The Ride Spotlight
Spotlight: Gerry Daniels
Fundraising Driven by Family’s Cancer History
February 26th, 2021 | Rob Kelly
Cancer has been a part of Gerry Daniels’ life for more than 40 years. Both his parents and two siblings died from cancer. Six other siblings have been treated for cancer. “I’m grateful that it’s not something I’ve had to battle personally, but I always think it’s a matter of time,” he says.
This family history, which includes prostate, endometrial, breast, ovarian, and lung cancer, is a “huge motivating factor” in Daniels’ support of cancer research and participation in The Ride. He grew up in Burlington, Wis., and has lived most of his adult life in the Madison area. He’s a UW graduate and feels a strong connection to the Carbone Cancer Center and its work to improve cancer care.
“There have been great strides made to develop cures and treatments to improve quality of life for those with cancer, but anything we can do to help improve that, all the better,” he says.
Daniels completed the 100-mile course of The Ride in 2019 and 2020. “This past year was pretty tough. My brother Joe passed, so I listed him, my mother, father, and sister Claire on my ‘I Ride for’ sign. I think about them quite a bit, and I was so grateful that I could ride for them and support UW cancer research. I’ve been humbled by the support from my large, extended family. When The Ride was canceled in 2019 due to weather, I went out and did that ride a month later on my own because it meant so much to me and all those people who contributed more than $1,000 to my fundraising effort.”
On September 26, Daniels will once again ride the 100-mile route of The Ride. But, he points out, The Ride is not just for experienced riders. “You don’t have to be an avid rider to go out there and raise funds for UW cancer research,” he says. “With options for shorter distance rides as well as the run/walk, it’s an opportunity for the whole family to get involved to support the Carbone Cancer Center.”