NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — $1,019,854. That's how much the Empire State Ride raised to fund clinical trials at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.
"It makes me just appreciate what we as humans can do when we join our arms and get together behind something," Terry Bourgeois said.
Bourgeois founded the seven day, 545 mile journey from Staten Island to Niagara Falls six years ago. It grew from just him to 180 people.
"People really lunge into it because they want to fight cancer and they're not doctors," said John Hannon, a cyclist who has a personal connection to cancer himself.
People journey from Montana, Canada, even Hawaii to come together to make a difference.
"I'm as proud as can be. My chest is pumping," said Dr. Candace Johnson, the president and CEO of Rosewell Park.
But it's more than a bike ride and more than raising money. The people that go on this journey together become friends.
"We walk away with friendships that are absolutely going to last a lifetime. There's a sense of love that really starts forming between people," said Bourgeois.
"Just the love, the outpouring. I'm never alone," said Jacqueline Lipscomb.
Lipscomb is a cancer survivor because of Roswell and this ride.
"If you were a patient, isn't this inspiring? That all these people are doing this for you?" said Dr. Johnson.
"The love is overwhelming. I appreciate every single one, and I'm grateful to everybody that's riding," said Lipscomb.
Lipscomb wears a necklace made by one of the riders every day to remind herself of their support.