Going the Lung-Haul: St. Joe’s Surgeon & Clinician-Researchers to Ride 100 kms in Hopes of Attracting 100 Donations in Paris to Ancaster

Three respiratory health specialists at St. Joe’s have teamed up to complete the upcoming Paris to Ancaster (P2A) Bike Race – and you could say they’re in it for the lung-haul. For nearly 30 years, P2A has been one of Canada’s premier cycling events and more recently it became a fundraiser supporting research at St. Joe’s.

On April 24, Dr. Kjetil Ask, Dr. Mark Inman and Dr. Yaron Shargall of the Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health at St. Joe’s Hospital, are cycling an all-new, 100-km course across some of the region’s most tumultuous terrain, including rutted dirt paths through farmers’ fields, muddy forest trails, and steep gravel roads.

They are inviting the community to help fuel their epic ride and research. Drs. Inman, Ask and Shargall are hoping to inspire 100 donations between them, one for every kilometre of the grueling grind they’re riding. Gifts can be made directly to Team FIRH: 100 Donations for 100 kms to help them cross the finish line and reach their goal.

“After more than two years of COVID-19, it’s great to be riding alongside colleagues again to raise funds for groundbreaking healthcare research right here at St. Joe’s,” the trio says. “While the pandemic has been devastating in so many ways, it’s also shown the value and the promise that comes from investing in healthcare research. Going from an unknown virus to an effective vaccine in less than a year offers new hope that, with more funding behind the research, we can make medical breakthroughs for other diseases, too.”

Supporting the ‘Cycle’ of Research Innovation

Behind every medical advancement is a team of research scientists making remarkable discoveries that have the power to promote a healthier future for all. But much like the P2A’s 100-km challenge, healthcare research can be a long journey with many obstacles to navigate along the way.

For respiratory researchers and lung doctors, unravelling the mysteries behind illnesses like asthma and COPD is no small feat. It takes determination, perseverance and, of course, essential funding. It can take years, sometimes decades, for a scientific discovery in a lab to lead to a medical breakthrough that will help patients breathe easier. But by supporting Team FIRH: 100 Donations for 100 kms, you can help pedal medical innovation forward.

“Funds raised through the P2A can help pave the path for the future of medical research in Hamilton,” the trio adds. “The cost of research can be huge but, by putting funds behind existing research or kickstarting new studies among a younger generation of scientists, the cycle of research innovation continues – enabling healthcare workers to enhance the care they provide to patients and potentially saving lives, too.”

Working in Tandem Towards a Healthier Future

For the seventh year in a row, St. Joe’s is proud to be the sole beneficiary of funds raised through P2A. Since partnering with the race’s organizers, nearly $335,000 has been raised to help fund research projects and the advancement of patient care at our Hospital.

Whether you choose the 20-km family ride, or challenge yourself in the 45-km, 70-km or 100-km races, every P2A participant can ride and raise funds to support the innovative healthcare research that takes place daily at St. Joe’s.

Participants can register as an individual fundraiser or form a team with family, friends, and co-workers. Once you’ve registered to ride by visiting parisancaster.com, don’t forget to sign up to raise funds for research at St. Joe’s.

If you don’t own a bike, or just don’t want to ride one, you can also make a donation to Team FIRH: 100 Donations for 100 kms and support our researchers on their journey to discovery!