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  • Tue June 01 2004
  • Posted Jun 1, 2004
Tuesday June 1, 9:49 am ET 2004 Tour of Hope Team to Relay Across Country in Eight Days, Sharing Cancer Experiences Along Way [See bolded info about Colleen Chapleau of North Liberty, IA.] NEW YORK, June 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Twenty cyclists have been selected by cancer community leaders to join cancer survivor and five-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong in the Bristol-Myers Squibb Tour of Hope(TM). Almost 1,200 people applied to bike across mountains and over plains around the clock -- relaying nearly 3,500 miles from LA to DC -- to inspire and inform the public about the importance of cancer clinical trials. In addition to being avid cyclists, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Tour of Hope(TM) Team members share a passion for cancer clinical trials through their personal and professional experiences with the disease. Among the extraordinary Team members are cancer researchers, nurses and physicians, caregivers and, like Lance, cancer survivors. Representing 18 states, these men and women come from all walks of life. In addition to oncology nurses and physicians, Team members include a firefighter, an architect, a retired Air Force colonel, a veterinarian, and two teachers. "Bristol-Myers Squibb is proud to team up with Lance Armstrong and these 20 courageous individuals who together will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer clinical trials through the Tour of Hope," said Peter R. Dolan, chairman and chief executive officer, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. "As the Tour of Hope team cycles across the country, they will encourage people to talk to their physicians about cancer research, which is essential to identifying new therapies, advancing treatments, and ultimately finding a cure for the disease." The Team will depart Los Angeles on Friday, Oct. 1, and will be joined by Lance Armstrong at points along the way before being welcomed in Washington, DC, Saturday, Oct. 9. Throughout their journey, the Team will stop at cancer centers to encourage people to sign the Cancer Promise -- a personal commitment to learn more about cancer and the benefit of cancer clinical trials. The public also will be invited to show support for the Team at various points along the route, as the riders travel across California, Nevada, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Washington, DC. "I consider myself a cancer survivor because of the people before me who participated in clinical trials and paved the way for future cancer survivors," said Lance Armstrong, who -- more than seven years after being diagnosed with advanced cancer -- is going for his sixth consecutive Tour de France title this July. "The Tour of Hope Team members are incredible and each of them is an inspiration to me. Together we will spread the message that without clinical trials, no new medicines would be available today, or will be available for patients in the future." The following cancer organizations are partners in the Bristol-Myers Squibb Tour of Hope(TM): CancerCare, C-Change, Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation, the Coalition of National Cancer Cooperative Groups, Lance Armstrong Foundation, the National Coalition of Cancer Survivorship, and the Oncology Nursing Society. To learn more about the Bristol-Myers Squibb Tour of Hope(TM) and how to get involved, visit http://www.tourofhope.org. Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global pharmaceutical and related health care products company whose mission is to extend and enhance human life. Bristol-Myers Squibb Tour of Hope(TM) Team Members Kristen Adelman, 34; Elkridge, MD. Kristen is a lymphoma survivor who participated in a stem cell transplant clinical trial at the National Cancer Institute that saved her life. Throughout her many cycles of chemotherapy, radiation and stem cell transplants to treat her aggressive disease, Kristen continued to run and ride her bike. Kristen teaches algebra, physical education and religion at St. Augustine School in Maryland. Colleen Chapleau, 46; North Liberty, IA. Colleen is a skin cancer survivor who has also supported both of her parents through a cancer diagnosis and successful treatment. She works with patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation as the associate director of the Iowa Marrow Donor Program and Adult Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Colleen has worked extensively to recruit volunteer donors for the bone marrow registry. John Fee, 34; Delran, NJ. John's mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and he motivated her, helping her to believe she could beat the disease. Two members of her family had already died of cancer, so she thought cancer was a death sentence. But thanks to aggressive treatment, prayer, and the will to survive, John's mother will soon celebrate her fifth year of being cancer- free. John works as an associate director for Oncology Sales Training with Bristol-Myers Squibb. Andrea Glassberg, MD, PhD, 34; San Francisco, CA. Dr. Glassberg was inspired to become a physician after her grandmother's experience with ovarian and breast cancer, and conducted her doctoral dissertation research on genetic testing for the two diseases. Her current research focuses on patients' motives for becoming involved in clinical trials, with the hope of encouraging more people to participate. She is a pulmonary and critical care fellow at the University of California, San Francisco. Brandon Hayes-Lattin, MD, 34; Portland, OR. Dr. Hayes-Lattin is a six-year testicular cancer survivor and a hematologist/oncologist who cares for patients and conducts research on immune therapies against cancer, including bone marrow transplantation. He believes more patients would take part in clinical trials if they better understood them. Dr. Hayes-Lattin works at Oregon Health and Science University. Brian Highhouse, RN, 38; Meriden, NH. Brian is an oncology nurse who has cared for several close family members with cancer, including his wife. His experience has taught him the importance of research and the need for additional clinical trials that will bring about better treatment with fewer side effects. Brian cares for patients on an inpatient hematology and oncology unit at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Sheila McGuirk, 52; Madison, WI. Sheila is a colon cancer survivor whose treatment involved removal of her entire colon and rectum. Rather than dwelling on her physical challenges, Sheila has embraced life since her experience with cancer and calls herself "one of the lucky ones." She is a competitive cyclist and pursues a year-round athletic program. Sheila is a professor of large animal medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine. Darren Mullen, 32; Wichita, KS. Darren's wife, Debra, died of breast cancer at age 35, the same disease that took her mother when Debra was just a little girl. Debra demonstrated tremendous bravery and courage throughout her treatment for cancer, and participated in three clinical trials. Darren is hopeful that if the time comes for his 7-year-old daughter to face the disease, there will be better treatments or even a cure thanks to advances made by clinical trials. He is a firefighter with the Wichita Fire Department. Jim Owens, 42; Edina, MN. Jim is a six-year brain cancer survivor who successfully tried a cutting-edge oral chemotherapy when his tumor came back a second time. Throughout the treatment he continued to work, ride and compete. Jim's experience impressed upon him the need for and benefit of new cancer treatments through clinical trials that may benefit him and his son in the future. As a teenager, Jim helped his sister through successful cancer treatment, and recently supported his father as he battled prostate cancer. Jim is vice president of Owens Companies, Inc., an air conditioning and heating contractor. Kathy Parker, 51; Athens, GA. Kathy is a vulvar sarcoma survivor. She was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer just as her older brother was dying of colon cancer. Kathy ran the Boston Marathon in her brother's honor and again in 2004 to celebrate her third year of being cancer-free. Kathy is a professor of geography at the University of Georgia. Rod Quiros, 36; Suffern, NY. Rod is a lymphoma survivor who enrolled in a clinical trial when doctors told him the standard treatment probably wouldn't help him. It proved to be one of the best decisions of his life. At first he was very fearful but gradually began to believe he could survive cancer, and now wants to get that message out to other people facing cancer. Rod is a vice president for Merrill Lynch. Erika Rosettie, RN, 43; Corning, NY. Erika is an oncology nurse who in the past year has seen her father-in-law die of prostate cancer and uncle struggle with leukemia. At the Guthrie Cancer Center where she works, Erika teaches patients about clinical trials and encourages them to enroll in a study, even if they have to go to another center to participate in the trial. Neil Shah, MD, PhD, 41; Woodland Hills, CA. Dr. Shah is a hematologist/oncologist who dedicates his time and energy in the lab, working to find new treatments for cancer. He is currently studying a new compound that could potentially improve the treatment of patients with leukemia. Dr. Shah is an assistant professor of hematology and oncology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Bernie Sher, 66; Cocoa Beach, FL. As Bernie, a prostate cancer survivor, researched treatments and realized he wanted to become an advocate for other men. He began a program that includes a series of road races that will raise money for prostate cancer awareness, including risks, testing and treatment. Bernie is a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force. Michael Siegel, 44; Wilmette, IL. Michael is a two-time leukemia survivor who participated in two clinical trials. He was a father of three and his wife was pregnant with twins when he was first diagnosed. Michael's positive experience with cancer research compelled members of his family with cancer to enroll in clinical trials. His story has served as an inspiration to many in his local cancer community. Michael is an architect with VOA Associates. Joseph Steele, MD, 35; Englewood, CO. Dr. Steele was diagnosed last fall with testicular cancer and says he will survive the disease thanks to three decades of clinical trials that led to a successful treatment. Being a cancer patient has created a special camaraderie between Dr. Steele and his patients, who also have cancer. He is an interventional radiologist who specializes in minimally invasive cancer surgery. Elizabeth Sterling, 35; Millmont, PA. Elizabeth's son was diagnosed with a brain tumor as an infant and died at 18 months of age. Bennett was treated at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and many aspects of his treatment were part of clinical trials. Elizabeth and her husband believe Bennett's participation in cancer research will one day save another child's life. They formed the Blue Butterfly Fund in Bennett's memory to support other families with children undergoing cancer treatment. Elizabeth is a high school biology teacher in the Lewisburg Area School District in Pennsylvania. Robert Stuart, MD, 55; Charleston, SC. Dr. Stuart is a hematologist/oncologist who founded the clinical trials program and bone marrow transplant unit at the Medical University of South Carolina. He came to view his work from a different perspective more than a decade later when his wife received a life-saving bone marrow transplant as part of a clinical trial. Dr. Stuart is a kidney cancer survivor, but says his wife's triumph over leukemia is what put his long career of dedication to cancer research into focus. He calls her a "living miracle." Stephen Verbanic, 45; Virginia Beach, VA. Steve is a cancer survivor and his 5-year-old son, Jackson is currently being treated for leukemia. His optimism helped him deal with his own cancer struggle and he remains hopeful as his son battles the disease. Steve is the Chief Information Officer at Dataline, Inc. Ted Yang, MD, 41; Houston, TX. Dr. Yang is a radiation oncologist whose grandfather's death from lung cancer inspired him to become a cancer physician. He has worked on the faculty at the University of Texas Medical Branch and now cares for cancer patients in an underserved community hospital in Pasadena, Texas. His goal is to offer clinical trials to his patients there. Dr. Yang is a physician with the Greater Houston Radiation Oncology Associates. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Source: Bristol-Myers Squibb

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