Ride for Life: Almost $1 million raised by Novartis employees for breast cancer research in 10 years

  • 80 Novartis employees take part in annual 600 km cycling fundraising event over four days

DORVAL, QC, Sept. 23, 2014 /CNW/ - Employees of Novartis Canada today completed their 10th annual Ride for Life, a long-distance cycling event that has raised almost $1 million for breast cancer research over the past decade.

Over four days, 80 employees representing the Novartis group of companies across Canada took part in the Toronto-to-Montreal event. Forty-seven employees cycled the full 600 km, with the others taking part either on the first day in Toronto or joining the cyclists at the Quebec border on the final day and arriving with them at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. headquarters in Dorval.

"We are very proud of all our colleagues who have participated in and donated to the Ride for Life this year and over the past decade," said Tim Maloney, President of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. "It takes determination and commitment to take part in the Ride for Life. Their effort shows how deeply Novartis employees feel about helping the cause of breast cancer research and making a meaningful difference in the lives of the many Canadians impacted by the disease."

A large number of the riders have been personally affected by breast cancer or another type of cancer. "Two of my aunts have had breast cancer, one of them very young, and that was my first contact with the disease," said rider Annie Fréchette, who works on the Novartis Oncology team and was taking part for the fifth time this year. "My aunt completely reorganized her life because of her disease. It's like always living with fear. The Ride for Life symbolizes how together we can do amazing things to fight that fear and make a difference."

Each participant is responsible for raising sponsorship funds for the event, which this year raised more than $150,000, bringing the total raised in 10 events for the research programs of the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation to almost $1 million.

The Ride for Life extends beyond the four-day cycling event, with many employees – some riders and others committed supporters - actively engaged in a broad range of fundraising events and awareness-raising activities throughout the year.

"We are very grateful for the dedication of Novartis employees which has resulted in such generous contributions to breast cancer research," said Francine Cléroux, President and Director General of the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation. "Their contributions have played an important role in the Foundation being able to invest more than $16 million into research over the past 10 years."

Featured at the arrival event for the general public at the Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. building in Dorval was the Foundation's mobile breast health exhibition, La Virée Rose. The bilingual exhibition is housed in a large, customized pink recreational vehicle which is touring Quebec this summer and fall, visiting more than 120 communities.

About the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation
The Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to finance research and innovation in breast cancer, to support women with the disease and those close to them, as well as to represent their interests and make breast health a priority thanks to education and awareness initiatives. In the past five years, the Foundation has invested more than $17 million in all aspects of the fight against breast cancer. For more information, visit www.rubanrose.org.

About Novartis
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc., a leader in the healthcare field, is committed to the discovery, development and marketing of innovative products to improve the wellbeing of all Canadians. In 2013, the company invested close to $100 million in research and development in Canada. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. employs more than 600 people in Canada. For further information, please consult www.novartis.ca.

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. is a subsidiary of Novartis AG, which provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis Group of Companies offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, eye care, cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals, preventive vaccines and diagnostic tools, over-the-counter and animal health products. Novartis is the only global company with leading positions in these areas. In 2013, the Group achieved net sales of USD 57.9 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.9 billion (USD 9.6 billion excluding impairment and amortization charges). Novartis Group companies employ approximately 136,000 full-time-equivalent associates and operate in more than 140 countries around the world. For more information, please visit www.novartis.com.

SOURCE: Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.

For further information: Novartis Media Relations: Julie Schneiderman, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc., +1 514 633-7873, camlph.communications@novartis.com


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