Tallahassee, Florida - A group of very dedicated cyclists made a grand entrance at the state Capitol Wednesday after riding all the way from Tampa.
About a dozen cyclists completed the 300-mile trek from Tampa to Tallahassee in support of cancer research at the Moffitt Cancer Center.
They call themselves the "Cure on Wheels" riders. They set out on their trip last Sunday and had to fight some tough headwinds before arriving at the Capitol.
The president and CEO of the Moffitt Cancer Center hopes this rally at the Capitol helps raise awareness of the need for cancer research funding. Dr. Alan List hopes lawmakers will consider increasing funding for cancer research from Florida's cigarette tax.
"It's a big toll that cancer takes on families here in Florida. We're the second highest incidence rate for cancer in the United States, 100,000 people are going to be affected with cancer this year in Florida. We do very well with the bio-medical research trust fund, but we certainly would like to see that increased from only three percent of the cigarette surcharge maybe up to 10 percent to make a bigger difference for patients.
Cyclist Richard Spayde said some riders make the 300-mile journey to help raise awareness for cancer research, while others do it for personal reasons.
A cancer survivor himself, Spayde encouraged lawmakers to make the fight against cancer a team effort.
"So I ask the lawmakers, work as a team. Work with Moffitt Cancer Center as a team. What a jewel you have in the state of Florida to have a national cancer center, one of the best in the world sitting right here in this state. Use those resources."
Moffitt Cancer Center founder Lee Moffitt looked at how far the center has come over the years.
"Over the past 25 years, the center has flowered to become the leading cancer center in the state and one of the great cancer centers in America. We're just here to thank the Legislature for its past support and to urge the Legislature to continue the funding to support the fight against cancer."