Bristol Myers Squibb employees take pride in the energy, passion and sense of urgency they bring to work each day to help patients prevail over serious diseases. Each September, approximately 200 colleagues bring that same focus to tackling these formidable treks.
In the U.S. Coast 2 Coast 4 Cancer ride, relay teams cycle nearly 3,000 miles from Oregon to New Jersey to support the mission of the V Foundation for Cancer Research. In Europe’s Country 2 Country 4 Cancer ride, employees mount up to cover about 2,200 miles, riding in stages through Germany, Switzerland, Italy, France, Spain and the UK to raise funds for cancer research and patient organizations across Europe through the Union for International Cancer Control.
The riders train for five months to prepare for these events, and do so with a strong sense of purpose. Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide and, for many riders, taking on cancer is personal.
Vaughns, a 10-year cancer survivor and U.S. Coast to Coast rider, also participates in memory of his father who died from cancer. “When I was diagnosed, my only goal was to defeat cancer. I wouldn’t be defined or owned by it,” said Vaughns, a senior district business manager. “With my Coast 2 Coast 4 Cancer ride, I hope to inspire others to not only survive, but to thrive at life.”
“An urgent need to do more to conquer cancer motivates us to ride,” said Country 2 Country rider Donohoe, European regulatory lead for oncology. A cancer survivor, Donohoe also rides in honor of her husband, who died following a long battle with cancer. “And that’s what will keep me pedaling hard.”
Over the last five years, more than 400 Bristol Myers Squibb employees have volunteered to take part in the two events, which together have raised more than $5 million.
As the riders make their way across the U.S. and Europe throughout September, their colleagues will not only cheer them on, but many will also show their support by taking on a stationary cycling challenge. Six countries around the world are hosting indoor bike-a-thons, during which Bristol Myers Squibb employees cycle as far as they can in an hour, and the company makes a donation for every mile.
People worldwide can support the European Country 2 Country 4 Cancer ride at www.uicc.org/C2C4C by donating to one of the teams raising money for local cancer organizations.
To donate to the U.S. Coast 2 Coast 4 Cancer ride, go to www.cancerbikeride.org.