Dr. Howard Conter and Karen Conter

Dr. Howard Conter and Karen Conter are thrilled to be participating in the 2021 Ride for Cancer powered by BMO Bank of Montreal to bring new, cancer-fighting genetic sequencing technology to the QEII Health Sciences Centre. 

A Halifax couple has been raising funds and preparing to ride in this year’s Ride for Cancer powered by BMO Bank of Montreal – side by side for each pedal of the way.

Howard Conter is a family physician in Halifax, and his wife, Karen Conter, is now retired from her work in research. In their free time, this philanthropic power couple usually participates in four to five major fundraisers a year.

“Everything we do in fundraising and for the community, we always do together,” Howard smiles.

“Philanthropy is something we got from looking at our own parents. You just realize how lucky you are to have healthy kids and grandkids and realize you have to give back.”

Howard and Karen are thrilled to be participating in this year’s Ride for Cancer, a cause that Howard first became involved in from his connections with the QEII Foundation as a board member and emcee at previous fundraising events.

“Every year, Ride for Cancer has been getting bigger and bigger,” Howard says. “We’ve always donated, but last year, I wanted to get even more involved, so I cycled 50km in the event.”

“It’s fun to be a part of such an incredible cause – and it’s a little bit more challenging than just writing a cheque.”

This year, Howard’s back for another 50km ride along with Karen, who attended last year’s event for support. “I saw the energy and excitement of everyone riding, and I got a little jealous,” Karen laughs. “So, this year I’m going to ride 50km along with Howard and our team.”

“It’s so fun to do, especially with friends and loved ones,” says Howard. “There’s so much excitement, and at the end of the day, there’s lots of congratulations. It’s such an incredible day of camaraderie.”

So far, Howard and Karen’s team, Team Robotics, has raised an astounding $88,117 for this year’s Ride for Cancer, which will help bring new cancer-fighting genetic sequencing technology to the QEII Health Sciences Centre.

“With [genetic sequencing], you have specific treatments for specific cancers,” Howard explains. “For each individual, you’ll be able to find the gene and the molecular breakdown of that particular cancer and design almost a boutique treatment for that cancer.”

This targeted technology means that healthcare teams will be able to match treatments to a specific type of cancer as opposed to a group of cancers. “It’s a tremendous opportunity,” Howard says.

For Howard and Karen, advancing technology and cancer treatments at the QEII is also essential to continue building a centre of excellence in health care: “It’s a necessary cause for us. We both understand the importance that the better technology we have at the QEII, the better minds we’re going to bring here. It continues to build on itself.”

“We have to support our local hospitals,” Karen says. “We can help people recover from illnesses so that they can go on to have productive lives with their families.”

Just like our 1,300 other Ride for Cancer 2021 participants, the thousands of event supporters, and countless others in our communities, Howard and Karen have also felt the impact of cancer, and are proud to be facing the fight in this year’s Ride on October 2, 2021.

“My father passed away from pancreatic cancer, and Karen’s father did too,” Howard says. The Conter family has also lost other friends and relatives to the devastating disease.

“There’s no family in the world that hasn’t understood what cancer is. And even more importantly, more people are now surviving and fighting back against cancer. Supporting this cause as a community – it’s a no-brainer.”

Help fund the fight against cancer by donating today at YourRideforCancer.ca. You can also support Howard, Karen, and Team Robotics by clicking here >>



Rider Stories are presented by:

Our Ride Community is comprised of inspiring advocates, warriors, survivors and fighters. This community is the reason we ride, to make an impact on cancer care for them and for future generations. As a proud sponsor of Ride for Cancer, AstraZeneca helps share these stories and inspires our community to continue the fight against cancer.