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May 6/07 8:53 am - Lance Armstrong to Lead Inaugural BC Cancer Foundation Tour of Courage


Posted by Editor on 05/6/07
 

Lance Armstrong to Lead Inaugural BC Cancer Foundation Tour of Courage

Photos courtesy Greg Descantes - B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell and cancer survivor Sindi Hawkins

Cancer survivor and seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong will participate in the BC Cancer Foundation Tour of Courage this September to help raise funds for cancer research, announced BC Cancer Foundation representatives, Premier Gordon Campbell and MLA and cancer survivor Sindi Hawkins today (May 5th).

On September 23rd, Armstrong will lead a community fundraising ride for recreational cyclists young and old in Greater Vancouver. He will also participate in a challenge ride for a small group of major donors on September 22 and take part in a corporate event on September 21. All three events are part of the BC Cancer Foundation Tour of Courage to raise funds and awareness for cancer research.

A survivor of testicular and brain cancer who went on to become a seven-time consecutive Tour de France winner, Armstrong is known not only as one of the world's most successful athletes but also as a tireless advocate and leader who champions the fight against cancer world-wide. Armstrong also won Vancouver's Tour de Gastown when he was just 19 in 1991.

In a message delivered to Premier Gordon Campbell, honourary chair of the BC Cancer Foundation Tour of Courage, Armstrong said, "I am very pleased and excited to be coming back to British Columbia in September. To help out and ride again in your amazing part of the world will be very cool. See you on the bike September 23. Livestrong!"

"Cancer affects each and every one of us directly or indirectly and the BC Cancer Foundation has done a tremendous job raising funds and awareness that has improved outcomes for many in British Columbia," said Campbell. "I want to thank Lance for his support and I look forward to joining him, Sindi Hawkins and all others participating in the Tour of Courage."

Sindi Hawkins will never forget the day three years ago she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. Today, she says she feels like one of the luckiest people in the world.

"I am so happy to be here today. Having a bone marrow transplant was one of the hardest things I've ever experienced, but I survived." she said. "But there are so many who weren't so lucky. That is why we have to do more research and why this event is so important. We have the talent and resources here in B.C. to make a difference. But we need you. Please register or donate to someone participating in the BC Cancer Foundation Tour of Courage."

Proceeds from the BC Cancer Foundation Tour of Courage will support blood cancer research at the BC Cancer Agency. Dr. Clay Smith, a physician and senior scientist at the BC Cancer Agency, and head of the Bone Marrow Transplant Program of British Columbia will lead the research.

In British Columbia, every day on average three people are diagnosed with some type of blood cancer, which includes forms of leukemia and lymphoma. Treatments can be very difficult, often with devastating side effects.

The BC Cancer Agency is renowned for its treatments of blood cancers. Funds raised through the BC Cancer Foundation Tour of Courage will help a variety of programs to now work effectively together to conduct an all out and co-ordinated attack on blood cancers.

"The BC Cancer Foundation Tour of Courage promises to dramatically impact the lives of those people living with blood cancers," said Dr. Clay Smith. "Proceeds will fund new research that will fundamentally change how blood cancers are diagnosed and treated, not just here in B.C but throughout the world."

Mary McNeil, CEO of the BC Cancer Foundation said "We are thrilled Lance Armstrong is coming here for the BC Cancer Foundation Tour of Courage. We are very grateful to Premier Campbell and Sindi Hawkins for their leadership and participation, in helping us to fight this disease. I would encourage people to register right away at: www.tourofcourage.ca. We know this will be a fun event that will sell out fast and raise vital dollars for cancer research."

The BC Cancer Foundation Tour of Courage is sponsored by Haywood Securities Inc., Deans Knight Capital Management Ltd., Kelowna Mountain, Canaccord Capital Corp., Global TV, The Vancouver Sun, The Province, 104.9 Clear FM, 96.9 Jack FM and News 1130 and sponsored in-kind by Gastown Printers, PezCycling News, Proshow Audiovisual ˆ Broadcast, Tac Mobility, Caps Westwood Cycle, criticalspeed.com and Trek Bikes.

The BC Cancer Foundation raises funds to support research and enhancements to care at the BC Cancer Agency. The BC Cancer Agency, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority, is committed to reducing the incidence of cancer, reducing the mortality from cancer, and improving the quality of life of those living with cancer.

 


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