For the third year in a row, the Dempsey Challenge bike race has succeeded in raising tremendous amounts of cash to help fight cancer.
The two-day event — a festival of walking, running, music, entertainment, health and wellness — is the annual fundraiser for the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope and Healing in Lewiston, Maine. The 45-year-old, a native of the area, established the center in 2008 because of his mother's continuous battles with ovarian cancer.
"For a family to get a cancer diagnosis is devastating, and all the information out there can be overwhelming," he said during the unveiling. "A lot of the websites I went to just didn't have enough information. So I talked to my sister about a place where people could go for all this type of information and help. Knowledge is power."
To assist in funding the hospital, the Dempsey Challenge — which includes challenges of 10-, 20-, 50- and 100-mile rides — kicked off in 2009. This year's event brought in more than $1 million and featured more than 4,000 participants, as well as several Tour de France veterans.
"The cyclists in Maine, I wanted to do something challenging for them and unite these different groups. I am a huge fan of cycling," Dempsey said in an interview with the Maine Outdoor Journal. "I'd like it to become quite an event."
He also wants it to stand as a symbol of good health; pointing out that bike riding is a fantastic way to keep the pounds off.
"It's a great way to stay in shape," he said. "There is a big problem with obesity. People should get on a bike, and exercise, get into group riding, the socializing aspect of it, and the spirit of the thing."
The opinions expressed by MNN Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of MNN.com. While we have reviewed their content to make sure it complies with our Terms and Conditions, MNN is not responsible for the accuracy of any of their information.