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Amgen's Breakaway from Cancer Initiative Expands

Designed to Help Cancer Patients Access Broad Spectrum of Cancer Resources and Services

Posted: January 28, 2009 10:46 p.m.
Updated: January 22, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., Jan. 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- In an ongoing effort to raise awareness of the comprehensive continuum of resources available to cancer patients and their caregivers -- from prevention to education, patient care to advocacy and financial support --Amgen's Breakaway from Cancer(TM) initiative has expanded its charitable partners to now include the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, Patient Advocate Foundation, Prevent Cancer Foundation and The Wellness Community.

Amgen created Breakaway from Cancer in 2005 as a complementary component to its sponsorship of the Amgen Tour of California, an annual world-class cycling event that takes place in February. Leading up to and during the nine-day, 750-mile 2009 professional cycling event, which begins in Sacramento on Feb. 14 and ends in Escondido on Feb. 22, multiple Breakaway from Cancer activities will take place to recognize, honor and celebrate cancer survivors.

"One person alone does not beat cancer. It takes a team. Amgen's sponsorship of the Amgen Tour of California provides us with an opportunity to support the millions of people affected by cancer," said Stuart A. Arbuckle, vice president and general manager of Oncology Business Unit at Amgen. "Amgen is proud to work with our Breakaway from Cancer nonprofit partners to raise awareness of the vital programs and services they provide that support people fighting cancer."

All Breakaway from Cancer awareness and fundraising programs will benefit the initiative's four 2009 charitable partners, 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. Additionally, the Lance Armstrong Foundation and Stand Up To Cancer will join forces with the Breakaway from Cancer campaign during the Amgen Tour of California to help spread the word about working together to conquer cancer.

Breakaway from Cancer Charity Rides
To raise awareness and funds for people affected by cancer, Breakaway from Cancer charity bicycle rides will take place in San Francisco and Thousand Oaks, Calif. on Sunday, Feb. 8. The San Francisco ride will encompass a moderate 25-mile course, and Thousand Oaks will offer either a 25- or 50-mile course. Both events will feature finish line activities. In addition, participants in the San Francisco ride will have the opportunity to meet professional cyclist and Amgen Tour of California stage winner George Hincapie and Thousand Oaks cyclists will meet Team Columbia riders. Interested riders can register by visiting www.breakawayfromcancer.com.

"Since the inaugural Amgen Tour of California, I have been a part of the Breakaway from Cancer initiative," said Hincapie. "Nearly everyone is touched by cancer, including my family, and it's important for those affected to realize they don't have to face the illness alone. Just as in cycling where it takes a support team to help a rider break away from the pack, it takes a strong support network to help a person with cancer face the many hurdles throughout treatment."

Breakaway Miles During the Amgen Tour of California
In honor of cancer survivors everywhere with the spotlight on one special local survivor, Amgen created the Breakaway Mile -- an honorary one-mile bike ride that takes place at the finish line of the Amgen Tour of California, prior to the stage conclusion of the professional race. The Breakaway Mile will take place in four 2009 race host cities: Santa Rosa, Modesto, Paso Robles and Escondido. Each Breakaway Mile will feature a local cancer survivor and an Amgen scientist who plays a crucial role in developing breakthrough medicines. Similar to the support team that helps a cyclist breakaway from the pack, it takes a strong support network to help a person break away from cancer.

About Breakaway from Cancer
Founded in 2005, Breakaway from Cancer(TM) is a complementary component to the Amgen race sponsorship. Breakaway from Cancer strives to raise awareness of the important resources available to cancer patients from prevention to education, and patient care to advocacy and financial support. The initiative includes charitable partners the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, Patient Advocate Foundation, Prevent Cancer Foundation and The Wellness Community, and it also has joined forces with the Lance Armstrong Foundation and Stand Up To Cancer. Learn more at www.breakawayfromcancer.com.

About Amgen
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 deep and broad pipeline of potential new medicines, Amgen remains committed to advancing science to dramatically improve people's lives. To learn more about our pioneering science and our vital medicines, visit www.amgen.com.

About the Lance Armstrong Foundation
At the Lance Armstrong Foundation, we fight for the 28 million people around the world living with cancer today. There can be - and should be - life after cancer for more people. That's why we kick in at the moment of diagnosis, giving people the resources and support they need to fight cancer head-on. We find innovative ways to raise awareness, fund research and end the stigma about cancer that many survivors face. We connect people and communities to drive social change, and we call for state, national and world leaders to help fight this disease. Anyone, anywhere can join our fight against cancer. Join us at LIVESTRONG.org.

About the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship
The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS) is a leading cancer advocacy organization founded by and for cancer survivors more than 20 years ago. Its priorities are to advocate for quality cancer care for all Americans and to empower people with cancer to advocate for themselves. Believing that access to credible and accurate patient information is fundamental to understanding and receiving quality cancer care, NCCS provides tools and information for people to become strong advocates for their own care or the care of others. The award-winning Cancer Survival Toolbox(R) and other resources and information are available at www.canceradvocacy.org or 301-650-9127.

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 this work, its patients have come to rely upon PAF as the providers of educational tools and direct support which allow them to gain access to quality healthcare. For more information, visit www.patientadvocate.org.

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 $106 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 more than 300 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.

Stand Up To Cancer
The Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) initiative raises awareness and funds to accelerate ground-breaking research that will get new therapies to patients quickly. Launched in May of 2008, SU2C is a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, and draws on the industry's resources in the fight against the disease as never before. On September 5, ABC, CBS, and NBC donated airtime for the first-ever three-network simultaneous broadcast of a fundraising special aimed at rallying the public around the goal of defeating cancer.

SU2C's "Dream Team" approach will eliminate barriers that often inhibit creativity and collaboration in cancer research, by enabling the best and brightest scientists from leading institutions across the country and internationally to work together. The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is charged with conducting expert scientific review of the projects and administering the funds, under the direction of a prestigious Scientific Advisory Committee. For more information, visit www.standup2cancer.org.

About The Wellness Community
The Wellness Community is an international, non-profit organization that provides support, education and hope to people with cancer and those who care for them. By providing free professionally-led support groups, educational workshops, nutrition and exercise programs, and stress reduction classes, The Wellness Community helps individuals affected by cancer learn vital skills that enable them to regain control, reduce isolation and enhance quality of life.

The Wellness Community also collaborates with academic and medical partners to conduct evidence-based research and provide training in the field of psychosocial oncology with the goal of improving outcomes and quality of life for cancer patients, cancer survivors, and the individuals who care for them. The Wellness Community assists individuals affected by cancer at over 100 locations worldwide including 24 U.S.-based and 2 international centers, 73 satellite and off-site programs, and online at www.thewellnesscommunity.org.

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