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LOWVELO to launch Glow Blue Week for MUSC employees

lowvelo glow blue week in neon letters

MUSC Hollings Cancer Center will glow blue the week of Aug. 30 at the start of LOWVELO’s Glow Blue Week to celebrate the upcoming LOWVELO 2021 ride.

MUSC Hollings Cancer Center will glow blue the week of Aug. 30 at the start of LOWVELO’s Glow Blue Week to celebrate the upcoming LOWVELO 2021 ride.

LOWVELO is an annual fun-filled event that raises money for lifesaving research at Hollings. This year’s LOWVELO, to be held Nov. 6, features four outdoor routes – 10, 22, 57 and 100 miles – offering something for the entire family. There also will be stationary cycling classes and a Home Team option for those who can’t join on the day of the event but want to support a great cause.

Rachel Haynie, LOWVELO event manager, said Glow Blue Week will be held Aug. 30 through Sept. 3 and serves as a way to celebrate the cause with MUSC faculty, staff, students and patients while showcasing this year’s special events. Registration during the week will be free.  

“Our Glow Blue Week is a way to thank our MUSC team for all the ways they support this cause, and we have so many fun activities planned, including a food truck rodeo, cycling class and plenty of giveaways. We want to make it easy for people to register, and as always, 100% of participant-raised money will support lifesaving research at MUSC Hollings Cancer Center.”

Haynie said the team is especially grateful to its new LOWVELO ambassador, David Zaas, M.D., the chief executive officer for MUSC Health-Charleston, who will be participating in the Glow Blue Week as well as riding one of the routes on Nov. 6.

“Dr. Zaas understands how important the participation of MUSC employees is in making this a success and how the event encourages everyone to adopt healthier lifestyles. We are so grateful for his support.”

As a cancer survivor, Zaas said that he’s proud to serve as an ambassador for LOWVELO to raise money for Hollings and to encourage others at MUSC to get involved.

“The funds raised by LOWVELO are truly affecting lives in South Carolina,” Zaas said. “I’m alive today because of a clinical trial that was offered to me following my diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia. LOWVELO helps to support clinical trials and research at Hollings, which in turn will save countless lives in the future. Together we can make a big difference in the fight against cancer.”

Funds raised through LOWVELO have already helped to support groundbreaking research at Hollings. Hollings hematologist and oncologist Brian Hess, M.D., and Shikhar Mehrotra, Ph.D., co-leader of Hollings’ Cancer Immunology Program, received $50,000 from LOWVELO to fund a new project that involves manufacturing a purified version of CAR-T-cells. CAR-T-cell therapy is currently used to treat patients with certain types of lymphoma and leukemia. By purifying CAR-T-cells, Hess and Mehrotra hope to reduce the side effects associated with treatment and potentially make the treatment more effective.

Haynie said that it has been encouraging to see money raised through the event support such incredible research already, and they hope to have more than 1,000 participants for LOWVELO this year. “We want this event to be accessible to everybody, no matter their skill on a bicycle. That’s why there are different lengths for the rides as well as stationary classes and a virtual way to participate. We also need volunteers,” she added.

The following is a schedule for the inaugural Glow Blue Week and updates to this list will be posted on LOWVELO’s Facebook page.

Monday, Aug. 30, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.: A LOWVELO booth will be outside of the Drug Discovery building featuring free registration and giveaways. Anyone who registers will be entered into a drawing for multiple prizes including: Brunch for two at Miller’s All Day; a $50 gift card for brunch for two at Famous Toastery; a $100 Woodhouse Day Spa gift card; and a year membership at Pivotal Fitness. If you’ve already registered, bring a friend and enter the drawing as well.

Tuesday, Aug. 31, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: MUSC Greenway Day featuring free registration and giveaways.

Wednesday, Sept. 1, 4 to 7 p.m.: Get Healthy Day at the MUSC Wellness Center featuring a cycling class and free food samples from Palmetto Nutrition. The stationary class has a maximum of 40 participants (first-come, first-serve enrollment), and a $10 donation is suggested. Free registration and giveaways start at 4 p.m., an information session will start at 5:30 p.m., and the cycling class will start at 6 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 2, 4 to 7 p.m.: Glow Blue Festival on the MUSC Greenway featuring food trucks, a photo booth, vendors, live music, announcement of the contest winners, free registration and giveaways. Everyone is encouraged to wear blue on this day.

As an added incentive for participating, all six MUSC colleges once again will compete for the LOWVELO collegiate cup. The competition is based on the college that raises the most money for the LOWVELO21 College Cup. The winner of the College Cup will be announced at the LOWVELO celebration in February 2022.

One of the goals of the event is to bring together the community and MUSC for a cause that affects so many people. “Cancer doesn’t discriminate based on age, gender or race. This is a fight we are all in together, and Glow Blue Week will serve as a way to ramp up excitement ahead of the Nov. 6th ride,” Haynie said.

“When you participate in this event, you’re not just riding and having fun with others. You’re truly riding for a cause. You’re riding for a family member or friend who may have lost the battle with this awful disease,” she said. “We are celebrating our cancer patients during this event while finding ways to cure cancer together.”

Registration for LOWVELO 2021 is currently open.

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