Ride for Roswell

June 22, 2013 Updated Jun 22, 2013 at 6:46 PM EDT

By WKBW Admin

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June 22, 2013 Updated Jun 22, 2013 at 6:46 PM EDT

AMHERST (WKBW) In teams or as individuals, first timers and ride veterans, the annual Ride for Roswell was the biggest one yet. More than 8 thousand riders participated, each with their own reason to take part and their own story to tell.

'Team Salvadore's' namesake, Maryann Salvadore was treated at Roswell for multiple myeloma.

"The hematology department at Roswell saved my life more than one time and they are amazing and the chemo nurses are so compassionate, the people that work at Roswell are phenomenal," she said.

Ken Stachowiak beat melanoma with the help of Roswell Park and proudly wore his orange survivor shirt as he completed a 20 mile ride.

"It makes you feel good. It makes you feel good that you can raise money and be a part of the whole Roswell process," he said.

Lisa Frandina's sister passed away from cancer last year, so she formed 'Andrea's Army,' a camo-clad crew of family and friends to ride in her memory.

"It's bittersweet. You hate to see that this has impacted this many people. You hear it every day, everyone knows someone who is affected by cancer. If we can just do little things like this, raise money, for research and just end that so this isn't such a big turnout in the future then that's special to us," she said.

And then there's AJ Walczak, the ten year old whose mom has breast cancer, and raised over 8 thousand dollars for Roswell all by himself.

"I'm very happy and I'm thankful for all the donations that I had. I'm so thankful, that's all I can say," he said.

Ride organizers announced that Saturday's ride raised a total of $3.8 million dollars for cancer research.