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Tech Community Rallies to Obliteride Cancer

Fred Hutchinson Annual Bike Ride and New 5K Walk Take Place August 11

Amazon, Microsoft, Seattle Genetics, Juno, Blue Nile and Lyft are just a few of the companies helping to sponsor Obliteride 2018 in a race to cure cancer. More than a bike ride, a 5K walk, and a first class entertainment experience, Obliteride is a community gathering determined to cure cancer faster by raising critical funds for lifesaving research at Fred Hutch.  Other companies sponsoring or organizing Obliteride teams include Adaptive Technologies, Adobe, Facebook, NanoString Technologies, Pixvanna and Whitepages.

Amazon is sponsoring Obliteride’s program of 800 volunteers who play a vital role in the event. Mike Clayville, vice president of worldwide commercial sales at Amazon Web Services, has helped spearhead the company’s involvement and expects more than 200 employees to walk, ride or volunteer at Obliteride on Aug. 11.

“I lost my wife to cancer, which led me to this fight,” said Clayville. “I believe research is the fastest way to find a cure, and I believe Fred Hutch has the team that will get us there. We have an incredible opportunity to support researchers who are making groundbreaking discoveries right in our backyard.”

Microsoft team captain David Powell has assembled a strong team that has already raised more than $130,000 for research. “This is an incredibly important time to step up with strong support for Fred Hutch’s lifesaving work,” said Powell. “Since the very first year of Obliteride, Microsoft employees have participated in a big way where they have fun, build community and raise critical funds for cancer cures.” Microsoft and Fred Hutch are also collaborating to develop technology to help cancer patients avoid the emergency room through better management of their chemotherapy side effects.

We greatly appreciate the support of our state’s tech and biotech companies,” said Andrea Gomes Morrison, Obliteride director. “Teaming up with innovative companies like Amazon, Microsoft and many others, will help with Fred Hutch’s drive to develop curative therapies for most cancers by 2025.”

Every year, hundreds of survivors participate in Obliteride. Many, like Lyani Valle, work at tech companies. The Amazon employee says she’s alive because of Fred Hutch research. “I was saved through one of the groundbreaking treatments developed by Fred Hutch,” said Valle. “I want everyone to benefit, survive and thrive.” Shannon O’Fallon, who recently finished treatment for breast cancer, plans to walk the 5K. “My cancer diagnosis was the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced,” said the 34-year-old. “I don’t want to get diagnosed again. I don’t want to have to endure months of painful cancer treatment, and I don’t want anyone else to have to go through it either.”

More than 2,500 people are expected to participate in Obliteride this year. The event (25-, 50-, and 100-mile biking routes, as well as a 5-K walk) has raised more than $13 million for Fred Hutch since 2013. Obliteride has funded a variety of research projects at Fred Hutch, including immunotherapy, cancer prevention, public health and studies related to brain, breast, lung, ovarian and prostate cancers. [24×7]