Team Mud Buddies

Dennis Rella, Jay Starr and Clayton Lewis represent three generations of individuals whose lives have been touched by cancer. This year, the men have teamed up to make a personal difference in the fight to conquer the disease. Together, they are participating in the inaugural Cancer Research Institute Ride to Conquer Cancer.

The trio started a team in the 2015 Ride called Mud Buddies and are winners of the Team Up Challenge, having raised thousands of dollars for life-saving immunotherapy research, treatment and education programs in New York City and around the world through the Cancer Research Institute.

Team captain, Rella, says many of his friends and family members have battled cancer, including his brother-in-law Brian, who is currently fighting a rare form of pelvic cancer. Brian underwent a series of radiation and chemotherapy treatments, which were sadly unsuccessful in preventing his cancer from spreading. When Rella learned about the Ride to Conquer Cancer, he knew instantly he wanted to get involved to honor Brian’s fight and support research for more effective treatment and care.

“I’m riding to support the Cancer Research Institute,” Rella said.

“I am so grateful for the work that doctors and researchers are doing to find innovative cancer treatments, including immunotherapy. I hope one day these new treatments will make a difference in Brian’s life and in the lives of others.” Rella’s nephew, Starr, and family friend, Lewis, will join him in the 2015 Ride. Starr is riding in memory of his mother-in-law, Linda, and Lewis is participating in the event to honor his friend Amy, a cancer survivor. Although the three men vary in age, their passion for sports and athletic challenges unites them. They have participated in various events together, including the mud run, which is how they came up with the team name, Mud Buddies. On June 6 and 7, the Mud Buddies will cycle 150 miles in two days, in the Cancer Research Institute Ride to Conquer Cancer. They have raised over $6,000 and plan to raise even more before The Ride takes place this spring.

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