Pediatric Patients Race Staff to Raise Funds for Cancer Research

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Miller Children’s Tour of Long Beach trike race riders screech out of the starting line as John Bishop, chief executive officer, Miller Children’s, raises the green starting flag.

Miller Children’s Tour of Long Beach trike race riders screech out of the starting line as John Bishop, chief executive officer, Miller Children’s, raises the green starting flag.

On Wednesday, April 12, pint-sized pediatric cancer patients competed in one of their most memorable tricycle races—a race against the very doctors and nurses that treat them day in and day out at the annual Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach’s Tour of Long Beach kick-off.

The trike race kicks off fundraising for Miller Children’s Tour of Long Beach, which raises funds for pediatric cancer research at the Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Center (JJCCC). As the trike racers looped around the circular driveway in front of Miller Children’s, event-goers made up of family, friends, hospital staff and community members cheered them on.

The trike race competition included a veteran trike rider—Ben Alvarado, Lead Region President of Southern California, Wells Fargo—who along with his trike racing skills brought a $75,000 donation on behalf of Wells Fargo.

“At Wells Fargo, we know that we are only as strong as the communities we serve,” says Alvarado. “This donation is in honor of the Miller Children’s community, which is founded in a culture of caring. It is a pleasure to be a part of this trike race today and to know our Wells Fargo team will be participating in the Miller Children’s Tour of Long Beach in May.”

The trike race included two heats. In the first heat, Miller Children’s physicians and nurses raced for a chance to enter into the second heat and race for the “Trike Champ” title. Winner of heat one, Ramin J. Javahery, M.D., medical director, pediatric neurosurgery, Miller Children’s, lined up for a second time at the starting line alongside Alvarado and the fastest racers in the league—Miller Children’s hematology/oncology tricycle riders.

“Our JJCCC patients and physicians have been training on the hematology/oncology unit for months,” says Jacqueline Casillas, M.D., M.S.H.S, medical director, JJCCC, Miller Children’s. “We knew going into the race we’d have some tough competition, but these kids really blew past us.”

After an intense race, 7-year-old patient Caleb Bradfield crossed the finish line in record time upholding his title as the fastest trike racer for the second year.

“The trike race represents something bigger,” says Tony Cruz, former Olympian, professional cyclist and community ambassador, trike race master of ceremonies. “We are biking in the spirit of supporting the pediatric cancer patients at Miller Children’s.”

Miller Children’s Tour of Long Beach takes place on Saturday, May 13 and invites amateur cyclists and bicycle enthusiasts of all skill levels to ride on the 30-mile Tour, 62-mile Metric Century, 100-mile “Cruz Gran Fondo” and a 5-mile Family Fun Ride throughout the city.

For more on the Miller Children’s Tour of Long Beach, visit TourofLongBeach.com.

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