Ringing the Bell on Cancer: Bellringer Bike Ride Comes to D.C. 

“We don’t recruit bikers, we recruit people who hate Cancer,” says Chris Timko, executive director of BellRinger, a bike ride that aims to raise funds for cancer research at the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. Inspired by the bell that patients ring on their last treatment, the mission of BellRinger is to work together as a community to support cancer breakthroughs at Georgetown Lombardi. BellRinger is in its inaugural year, and plans to have over 1000 riders participate in the weekend-long event, October 21 and 22. Timko has teamed up with Jonathan Thomas, director of development, and Dr. Louis Weiner, director of Georgetown Lombardi to bring BellRinger to the area in hopes that it will become a part of the community, and repertoire of not-to-miss D.C. events.  

Georgetown’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center – the only comprehensive cancer center in D.C. since 1974 — is a highly distinguished institution with world-class physicians, groundbreaking research and technology, and exceptional quality of care. By participating in BellRinger, you can help save lives and contribute to the impactful work that’s happening right here, in the Georgetown community.  

BellRinger offers three biking distances: 25, 50, and 100 miles. Each distance comes with a minimum fundraising commitment the rider is responsible for as part of a combined effort to work towards eradicating cancer, and empowering the contribution of each individual. One hundred percent of the fundraising done by each rider goes towards cancer research. This will allow Georgetown Lombardi to participate in more clinical trials, conduct more research studies, and encourage the development and testing of new breakthrough treatments that will effectively move us forward in the fight to end cancer all together.  

Riders will be celebrated for their fundraising efforts with BellRinger Weekend, starting with the opening ceremony on Friday evening, October 21. There will be an abundance of refreshments, live music, and exciting pre-ride energy to kick off the event. The ride begins early on Saturday morning, October 22. Volunteers will line the route to cater to the needs of riders with mechanical support, navigation, hydration replenishment, and of course, lots of encouragement. 

BellRinger is focused on inclusivity, and is centered around the idea that anyone can participate, even virtually. “The virtual option allows you to choose your own adventure,” says Thomas who’s also working to recruit riders and participants from Georgetown University. Virtual participants commit to a $500 minimum fundraising amount, and can do their own bike ride, hike, run, walk, or activity of their choice. Volunteer registration is also currently open with a variety of interactive opportunities to choose from for those interested in lending a hand.  

“We have a great opportunity here in D.C. to have a transformative event, and end cancer as we know it,” Dr. Weiner told The Georgetowner. The combination of the active city, supportive medical and academic community, and passion behind the mission will contribute to the success of the ride.   

Participate in BellRinger to work towards ringing the bell for the last time. Visit bellringer.org to sign up as an individual or team, and to learn more about this organization that is sure to make its mark on D.C. and have an impact for years to come.   






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