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 HopeTM. Almost 1,200 people applied to bike across mountains and over plains around the clock -- relaying nearly 3,500 miles from Los Angeles, California, to Washington, D.C. -- 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 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. "As members of 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, October 1, and will be joined by Lance Armstrong at points along the way before being welcomed in Washington, D.C., Saturday, October 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, D.C.
"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 HopeTM: 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 and how to get involved, visit 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.
For more information about Bristol-Myers Squibb, contact Kathy Baum, 609-252-4227.