Beating cancer one kilometre after another


Phil and Alissa Anazrut


Bikus Urachus is a group dedicated to raising funds for cancer research, and focused on bringing attention to urachal cancer.  They got together in 2013 to ride in The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer, a 235km cycling ride from Montreal to Quebec City.

After my buddy, Phil Anzarut, recovered from chemotherapy to treat his urachal cancer, he and his friends created the Bikus Urachus team.   Friends and colleagues donated generously and the team grew to 12 in its first year growing to over 30 today.  Bikus Urachus has been the #1 community fundraising team for this event several years running.

The Ride for 2018 sets out this weekend. As their 2018 campaign season comes to a close the 2018 Bikus Urachus team has raised more money for cancer research than any other Bikus Urachus team to date, raising $199,000 this year alone, bringing their 6 year total to an incredible $965,000.

Phil Anzarut

Not only do they raise money, they also put it to work. Their recent purchase of a next generation DNA sequencing platform for the Segal Cancer Centre ensures the Jewish General Hospital remains at the forefront of rare cancer research. Also this year, they’ve expanded their focus to all difficult cancers, as this sequencer will be used for continued research on melanoma and lung cancers.

A few weeks ago, a urachal cancer patient in Toronto reached out to Phil. Diagnosed in 2016, his cancer is at stage 4 and has metastasized in his brain. He writes: “I have always found it difficult coping with my diagnosis for several reasons, but one of the hardest parts to accept is the complete lack of knowledge in the medical community regarding urachal cancer. It is so rare there is just not enough cases for researchers to have much they can tell me about treatment, survival and expectations I should have. At times I feel as though I am the only one researching my own case and guiding myself through treatment.”

The survival rate for metastatic patients is 24 months. This is why they are riding.

Tomorrow morning Phil will lead the Bikus Urachus team on a 235km bike ride from Montreal to Quebec City on their 6th Ride to Conquer Cancer. Their sponsors include: Tactio Health Group, Noble Foods, Constructal, Martin Industries, BDC Capital, Optessa, Elopak, McWhinnie’s and Lenovo.

If you haven’t yet had a chance to make a donation, please donate directly to the Urachal Cancer Research Fund at the Jewish General Hospital at

As a friend, and also as the Director of Communications and Media Relations for the CIUSSS West-Central Montreal (at the Jewish General Hospital) I could not be more proud of my friend Phil and his entire team. I am hoping that this last push of publicity can help them achieve a few dollars more to reach $200,000 toward this noble cause.

All the best to Phil and the entire Bikus Urachus team. Good luck to all 2000 riders in the 2018 Ride to Conquer Cancer. May the temperature be just right, with the wind at your back. Peddle on folks!

CSL resident making a difference in cancer research

1 Comment

Phil Anzarut with his wife Alissa and children (L-R) Rina, Noah and Marlo.

Phil Anzarut with his wife Alissa and children (L-R) Rina, Noah and Marlo.

After months of preparation, this Saturday my good friend Phil Anzarut will be riding to Quebec City with his “Bikus Urachus” teammates.  They’ve trained hard and have raised more money than they thought possible.

The money raised for The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer will help fund cancer research and care at the Segal Cancer Centre at the Jewish General Hospital and throughout Quebec. Funds will also be used to support new technologies in the areas of molecular diagnostics, functional imaging, biomarkers, molecular target discovery and validation, and advanced targeted radiation therapy. There are few cancer centres in the world where a strong combination of researchers and highly skilled and motivated clinicians exist under one roof. The Jewish General Hospital is such a centre and that’s why we need your support.

“I had planned to do this ride last year thinking that cancer research was a formidable cause, and having been touched by this horrible disease through both of my sisters-in-law,” Phil said. “And then it happened to me. So this year I am riding for them, for me and for all those who have been touched by cancer.”

Just last weekend Phil was profiled in the Report on Business section of the Globe and Mail.  In case you missed the article, it appears below or you can see it here.

If you haven’t yet donated to this cause, please consider supporting Phil today. Click here to visit Phil’s personal page to make a donation. 

Congrats Phil! Your determination to make a substantial difference is amazing and you are an inspiration to your friends (and probably to strangers too!). May the wind be at your back.

Follow Bikus Urachus during the Ride at:


Update July 5, 2013: With hours to go before the Ride begins Phil reports that his Bikus Urachus team has surpassed $100,000 in donations, the largest amount of dollars raised for a non-corporate team in Canada. Amazing results! Congratulations to Phil and his teammates.  



A second chance to ride for cancer research

PAUL WALDIE, The Globe and Mail, Jun. 29, 2013

The Donor: Phil Anzarut

The Gift: Raising $80,000 and climbing

The Cause: The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer

A couple of years ago, a friend asked Phil Anzarut whether he would like to participate in the annual Quebec Ride to Conquer Cancer, a fundraising event that involves cycling from Montreal to Quebec City over two days.

“I just thought it would be a fun thing to do,” Mr. Anzarut recalled from Montreal, where he is a partner with BDC Venture Capital. But a few months later, he began feeling tired and noticed some blood in his urine. He ended up having surgery in February, 2012, where doctors discovered he had urachal cancer, a rare type of bladder cancer that affects the urachus tube that runs to the belly button and normally shrivels after birth. The disease was so unusual, affecting just 0.2 per cent of people with bladder cancer, that doctors weren’t certain whether it would return. So Mr. Anzarut went through three months of chemotherapy, finishing in June, 2012.

By September, he felt good enough to resume cycling. Once again, his friend asked if he wanted to do the Ride to Conquer Cancer. “I said sure,” Mr. Anzarut recalled.

He began reaching out to friends and family for donations, hoping to raise $3,500. Within a few weeks, he had raised more than $20,000 and a group of friends asked to join him in the ride as a team. The group, dubbed Bikus Urachus, has now raised $80,000.

The Ride starts July 6, just over a year after he finished chemotherapy. “It has been one year and I’m feeling good,” he said. “The Ride is going to be a fantastic experience.”


Cancer hit Phil Anzarut in a body part he didn’t know existed

Phil Anzarut had no idea what a urachus was until he was diagnosed with cancer of his in February 2012.

This tiny tube behind the belly button was found to be cancerous when he had surgery to remove a cyst on his bladder. This type of cancer is very rare.

Anzarut chose a preventative course of chemotherapy on the recommendation of an oncologist to be certain that no cancer cells remained after the surgery.

The treatment from April to June 2012 left him bald and weak as a kitten.

Participating in this weekend’s ride to cure cancer is as cathartic as it comes. Anzarut, a Montrealer and partner at BDC Venture Capital, has regained his health and his strength and he’s giving back.

“I had bought a road bike in 2011, and last July I got on it to go for a ride with my wife and I couldn’t even go 10 kilometres,” said Anzarut, 45.

“A friend told me about the Ride to Conquer Cancer and being the kind of person who wants to make a difference, I got back on my bike and got going.”

Within a matter of weeks Anzarut had raised thousands of dollars, and his friends not only donated money, 12 of them joined him, forming the Bikus Urachus team.

The team has raised $100,000 toward the cause.

“I followed the training schedule the organizers sent out, biking three times a week. In the winter I went to spinning classes.”

Anzarut was the first participant to raise $15,000 in Quebec for the 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer and has been asked to be one of the first people to start the tour on Saturday.

“Participating in the opening ceremony will be a great honour,” he said.

Nearly 2,000 cyclists will participate in this year’s Ride to Conquer Cancer, which leaves Saturday morning from Repentigny and will make its way to Quebec City by Sunday afternoon. Follow the cyclists’ progress at To donate, visit

© Copyright (c) THE GAZETTE
Phil Anzarut (left) lifts is bike in victory moments after he crossed the finish line

Phil Anzarut (left) lifts is bike in victory moments after he crossed the finish line