

There are some great causes out there offering huge, well-organized one and two-day cycling events. The reality for these guysevents, is their significant overheads dilute the impact of every dollar raised. Our ride is very different. 

7 Days in May is of a size that enables it to fully cover its more modest administrative. costs through rider fees, partner in-kind support and some sponsorship monies. This means, that when you ride with us, you get the satisfaction of knowing every dollar you raise goes straight to our cause; a major plus-point for your fund-raising promotions and a great motivator for tired legs!

So, if you’re looking for a more intimate, intense and impactful experience, you’ve arrived at the right place.

 

A Very Personal Affair 

“Knowing that every single dollar go directly to the research is priceless, makes a difference when we try to raise money for a cause.  My friend and teammate Lara is a big reason as she’s been battling Pancreatic Cancer since December 2015.” [Patricia]

Born out of the painful loss of his mother Lorraine, who lost her battle with Pancreatic Cancer in 2011, our founder and ‘Chief Instigator’ Gord Townley determined to honour her memory. Now in its eighthninth year, Gord (and his family) remain the nucleus around which like-minded cyclists come together to make a real difference. 

Many of our riders share Gord’s story of losing someone close, often returning year-after-year to participate. Together, they create a unique camaraderie that is inclusive of newcomers and brings people together in a common purpose. You’re riding with kindred spirits. 

The distance and duration (sometimes up to 8 hours in the saddle per day, over a full week) makes for a very different vibe. You’ll create great memories and make friends-for-life on an emotional, fulfilling and energizing journey that is also a physical and mental achievement.  

What is pancreatic cancer?

Pancreatic cancer starts in the cells of the pancreas. A cancerous (malignant) tumour is a group of cancer cells that can grow into and destroy nearby tissue. It can also spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body.

Cells in the pancreas sometimes change and no longer grow or behave normally. These changes may lead to non-cancerous (benign) tumours such as a pancreatic pseudocyst or serous cystic neoplasm (SCN).

Changes to cells of the pancreas can also cause precancerous conditions. This means that the abnormal cells are not yet cancer, but there is a chance that they may become cancer if they aren’t treated. The most common precancerous conditions of the pancreas are mucinous cystic neoplasm (MCN), intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN) and solid and pseudopapillary neoplasm.

But in some cases, changes to pancreatic cells can cause cancer. Most often, pancreatic cancer starts in cells of the pancreatic duct. This type of cancer is called ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas. About 95% of all pancreatic cancers are ductal adenocarcinomas.

Rare types of pancreatic cancer can also develop such as adenosquamous carcinoma.

Another rare type of tumour can start in endocrine cells in the pancreas. These types of tumours are called pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours (pNETs). Depending on how different the cells are from normal cells (differentiation) and how fast the cells are growing (grade) these tumours can be classified as a precancerous or cancerous tumour (called pancreatic neuroendocrine carcinoma).

The pancreas is a flat, pear-shaped gland behind the stomach. It is part of the digestive system. The pancreas is also part of the endocrine system. The endocrine system is the group of glands and cells in the body that make and release hormones (which control many functions such as growth, reproduction, sleep, hunger and metabolism) into the blood.

Keeping Our Eye on the Prize

“I wanted to do something that felt ‘larger than life’… and “EARN” every penny we raised. I have come back in some capacity each year since, because of the people. It’s rare to find yourself amongst such an amazing group of riders and people who do this because they can – and if you can, why wouldn’t you?” [Danielle]

In the brutal fight against Pancreatic Cancer, and considering the relative size of the event, 7 Days in May punches above its weight in terms of funds raised per rider, and overall. Success has been exponential, starting from humble beginnings with just $16,909 in 2012, its inaugural year and rising to $189,051 in 2019. 

That’s $682,385 to-date, and though not the finish line per se, the prize of $1m cumulative by 2021 (year ten) is well within reach. Quite frankly, this is well beyond Gord Townley’s wildest dreams when he embarked on this venture. 

This is all down to the dedication of the riders and support team, and the generous backing they receive through donations. But as you can see from the gravity and size of the task, we can’t take our feet off the pedals yet – literally!

 

Time’s Up on Pancreatic Cancer

“(I learned about 7 Days In May…) When a friend and neighbour was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. Like so many others, with virtually no awareness of how extensive and lethal it is, I was shocked to learn how little funding is directed towards the fight against such a deadly disease.  The fact I had to search-out information highlighted the lack of awareness. My friend succumbed within 2 years.  I felt the need to do something, however small, to honour him.” [Martin]

Anyone impacted by this horrible affliction needs no reminder that Pancreatic Cancer is a killer and devastates those it leaves behind. We rejoice in the progress made tackling other forms of cancer (e.g.; breast, colon and prostate cancer), all of which have seen major improvements in survival rates in recent decades. Sadly, this is not so for Pancreatic Cancer which continues to struggle for attention and money. 

This is the ‘orphan-cause’ 7 Days in May has adopted with a passion, and not a moment too soon!

Pancreatic Cancer may only be the tenth most diagnosed cancer, but don’t be misled; difficulties in achieving early diagnosis, its aggressive nature and thus far limited treatment options, make it lethal too often. In 2019 it was the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in Canada. If we don’t act now, it will become # 2 by 2030! 

 “Riding with a smaller group of like-minded people and fund raising for an excellent cause that has been underfunded for decades.” [Sharon]

It’s time to change that narrative.

 

Research is Key

“Meeting the researchers who receive 100% of funds raised, and learning how important it has become to them, is a real motivator for all riders and puts a face to the frontline battle in the fight against Pancreatic Cancer.” [Martin]

While raising awareness is important, beating Pancreatic Cancer requires greater focus on understanding the disease. The key to better diagnosis, treatment, and ultimately a cure, is research. So, that’s where we channel our precious funds.

Until now this effort has been largely self-directed, and we have enjoyed a long and successful partnership with the Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG) team at Queens University, Kingston. Recognizing however, that the research community itself has become better organized in Canada under the PancOne™ initiative, we are now happy to effectively ‘outsource’ decisioning to them as experts, confident in the knowledge that they are best positioned to know where to direct our funds for greatest impact. 

An example is the COMPASS and PanGen™ trials. These helped discover different subtypes of Pancreatic Cancer paving the way for clinical trials that will test new treatments. In 2019, our funds have supported two innovative clinical trials that build upon this prior work to impact how Pancreatic Cancer will be treated. The first will test  chemotherapy to shrink Pancreatic Cancer tumors before surgery, the second is a cutting-edge collaboration between researchers in Canada and the US using tumour samples to quickly test the effectiveness of several different drugs on an individual patient’s tumor to establish the right course of treatment.

Ride Safe to Save Lives

The safety and wellbeing of our riders is paramount.  Experienced riders are already aware of the inherent risks of our chosen pastime, our roads are busy (and sometimes hostile) places. But we should also be aware of our responsibilities to other road-users, and the benefits of riding defensively. Generally, we are well received and acknowledged for what we’re doing, and receive great encouragement en route, but we make every attempt to mitigate risk. So, here’s what happens:

  • All riders are provided with access to GPS downloads of the daily routes. 
  • Everyone carries a mobile phone and key contact details.
  • There are daily pre-ride safety briefings, route overview, hazard identification and end-of-day reviews.
  • Huge emphasis is placed on ‘safe group riding’ and rules of the road, as well as proven best practices. 
  • Ride leaders marshal groups through built-up or congested areas / construction works.
  • We ride smart, signalling road hazards to each other. 
  • We’ve ‘got each others backs’, whether it’s physical or mechanical – no-one gets left behind.

Well-Oiled Machine

“The moment when the support crew showed up with rubber gloves for us on a day that rained non-stop was very memorable (and a game changer!). The crew takes care of every last detail and are quick to adapt to whatever is thrown at them.” [Patti]

The wellbeing of our riders is essential. Despite our modest size, riders enjoy a level of in-ride support second to none when compared to our bigger cousins. Our three Support and Gear (SAG) wagons are staffed by an incredibly loyal team of volunteers who are both familiar with the routes and critical to keeping your bike, body and soul on the road. They are a welcome sight with refreshment stations every 25-30 km or so, and they actively scan the route as the group(s) ‘stretch out’ during the day to be on hand when needed. We just couldn’t do it without them!  

“Opting for a 50km ‘extension’ into Niagara-on-the-Lake on day 6 gave me the satisfaction of my first ever 200+km day – exhausted! Can’t wait to have a crack at the new Finger Lakes route.” [Gavin] 

‘Epic’ can sometimes be an overused adjective, but in the case of 7 Days in May, it’s entirely appropriate. The duration and distance have few peers on the cycling fundraising calendar. Every day is different for the rider, but with the ride now entering its ninth year, we thought we’d use the occasion to switch-it-up, change some of the waypoint destinations and improve accommodation options. Additionally, we’re offering something genuinely novel and exciting for new and returning riders. Day 5 along the Finger Lakes in northern New York State is the most varied and challenging single day yet to feature on the ride, further justifying the ride’s epic moniker.

2020 also provides the opportunity to reconfirm the 50km Day Ride option which, although belatedly introduced in the lead up to the 2019 ride, now features prominently as a great starting option for those wishing to get engaged at a different, but no less important level.    

Moving Up a Gear!

Significant lump sum donations (whether corporate or private) can be a game-changer for a fundraising ride the scale of 7 Days in May, they’re a welcome and legitimate way of enhancing our cycling performance! Here’s how you can make the difference: 

 

The Power of a Bequest

To illustrate our point, in 2019 a generous bequest from an Estate matched (dollar-for-dollar) the funds raised by our riders. The impact was seismic and helped bolster our total raised over the previous year by $50,000 – that’s a 37% increase! 

Clearly this was a major contribution, but we happily entertain any and all offers to boost our coffers in pursuit of our goal. If you (or someone you know) is in a position to make such a gesture, please contact us.

 

The Force of Corporate Support

Corporate muscle has the potential to energize our efforts in unimaginable ways. Bequests can make a single year outstanding; an ongoing sponsor partnership gives us permission to dream big! Consequently, we’re not shy in making our case for a share of corporate budgets. Consider this: 

Donations made to larger, perhaps better-known causes can leave a company’s contribution buried among the pack, vying for recognition. By partnering with an emerging organization, the size of 7 Days in May, your brand has an opportunity to take center-stage among a select few (alternatively ‘take the podium alongside?). 

7 Days in May offers a win-win for those seeking a genuinely fresh, socially responsible, public relations opportunity – Pancreatic Cancer knows no bounds. By associating themselves with our now fast-emerging cause, brands have the chance to separate from the pack and distinguish themselves.

Moreover, our sponsors enjoy an unusually direct line-of-sight to where their money goes and a closer relationship with organizers and participants; they’re ‘part of our team’. Plus, you get the satisfaction of knowing that your sponsorship helps offset our already low overhead, with the rest going direct to research. 

Details of our standard sponsorship packages are available, though we’re always open to creative ideas to support and promote our shared objectives. We invite you to contact Gord Townley to discuss.    

  • Pancreas Cancer Mortality Rate 93% 93%
  • Number Who Die Within One Year of Diagnosis 75% 75%
  • Pancreas Cancer Survival Rate 5% 5%
  • Amount of National Funding Received 2% 2%

Pancreatic cancer remains the deadliest of all adult cancers in Canada. Only through medical research will we be able to make significant headway against this disease. But research is expensive and very little research funding is spent on pancreatic cancer. Our longstanding partnership with 7 Days In May has allowed us to complete an important international clinical trial, with trial results soon to be reported! The 7 Days In May gang have also been exceptional ambassadors in raising awareness about the disease and critical need to fund ongoing research

Jim Biagi, MD, FRCP(C)

Department of Oncology, Queen’s University at Kingston

Countdown to 7 Days In "May" aka September: September 13, 2020.

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The 2020 Ride

badge1Single Day Ride: Any day of the week that you can make, although the “assumed default” is Sunday the 13th to Cobourg. With our last day being a Saturday now, it will provide an easier scheduling option for those not wanting to miss any work time. Just advise if you have a preferred date. For those that are interested, click here to view our routing for 2020.  

 

Weekend Ride: Sunday September 13th and Monday September 14th. Wait, that’s not a weekend?! So, we will work with you on options. Obviously Days 1 and 2 are still open. Or you can pick us up for Friday the 18th near London, Ontario and Saturday the 19th. Or you can pick two non consecutive days. For those that are interested, click here to view our routing for 2020..

 

Full Week Ride “Really Close To Lake Ontario”: Sunday, September 13th Through Saturday, September 19th

The planned timing for our 2021 ride will be Saturday May 29th and we will plan to return to our regular schedule or riding all the way around Lake Ontario.

Wait, what? We aren’t riding around Lake Ontario this year? Sadly, no. Given the status of our borders and, frankly, the spread of the pandemic in New York State, we cannot safely predict that it will be allowed nor advised to travel across the border this year. So, we have revised our routing this year to have the entire ride take place in Ontario. We have made many, many changes to our routing, but it promises to be an incredible ride. For those that are interested, click here to view our routing for 2020.

In terms of registration, it remains open, but we have not and will not collect any payments until Ontario announces that groups of more than 5 people can congregate. While our ride is obviously more than 10, we see this as the gradual opening of restrictions and remain confident that Ontario will continue to move forward in a safe and controlled manner.

 

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.

WATCH VIDEOS FROM THE RIDE

Watch videos from each day of our ride, and see each individual day of our 1,160km trek around Lake Ontario.

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS, PARTNERS, & SUPPORTERS

If you are interested in sponsoring, partnering with, or supporting 7 Days In May in any way, please get in touch with us.

Voice of the Rider

See what those who have done the ride are saying about it!

It started out as, ” just a good reason to ride around Lake Ontario”. Pancreatic Cancer seemed to be the underdog of funding for cancer research. No admin fees and 100% of the money raised going to research was the hook for me.

What was your personal motivation to get involved in raising money for this cause?

Patricia: Knowing that every single dollar go directly to the research is priceless, makes a difference when we try to raise money for a cause. And my friend and teammate Lara was a big reason as she is battling Pancreatic Cancer since December 2015.

Noel: My personal motivation to get involved in raising money for this cause was the fact that I had to to be able to do the ride! Once I realized that to be able to ride around the lake in a group I had to raise money then I raised money for the cause. I have, luckily, had no connection with pancreatic cancer in my family and circle of friends. However, I have experienced three deaths as a result of breast cancer. I have always felt comfortable raising money for Pancreatic Cancer Research on the basis that any information gained in the cure of one cancer should be of value to those studying other cancers and so it was all for a good cause against cancer in general.

Patti: I know several people who have been taken far too quickly by Pancreatic cancer. Everyone seems to have been touched by someone with it.

Martin: When a friend and neighbour was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer several years ago, I was like so many others with virtually no awareness of how extensive and lethal it is. After some online research, I was shocked at how little funding is directed towards the fight against such a deadly disease. The fact that I had to search out information about Pancreatic Cancer highlighted the lack of awareness of the disease. My friend succumbed within 2 years of diagnosis. I felt the need to do something, however small, to honour him.

Joyce: Unlike others cyclists, I am one of the fortunate one who has not lost a friend or relative to pancreatic cancer.
Having done in the past many fundraisers of long distance, that either was not a challenge or my motivation to participate.

On a ride in Florida, I happened to meet the Trottier – Townley family.

They talked to me about this fundraiser with such heart feeling, that I told myself, even though I live in a different city, logistic of traveling were an issue, they took care of so many of my needs and greeted me as if I was family!

Now, thanks to all of you, I am addicted to this event and have been participating every year since.

Steve: It started out as, ” just a good reason to ride around Lake Ontario”. Pancreatic Cancer seemed to be the underdog of funding for cancer research. No admin fees and 100% of the money raised going to research was the hook for me.

Danielle: When I think back to 2017, I think the most honest answer to this question is fear. I was motivated by the fear of loosing my friend, her family loosing their rock and our triathlon community loosing an inspiring athlete. But I don’t like when something negative is in the drivers seat, so I made a choice to be driven by hope, generosity and love. I felt a drive to do something significant for someone who is so significant to so many of us. I had what seemed like little to give with my time, but time, effort and willingness to get out there proved to be a bigger gift than I could have expected. What I thought was “my little” idea proved to be contagious in our wee community. At leas 13 riders, maybe more over the past 3 years and tens of thousands of dollars raised, we’ve made a difference and we can feel it.

Alex: My younger brother died of a horrible, aggressive and rare cancer (adrenocortical carcinoma or ACC). I had watched and donated to Gord’s efforts to raise money for Pancreatic Cancer in the past. He pointed out that Pancreatic cancer was a rare cancer similar to ACC. My university roommate’s wife succumbed to Pancreatic Cancer. He (Peter Cashion) did a lot of work in the US to raise money and awareness for Pancreatic Cancer. I thought this would be a great opportunity to introduce Gord to Peter and I am an avid cyclist so I was happy to get involved with 7 Days in May.

Sharon: I was invited to attend a dinner hosted by Fokis, at the 2012 SAP Sapphire conference, when Lance Armstrong was the guest speaker! I happened to sit next to Gord and within seconds, we realized that we were both avid cyclists. The rest is history as I participated in the 1-day ride in 2013 and 2014, when the event was the first week of May, and then all 7 days ever since as the event was moved to the last week of May.

What was it about the ride that attracted you most?

Patricia: Riding with 3 others of my triathlon teammates for 7 days….could let those “crazies” do this on their own!!

Noel: I was attracted to the ride as I had often looked at the lake and wondered if I could ride round it. Having taken up road riding fairly late in life (aged 65) I set myself goals to help drive me on. Before Lake Ontario, I had ridden “round” Lake Annnecy, Lake Geneva and Mount Fuji. With my in-laws living close to Lake Ontario, Lake Ontario became the next goal for me to ride around. A friend in Ontario alerted me to the 7 Days in May ride and I approached Gord to see if I could join. We met for a coffee and a comparison of size of bib shorts and I was in! The rest is history is they say. So, it was the challenge of riding around the lake that attracted me I suppose.

Patti: Initially it was the distance covered each day & the fact that I would get to be on my bike all day everyday. The cost to do the ride is very reasonable & the logistics of the start & finish are relatively close to home. The concept/challenge of riding around the lake is very neat.

Martin: My online research about Pancreatic Cancer led me to learn about the 7 Days in May ride. As an avid cyclist, the idea of a challenging supported ride around Lake Ontario intrigued me. The ultimate attraction, however, was the fact that 100% of funds raised goes directly to Pancreatic Cancer research. The bottom line was that I could do something I love to do while supporting such an important and needy cause.

Joyce: My answer should be about the cause.

Of course it is, however I love cycling. All I have to do is sit in the saddle and peddle. Everything is thought of, meals, sleeping arrangements, baggage transportation.

The only thing they cannot promise is the good weather. Even at that, there are people just waiting to pick you up whenever needed, for whatever reason.

Steve: The idea of pushing myself hard for 7 days in a row doing something I love to do made the ride very appealing. Having a small group of riders to do it with and a support team to keep you moving was even better.

Danielle: I wanted to do something that felt larger than life for someone who means so much to me. I wanted to “EARN” every penny we raised. I have come back in some capacity each year since because of the people. It’s a rare to find yourself amongst such an amazing group of riders and people who do this because they can – and if you can, why wouldn’t you. While I initially wanted something “significant”, it’s now significant in a different way then I expected. It’s given to me a lot more then I feel like I’ve given to the ride.

Alex: I was very impressed with the dedication to the cause and I was attracted to the amount of organization and support provided to all riders.

Sharon: Riding with a smaller group of like-minded people and fund raising for an excellent cause that has been underfunded for decades. BTW: I have participated in Ride to Conquer Cancer since 2008 and captain of a team for 9 of the 12 years, plus captain of Team Kinross for Ride for Heart. In other words, I know a little bit about recruiting, fundraising and herding cats!

What was your most memorable experience or take-away from the ride?

Patricia: Meeting all these new riders riding for the same cause.

Noel: Every day in the 7 Days in May ride is memorable. Each day has a high point and a few have a low point. All are worth doing come rain or wind or blazing sun. But, memories that stick in my head are: the incredible organization and administration behind the fun, the incredibly helpful and happy support team, the friendship and camaraderie of the other riders, the thrill of trying to keep up, the thrill of riding in a peloton that moves so well, the scenery around the lake, the fun evenings recounting the highs and lows of each day, the first beer at the end of the day, riding with riders who may have not done a century before, the thrill of completing another century yourself, the satisfaction of helping another rider in need of help, the generosity of other riders when you need help, the pride of being part of an incredible charity fund raising, the incredible bar-b-q’s at Gord’s sisters house, etc, etc.

But, I suppose the most memorable experience, for all the wrong reasons, was the most regrettable experience of being part of a ride in which one of our riders was so cruelly hit by a car and subsequently died. It was a sobering experience and so unfair to have happened to such a super guy and while involved in such a worthy cause.

Patti: I have made friendships that will last a lifetime. Such a great group of people.The moment when the support crew showed up with rubber gloves for us on a day that rained not stop was very memorable (& a game changer!). The crew takes care of every last detail & are quick to adapt to whatever is thrown at them.

Martin: Actually 3 things stand out for me over the course of 3 rides.

First, I was surprised to learn through my fundraising just how many people have been affected by Pancreatic Cancer. Donations come from most unexpected sources, the vast majority having personal experience with the disease.

Secondly, meeting the researchers who receive 100% of funds raised and learning how important it has become to them is a real motivator for all riders and puts a face to the front line battle in the fight against Pancreatic Cancer.

Finally, on a personal note, it has been an honour for me to have met and cycled with such a dedicated, fun-loving group of cyclists and support team while doing something so worthwhile.

Joyce: This is a difficult question….there are so many. Yes the distances are long, however the spirit of the riders just elevate you.

The camaraderie, the friendship that is developed throughout the ride, and refined over the years, the support group, the sceneries, the people you get to know during the ride…..everyone leaves a lasting impression.

Their sharing stories about lost loved ones due to this disease. The look in the eyes, some tears of sadness many tears of joy, the challenges of the day.

No matter how difficult they are, these memories are beautiful and unforgettable.

Steve: The people you meet and the friendships you make when you set out on this adventure are priceless. Each days ride is filled with great scenery, changing weather, flat tires, and the site of the support vehicle for another snack break, but the best time is at the end of the day when we all get together and have a beer and relive the days awesome ride.

Danielle: The memories are endless, from forgotten pants, singing in the rain, rubber gloves and a face full of mud. Laughing till I cried or sometimes crying until you laugh. I will be forever grateful for the friendships this ride founded and the friendships that it made stronger. Our hearts are all connected now. Also, forever and incredibly grateful to the volunteers, sponsors and families who share their loved ones so that we can do this big thing for a week and make a difference fighting with hope and love on our side.

Alex: My most memorable experience was the camaraderie of the riders. Everyone was very welcoming and supportive. There were riders of every level and everyone was supported.

Sharon: Riding over a 1,000 kilometres in 7 days shortly after I turned 60 as well as being “adopted” into the “7 Days in May” family. The camaraderie and friendships formed over the years is second to none and all while fundraising for an excellent cause!

Is there a message you’d like to share with other riders or potential donors / sponsors?

Patricia: It was my best vacation the first year I did it (2017) and look forward to going back on the road again. And the worst days, due to the bad weather makes for the best stories since!!

Noel: Taking an athletic part in any fund raising activity should have two common factors – you want to test or stretch yourself and in so doing you want to help a cause. For me the first led to the second and I have no regrets. Pancreatic cancer is a worthy cause to raise research funds for, and 7 Days in May have raised a great deal of money for the cause. I am proud to have been part of it. I hope to be in it again and I ensure donors that the riders actually have to stretch themselves a great deal in order to complete it and so thoroughly earn your donations. Sponsors? The ride is a fantastic event to support. It is a great vehicle for advertising logos/equipment. There is little downside to an excellent sponsorship effort and the only downside to the ride might come from the VERY few drivers who object to our shared use of the road and perhaps the hotel staff who have to put up with our bikes in the hotel rooms!!

Patti: This is a fantastic ride. The organization & support is top notch. The riders are a very special group with a large core returning year after year, which speaks volumes to the organization & people putting on the ride. The route is on very quiet, scenic roads for the most part. I highly recommend this ride.

Martin: No matter how or to what extent you can support 7 Days in May, it will have a real and positive contribution towards the fight against Pancreatic Cancer.

Joyce: Unlike when I first started these cycling fundraisers, there were very few. Now, it seems every cyclist is doing one. My message would be: It’s about the people.

The organizers determination, implication, sincerity, involvement. Everyone included, especially the organizers are genuine people, candid people, heartfelt, trustworthy and up front.

Their hard work has proven to be so successful to the cause. I feel blessed and honored to be just a small part of it!

Steve: If riding is your passion then this ride should be on your bucket list. It takes more then just being a rider to pull this event off. The support crew are spinning their wheels all day long to keep the group moving. Rider or non rider, there is a place for you in this event to make a difference.

Danielle: Believe in yourself and don’t let fear stand in your way fo doing something amazing.

Alex: I had an amazing experience on the ride. It melds my love of cycling and the opportunity to raise money for a worthy cause close to my heart. It was very clear that all money raised goes directly to the cause and as a cyclist I felt supported more than any other ride I have been involved with.

Sharon: You can do it and you won’t be sorry as such a rewarding experience!

THE 7 DAYS IN MAY 50K CHALLENGE

BACK FOR 2020! Presented by our partners at EY, this year we will once again be offering a shorter 50km distance from Downtown Toronto to Whitby. A Fun ride, and a great way to make a difference in the lives of those affected by pancreatic cancer. 

THE 7 DAYS IN MAY VIRTUAL CHALLENGE

NEW FOR 2020! The virtual challenge is being introduced this year to accomodate cyclists who want to participate in 7 Days In May but are apprehensive of congregating in groups due to COVID-19. We understand completely – and we have created this ride so that you can still do your part to help 7 Days In May continue it’s fight against pancreatic 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.

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