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Five Californians Selected as Breakaway from Cancer® Champions to be Honored During Amgen Tour of California
Date:5/10/2011

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., May 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Amgen today announced that five inspirational cancer survivors who have made a difference for others affected by cancer in their communities have been selected as Breakaway from Cancer Champions as part of Amgen's Breakaway from Cancer initiative.

The five Breakaway from Cancer Champions were selected following a public call for nominations and online voting earlier this year. The 2011 Breakaway from Cancer Champions are:

  • North Lake Tahoe – Pancreatic cancer survivor Stuart Jed works to raise awareness and advocate for research and legislation for cancer by speaking at local venues and supporting national pancreatic cancer fundraisers.
  • Sacramento – Acute myeloid leukemia survivor Prakashni Shandil mentors others battling cancer.  Prakashni volunteers to speak to cancer patients regarding her own disease and survival, and acts as a valuable resource for patients who are considering blood and marrow transplants.
  • Modesto – Breast cancer survivor Leona Delos Reyes was diagnosed 21 years ago and is on her sixth round battling cancer, this time with liver and bone cancer. She has extensive involvement in the Modesto cancer community as an active participant, volunteer, fundraiser, and inspiration.
  • Paso Robles – Brain cancer survivor Deleena Rankin's perseverance, faith, and determination inspires and motivates everyone around her.  Diagnosed in November 2010, Deleena has been left with limited eyesight, but she continues to remain committed to cycling to regain her strength.
  • Thousand Oaks – Neuroendocrine cancer survivor Reine Wiley's diagnosis was revealed shortly before the 2010 Amgen Tour of California. She has demonstrated a strong will to fight and commitment to continue cycling, even while she's undergoing treatment.

"Amgen is passionate about helping those with cancer, and we are proud to honor individuals who have made a positive difference in the fight against cancer," said Stuart Arbuckle, vice president and general manager, Amgen Oncology. "Breakaway from Cancer was founded on the knowledge that it takes a team to overcome this disease and the Champions program exemplifies this commitment to helping others."

Founded by Amgen in 2005, Breakaway from Cancer raises awareness of the important resources available to people impacted by cancer – from prevention through survivorship. Breakaway from Cancer represents a collaboration between Amgen and four nonprofit organizations dedicated to empowering patients with education, resources, and hope.

The Breakaway from Cancer Champions will lead the Breakaway Mile, an approximately one-mile walk to celebrate cancer survivors that crosses the Amgen Tour of California finish line prior to the stage conclusion of the professional race. The Breakaway Mile will take place in five 2011 race host cities: North Lake Tahoe, Sacramento, Modesto, Paso Robles, and Thousand Oaks.  Each Breakaway Mile will also feature an Amgen scientist who plays a crucial role in developing breakthrough medicines.

At the conclusion of each stage of the Amgen Tour of California, the Breakaway from Cancer Champion or a local cancer survivor will present Amgen's Breakaway from Cancer Most Courageous Rider jersey to the professional rider who best exemplifies the character of those engaged in the fight against cancer—courage, sacrifice, inspiration, determination, and perseverance.

During the 2011 Amgen Tour of California, a local cancer survivor will officially start each day's stage by firing the official start gun. He or she will also have the opportunity to meet the prior day's recipient of Amgen's Breakaway from Cancer Most Courageous Rider jersey.  

All Breakaway from Cancer programs benefit the initiative's four nonprofit partners – Prevent Cancer Foundation, Cancer Support Community, Patient Advocate Foundation, and National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship. Representatives of these four organizations will travel with the Amgen Tour of California, hosting a Breakaway from Cancer information booth at the Lifestyle Festival held in each of the finish cities along the route.  

More information about the Breakaway from Cancer initiative, including valuable resources offered by Amgen's partners, is available at www.breakawayfromcancer.com.

About Breakaway from Cancer

Founded in 2005 by Amgen, Breakaway from Cancer® is a national initiative to increase awareness of important resources available to people affected by cancer – from prevention through survivorship.  Through Breakaway from Cancer, Amgen has joined forces with four nonprofit partner organizations: Prevent Cancer Foundation, Cancer Support Community (formerly known as The Wellness Community), Patient Advocate Foundation, and National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship. These organizations offer a broad range of support services complementing those provided by a patient's team of healthcare professionals. For more information, please visit www.breakawayfromcancer.com.

About Amgen

Amgen discovers, develops, manufactures, and delivers innovative human therapeutics. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen was one of the first companies to realize the new science's promise by bringing safe, effective medicines from lab to manufacturing plant to patient. Amgen therapeutics have changed the practice of medicine, helping millions of people around the world in the fight against cancer, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, bone disease, and other serious illnesses. With a deep and broad pipeline of potential new medicines, Amgen remains committed to advancing science to dramatically improve people's lives. To learn more about our pioneering science and vital medicines, visit www.amgen.com.

CONTACT:
Amgen, Thousand Oaks
Leanne Madison, 805.447.1201

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081015/AMGENLOGO)


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