Lance Armstrong and the Tour of Hope™
Raising Awareness for Cancer Research
For over two decades, celebrities have entrusted Coping® to tell the world about their personal experience with cancer. We are proud to present this exclusive interview from our archives and hope that it will inspire and encourage all who read it. This article was originally published in Coping with Cancer magazine, November/December 2003.
(photos by www.tourofhope.org)
Cancer survivor and five-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong partnered with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company for an unprecedented week-long, 3,000-mile journey across the country called the Tour of Hope. Lance lead 26 cyclists touched by cancer from October 11 through 18 to inspire and inform the public about the importance of cancer research.
The 26 cyclists were selected by the cancer community to join Lance Armstrong in the journey. Nearly 1,000 people applied for the weeklong cycling journey across America. In addition to being avid cyclists, the team members have a passion for cancer research because of their personal and professional experiences.
The extraordinary team is comprised of researchers, nurses and physicians who care for people with cancer, family members who have been touched by the disease, and, like Lance, cancer survivors. They are from all walks of life, and represent 18 states. Besides oncology nurses and physicians, team members include a hotel concierge, an attorney, and a flight paramedic.
Armstrong credits his victory over cancer to those who came before him and participated in cancer clinical trials. “I owe my life to cancer research and all the patients before me. We want to let people know that cancer research is worth the ride,” says Armstrong, who recently won his fifth consecutive Tour de France in July, more than six years after being diagnosed with advanced cancer.
“I owe my life to cancer research
and all the patients before me.
We want to let people know that cancer research is worth the ride.”
“The importance of cancer research and the ongoing need to develop and improve cancer therapies is a vital issue to scientists, physicians, medical institutions, and most importantly, people with cancer,” says Peter R. Dolan, chairman and chief executive officer, Bristol-Myers Squibb. A longstanding leader in oncology research and treatment, Bristol-Myers Squibb provided the medicines that helped Armstrong beat cancer. “We are proud to partner with Lance to lead this inspirational journey across the nation to ensure that cancer research continues to advance.”
The following organizations are partners in the Tour of Hope: Lance Armstrong Foundation, Cancer Care, National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, Oncology Nursing Society, Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation, and the Coalition of National Cancer Cooperative Groups.
“Cancer research needs a champion like Lance Armstrong to let people know that clinical trials are an important treatment option they should discuss with their physician,” says Robert L. Comis, MD, president of the Coalition of National Cancer Cooperative Groups, which is dedicated to improving the quality of life and survival of cancer patients by increasing participation in cancer clinical trials.
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Read more about Lance Armstrong from Coping® with Cancer magazine, March/April 1998.
This article was published in Coping® with Cancer magazine, November/December 2003.