This past Saturday, a team of Wren employees gathered at the Yale Bowl for the 13th Closer to Free Ride in support of Smilow Cancer Hospital. The ride (“it’s not a race, it’s a ride” is the oft-heard phrase among Closer to Free veteran riders) is the principal fundraiser for Yale-New Haven Health’s Smilow Cancer Hospital, and 100% of funds go toward cancer research at Yale Cancer Center and patient care at the Smilow Cancer Hospital. As a research and clinical laboratory focused on molecular diagnostics for cancer, both of these causes are near and dear to the hearts of the Wren Team.
We had one rider in the event, Dr. Mark Kidd, who covered the 100km route (approximately 68 miles) on a hybrid (no road bike for this road warrior!). Our other rider, EJ Vongher, was forced to pull out of the ride due to nagging complications from some knee surgery. EJ, however, turned up at the bowl at 4 AM to serve as a Safety and Traffic Volunteer, directing vehicles into the parking area before the ride.
As a sponsor of the ride, we were able to represent Wren at the Yale Bowl during the Closer to Free Riders Finish Festival. In addition to Mark and EJ, we were joined by Wren GM Dan Buck, Lab Manager Tracy Auster and Lab Technician Anina Hassini who greeted tired riders and their supporters, as well as other sponsors and volunteers. We took the opportunity with our booth to share some Wren Laboratories premium gifts for passers-by – Wren frisbees, Wren lip balm, and Wren pens as well as a Wren tire patch kit for cyclists.
We also distributed some literature at the event – a brochure for patients interested in learning more about our non-invasive molecular neuroendocrine cancer diagnostic, the NETest as well as a handbill providing some details about our investigational use only molecular diagnostic for prostate cancer, the PROSTest. Both of these tests provide unprecedented levels of diagnostic accuracy for these cancers while requiring patients to merely provide a sample of blood – within 48 hours, we can tell them about the disease state of their cancer and provide oncologists with personalized information about treatment response.
Between the amount Wren contributed as part of the sponsorship and the individual contributions of Dr. Kidd and EJ Vongher, Wren Laboratories was able to raise just shy of $10,000 for Smilow through this effort. We look forward to participating again next year with an even more robust presence.