The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release

June 28, 2004

Iowan Named To Cycling Team For Lance Armstrong's Tour Of Hope

The associate director of the Iowa Marrow Donor Program and Adult Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics will combine her twin passions of helping people affected by cancer and bicycling during a special bike ride across the nation to raise awareness about the critical importance of cancer research.

Colleen Reardon Chapleau of North Liberty is one of 20 cyclists selected by cancer community leaders to join cancer survivor and five-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong in this year's Bristol-Myers Squibb Tour of Hope.

Almost 1,200 people applied to bike across mountains and over plains around the clock -- relaying nearly 3,500 miles from Los Angeles, Calif., to Washington, D.C. -- to inspire and inform the public about the importance of cancer clinical trials. In addition to being avid cyclists, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Tour of Hope team members share a passion for cancer clinical trials through their personal and professional experiences with the disease.

Chapleau, 46, is a skin cancer survivor who has also supported both of her parents through a cancer diagnosis and successful treatment. She works with patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation and has worked extensively to recruit volunteer donors for the bone marrow registry.

"It has been so rewarding to see how results from clinical trials have improved bone marrow transplant therapy and allowed more patients to survive," Chapleau said.

The team will depart Los Angeles on Friday, Oct. 1 and be joined by Armstrong at points along the way before being welcomed in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, Oct. 9. The public also will be invited to show the riders their support at various points along the route. The team members will ride through Iowa.

Among the extraordinary team members are cancer researchers, nurses and physicians, caregivers, and -- like Armstrong -- cancer survivors. Representing 18 states, these men and women come from all walks of life. In addition to oncology nurses and physicians, team members include a firefighter, an architect, a retired Air Force colonel, a veterinarian and two teachers.

"Bristol-Myers Squibb is proud to team up with Lance Armstrong and these 20 courageous individuals who together will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer clinical trials through the Tour of Hope," said Peter R. Dolan, chairman and chief executive officer of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. "As the Tour of Hope team cycles across the country, they will encourage people to talk to their physicians about cancer research, which is essential to identifying new therapies, advancing treatments and ultimately finding a cure for the disease."

"I consider myself a cancer survivor because of the people before me who participated in clinical trials and paved the way for future cancer survivors," said Armstrong, who, more than seven years after being diagnosed with advanced cancer, is going for his sixth consecutive Tour de France title this July. "The Tour of Hope team members are incredible, and each of them is an inspiration to me. Together we will spread the message that without clinical trials, no new medicines would be available today or will be available for patients in the future."

The following cancer organizations are partners in the Bristol-Myers Squibb Tour of Hope: CancerCare, C-Change, Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation, the Coalition of National Cancer Cooperative Groups, Lance Armstrong Foundation, the National Coalition of Cancer Survivorship, and the Oncology Nursing Society.

To learn more about the Bristol-Myers Squibb Tour of Hope and how to get involved, visit www.tourofhope.org. Photographs of the team members are also available on that Web site.

Team members are from the following states: California (2), Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York (2), Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Iowa is the state's only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer center. NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers are recognized as the leaders in developing new approaches to cancer prevention and cancer care, conducting leading edge research, and educating the public about cancer.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at www.uihealthcare.com.

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room 8798 JPP, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945, thomas-moore@uiowa.edu