Cancer care across New York State

Your fundraising efforts make an impact!

Cancer care on Long Island and across New York State

When you fundraise for Empire State Ride (ESR) Long Island, you’re making a difference by fueling cancer research, clinical trials and care coordination for cancer patients on Long Island and in Western New York. That statewide impact is possible through the Roswell Park Care Network, centered in Buffalo at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, America’s first cancer center to focus exclusively on cancer research.

The funds raised through ESR Long Island will support cancer care at Roswell Park and its partner Catholic Health on Long Island, an affiliate of the Care Network. This collaboration enables direct access to the newest, most innovative treatments available only through clinical trials for patients under the skillful care of Catholic Health clinicians.

The Roswell Park Care Network is the most expansive community cancer, supportive and specialized care affiliation, spanning across New York State. This network of physicians and supportive care teams is committed to reducing the burden of cancer and bringing outstanding, comprehensive, guidelines-based care to people throughout New York State.

“The purpose of the Roswell Park Care Network, it’s very mission-driven,” says Roswell Park Chief of Strategy, Business Development and Outreach Thomas Schwaab, MD, PhD, who leads the Care Network. “It’s really to bring everything that makes Roswell Park special out to as many folks in New York State as possible.”

Part of the unique benefit of the Roswell Park Care Network is the access its partners have to clinical trials at Roswell Park. A clinical trial is a study designed to evaluate a promising new medical treatment before it can be made widely available to patients. Researchers develop new treatments for physicians to administer to patients who have enrolled in the trial and follow their progress. Physicians then report their observations back to researchers who focus their efforts accordingly.

When clinical trials identify effective treatments, these treatments will eventually become the new standard of care that will be offered to future patients. Today’s standard treatments were researched and proven by clinical trials done in the past.

Catholic Health provides the highest level of personalized cancer care designed to treat the whole person and not just the disease. At Catholic Health, patients don’t have to travel far from home for a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach that addresses nutritional, social, emotional and spiritual needs to complement advanced medical options.

“In addition to the latest therapies offered through clinical trials, if a patient requires other specialty services and they walk into the offices of one of our affiliate providers like Catholic Health, they will have access to the expertise of Roswell Park’s subspecialists in Buffalo should it be needed,” says Dr. Schwaab. “Modern cancer care is an intricate symphony, coordinating different types of care and services. Catholic Health and Roswell Park work in concert to provide the best care available to patients on Long Island.”

Too many communities across New York have not had access to this expert level of care based on national best practices that centers like Roswell Park help to define. Catholic Health offers deep local insight together with world-class cancer care to local communities through its Care Network membership.  

“Being able to deliver top-tier care coordination to patients outside of Buffalo is a great priority,” says Dr. Schwaab.

You have a unique opportunity to support this partnership and bring the newest, promising cancer therapies to Long Island communities through ESR Long Island.

Tackling Hills

Whether you’re new to cycling or an experienced cyclist, tackling hills can be a challenge. Riders for the 10-mile course for Empire State Ride Long Island can expect a relatively flat route with one hill in the final two miles, but those completing the 25- and 62-mile courses will experience greater elevation changes. Don’t let that scare you! Preparing for elevation makes you stronger and helps you get the most out of your ride. We’ve got you covered with tips from two of Long Island’s most avid cyclists.

To start, familiarize yourself with the course. Check out all three routes here.

As you can see, the starting line at Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park sits at sea level. From there, there will be a series of rolling hills for the 25-mile route. For the 62-mile route, you’ll need to tackle a larger hill during the final stretch of the ride. Once you’ve conquered that hill, it will bring you to Theodore Roosevelt’s beautiful summer home, making it well worth the challenge.

So, what’s the secret to successful hill riding?

Name Your Enemy

For long-time runner turned cyclist Phil Zodda from Brooklyn, it all comes down to naming your enemy. Phil helps organize a group of riders every year for the weeklong Empire State Ride called the Dragon Slayers. The name, inspired by a patch made by a fellow rider, has come to symbolize the grit and determination it takes to “slay” the difficult, uphill portions of the course. The “dragon” represents both cancer and obstacles like hills. Anytime you’re riding uphill and reach the peak, you’ve just slayed your dragon.

This takes practice, Phil says. “It’s a matter of putting time in a saddle. Change your RPMs and your pace. Push hard for a few minutes, then back off. Simulate what it would be like to expend energy going up a hill.”

Practice Riding on Hills

Richard Noll, a cyclist from Oyster Bay, regularly rides around with an unofficial cycling group called the Long Island Rough Riders. The group is named after Theodore Roosevelt’s historic cavalry and rides together on the weekends, often covering between 40 and 100 miles.

Richard says that you should seek out hills before event day to practice riding through elevation changes. Find hills and practice going up and down them. If you live in an area that’s relatively flat, he suggests finding a bridge or using a vacant parking ramp (when it’s safe to do so) to simulate an incline.

Above all else, though, Richard says that you should remember the real reason you’re tackling hills and riding in Empire State Ride Long Island: to end cancer. And you’re riding with other people who are riding for the same reason. Plus, you get to challenge yourself in the process.

“In terms of a physical challenge: What greater way to improve yourself than to do something you’ve never done before? Hop in, take the challenge,” he says.

A Few Final Tips

Our route expert at the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation, Thomas Johnston, added that new riders should remember a few additional pointers for success:

  1. Shift gears on hills. If you don’t know how to, talk to your local bike shop before the event.
  2. Watch for sand. On Long Island, there can be sand accumulations on the bottom of hills. Take it easy on the downhill to stay safe.
  3. Most importantly: Have fun! You’re going to ride past beaches and the Long Island Sound. You’ll find narrow winding roads and quiet lanes. Afterward, you can enjoy everything Oyster Bay has to offer. Don’t forget to enjoy the sites.
Empire State Ride Long Island white logo

Connect with us!

Contact info

Elm & Carlton Streets
Buffalo, NY 14263​


Funds raised directly benefit