Dolphins Cycling Challenge Gears Up for Cancer-Fighting Ride

UHealth-University of Miami Health System leaders and Miami Dolphins players and executives welcomed cyclists, media, and fans to Sun Life Stadium Friday for the official kick-off of the 2011 Dolphins Cycling Challenge.

Recalling the success of last year’s inaugural ride, Miller School Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., said he was ready once again to join his “Team Sylvester” colleagues and other cyclists to help tackle cancer one mile at a time.

A collaborative effort between the Miami Dolphins Foundation and the Miller School of Medicine, the second annual Dolphins Cycling Challenge will be held November 5 and 6 to support cancer treatment and research at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

While last year’s ride raised more than $533,000, Dean Goldschmidt said he expects to see that total at least double. Miami Dolphins CEO Mike Dee went a step further saying he is “reluctant to put a number on this year’s goal” because he does not want to limit possibilities or expectations.

Representing Team Sylvester at the kick-off along with Dean Goldschmidt were Jennifer Stearns Buttrick Sylvester Board of Governors member and cancer survivor and W. Jarrard Goodwin, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and University of Miami Hospital and Clinics.

Also riding in this year’s two-day, tri-county challenge will be U.S. Senator Marco Rubio who observed that “no one today can live his or her life without having someone they love be affected by some form of cancer.”

Jim Mandich was one of those people. A former Miami Dolphin and UM/Sylvester patient and supporter, Mandich lost his fight with bile duct cancer in April. This year’s challenge is dedicated to Mandich’s courageous fight.

Representing the Mandich family, Jim’s widow Bonnie thanked Dr. Goodwin and his UHealth colleagues for the world-class care her husband received at Sylvester. “Jim had one of the roughest and least understood types of cancer,” Mandich said, urging support for the Dolphins Cycling Challenge and its efforts to raise more funds to research this and other forms of the deadly disease.

“A world-class city like Miami needs and deserves a world-class medical center,” said Mike Dee. “In three to five years, the DCC will be South Florida’s premier charity event.”

Before leading Dean Goldschmidt and other riders on a short kick-off lap around the stadium parking lot, Dee reminded supporters that they do not have to physically ride in one of the five course options—ranging in distance from 30 to 100 miles—to contribute to the event’s success. Those interested are also encouraged to make a donation, sponsor a rider, volunteer their time, or become an event sponsor. For more information, please visit

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