Special rose bush planted to commemorate employees’ contribution to 600-km three-and-a-half-day cycle ride from Toronto to Novartis Canada headquarters in Dorval
Novartis Ride for Life has raised more than $1.2 million for cancer research since 2005
Dorval, Quebec, August 27, 2019 – The 15th annual Novartis Ride for Life™ was celebrated with the planting of a special “Rose of Hope” bush in the gardens of Novartis Canadian headquarters in Dorval. The long-distance cycling event has raised more than $1.2 million for breast cancer research since the first ride in 2005.
Over the years, there have been 1,000 riders in the Novartis Ride for Life. Each participant in the Ride for Life is responsible for raising their own funds for the event, which this year totaled more than $60,000 to support Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation research programs. This year, 40 employees representing the Innovative Medicines Division (Oncology and Pharma business units) and Sandoz took part in the four-day Toronto-to-Montreal event, 27 of them cycling the full 600 km. An additional 13 colleagues joined the riders at the Quebec border on the final day and together they arrived at the Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. headquarters in Dorval. Other team members included the seven behind-the-scenes colleagues whose contribution included, among other things, driving and transporting equipment.
This milestone year is special for many riders, particularly for those who have taken part in the Ride for Life more than once since 2005. Also, the new addition of the “Rose of Hope” has a special connection to breast cancer and to two Novartis employees, Maureen Miller and sister Melissa Miller who have donated the commemorative rose to mark this year’s ride. The Rose of Hope was the last rose developed by their grandfather, late Montreal horticulturalist and rose expert Jack McIntyre following the death of one of his daughters from breast cancer in 2006. Known as “The Rose Man,” he had created many special roses for philanthropic causes throughout his career. In honor of their donation, an image of the rose has been added to this year’s rider jerseys.
“The Ride for Life is a wonderful tradition for Novartis in Canada that demonstrates how committed we are to the cause of helping people with cancer. When the first ride took place fifteen years ago, there were seven people involved. It has grown significantly over the years – a testament to the team’s dedication to this cause,” said Christian Macher, country President of Novartis Canada. “A core part of our work is developing and delivering innovative medicines but our contribution to society doesn’t stop there. We support independent research and programs that help patients in different ways and are committed to giving back to the communities in which we work, and the money donated by Novartis employees supports exactly that.”
The Ride for Life was started by Novartis colleagues in 2005 as a way to go beyond their work at Novartis to help fight cancer. Many of those riding each year have strong personal connections to breast cancer. The Ride for Life involves more than just the four-day cycling event, with many employees – both riders and committed supporters – actively engaged in a broad range of fundraising events and awareness-raising activities throughout the year.
“We are grateful to the Novartis team for their generous contribution over the years. The Ride for Life is an excellent demonstration of teamwork and commitment by Novartis employees in the name of furthering breast cancer research,” said Nathalie Tremblay, Chief Executive Officer of the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation. “They have made an important contribution to allowing the Foundation to invest more than $50 million into its mission, of which more than $32 million has directly funded breast cancer research.”
The Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation is the only philanthropic organization whose research investments in the fight against breast cancer are exclusively made here in Quebec. Funds raised by the Foundation are also invested to support innovation, awareness, and education. For more information, visit rubanrose.org
About Novartis in Canada Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc., a leader in the healthcare field, is committed to the discovery, development and marketing of innovative products to improve the well-being of all Canadians. In 2018, the company invested $52 million in research and development in Canada. Located in Dorval, Quebec, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. employs approximately 1,000 people in Canada and is an affiliate of Novartis AG, which provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. For further information, please consult www.novartis.ca.
About Novartis Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world’s top companies investing in research and development. Novartis products reach more than 750 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 108,000 people of more than 140 nationalities work at Novartis around the world. Find out more at www.novartis.com.