"Ride for the Cure" - Novartis Canada employees complete bicycle trip from Toronto to Montreal to raise funds for breast cancer research



    DORVAL, QC, Sept. 23 /CNW Telbec/ - If you think it's a long way to drive
a car from Toronto to Montreal, try doing it on a bicycle.
    That's exactly what a team of 28 amateur cyclists from Montreal-based
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada have done. Over the past four days they have
pedaled the 600 kms from Toronto to Montreal to raise funds for the Canadian
Breast Cancer Foundation through the CIBC Run for the Cure. A second group
composed of 18 other cyclists joins them at the Ontario-Quebec border. In
total 46 courageous riders are expected to complete their trip at 2 p.m. today
at the Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada headquarters, 385 Bouchard Blvd.,
Dorval, where they will be greeted by their fellow employees and where they
will present their proceeds to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

    (Montreal media are welcome to attend the arrival of the team at the
Novartis headquarters. Please call Silvie Letendre, (514) 449-7872, to make
arrangements and get updated times and details.)

    Several participants in the "Ride for the Cure" raised up to $2,000 for
the cause before their journey began. Along with donations they were hoping to
receive en route, they expect their pedalling will have raised approximately
$100,000 for breast cancer research. The cyclists encourage all those moved by
their effort to make a donation by visiting their web site at
www.rideforthecure.blogspot.com.
    The first group of cyclists rode between 115 and 200 kms each day. They
left from the CN Tower in Toronto on Saturday morning, Sept. 20, and made
their way to Montreal along highway #2, stopping overnight in Cobourg,
Kingston and, last night, Cornwall.
    "The ride has been an amazing experience, said Jane Hladky, a Senior
Specialty Sales Consultant for Novartis in Edmonton, Alberta. "My mother died
of breast cancer so it is very moving for me to do this event in her memory
and to raise money for the further research needed to fight this terrible
disease." She has four children, three of them girls, and desperately wants to
protect them from this disease. Jane raised more than $3,000 from colleagues,
friends and family to contribute to the cause.
    "I and all of us at Novartis are immensely proud of the effort of our
colleagues on the 'Ride for the Cure'," said David Meek, President of Novartis
Pharmaceuticals Canada. "They are proof of our employees' commitment to their
community and to the cause of cancer research."
    The "Ride for the Cure" effort was created by a group of Novartis
employees to increase the company's fundraising efforts for the CIBC Run for
the Cure. In 2007, Novartis was the top fundraising organization for the
Montreal CIBC Run for the Cure, largely because of the "Ride for the Cure"
effort. Hundreds of Novartis employees, friends and family participated in
last year's Montreal Run for the Cure, as well as at various other Run for the
Cure events across the country where groups of field-based employees gathered.
    This year's CIBC Run for the Cure takes place in 55 communities across
the country on Sunday, October 5, 2008. For more information, go to
www.cibcrunforthecure.com.

    About Novartis Canada

    Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc., a leader in the healthcare field,
is committed to the discovery, development and marketing of innovative
products to improve the well-being of all Canadians. In 2007, the Company
invested over $86 million in research and development. As a long-time sponsor
of the annual CIBC Run for the Cure, Novartis Canada has made a commitment to
breast cancer research as well as supporting physician and patient awareness.
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. employs approximately 800 people in
Canada and its headquarters are located in Dorval, Quebec. It was named one of
the "50 Best Employers in Canada" in 2008. For further information, please
consult www.novartis.ca.




For further information:

For further information: Silvie Letendre, Communications, Novartis
Pharmaceuticals Canada, (514) 633-7872, Cell: (514) 449-7872,
silvie.letendre@novartis.com; Sylvie Lafrance, HKDP Communications and public
affairs, (514) 472-0372, slafrance@hkdp.qc.ca


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