Carmel Valley’s Kerim Tumay and his team Resilients are committed to making an impact as they ride 25 to 100 miles as part of Padres Pedal the Cause. The Nov. 16 fundraising event provides funding for the collaborative research teams at Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute and Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego.
It is the goal that research funded by Padres Pedal the Cause will lead to increased survivorship and, ultimately, a cure.
In memory of and in support of friends and loved ones, Tumay has raised $9,452 in the past three years while challenging himself to ride 416 miles in the past three events. Last year Tumay captained a new team called team Resilients—they had 15 riders and raised over $12,500.
This year, Tumay’s goal is 25-25: to have 25 team members and double their fundraising to $25,000. Ahead of the Nov. 16 event, Resilents now has 29 team members, two of whom are cancer survivors, and they have already raised over $15,000.
“I first got involved in Pedal the Cause three years ago as a philanthropic and community support opportunity and because of my connection to cancer,” said Tumay. “I lost my father and several other loved ones to cancer. And I have friends, neighbors and colleagues who are battling with cancer every day.”
Last year Tumay started team Resilients with a group of neighbors and friends to expand his support for the cause. He was inspired by three resilient neighbors who have fought cancer on just his neighborhood streets of Carmel Springs Way and Carmel Cape, including team member Travis Hackett, a 16-year-old junior at Canyon Crest Academy.
“All three of our neighbors fighting cancer have been treated or are being treated by the very same research institutions that are beneficiaries of Pedal for the Cause. So, what we are doing is a win-win,” Tumay said.
Travis was in the sixth grade when he was diagnosed with leukemia.
“I was on the playground with my friends and one of them pointed out a swollen lymph node on my neck,” said Travis, who went from the school nurse’s office to getting his blood tested to being admitted to Rady Children’s Hospital that night.
He endured months of chemotherapy and just finished three years of remission last year. Travis said it was scary being diagnosed with a deadly disease, his biggest fear.
“I asked my parents ‘What are my chances of survival?’ and they said it was high historically and I said ‘Ok, I’ll beat it.’ I had a positive attitude throughout,” Travis said. “Last year I was able to go back to school again, I was able to play soccer again, I started to do everything I love again and get back to my normal life.”
This year will be Travis’ fourth Pedal the Cause—he likes that funds raised at Pedal the Cause support all different kinds of cancer, both adult and pediatric, and that the event is able to make such an impact. While Travis had always enjoyed riding his bike, he had never gone 25 to 50 miles “just for fun.” When he first started Pedal the Cause, he rode the 10-mile course. In the last few years he has done more training with friends on trails around Carmel Valley and has worked his way up to the 25-mile ride.
“It changed the way I bike a lot and made me enjoy riding long distances and not getting super tired,” Travis said.
Travis has participated on several teams including one with Pedal the Cure founder Bill Koman, a Rancho Santa Fe resident. Last year was his first with neighbor Tumay and team Resilients. “He’s really passionate about this and biking so I couldn’t think of a better person to lead our team,” Travis said of Tumay.
In addition to riding, there are several ways to participate in Padres Pedal—there is also a 5K run/walk and four stationary cycling classes on the field at Petco Park. To register, visit gopedal.org.
Donors have until Dec. 7 to contribute. To donate to team Resilients, visit mygopedal.org/team_profile.jsp?MemberID=42790