NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)-- Thousands of dollars are raised by riders for Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven. The "Closer to Free" bike ride this weekend directly benefits patients and their families 100 percent.
Smilow's Physician Chief Dr. Tom Lynch really summed it up best, saying the 'Closer to Free' supports innovative clinical research and care for people of all ages and all cancers.
Since April, Joe Santagata has been coming once every three weeks.
"There was a time I thought, Joe is not going to make this," said Santagata.
He signed up for a Phase 1 clinical trial at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven.
"It's shrinking my tumors, it's getting rid of this cancer," said Santagata.
Things are looking brighter for the 80-year-old diagnosed with bladder cancer.
"I just finished painting my house by myself with a three inch brush on a 40 foot ladder," said Santagata.
A novel therapy has helped Joe regain his strength, thanks to the Early Drug Development Program.
Dr. Joseph Eder heads it up.
"We're expanding very quickly the number of types of cancers we can treat," said Eder.
It's all made possible with the money raised by 'Closer to Free' riders.
"Phase 1 trials are almost always open to patients who have been told there is no other therapy we have left for you," said Eder."These drugs have changed the face of cancer in the last two years."
Without "Closer to Free," the fight against cancer is even more challenging amid dwindling grants from outside sources like the federal government.
"We're at a time now where we have the ability to understand so much about what causes cancer and what drives cancers," said Lynch. "We're using 'Closer to Free' to help come up with new therapies, new treatments for patients."
Dr. Tom Lynch is Physician in Chief at Smilow.
Dollars raised by the riders he says also built the new state of the art, cell therapy unit, set to open later this month.
"It will be used to process bone marrow samples and preferable blood samples, meaning when a sister gives stems cells to her brother, we use a special sterile room to do that. It will also be used to process special cells that will be used to approach cancer," said Lynch.
Dr. Lynch also says that 'Closer to Free' was critical in creating an adult survivorship program and in the funding for new therapies for prostate cancer, the second leading cancer in men.
The ride is this Saturday at 7 AM. You can register an hour before it starts.
A local chef is being recognized by his peers as one of the best in the state.
A promise was made Wednesday, to get a busted boiler fixed so tenants can be back home in time for Christmas.
Metro-North riders on the New Haven line will continue to experience slow downs on their commute for at least three more months.
A couple of sheep are getting the royal treatment in the most unlikely of places.
A show of support this holiday season for 'deployed soldiers' and their military dog partners. The "heroes and hounds" program puts together care packages to be sent to members of the military who are serving overseas.
The fire broke out at a home on North Water Street in Stonington and officials say it may have been easily avoided.
Yesterday we go a lot of calls about the Bridgeport police office who accidentally shot himself in a bagel shop. In addition a lot of you were sounding off about the most recent blast of icy weather. Here's tonight's voice of the people.
A West Haven man was arrested after allegedly burning his estranged wife with hot oil during the overnight hours Wednesday.
A man caught climbing the Christmas tree on the New Haven Green wasn't decorating, rather causing quite a disturbance.
A school bus with students on board stalled on train tracks in Norwalk, Wednesday afternoon.