Good Samaritan Cancer Institute patient Zita Murano and Town of...

Good Samaritan Cancer Institute patient Zita Murano and Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino at Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park on Thursday.  Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa Loarca

To Zita Murano, Thursday's kickoff for a fundraising ride through Oyster Bay for cancer research later this month was a chance to celebrate her hard-fought seven-month comeback from an alarmingly advanced cancer diagnosis.

The 62-year-old West Babylon resident, diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer in December, aims to inspire other patients to not give up, because there is hope.

“I’ve been fighting every day and have had remarkable results,” she said. “I’m so grateful for the dedication and groundbreaking discoveries that are being made by science to make a difference in the life of cancer patients and their families."

For the second year in a row, the Town of Oyster Bay is partnering with Catholic Health and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center for the Empire State Ride Long Island fundraising bicycle ride.

The one-day cycling event beginning at Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park takes riders through the scenic roads of Oyster Bay while raising funds for cancer research and clinical trials for patients on Long Island at Catholic Health.

Terry Bourgeois, who founded the Empire State Ride, said the event is a chance for everyone to participate and contribute.

“We carry a spirit of hope and collaboration across New York State,” he said. “We have all been touched by the tolls of cancer in some way and by participating and supporting this event together we can make a difference.”

The event takes place Saturday, July 23.

There will be three routes, 10, 25 and 62 miles, offering a perfect ride experience for any age or skill level, Bourgeois said. There will also be food and vendors for anyone to enjoy while in the park that day.

Patrick O'Shaughnessy, president and chief executive officer of Catholic Health, said his family has not been spared cancer's wrath. He said he lost his father and recently his sister-in-law to cancer.

“We at Catholic Health are so proud to be a sponsor and support this event,” he said. “Our state-of-the-art cancer institutes provide comprehensive care to thousands of cancer patients each day.”

He said that as president and CEO of Catholic Health it’s “wonderful” to see the commitment and support of our communities to fight the battle against cancer. 

Town Supervisor Joe Saladino said participation in the ride helps contribute to moving the dial on cancer research.   

“Cyclists have an opportunity to make a real impact on cancer research and patient care through clinical trials,” he said. “With two wheels on the ground, you can change the world.”


With Alejandra Villa Loarca

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