JOIN US FOR THE AMGEN TOUR OF CALIFORNIA
The largest cycling event in America, the 2013 Amgen Tour of California is a Tour de France-style cycling road race that challenges the world's top professional cycling teams to compete along a demanding course from May 12-19.
Breakaway from Cancer® will be supporting the riders and honoring local cancer survivors from tour communities throughout the race. Join Breakaway from Cancer at every stage for exciting activities and help us celebrate the most inspirational cancer survivors across California.
Celebrating cancer survivors everywhere, the Breakaway Miles take place at select stages during the Amgen Tour of California before the professional riders roll across the finish line.
It's a special one-mile walk to honor the millions of cancer survivors worldwide
Visit the Breakaway from Cancer booth
At every stage of the Amgen Tour of California, Breakaway from Cancer and our partner organizations will be on the ground sharing more information about important resources. Stop by our booth to learn more. Plus we have Breakaway from Cancer bracelets and totes to giveaway.
More upcoming events »
Breakaway from Cancer Champions
During the Amgen Tour of California a local cancer survivor, patient,
caregiver, or advocate will be named Breakaway from Cancer Champions
for making a difference within their community and inspiring others. Each
Champion will also present the Breakaway from Cancer Most Courageous
Rider jersey, awarded to a cyclist who best exemplifies the character of those
engaged in the fight against cancer - courage, sacrifice, inspiration,
determination and perseverance.
At every stage of the Amgen Tour of California Breakaway from Cancer is putting a spotlight on local cancer survivors. We have identified local cancer survivors to fire the start gun at each stage.
Here’s a look at our 2013 race starters.
Kathy Winn, Escondido
Diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer two years ago at the age of 47, Kathy has coped with this rare and aggressive cancer with grace, courage, and an incredible sense of humor even as it has advanced to Stage IV and she has had to recently reenter chemotherapy. She has been open and upfront about it in hopes of increasing public awareness about inflammatory breast cancer. This type of breast cancer is the most deadly and does not show on a mammogram, is not hereditary, and is always at least Stage IIIB when diagnosed. Kathy has been a tireless advocate for the environment in her professional life for 18 years educating Escondido residents about recycling and proper household hazardous waste disposal, teaching composting workshops, and conducting the annual Earth Day Poster Contest open to all Grade K-8 students in Escondido. Kathy has raised three children and is so proud that her two daughters have earned master’s degrees, and her son is a sophomore at UCLA. Kathy is an outgoing advocate for cancer education and the environment and is an honest friend.
Karen Cannella, Murrieta
Breast cancer survivor Karen Cannella says that the journey is your greatest undertaking when faced with a cancer diagnosis. She says that treatment was a difficult journey; however, knowing that her goal was to feel normal again guided her to feeling healthy. She says that you can feel normal, alive, and healthy. Even with obstacles during her recovery, including her father passing away a few days before her last chemotherapy treatment, Karen kept her family and friends close to her heart which gave her the insight to know that things were going to be okay. She extends special thanks to her extended family at the Murrieta Police Department who took her to doctor’s appointments, donated hours so she had extended leave, helped shave her head, and held the trash can while she was throwing up. Karen also thanks her children, Michael and Loriana, her parents and her extended family who provided love and encouragement. One of Karen’s dads’ favorite quotes was, "This too shall pass," and she knows he was right!.
Ben Jefferson, Palmdale
Ben Jefferson thought the weight loss, fatigue, and overall dull feeling was stress stemming from his first semester of law school at Loyola Marymount. He was on his way to school one day when he suddenly felt ill; despite his protests, his mother and father urged him to go to the hospital. Three days later, at the age of 23, he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. The year was 2000. Ben spent most of that year undergoing chemotherapy treatments at LA County/USC Medical Center. By year’s end, he was cancer-free though his dream of becoming a lawyer was put on hold. After some soul searching and good fortune, Ben found his true passion in teaching. While working as a Special Education teacher at Palmdale High School, he met and fell in love with Staci Haight, an English teacher. In 2007, the two married and became known as the Bride and Groom of American Cancer Society’s Palmdale Relay for Life after turning up at the event in complete wedding attire; just hours after they exchanged wedding vows. Now, thirteen years after that initial diagnosis, Ben remains in remission. He is still at Palmdale High School where he works as an instructional coach. He will celebrate six years of marriage in September and is the father to two young daughters, Juliet, 4, and Kathryn, 21 months. He remains involved in the Palmdale Relay for Life as its Fight Back co-chair.
Nancy Coulter, Santa Clarita in memory of her daughter Heather Warrick
Heather Warrick was called the "face of cancer survivorship" in the Santa Clarita Valley. On February 1, 2013 at the age of 43, Heather passed away after a nearly two-decade battle with metastatic breast cancer. Heather was American Cancer Society Santa Clarita Unit Health Programs Manager before retiring in 2011 and she was the daughter of 2009 Santa Clarita Valley Woman of the Year, Nancy Coulter. Nancy has also volunteered for the American Cancer Society for more than 20 years and is the Santa Clarita Valley American Cancer Society Volunteer of the Decade. Nancy said that Heather fought right up to the last minute and maintained the high level of dignity, humor and perseverance she always did. After Heather passed, at her request, her family set-up a fund (in lieu of flowers) to provide transportation for cancer patients who cannot afford to travel to their chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Nancy explains, “Even after she passed, she is helping cancer patients on their cancer journey! What an amazing woman!!!” Nancy is incredibly proud and thankful that she had the opportunity to be Heather's mom. She says, "How very blessed am I."
Peggy Rantanen, Santa Barbara
Peggy was diagnosed with aggressive stage IV ovarian cancer about two years ago. After she completed the standard treatment of care, her cancer recurred and metastasized to the lymph system. Since then, she has been on various chemotherapy and targeted treatments. Throughout this journey, Peggy has proven to be a “Champion” as a person, and a patient, and also because she represents the unsung “Champions” of women who have been diagnosed with the silent and devastating disease of ovarian cancer. Peggy has inspired family, friends and those she has met with the same diagnosis by being open with her struggles as she’s dealing with her ongoing treatment, yet finding ways to manage and cope and remain positive through the process. Despite facing ongoing treatment, Peggy has not only found ways to find strength, but she has also given of herself through these times by supporting others one-on-one and enthusiastically sharing resources that she has found helpful in managing her journey. Peggy has also demonstrated living life to the fullest; she has enjoyed classes at Adult Ed and the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara, and loves to travel, recently visiting Paris, focusing on what can be done rather than what cannot.
Robert “Bob” Swan, San Jose
Bob Swan was first diagnosed with prostate cancer in January 2007. He feels that education along with early detection will give you and your doctor a good plan on how to proceed. Bob continues to lead an active and long life and strives to be an example for others faced with a cancer diagnosis. He says that his family and friends, and the many cancer survivors he has encountered are a true inspiration.
Matt and Dana Croghan, Santa Clarita
After losing their daughter, Korrine, to a very rare cancer (mixed germ cell choriocarcinoma), Dana and Matt began Team KC to help Pediatric Cancer Patients and their families. Team KC helps families with gas, food, rent as well as providing much needed items for Kaiser Pediatric Oncology. Dana and Matt know firsthand that a child with cancer puts a family in crisis. Dana and Matt organize a fundraiser, SwimStrong, each October to support the charity and bi-annual blood drives are held to replenish blood supplies used by cancer patients. Dana and Matt have channeled their grief toward helping others.
Blaine Mauldin, San Francisco
A little over five years ago, Blaine Mauldin walked into a San Francisco Performance Bike shop and picked up a flier for the 2008 Breakaway from Cancer® ride in Palo Alto which changed his life. At that time, Blaine had just started cycling and was approaching his one-year remission anniversary from cancer. He raised nearly $7,000 within the next week in support of the event and fell in love with the Breakaway from Cancer® initiative. Since then, Blaine has participated in the 2009 and 2010 Breakaway from Cancer® rides, raising over $7,000 between the two events. The 2008 Breakaway Event also introduced him to the LIVESTRONG Challenge series. Blaine is involved with the LIVESTRONG Foundation as a Fundraising Mentor and has completed ten LIVESTRONG Challenge rides. Cycling has become the joy of his life and he recently started TEAM BlaineRidesOn, which is a group of riders committed to supporting people affected by cancer. Blaine feels it his duty as a cancer survivor to be an advocate for the cause and inspire others. Although his personal fight with cancer is over, he continues to participate in the greater battle against the disease. He knows he cannot cure cancer, or raise enough money to do so, but he is determined to change the way it affects the world we live in. Surrounding himself with likeminded people and a variety of great foundations dedicated to this cause, he has done so. Blaine looks forward to representing Breakaway from Cancer® in the 2013 Tour of California.
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