Miami Dolphins and Miller Ride to Benefit Sylvester

Donning helmets and cycling gear, UM President Donna E. Shalala and Miami Dolphins CEO Mike Dee rode bikes onto the Schoninger Research Quadrangle Monday to announce a two-day, 30- to 170-mile, tri-county bike ride to benefit Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center this November.

A collaborative effort between the Miami Dolphins Foundation and the Miller School of Medicine, the Dolphins Cycling Challenge (DCC) will be held November 20-21 to support research at the UHealth – University of Miami Health System’s renowned hub for cancer research, diagnosis and treatment. Leaders of both institutions said the inaugural event will set the stage for a signature challenge that will grow and endure for decades – until cancer is vanquished.

“Why cancer and cancer research? Cancer impacts everyone,’‘ Dee said at a news conference and pep rally attended by UM leaders, local officials and Dolphins executives, alumni, cheerleaders and mascot T.D. “It’s not just a Dolphins battle. It’s not just a Sylvester battle. It is not just a South Florida battle. It’s our collective battle.’‘

Open to all cyclists from South Florida and across the nation, the DCC will begin with a kick-off party and registration on Friday, November 19, at Bayfront Park in Miami. Cycling events will take place over the next two days, Saturday and Sunday, November 20 and 21, with various options for riders of all experience and ability levels, including children between the ages of 3 and 13.

Calling the challenge “a tremendous opportunity” for Sylvester, President Shalala expressed her gratitude to Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross, Dolphins Vice Chairman Jorge Perez, a UM trustee, and Dee for creating a legacy event that will benefit the community for generations.

“The money raised by the Dolphins Cycling Challenge will directly benefit cancer patients and their families,’‘ President Shalala said. “This world-class event is truly befitting of a world-class city like Miami, which understands the meaning of giving back. Together, we will make the challenge an event that is both inspiring and, more important, life-affirming.’‘

Echoing the President’s gratitude, Miller School Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., said the opportunity belongs to all of South Florida because an academic cancer center is an essential resource for providing cancer patients the latest research, technologies and therapies.

“We are so proud of being trusted by the people of South Florida, Miami and beyond to care for anyone who is affected by cancer,’‘ Dean Goldschmidt said.

Jim Mandich, former Dolphins tight end and the team’s longtime radio announcer who will serve as grand marshal of the challenge, said he understands the reason for that trust. Diagnosed with bile-duct cancer earlier this year, he said the decision of where to seek treatment was difficult, but obvious.

“I cannot tell you how important it is to have a facility like this at the place where you call home,’‘ Mandich said. “I put my life in the hands of the Sylvester cancer clinic and I am convinced I made the right decision.’‘

The toughest segment of the challenge will take place on Saturday, Nov. 20, when participants will embark on a 100-mile “century ride” from downtown Miami to West Palm Beach’s City Place. The following day, Sunday, November 21, adult participants can choose between two rides: a 70-mile ride from City Place in West Palm Beach to Sun Life Stadium, just over the Broward County line in Miami-Dade, or a 30-mile ride from Fort Lauderdale to Sun Life Stadium. Younger cyclists also will have a chance to do their part on Sunday. DCC will host a “Kids Ride” with multiple courses for different age groups set up at Sun Life Stadium.

At the conclusion, the DCC will host “South Florida’s Biggest Cycling Party” with all DCC riders invited to an on-field celebration at the stadium. The celebration will continue Dec. 5 for riders who committed to 70 or more miles. They’ll receive two complimentary tickets to the home game between the Dolphins and the Cleveland Browns as part of their registration fee.

For more information or to sign up for the challenge, please visit

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