A Lasting Legacy
7 Days has a bright and passionate history, one that has brought together cyclists from across the country to raise the survival rate for those facing pancreatic cancer.
Founded by Gord Townley and his family after the loss of his mother, 7 Days is a very special cycling experience. Many of our riders have also lost someone to this disease and share a personal motivation for change, often returning year over year. Together, these riders have created a unique camaraderie that is inclusive of newcomers and brings people together to cycle toward a common purpose. When you’re riding with 7 Days, you’re riding with kindred spirits.
Read on to learn more about the legacy of this incredible group of cyclists, advocates, and fundraisers.
A very special thank you to the generous and talented team at Kinwood for creating a video that truly encompasses the Townley family’s incredible legacy and the dedication of countless riders, sponsors, volunteers, and donors.
Over a Decade of Impact
The first 7 Days In May ride
After the painful loss of his mother Lorraine to pancreatic cancer in 2011, 7 Days In May founder and ‘Chief Instigator’ Gord Townley was determined to honour her memory. The result was 7 Days In May – a week-long bike ride around Lake Ontario. The inaugural ride took place in 2012 in an effort to increase awareness about pancreatic cancer and raise funds to help find a cure for this disease. In its first year, 7 Days In May raises $16,909 toward critical research.
7 Days In May partners with Pancreatic Cancer Canada
Gord Townley met with Michelle Capobianco, Chief Executive Officer of Pancreatic Cancer Canada, the country’s largest charitable organization focused on changing the trajectory of pancreatic cancer. From this point forward, 7 Days In May riders began supporting some of the most innovative clinical trials happening in Canada with PCC. Meanwhile, Gord and his family remained the nucleus around which like-minded cyclists came together to make a real difference against this disease.
A Year of Milestones: The first Virtual Ride and meeting our $1M fundraising goal
As the COVID-19 pandemic changed so much of our daily lives just two months before the scheduled ride, 7 Days In May made the decision to have its first “virtual ride”. What was borne out of necessity to keep our community safe also opened up an important new door: for the first time ever, pancreatic cancer advocates and fundraisers from across the country were able to join the ride from the comfort and safety of their hometowns, increasing the strength of our community by leaps and bounds.
By the end of the ride season 7 Days In May had even more to celebrate: they finally achieved their $1,000,000 lifetime fundraising goal. Reaching this goal was well beyond Gord Townley’s wildest dreams when he embarked on this venture, and could not have been done without the dedication of the riders, their many generous donors, sponsors, and volunteers – everyone who had been a part of this community and supported their mission.
7 Days In May returns to in-person rides
As the pandemic continued, 7 Days In May found ways to help riders safely come together once again. With a route that stayed within Ontario and safety measures in place at every point, riders rejoiced in the return of this beloved event and the community that they’d missed.
7 Days In May celebrates its tenth in-person ride and the last ride organized by the Townley Family
After 10 years of in-person rides the Townley family decided to transition the organization of 7 Days In May to PCC. Throughout this important year, Gord and his family were celebrated for their many achievements, the legacy that they have created, and the direct support for research their efforts have garnered.
7 Days In May becomes 7 Days as the first ride organized by PCC
We were thrilled to take up the mantle of this incredible fundraiser together with our partners at 44 Spokes Inc. We welcomed over 40 in-person and virtual riders raising a whopping $180,000, bringing the lifetime grand total to over $1.6 million for pancreatic cancer research!
We look forward to building upon the Townley family legacy along with 44 Spokes Inc. Together, we will continue to raise the rate of pancreatic cancer survival, one ride at a time.