CONTACT: ARIANNE NARDO
8788 John Pappajohn Pavilion
Iowa City IA 52242
Release: June 14, 2000
Iowa City man rides bicycle to raise cancer awareness
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Dan Packard has a tent, biking gear and information about
cancer prevention with him. This will be his equipment across four states,
over rough terrain, smooth pavement and a 2,600-mile trek.
"The Extra Mile Bike Ride," developed by Packard, a nursing assistant
at the University of Iowa Cancer Center, will raise awareness about prevention
and early detection of cancer, a disease that will take hold of a half a million
American lives this year.
Packard's solo journey began June 12 in Portland, Ore. He will finish his
trip by joining RAGBRAI, a bike ride across Iowa. He will meet with the UI
Cancer Center's Mobile Van in Ottumwa, along the RAGBRAI route, to disseminate
information about cancer prevention.
Packard, who is also a student assistant with the UI Cancer Information
Service, will stop at various towns along the route to present information
about cancer detection and prevention to the public and local media. Topics
to be covered include diet tips, the importance of self-examination for breast
and testicular cancer, as well as medical tests, such as the PSA (prostate
specific antigen) exam and mammography.
"The purpose of this ride is to make people aware of how to detect
cancer," Packard said. "I want people to understand that the earlier
they catch the disease, the better off they are."
Boise, Idaho, the Creators of the Moon National Monument, Yellowstone Park,
and Casper, Wyo. will provide a backdrop for the journey Packard feels compelled
to make based on his clinical experiences and personal life. Packard, who
will be an osteopathic medicine student next semester in Des Moines, understands
the importance of early detection. He has met with many people in the UI Cancer
Center who would have benefited from early detection, and his interaction
with cancer patients has given him reason to pursue an educational cause.
"My experiences working at health fairs, with students and patients,
have shown me that there is a lot of useful information here that people don't
know about. I want to use my education to try to promote awareness of cancer,"
The ride will last about 40 days. Packard is physically prepared for the
challenge as a long-time cyclist and RAGBRAI participant.
In order to support his ride, Packard has received contributions from several
local businesses and individuals that have donated money or biking equipment
in recognition of his efforts. The UI Cancer Center and the American Cancer
Society are providing Packard with educational materials for his trip. All
funds not used to support the ride will be given to the UI Cancer Center to
further ongoing cancer education.
For more information on how to make a donation to "The Extra Mile Bike
Ride," please call the UI Cancer Information Service at (800) 237-1225.
University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the
UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care,
medical education and research programs and services they provide.