Richard Gordin could not believe that his only brother, Dr. Fred Gordin, an award-winning tuberculosis researcher, was diagnosed with lung cancer. He had never smoked a single cigarette.
“It came out of the blue. He was asymptomatic,” Gordin said. “He has a nonsmoker’s type of lung cancer.” Gordin plans to participate in the first annual Ride To Conquer Cancer in Greater Washington – the ride has taken place in other cities – a two-day, 150-plus-mile bike ride that is raising support for cancer research at institutions such as Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, Sibley Memorial and Suburban Hospitals.
“You can give [cancer patients] moral support, emotional support and help them out when they are going through but raising money will help institutions like Johns Hopkins, who are doing serious research and making headway.”
Brother Fred Gordin was the one who first heard about this ride and suggested it. “He mentioned it to me, and this made me really happy because I wanted to do it, but didn’t want him to think I was trivializing [his illness],” Gordin explained.
With roughly six more weeks to go until the race, Gordin is enthusiastic about his training and about raising money to support cancer research and his brother.
“Even though I really love biking, I am not doing this race to get a bike ride in,” Gordin said. The ride is planned for Sept. 13 and 14. Since 2008, the organization has raised more than $240 million for cancer research globally, according to organizers.
While participants must raise a minimum of $2,500 to ride, Gordin said he has raised more than triple that amount already. “People out there want to help but need a way to help. And not an abstract way,” Gordin said. “It becomes concrete for people when they think, Richard’s brother has cancer, he is raising money and I can help raise money for cancer.”
Meanwhile, “Fred is responding to the chemotherapy well and it is having a very positive effect on reducing the tumor,” reported Gordin. “Fred, like other chemotherapy patients, deals with the side effects that have kept him from sleeping and eating many days.”
This race amounts to a physical challenge for Gordin, too. He has had two surgeries of his own this year, a hip replacement and prostate surgery, both of which have delayed his training. “I am a bit behind the curve,” he conceded. But, Gordin said, “I need to complete what I started.”