Join Breakaway from Cancer® during the largest cycling event in America, the 2015 Amgen Tour of California. The Amgen Tour of California is America’s largest and most prestigious professional cycling race. The tenth anniversary edition will feature an all-star field of 144 of the world’s most talented and decorated cyclists May 10 – 17 competing on the eight-day route covering more than 700 miles of the state’s most stunning and recognizable roadways, highways and coastlines.

Breakaway from Cancer® will honor and celebrate cancer survivors throughout the race.

Amgen tour of california - Events


Amgen tour of california - Events


Join the World’s Largest Cancer Support Team!

This year, Breakaway from Cancer invites race spectators to join us as we build the World’s Largest Cancer Support Team. Inside the Breakaway from Cancer tent at the lifestyle festival visit our photo booth to snap a picture in support of cancer survivors everywhere and share your photo using #breakaway. After the race, find your photo at

Visit the Breakaway from Cancer booth at the Lifestyle tent!

This year, Breakaway from Cancer invites race spectators to join us as we build the World’s Largest Cancer Support Team. At every finish of the Amgen Tour of California, Breakaway from Cancer and our partner organizations will be on the ground sharing information about important resources. Stop by our tent at the lifestyle festival to learn more.

At the tent, you can also visit our photo booth to snap a picture in support of cancer survivors everywhere and share your photo using #breakaway and at Plus we have Breakaway from Cancer bracelets and totes to giveaway.

Breakaway Miles

Celebrating cancer survivors everywhere, the Breakaway Miles take place in three host cities during the 2015 Amgen Tour of California. It's a special approximately one-half mile walk to honor the millions of cancer survivors worldwide and takes place in Lodi, Pismo Beach and Pasadena. Register now

More upcoming events »
Amgen tour of california - Events

Breakaway from Cancer Champions

During the 2015 Amgen Tour of California in our Breakaway Mile cities we will honor a local cancer survivor as Breakaway from Cancer Champion for making a difference within their community and inspiring others. Each Champion will also present the Breakaway from Cancer Most Courageous Rider jersey which is awarded daily to the cyclist who best exemplifies the character of those engaged in the fight against cancer - courage, sacrifice, inspiration, determination and perseverance.

In addition, in Pasadena on the final day of the 2015 race we will honor and celebrate 10 national Breakaway from Cancer Champions. Learn more

Introducing This Year’s Honorary Champion, Joan Lunden

During Lunden’s recent battle with breast cancer she committed herself to educating women about the importance of screening and early detection. Through her advocacy she inspired others to protect their own health. Lunden opened up to the public about her personal journey with the hopes that she could offer support and inspiration and provide a better understanding of the cancer treatment process. In her role as this year’s Honorary Breakaway from Cancer Champion®, Lunden helped select the ten Champions who will join her at the finish of the tenth edition of the Amgen Tour of California. Learn more

Meet the 2015 Local Breakaway from Cancer Champions
Amgen tour of california - Events

Race Starters

At every stage of the Amgen Tour of California Breakaway from Cancer spotlights a local cancer survivor. Local cancer survivors participate in the official race start activities each day.

Here’s a look at our 2015 race starters.

Hearing her surgeon say “you have cancer” felt like an out-of-body experience for Diane “Sue” White. She was healthy, ate well, exercised regularly, and didn’t have any increased risk factors for breast cancer. But she still got cancer. Sue cannot imagine how she would have coped through that period of her life without the love and support of her family and friends, but especially her best friend Kathy, who had breast cancer four years earlier and held her hand every step of the way.

Once Sue completed her treatments and they were both “survivors,” they became a team of advocates, co-chairing committees for cancer relays and walks, and speaking to high school classes about the importance of early detection and self-screening. Together Sue and Kathy volunteered for fashion show fundraisers and spoke to new cancer patients as a way to help themselves heal and give back to others. Sue’s dear friend Kathy passed away in 2009 due to a recurrence of her breast cancer but she is missed each and every day as Sue continues to fight the good fight in her memory.

Kayle Martin says it took a village to care for her during her bout with breast cancer in 2008, when she was just thirty years old. Friends and even some strangers rallied on her behalf, making raw food, holding her hand during blood draws and needle pokes, driving her to appointments and holding a benefit to cover the costs of alternative treatments. Kayle’s firm belief in a raw vegan diet and clean lifestyle gave her hope and determination to get though that period in her life. Now cancer free, Kayle’s mission is, “to encourage people to live happier, healthier lives by putting more veggies on their plates and positive thoughts in their minds.” She does this through her health and wellness website, Cowgirls & Collard Greens ( Kayle is busy speaking at conferences and writing her first book, but she always finds time to spend with newly diagnosed breast cancer patients at her local hospital. She is proud to be part of the Amgen Tour of California, representing Nevada City and the community that gave so much to her during a challenging time in her life.

After receiving a rare cancer diagnosis in 2012, David Tanza feared that he and his wife wouldn’t get to enjoy the “empty nest” they were just getting used to. But with his wife by his side at every treatment reminding him that they would get through it together, David survived Thymic Carcinoma. It was important for David to maintain a sense of normalcy during treatment, so when he couldn’t run each day as usual, he walked, and continued to work a few hours to keep a routine. Yet like so many others fighting cancer, David was overwhelmed with fears and emotions that friends and family can’t understand if they haven’t experienced it themselves. So he turned to organizations like LIVESTRONG and Imerman’s Angels who connected him with other Thymic Carcinoma survivors to share information and experiences. Through these support networks, David is now serving as a mentor to a survivor in Connecticut, and is on the advisory board for the UC Santa Cruz chapter of Camp Kasem, a camp for children affected by their parent’s cancer. Since his recovery, David has run two half-marathons, including one in Austin, Texas, where his family raised money for Team LIVESTRONG and the cancer community. David used to think it took a superhuman effort to fight cancer, but he doesn’t consider himself heroic for surviving cancer, just extremely fortunate.

It has been nearly five years since Kristin Alexander was diagnosed with breast cancer. Battling cancer gave Kristin a better appreciation for everything in her life and everyone she meets. It inspired her to open her own fitness studio and pursue a writing career. Kristin says her number one source of strength throughout her journey was her faith in God. She tried to stay positive and physically active during treatment and recovery, and surrounded herself with loving and supportive people. But the one thing she was missing while she was going through treatment was a connection with another cancer patient. As a result, since her recovery, Kristin is dedicated to being that missing link for others so they do not feel like they are in the fight alone. Kristin Alexander wouldn’t trade her cancer diagnosis for anything. In the end, it changed her life for the better. She now considers every day the best gift she has ever received.

Jack Bianchi has been in remission 22 years and, in that time, has helped raise more than $1.5 million for cancer programs in the Santa Barbara area. Diagnosed in 1992 with advanced cancer in his tongue and neck, Jack’s doctors said, “We are going to beat you up and you will probably want to die, but we are going to save you.” At that time, many of the modern resources we rely on today—the Internet and email support groups, for example—didn’t exist, so Jack relied on his strong medical team, his wife Marguerite, and his dream to exercise again. An accomplished athlete and long-distance runner, Jack underwent twice-a-day radiation treatments and ear-to-ear neck surgery. Just one year later, he was racing again and posting some of his fastest times. Now, Jack dedicates his time to organizing events to raise money for the Santa Barbara Cancer Center and other cancer organizations. Jack Bianchi is an inspiration to all—whether or not they are fighting cancer.

Jersey Presenters

Ciel Senechal hopes to be “cancer free” in December 2015. Aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatment for anal cancer in 2013 caused her to be extremely ill and bedridden, and left parts of her body burned and disfigured. She completely lost any ability to function—to be her own advocate, to ask questions, to clean her house, or even care for her children. Family, friends, church members and neighbors provided for all of her family’s daily needs during that time.

To anyone going through a similar experience, she gives this advice: share your diagnosis with others; ask for help and accept it gracefully; scream and cry if and when you need to; and take the journey one day, one hour or even one minute at a time. But most importantly, find positive things each day that will keep your spirits up. Ciel’s strong support system from near and far that helped her through the fight of her life is true testament to her belief that cancer is a “we” fight, not a “me” fight .

Nine years ago, Rick Bates was diagnosed with throat cancer. What got him through the months of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation? His wife Nancy, who tirelessly pushed to get answers and find the best treatments for him. And a positive attitude. Rick didn’t see a cancer diagnosis as a life sentence. He understood that there was an end in sight, and tried to stay strong to fight through to the finish line.

Karen Harrington is a breast cancer survivor, thanks to an invaluable network of supporters that included her husband Stephen, children Ethan and Eleanor and mom Marty. Together they kept her strong, smiling and alive and they loved her. She also found strength through support groups, massage, classes about survivorship, nutrition and yoga, as well as the Patient Advocate Foundation, which helped her with an insurance denial. Now “surviving and thriving,” Karen enjoyed a celebratory bike ride to mark her one year anniversary of finishing treatment. Karen says that it takes a team and she thanks all her team members who give her strength to help her and others.

In late 2006 at age 25, Blaine was blindsided with a cancer diagnosis. After multiple surgeries and three intense infusion cycles, he was deemed "cancer free" in February 2007. Although the treatment was difficult, the most challenging point of his cancer journey occurred once his remission what? It took a while, but "what" became a bike, cycling, TEAM BlaineRidesOn and fundraising to support and inspire those affected by cancer. Since his first Palo Alto Breakaway charity ride in early 2008, Blaine has proudly represented Breakaway from Cancer at each Amgen Tour of California.

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