THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., May 11, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --Amgen today announced that four inspirational cancer survivors who have made a difference for others affected by cancer in their communities have been selected as Breakaway from Cancer(R) Champions to participate in Breakaway Miles during the 2010 Amgen Tour of California.
Founded by Amgen in 2005 as a complementary component to the title sponsorship of the Amgen Tour of California, the initiative continues to raise awareness of the important resources available to people impacted by cancer - from prevention through survivorship. Breakaway from Cancer represents a partnership between Amgen and four nonprofit organizations dedicated to empowering patients with education, resources and hope.
"Amgen is proud to honor individuals who have made a positive difference in the fight against cancer," said Stuart Arbuckle, vice president and general manager of Oncology Business Unit at Amgen. "Breakaway from Cancer was founded on the knowledge that it takes a team to overcome this disease and the Breakaway from Cancer Champions exemplify the commitment to helping others."
In celebration of cancer survivors everywhere, the local Breakaway from Cancer Champions will lead the Breakaway Mile, which is an approximately one-mile walk that ends at the Amgen Tour of California finish line prior to the stage conclusion of the professional race in four 2010 race host cities: Santa Cruz, Modesto, Bakersfield and Thousand Oaks. Each Breakaway Mile will also feature an Amgen scientist who plays a crucial role in developing breakthrough medicines.
The four Breakaway from Cancer Champions were selected following a call for nominations earlier this year. The 2010 Breakaway from Cancer Champions are:
* Santa Cruz's Marilyn Luma for her involvement in the group Tutus for Tatas which raises funds for and participates in the annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure event;
* Modesto's Sandy Howard because of her self-published book, "Life After Chemo" that serves as a resource for women in San Joaquin Valley;
* Bakersfield's Tricia Bland for her commitment to share her story and knowledge to inspire others; and
* Thousand Oaks' Steve Bartolucci because of his commitment to cycling to counter the effects of his treatment and to raise awareness and funds for those affected by cancer.
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.
Four-time Amgen Tour of California competitor, 14-time Tour de France veteran and 2009 U.S. Professional Road Race Champion, Team BMC's George Hincapie is a Breakaway from Cancer supporter. Hincapie said, "Nearly everyone is touched by cancer, including my family, and it's important to know that you don't have to fight cancer alone. I joined Breakaway from Cancer in 2005 because people need to know that education, resources and support are available as they fight the disease."
All Breakaway from Cancer awareness and fundraising programs benefit the initiative's four nonprofit partners - Prevent Cancer Foundation, Cancer Support Community, Patient Advocate Foundation and National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship - and 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.
More information about the Breakaway from Cancer initiative, including valuable resources offered by Amgen's partners, is available at http://www.breakawayfromcancer.com/.
About Breakaway from Cancer
Founded in 2005 by Amgen as a complementary component to the company's title sponsorship of the Amgen Tour of California, Breakaway from Cancer(R) is designed to help empower people affected by cancer. Breakaway from Cancer supports the services of four nonprofit organizations: Prevent Cancer Foundation, Cancer Support Community (formerly knows as The Wellness Community), Patient Advocate Foundation and National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship. For more information, please visit http://www.breakawayfromcancer.com/.
Amgen discovers, develops, manufactures and delivers innovative human therapeutics. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen was one of the first companies to realize the new science's promise by bringing safe and effective medicines from lab, to manufacturing plant, to patient. Amgen therapeutics have changed the practice of medicine, helping millions of people around the world in the fight against cancer, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and other serious illnesses. With a broad and deep pipeline of potential new medicines, Amgen remains committed to advancing science to dramatically improve people's lives. To learn more about Amgen's pioneering science and vital medicines, visit www.amgen.com.
About Prevent Cancer Foundation
The Prevent Cancer Foundation was started in 1985. Today, it is one of the nation's leading health organizations and has catapulted cancer prevention to prominence. Through healthy lifestyle choices, you can reduce your risk of breast, cervical, colorectal, lung, oral, prostate, skin and testicular cancers.
Since its inception the Foundation has provided more than $113 million in support of cancer prevention and early detection research, education and community outreach programs. The Foundation's peer-reviewed grants have been awarded to nearly 400 scientists from more than 150 of the leading academic medical centers nationwide. This research has been pivotal in developing a body of knowledge that is the basis for important cancer prevention and early detection strategies. For more information, please visit www.preventcancer.org.
About the Cancer Support Community
Backed by evidence that the best cancer care includes emotional and social support, the Cancer Support Community offers these services to all people affected by cancer. Likely the largest professionally-led network of cancer support worldwide, the organization delivers a comprehensive menu of personalized and essential services. Because no cancer care plan is complete without emotional and social support, the Cancer Support Community has a vibrant network of community-based centers and online services run by trained and licensed professionals. For more information, visit http://www.cancersupportcommunity.org/.
In July 2009, The Wellness Community and Gilda's Club joined forces to become the Cancer Support Community. The combined organization provides high-quality psychological and social support through a network of nearly 50 local affiliates, more than 100 satellite locations and online.
About Patient Advocate Foundation
Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) was established in 1996 as a national 501(c)3 organization with a mission of safeguarding patients with chronic, life threatening, and/or debilitating illnesses assuring access to care, maintenance of employment and preservation of their financial stability. Through the work of professional case management staff, patients have come to rely upon PAF as the providers of direct support and educational tools which allow them to gain access to quality healthcare. For more information, visit http://www.patientadvocate.org/.
About the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship
NCCS advocates for quality cancer care for all Americans and provides tools that empower people affected by cancer to advocate for themselves. Founded by and for cancer survivors, NCCS created the widely accepted definition of survivorship and considers someone a cancer survivor from the time of diagnosis through the balance of life. Its free publications and resources include the award-winning Cancer Survival Toolbox(R) www.canceradvocacy.org/toolbox, a self-learning audio program created by leading cancer organizations to help people develop essential skills to meet the challenges of their illness. More information is available at http://www.canceradvocacy.org/ or 1-888-650-9127.
CONTACT: Amgen, Thousand Oaks
Kristen Davis, 805.447.3008