August 24, 2016

Carol Cahill bicycles to honor husband and fund cancer research


James Baird and Carol Cahill of the Obliteride team Tom’s Mighty Mashers

A Kitsap County paper interviewed Carol about Tom’s Mighty Mashers, an Obliteride team in memory of her late husband, Tom Foley.

Carol Cahill, MLS, starred in an August Port Orchard Independent feature as a first-time participant in a bike ride for cancer research. Cahill, communication and analytics consultant for the Center for Community Health and Evaluation, Group Health Research Institute (GHRI), rode 25 miles with her son James Baird and 500 other bicyclists in the fourth annual Obliteride. Carol and James were honoring Carol’s husband, Tom Foley, who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2009.

“What can a bunch of cyclists do when they pool their collective energy?" asks Cahill. “Raise millions of dollars to help the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center find cures for cancer.” Tom had wanted to ride last year, explains Cahill, but by the time summer rolled around, he didn’t have the strength. He did, however, name the team: Tom’s Mighty Mashers. Tom died on December 15, 2015. “Here at GHRI, we know that research makes a real difference in people’s lives,” says Cahill. “It was so awesome to be with a community of cyclists, wearing our orange jerseys, and heading out to ride in this beautiful city in memory of our loved ones who lost their battle with cancer and in honor of those still fighting and surviving cancer.” 

To date, Obliteride has collected more than $7 million for Fred Hutch, which is a research partner with GHRI. Investigators including Diana Buist, PhD, MPH; Jennifer McClure, PhD; and Evette Ludman, PhD, have affiliate appointments at the Hutch. Several Fred Hutch investigators are affiliated with GHRI, including Peggy L. Porter, MD, and Rachel Winer, PhD, MPH. Group Health is a network member and Fred Hutch is a partner of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.