Breakaway From Cancer™
Similar to the support team that helps a cyclist break away from the pack, it takes a strong support network to help a person break away from cancer.
Celebrating cancer survivors everywhere, the Breakaway Mile takes place at the finish line of the Amgen Tour of California, before the professional riders roll across the finish line. It is a special ride to honor the millions of cancer survivors worldwide, with the spotlight on a local cancer survivor.
The Breakaway Mile helps bring awareness to Amgen’s Breakaway from Cancer™ initiative, which was created to increase awareness of the important resources available to cancer patients from prevention and diagnosis through treatment and survivorship. The event also celebrates the many scientific innovations that contribute to new treatments for cancer patients.
In December 2007, Leverett was diagnosed with a grade 3 brain tumor, but she didn’t lose focus on the importance of remaining calm and breathing deeply. She shares that there is no helpful energy in being gloomy about something you may or may not be able to change. She has maintained her positive outlook and continues to exercise through treatment.
Leverett’s Breakaway Mile support peloton included her family and close friends. Jon Oliner, Amgen scientific director, also joined her team to demonstrate the important role in developing innovative medicines for cancer and other serious illnesses. Oliner joined Amgen in 1999 and led both the research and development teams for Amgen’s therapeutic program targeting the angioproteins.
Leverett is extremely grateful for the support she receives from her husband who brings a smile to her face and watchful eye on her well-being. She’s also found great strength from her weekly journaling class at The Wellness Community. Journaling is one of the many programs offered at The Wellness Community that helps participants take control of their cancer experience by focusing on mind, body and spirit.
The Breakaway from Cancer™ nonprofit partners play leading roles in every aspect of cancer care to help people affected by the disease. The Santa Rosa Breakaway Mile featured The Wellness Community, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to providing free support, education and hope to people affected by cancer.
“The grit and determination of the cyclists is not unlike that of millions of cancer patients, caregivers and survivors The Wellness Community works for and with everyday. Ryelle Leverett is a great example of that spirit,” said Kim Thiboldeaux, president and CEO, The Wellness Community.