It was quite literally an uphill challenge, but a valiant group of charity cyclists conquered perilous hill climbs and blazing heat to raise over £70,000 for the Mouth Cancer Foundation.
The fourth Straumann Charity Bike Ride proved a resounding triumph, with over 50 riders completing the gruelling 500-miles-in-five-day challenge in Italy to achieve the incredible fundraising total. A cheque for £72,290.81 was presented to the Mouth Cancer Foundation by Straumann managing director, Steve Booth, at Straumann’s UK headquarters in Crawley today.
The 80-mile first stage of the ride from Riva del Garda to Mantova challenged the riders with a 7,600ft climb, then from Mantova to Bologna was another 80-mile struggle. Undeterred by soaring heat, the riders overcame more punishing hills on the third stage, travelling 98 miles from Bologna to Radda in Chianti and climbing a remarkable 8,635ft. Passing through some breath-taking scenery, stage four took the group from Radda to Magliano. The final stage of the epic journey saw the exhausted riders face more demanding climbs across 103 miles to the finish line in the ancient Italian capital city of Rome.
During the celebration event in Rome on the final day of the ride, Vinod Joshi thanked the riders – made up of dentists, technicians and Straumann employees – for their incredible efforts. He explained that he had set up the charity to increase awareness of mouth cancer not only to save lives, but also to improve lives by supporting the carers of the patients suffering from the disease.
He said: ‘We need to increase awareness to save lives. We want to improve support for patients, we want to be able to give them grants to help them because sometimes when you’ve had mouth cancer you are unable to function as you normally could you can’t earn as much, and you have increased expenses. We need to be able to give grants to these people individually.’
Vinod’s son Krishan, Mouth Cancer Foundation co-founder and trustee, thanked Straumann and everyone who took part in the September challenge. He said: ‘The Mouth Cancer Foundation believes in saving lives and improving lives. We have a big vision we are going to drive forward and thanks to the encouragement and support Straumann have given to Mouth Cancer Foundation, we are really looking forward to using the funds they have raised to help at the grassroots level UK-wide.’
Krishan Joshi had greeted the riders as they came over the finish line, telling them that, ‘I’m sure that the money you have raised so far is going to go towards saving at least one life for each day you rode.’
Straumann marketing director, Justin Annett, added: ‘The riders did a tremendous job and I’m incredibly proud of everybody.’
The Mouth Cancer Foundation has worked hard since becoming a registered charity and professional support organisation in 2005. Its website annually receives over half a million views and has had more than 30,000 posts on its online forum from family members of survivors, and those suffering from mouth cancer. The Mouth Cancer Foundation has an admirable five-year vision and a plan towards which the Straumann Charity Bike Ride donations will contribute greatly.
A huge thank you goes out to the generous sponsors of the Straumann Bike Ride 2018; Closerstill Media, Consult Search and Selection, Dental Focus, George Warman Publications, Manan Ltd, Milkshake Marketing, Mydentist, Nest Studios, NSK UK, Ogilvie Fleet and The Dentistry Show.
It’s still not too late to donate – donations can be made online via straumannbikeride.com.
Facebook: Straumann UK