COLUMBUS, Ohio, Feb. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Bicycle messengers in Columbus are showing their support today for Tour de France winner and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong and the Cycle of Hope(TM) campaign by wearing yellow buttons with the campaign's toll-free number on their bike bags. Yellow is the Tour de France victory color. Messengers also are handing out postcards featuring campaign information and a message of hope from Armstrong. (Photo: NewsCom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000208/DCTUHOPE ) The Cycle of Hope campaign, a national cancer education campaign for people with cancer and those at risk for developing the disease, was launched today during a kick-off event in New York City. In addition to bicycle messengers in Columbus, those in Washington, D.C., Seattle, New York City, Philadelphia, and Minneapolis are also supporting the new campaign by wearing the yellow buttons. Lance Armstrong's non-profit organization, the Lance Armstrong Foundation, and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, makers of the drugs that successfully treated his disease, have joined forces to create the Cycle of Hope campaign. The initiative is designed to help support early cancer detection; reduce fear associated with cancer; encourage a team approach to treatment that includes a medical oncologist; and foster hope in patients and their families fighting the disease. "Lance Armstrong is an inspiration to all of us," said Tony Ionno of the Columbus Bike Messengers Association. "I know I speak for all bike messengers when I say that we are thrilled to support his new project to raise cancer awareness and help others break out of a cycle of fear and misunderstanding about the disease." As part of the campaign, Armstrong will be featured in public service announcements that encourage cancer patients and those at risk to call the campaign's toll-free number or visit its Web site for a free Cycle of Hope information packet. The packet contains information that is useful to everyone. For healthy people who want to find out if they are at risk of developing cancer, there is an interactive "wheel" with information about common risk factors and symptoms. For people recently diagnosed with cancer, the packet will serve as a starting point to help them understand their diagnosis and obtain state-of-the-art treatment. The packet also includes advice from Armstrong on coping with the disease and other survivorship issues. For the millions of people who are caring for a loved one, the packet provides resources and tips for caregivers who may feel overburdened and overwhelmed. The materials can be obtained by calling the toll-free number 877-717-HOPE (4673) or by visiting www.cycleofhope.org. At the age of 25, Armstrong was diagnosed with advanced testicular cancer and given a 50 percent chance to live. Soon afterward, he vowed to help others get the best information and treatment possible. Armstrong harnessed the same determination that made him a world-class athlete and directed it toward beating the disease. In addition to his positive attitude, he credits his leading-edge treatment and skilled medical team for his success. "Lance's dream, and now the Foundation's mission, has been to empower cancer patients to feel that they are survivors, not victims, of cancer," said Howard Chalmers, president, the Lance Armstrong Foundation. "The Cycle of Hope is a fundamental cornerstone of this commitment and we look forward to helping the millions of people diagnosed with cancer or at risk through the campaign." The campaign is also endorsed by other leading cancer support and professional organizations, including Cancer Care, National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS) and the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS). Bristol-Myers Squibb is a worldwide diversified health and personal care company whose principal businesses are pharmaceuticals, consumer products, nutritionals and medical devices. The company is the global leader in the fight against cancer, with a 40-year history of research and development in the field of oncology. It markets the largest portfolio of anti-cancer agents in the world. To maintain its leadership in oncology, Bristol-Myers Squibb conducts a wide range of research and development initiatives designed to utilize cutting edge technologies. Bristol-Myers Squibb, along with the Lance Armstrong Foundation, is dedicated to pursuing patient awareness, education, research and survivorship issues. The Lance Armstrong Foundation was created by Armstrong in 1996 after his cancer diagnosis. The foundation is dedicated to aiding the fight against cancer in three areas: prevention or early detection of the disease; helping individuals manage their lives after diagnosis; and providing support to survivors of all forms of cancer. By the end of 1999, the Lance Armstrong Foundation had committed approximately one half million dollars for cancer research. Additional initiatives to aid cancer survivors will be launched this year.
SOURCE Lance Armstrong Foundation and Bristol-Myers Squibb