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Bike Ride Raises $80,000 for Loyola Cardiac Research

MAYWOOD, Ill. – The 5th annual Mr. David’s 50K Bike Challenge in St. Charles has raised $80,000 to support cardiac research at Loyola University Medical Center.

The proceeds will support Loyola’s Intravascular Cardiac Imaging Research Program led by interventional cardiologist John Lopez, MD.

Heart attacks occur when a piece of plaque breaks away from a blood vessel, obstructing a coronary artery and blocking blood flow to heart muscle.

Dr. Lopez’s team uses sophisticated imaging technology to visualize arterial plaque and understand its behavior. This helps to better understand what type of plaque is most dangerous and how best to treat it during a heart attack. This also will help to identify patients who at high risk and find ways to prevent heart attacks.

Proceeds from Mr. David’s Bike Challenge will help fund data collection, database development, IT support, statistical support and sophisticated optical imaging technology.

The Mr. David Bike Challenge is sponsored by Mr. David’s Flooring International, a commercial floor-covering installer. The event began when company founders Leonard and David Zmijewski invited others in the flooring community to participate in a 50K ride at summer’s end. The ride attracted so much interest that it became a fundraising event for a different local charity each year.

Loyola was the beneficiary of this year’s event, which was held at the LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve in St. Charles, Ill.

“We would like to thank Mr. David for sponsoring the ride and all the participants for their generous donations,” Lopez said. “Their support ultimately will help to improve the treatment and prevention of heart attacks."

Lopez is director of Interventional Cardiology research, co-director of the Acute Heart Attack Program and a professor in the Division of Cardiology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

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