Stopping Cancer Early – The Best Possible Investment


Archive for 2013

Cancer Early Detection Ride: How to Prepare for the Canary Challenge

September 6, 2013

The countdown has begun! It’s less than two full weeks to the day of the Canary Challenge, and everyone is looking forward to the big day. Whether you’re going for the full century ride, or have your sights set on the 5k walk/run route, it’s essential to get ready and be prepared for what’s ahead. To make it easy, we’ve put together a short checklist to help guide you!


Part of participating in the Canary Challenge is fundraising to benefit cancer early detection research at Stanford Cancer Institute and the Canary Center at Stanford. Keep an eye on your fundraising progress and monitor how far you’ve come to reach your goals. If you’re struggling with the fundraising aspect of the Canary Challenge, take a look at our blog: How to Raise $400 in 5 Days.

Stay Healthy & Hydrate
One key to a good athletic performance is to treat your body right by eating healthy and hydrating. In the weeks and days leading up to the Canary Challenge, drink as much water as possible, while eating healthy, balanced meals. Your body will thank you during the ride!

Check Your Ride
Whether you ride your bike every day, or if you’re taking it out of the basement and dusting it off, it’s critical to make sure your bike is in working order. Check your tires and brakes so that you can have a smooth — and safe — ride on September 28. For the ultimate safety check, go to a bike shop, like Mike’s Bikes, one of our sponsors, and ask for a check-up on your bike.

Recruit Volunteers
If you can, get more friends to register for the Canary Challenge! However, some of your friends, family and acquaintances might be more comfortable volunteering as opposed to riding. We’re actively looking for volunteers- if you know someone who’s interested in volunteering, have them register with us ASAP!

Make a Plan with Your Team Members
Many people who ride the Canary Challenge do so with a team, either organized around a company, a concept, or a person whose memory they’re honoring. Get in touch with your team members and communicate about timing, outfits, and other plans to meet up and ride together. Coordinating your team will help you build more great memories during the Canary Challenge.


Early Cancer Detection: Canary Minute with Vanderkitten Owner Dave Verrecchia

September 3, 2013

In this Canary Minute, Sasha Hao interviews Dave Verrecchia, the owner of the Vanderkittens, a fantastic women’s pro cycling team partnered with the Canary Challenge. He shares why the Vanderkittens support the Canary Challenge, the premier Palo Alto CA cycling event held each September to raise funds for cancer early detection and the Stanford Cancer Institute as well as provides us with some useful tips for what to do before the ride!

Early cancer detection is the focus of Canary Foundation’s annual fundraising event The Canary Challenge!

Early Cancer Detection: Canary Minute with Canary Challenge Fundraising Winner

August 29, 2013

In this Canary Minute, Sasha Hao interviews Carolyn Helmke, a woman affected by cancer and a Canary Challenge fundraising contest winner. She explains why she is passionate about Canary Challenge, the premier Palo Alto CA cycling event held each September to raise funds for cancer early detection and the Stanford Cancer Institute. Carolyn also provides useful fundraising tips for other Canary Challenge riders!

Early cancer detection is the focus of Canary Foundation’s annual fundraising event, the Canary Challenge!

Early Cancer Detection: It’s Not too Late to Get Involved!

August 27, 2013

It’s not too late to get involved in the Canary Challenge on September 28 – you have the unique opportunity to contribute to fundraising and to earn prizes while doing it!  If you’re fundraising for the Canary Challenge we’ve got some amazing new prizes and benefits. If you’re not riding, consider contributing to the success of cutting edge early cancer detection research by volunteering! Your time and money are so valuable in reaching the $1 million fundraising goal.

The individual who fundraises the greatest amount between August 28, 2013 and midnight September 8, 2013 wins either a 1:1 2-hour personal training session with the incredible pro cyclist Liza Rachetto from Vanderkitten Racing and a GoPro camera.


Additionally, we are offering an amazing opportunity to ride and dine with pro cyclists on September 27, the day before the highly anticipated Canary Challenge 2013. Participants who raise at least $3,500 will be able to participant in a VIP “Ride with the Pros” event. There will be route options for beginners as well as experts, as well as a wonderful lunch provided where you can chat with pro (and non-pro) cyclists and the Canary Foundation founder, Don Listwin.

Participants who raise over $5,000 will be able to participate in everything above as well as a VIP dinner with the Canary Foundation founder, Don Listwin. To check out all the other VIP goodies please visit and check out the benefits matrix!

Join us in knocking our fundraising out of the ballpark during this final push before the finish line! Thank you to all those who have raised funds so far and for helping us to reach our ambitious $1 million goal- your support and unparalleled dedication to the Canary Challenge is deeply appreciated. Don’t miss out on all the fun! Keep raising those dollars and reaching out to your networks!

Early Cancer Detection on Social: #CanaryChallenge Photo Contest Highlights

August 21, 2013

In July, Canary Foundation launched a social media photo contest designed to get Canary Challenge cyclists psyched about about the ride, their training, and raising funds for early cancer detection research. Over the last two months, we’ve received over 200 photos from excited riders showing off bikes, scenic views, and fundraising activities. Submissions poured in on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram using the #CanaryChallenge hashtag, illustrating the collective excitement and buzz generated on social media networks.

You can view the full photo gallery of user submissions on our custom Facebook tab, but we’ve chosen some recently uploaded images to demonstrate some examples of the many phenomenal photos posted so far:

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Some of the prizes given out to date include a GoPro camera, a Vanderkitten T Shirt, Canary “Cancer Sucks” socks, and Canary Challenge sunblock sticks. In the coming weeks, we’re giving away another GoPro Camera, and an incredible Castelli Wilier Triestina Granturismo Track Jacket, generously donated by our partners at Vanderkitten Women’s Cycling. It’s not too late to throw your hat (or photo) in the ring! Submit your photo using #CanaryChallenge on social media networks for a chance to snag one of these incredible prizes!


Early Cancer Detection Fundraising: How to Raise $400 in 5 Days

August 13, 2013

It’s six weeks until the Canary Challenge and you haven’t raised the $400 minimum.  You still have plenty of time but you have to get busy and start reaching out to your network.  Here’s an easy way to raise $400 in 5 days.  5 days!

four hundred

Day 1:  Donate $50 to yourself.                                                                               $50

Day 2:  Ask your housemate/spouse/partner to donate $50                           $100

Day 3:  Ask two relatives to donate $50 each                                                    $200

Day 4:  Ask two friends to donate $50 each                                                       $300

Day 5 (Backup)Ask two neighbors/colleagues for $50 each             Total: $400

Top fundraisers have found letter writing campaigns very successful.  Write a letter or email friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors to let them know what you’re doing and ask them to donate to you.  Tell your story, why you are doing the Canary Challenge, where the money goes and why this is important to you.  Remember: always send a thank you note to your donors.

Another great way to solicit contributions is to use social media- post your Canary Challenge fundraising page on your Facebook and Twitter accounts so that your friends and family know you’re getting involved. So many people in this world have been affected by this tragic disease. You may be surprised at how many people contribute and help you spread the world, whether they’re close friends or distant acquaintances.

Below is an example of Canary Challenge rider Maria, whose friends have started reposting and soliciting contributions on her behalf. It’s equally important to thank those who donate or help spread the word on social media.

Best of luck, Canary Challenge riders! Don’t forget- we’re here to help. Tweet your fundraising pages at @CanaryFound or use the #CanaryChallenge hashtag, and we’ll help you spread the word as well.


Early Cancer Detection Fundraising: Win a $1000 Wheelset for Your Ride!

August 9, 2013

We’re excited to announce a contest to win a brand new $1000 wheelset — PSIMET aluminum custom race clinchers — branded by Vanderkitten Racing. This wheelset will be used as a gift for the individual who raises the greatest amount of money for the Canary Challenge between August 6 and and midnight on Friday, August 16.



The fundraiser who raises the greatest dollar amount during this window of time will receive this fabulous wheelset as our gift — a perfect accessory to use on your bike for the upcoming Canary Challenge on September 28.

Additionally, when you raise $1,000 in donations you receive a perfect tribute from the 2013 Canary Challenge: a customized Canary Challenge jersey. You can wear this proudly on rides in years to come!

Good luck and thank you for your commitment to raising funds for Stanford Cancer Institute and Canary Center for Cancer Early Detection at Stanford. Your work makes a difference and we are deeply grateful for your participation.

Early Cancer Detection Riders: Vanderkitten Training Ride

August 6, 2013

Vanderkitten leading the way

On August 3rd, Pro Cyclists from Vanderkitten Racing led a training ride for Canary Challenge riders. It was great to be able to spend a sunny Saturday morning riding with members of the strongest (in numbers) Canary Challenge team in Portola Valley, in preparation for the upcoming Canary Challenge on September 28.

Vanderkitten riders Ruth Winder, Liza Rachetto and Jessica Cutler had a great time getting to know everyone and each rider’s strengths on the bike. Liza is a two-time Giro D Italia finisher and three time Hawaii Ironman Finisher, and Jessica Cutler is the Washington State Time Trial Champion. Click here for the full photo gallery. 

If  you want to get in on the training action, join more Vanderkitten cyclists from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on August 17 and September 7. Beginner to Intermediate cyclists are welcome. Please RSVP so we can know how many riders can expect.


Cancer Early Detection: The Annual Canary Foundation Early Detection Symposium

July 29, 2013


Canary Foundation is excited to announce the details of our upcoming Annual Early Detection Symposium, to be held on October 15th, at Stanford University.

The main focus of the meeting is to bring Canary research teams together to cultivate a collaborative network of cancer early detection researchers as well as hearing from some top-notch scientists. Every year, leading-edge projects arise among scientists who meet at the Symposium.

At Canary Foundation, one of the core values that drives our organization is collaboration. We believe that our collective impact is greater than our individual contributions; as a result, we are committed to bringing together the best and brightest minds in science to pioneer discovery and accelerate progress.

In that spirit, each year Canary Foundation invites hundreds of scientists from all over the world to hear from innovative and inspiring researchers in the field of cancer early detection research. The goal of the Canary Foundation Early Detection Symposium is to convene researchers so they can share their successes and challenges, working together to spur progress and development.

We expect about 200 researchers, clinicians and industry representatives as well as staff from other cancer research foundations. The Canary disease teams, including Ovarian, Pancreas, Prostate, Lung and Breast, will present updates on their research.

We’ve recently published the Symposium Agenda, which highlights the quality and caliber of the researchers presenting, as well as the breadth and depth of the topics to be discussed. To register, please visit the Symposium Website. Canary Foundation supporters and donors are encouraged to attend.


Cancer Early Detection: Canary Challenge Teams are on a Roll!

July 25, 2013

Over the last couple of months, things have been really heating up in the competition to recruit more members to join Canary Challenge teams. The contest was to become the first team to sign up six new members on a first come, first served basis. Two teams have stood out against the competition by amassing several new team members to ride side by side during the Canary Challenge on September 28.

kla-tencorKLA-Tencor, a $5K Sponsor of the Canary Challenge, rose to victory lead by team captain Rick Ankiel. They added 10 new team members, winning a GoPro camera and custom Canary Challenge “Cancer Sucks” socks. They beat out 64 other teams.

matthewsThe Matthews Group at Morgan Stanley, also a $5K sponsor of the Canary Challenge, outpaced the rest of the pack lead by team captain Amy Oliver. They added seven new team members and also won a GoPro camera, custom Canary Challenge “Cancer Sucks” socks, along with custom Canary Challenge sunblock. They came in first against 69 other teams competing.

Your team could be next! It’s time to hustle and recruit as many team members as you can to raise as much funds as possible. If some of your colleagues are intimidated by a century ride, remind them that there are 50K and 75K routes, as well as a 5K walk/run/ride route. All proceeds go to early cancer detection research at the Canary Center and the Stanford Cancer Institute. Our vision is to live in a world where cancer is caught at the earliest, most treatable stage.

To learn more about the Team Challenge, visit the Team Challenge page on the Canary Challenge website.