Biking for cancer

The “spinathon” is a great way to get involved with supporting cancer research and fitness, organizers say.

When you think about ways people help raise money for cancer, biking may not be the first thing that comes to mind.

The Israel Forever Foundation (IFF), an apolitical D.C.-based organization that strives to connect people to the spirit of Israel, is sponsoring Spinning 4 Israel Cancer Research, a “spinathon” that will help raise money for cancer research in Israel.

All proceeds earned at the cycling event, which is set to take place on Oct. 6 at Off Road Indoor Cycling in D.C., will be donated to the Israel Cancer Research Fund (ICRF). IFF sponsored a similar “bike for cancer” event last year, where bikers rode from the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington in Rockville to the DCJCC.

Co-sponsoring the event is Bike For the Fight, a cancer fundraising group composed of young Israeli entrepreneurs who bike around the world to raise awareness and support the ICRF.

Ariana Heideman, the director of special events at IFF, said the “spinathon” is a great way for people to get involved with supporting cancer research and fitness. “IFF is proud to be involved in this effort,” Heideman said. “This is a chance for us to connect to the groundbreaking research being done in Israel. We really want to support research being maintained in Israel.”

Spinning instructors Audrey Lamb and Joanna Brenner, both of whom are members of the Jewish community, will lead the event that Heideman said could last from four to five hours.

Heideman also mentioned the event will feature the screening of Israel-related videos during the spinning sessions. There are currently three sessions open to the public beginning at 1 p.m., but Heideman said more will open up if those are filled.

Also involved in the event are Carly Finkelstein and Sari Bourne, Jewish community members who have recently lost parents to cancer.

Bourne’s mother, who was born in the U.S. and raised in Israel, passed away two years ago after being diagnosed with cancer 14 months before. Bourne said her mother’s short battle with cancer was very rough for her.

Since then, Bourne has made it her career to support cancer research and help develop new treatments and drugs. She currently works at an Israeli practice at the Arnall Golden Gregory law firm, which assists Israeli medical device, pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies.

Deciding to take part in Sunday’s event was a no-brainer for Bourne, who was very passionate about the cause. “It’s a win-win,” she said. “We’re supporting Israel and saving people’s lives. It’s important for me to contribute. Why wouldn’t you want to bike? It’s good for you.”

“There’s something about working together and building a team,” she added. “That unity makes me feel good and feel supported. Chances are, you’re going to be impacted by some type of cancer. It’s important to be preemptive and fight it now.”

Further information and registration for Spinning 4 Israel can be found at Off Road Indoor Cycling is located at 905 U St. N.W., Washington, DC. To learn more about the Israel Cancer Research Fund and Bike For the Fight, go to and, respectively.

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