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Ride for a Reason


Ride for a Reason

Community leaders join the fight against cancer with Padres Pedal the Cause

Posted on September 29, 2017

Whether you are CEO of a Fortune 500 company, a teenager in high school, or a leading scientist at one of San Diego’s top research centers, there is no doubt that someone in your life has been affected by cancer. Current statistics project that one in two men and one in three women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. At the same time, the progress in cancer research and treatment is unprecedented as scientists pioneer new explorations in genomics and personalized medicine. As potential government cutbacks threaten to limit cancer research grants, a growing number of business-minded philanthropists and passionate cancer advocates — including Debra Reed, Rick Valencia, and Fernanda Whitworth — are among those stepping up as part of a local effort to fund cancer research with Padres Pedal the Cause.

Founded by two-time lymphoma survivor, Bill Koman, and his wife, Amy, residents of Rancho Santa Fe, “Padres Pedal” is a community cycling challenge that raises millions of dollars annually for cancer research in San Diego, which is home to three NCI-designated institutions (Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health, the Salk Institute, and Sanford-Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute) and one of the country’s best pediatric oncology programs at Rady Children’s Hospital. One hundred percent of all donations go directly to the four beneficiaries to fund important early-stage discovery research that otherwise would likely not receive federal funding.

Now in its fifth year, Padres Pedal has raised almost $5 million for cancer research, funded 31 project grants, and received donations from 41,000+ individuals. With a sister ride in St. Louis, the organizations have together raised more than $25 million for cancer research.

Padres Pedal the Cause will take place on November 11-12 at Petco Park. To register to ride, visit gopedal.org.


Debra Reed, CEO of Sempra Energy
Team: Sempra
Lifetime Team Raise: $102,608.94 

“Sempra Energy is a proud supporter of Pedal the Cause, in our first year, raising and contributing almost $200,000 with 64 riders and nearly 100 volunteers. Engaging our employees in raising funds for research that will stay right here in San Diego gives us a tangible way to work together and help make a difference.

Ride for a Reason
Debra Reed (center)


ick Valencia, President of Qualcomm Life
Team: Qualcomm
Lifetime Personal Raise: $100,000.00
Lifetime Team Raise: $296,390.27 

“I’ve lost several friends and family members to cancer. The first was Carly Copley, the four-year-old daughter of a friend. I have never forgotten watching the pain of that loss. We need cures right now and right here. Pedal is our community’s answer to that need.”

Ride for a Reason
Rick Valencia and Aubrey


Fernanda Whitworth, President and Co-Founder, Immunotherapy Foundation
Team: Immunotherapy Foundation (IF)
Lifetime Personal Raise: First Year Rider
Lifetime Team Raise: First Year Team

“My husband, Ralph, passed away last year from cancer. While the genesis of our journey into cancer research has been heartbreaking, I am committed to transforming the way we view cancer into a triumphant one. With the promise of immunotherapy and other new areas of research on the horizon, I believe a cure is imminent.”

Ralph and Fernanda Whitworth worked with UC San Diego to build a rare cell-processing laboratory, laying the foundation for a center of excellence at UCSD for immunotherapy.

Ride for a Reason
Ralph and Fernanda


Sandy & Peter Mossy, Mossy Nissan
Team: Mossy Automotive
Lifetime Personal Raise: $33,350.00
Lifetime Team Raise: $165,636.64 

“It seems that at every moment, someone in our life is battling cancer. Our company, Mossy Nissan, participates as a team, which has brought our employees together to serve others, get involved in our city, and enjoy a healthy weekend for an important cause. In life’s struggles, we need community to be there for each other and dig in. Pedal is like a big love-fest; a huge, diverse group of people all unified by one goal: cure cancer now.” 



Lexi Allred, Teacher and Cancer Survivor
Lifetime Personal Raise: $10,930.00
Lifetime Team Raise: $60,260.00 

“I ride in hope of a future in which we will not have to watch our loved ones undergo all that is cancer treatment. I ride for the community that supported me endlessly through my cancer diagnosis. I ride with love and support for my dad.” 

Ride for a Reason
Lexi Allred




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