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California, U.S.A. - Amgen announced that four individuals who have made a difference for others affected by cancer in their communities have been selected as Breakaway from Cancer Champions.
They will be honored at the seventh consecutive edition of the Amgen Tour of California as part of Amgen’s Breakaway from Cancer initiative. The Amgen Tour of California is America’s largest and most prestigious road cycling stage race, which will travel nearly 750 miles throughout California from May 13 – 20, 2012.
The four Breakaway from Cancer Champions were selected following a public call for nominations in four of this year’s host finish cities, followed by an online voting campaign that concluded in April. The 2012 Breakaway from Cancer Champions are:
Santa Rosa – Marc Van Riper for co-founding Kathy’s Camp for Kids, a nonprofit organization dedicated to meeting the needs of the children of cancer patients. Kathy’s Camp for Kids is a place where fear of cancer is replaced with fun, friendship and encouragement.
Livermore – Two-time testicular cancer survivor Bob Hammer for founding the “Have a Ball” Foundation, which has raised more than $1,000,000 since its start and benefits 20 cancer organizations, sends kids with cancer to camps and has established and granted scholarships for students.
Clovis – Susan Mott for acting as a tireless advocate for awareness and fundraising for blood cancers. Specifically, Susan has raised money and organized blood drives for her toddler granddaughter, Madyn, who was diagnosed with leukemia in June 2011.
Los Angeles – Cancer survivor Danielle McLaughlin for her work advocating for young adults with cancer and her extraordinary accomplishments as a paratriathlete. Danielle is currently the National and World Paratriathlon Champion for Female Below-Knee Amputees.
“Amgen is passionate about helping those with cancer and we are proud to honor individuals who make a positive difference in the fight against cancer,” said Stuart Arbuckle, vice president and general manager, Amgen Oncology. “Breakaway from Cancer was founded on the belief that it takes a team to overcome this disease and the Champions program exemplifies this commitment to helping others.”
Founded by Amgen in 2005, Breakaway from Cancer is a national initiative to increase awareness of the important resources available to people affected by cancer – from prevention through survivorship. Breakaway from Cancer represents collaboration between Amgen and four nonprofit organizations dedicated to empowering patients with education, resources and hope.
The Breakaway from Cancer Champions will lead the “Breakaway Mile,” an approximately one-mile march that celebrates cancer survivors and crosses the Amgen Tour of California finish line prior to the stage conclusion of the professional race. The Breakaway Mile will take place in four 2012 race host cities on race day: Santa Rosa, Livermore, Clovis and Los Angeles. Each Breakaway Mile will also feature an Amgen scientist who plays a crucial role in developing breakthrough medicines for patients affected by cancer and other serious illnesses.
At the conclusion of each stage of the Amgen Tour of California, the Breakaway from Cancer Champion or a local cancer survivor will present Amgen’s Breakaway from Cancer Most Courageous Rider jersey to the professional rider who best exemplifies the character of those engaged in the fight against cancer—courage, sacrifice, inspiration, determination and perseverance.
Also during the 2012 Amgen Tour of California, a local cancer survivor will officially start each day’s stage by firing the official start gun. He or she will also have the opportunity to meet the prior day’s recipient of Amgen’s Breakaway from Cancer Most Courageous Rider jersey.
All Breakaway from Cancer programs benefit the initiative’s four nonprofit partners – Prevent Cancer Foundation, Cancer Support Community, Patient Advocate Foundation and National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship. Representatives of these four organizations will travel with the Amgen Tour of California, hosting a Breakaway from Cancer information booth at the Lifestyle Festival held in each of the finish cities along the route.
Image Courtesy of Amgen Tour of California