LOWVELO launches 2020 virtual event to raise money for lifesaving cancer research

July 17, 2020
Lowvelo goes solo 2020 illustration with Charleston landmarks including Rainbow Row, Ravenel Bridge and Fort Sumter
LOWVELO goes solo this year to offer a safe way for participants of all ages to be active and healthy while raising money for lifesaving cancer research at Hollings Cancer Center.

This year, LOWVELO switches gears to go solo as the fundraising event opens registration July 15 as a virtual event, with runners, walkers and cyclists logging miles to raise money for lifesaving cancer research being developed at Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Hollings Cancer Center interim director Denis Guttridge, Ph.D., said he’s excited by how the event has been regeared in its second year to ensure everyone’s safety, given the impact of COVID-19.

“Because cancer doesn’t stop with COVID-19, nor do we. That’s why, for our second year of LOWVELO, we are going ‘solo’ so we can keep everyone safe. That means riding your bike, running or walking but with one incredibly important goal — to reach 31,710 miles, which represents the estimated number of people who will be diagnosed with cancer in South Carolina in 2020,” he said.

“This year, we ride, run or walk in LOWVELO 2020 to raise awareness and funding so we can increase survivorship while still honoring all the loved ones we have lost to this disease.”

Dr. Denis Guttridge gives a thumbs up while riding his bike in Lowvelo 2019 
Guttridge, a 100-mile rider last year, is excited about future advances in cancer care that funds raised during LOWVELO 2020 will help make possible.

Abby Parks, LOWVELO event director, said it was amazing to see the passion and energy at last year’s inaugural event, which attracted more than 660 riders and over 300 volunteers as cyclists chose from three Lowcountry routes, ranging from 25 to 100 miles. Participants raised almost $700,000.

“This year, we’re opening it up to all ages and runners and walkers as well as cyclists. You get to do you and set your own distance and pick your favorite scenic spots to exercise. Sometimes we won’t work out for ourselves, but we will show up as a community and spur each other on for a great cause,” she said.

While everyone is logging miles on their own, they still will be part of a virtual LOWVELO community and receive inspiration to stay motivated and to increase their activity levels through a fitness app and social media challenges, she said. Another change for this year is that there are no minimum fundraising levels, only suggested amounts. “The goal is for this to be fun and definitely low stress. We also want to show everyone how easy it is to raise funds virtually,” she said.

Here’s how to participate:

  • Log on to the website and register either for free or for $25 to get this year’s signature LOWVELO T-shirt.

  • Pick your activity category — with wheels or without wheels — and select your challenge level; create a participant profile; and begin logging miles from July 15, when the event opens until Nov. 14, when there’s a virtual celebration. You can sign up any time during this period.

  • Take advantage of the LOWVELO community on Strava, a fitness app, to stay inspired while reaching out to family and friends to tell them how they can donate.

Guttridge, who rode the 100-mile route last year, said he’s just as excited about this year’s event even though riders won’t be able to come together. He has seen how events such as these can provide critical funding for research that holds exciting promise but still might face challenges attracting support through traditional sources.

“What we do together this year in our virtual 2020 ride will set the tone for future advances in cancer care,” he said, adding that the event is important for supporting Hollings’ mission to reduce the cancer burden in South Carolina. Hollings is the state’s only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center, part of a collaborative network of 71 such centers holding that distinction in the nation.

What also draws him to the LOWVELO event is how it enables the community to be part of the solution. “I’ll never see LOWVELO as just another fundraiser. For me, it’s a movement to change cancer care in our great state. I don’t see Hollings Cancer Center as a separate entity but, instead, as an integrated part of our Charleston and South Carolina community as we all work together to make a difference in how we prevent and treat cancer to save lives.”

For more information, visit the LOWVELO website or email lowvelo@musc.edu.

About the Author

Dawn Brazell
MUSC Hollings Cancer Center

Keywords: Cancer, Fitness and Wellness, Research