Motorcycle Awareness Tour
It is no coincidence that former Army Ranger Chris Calaprice is a) still alive, b) strong enough to ride a motorcycle or c) wrapping up a grueling motorcycle tour this month – which happens to be National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.
Chris and his entourage of friends, survivors, local politicos and supporters will celebrate the end of a 9-month-long, 42,000-mile tour of each of the 50 states Nov. 20th at Senor Fred’s in Sherman Oaks.
This amazing man is a walking miracle who was clearly put on this Earth for a reason. Chris Calaprice should have been dead three times over at the ripe old age of 43, having survived pancreatic cancer twice, and also melanoma, the deadly form of skin cancer. Having survived these deadly diseases and countless drug experiments and regimens for 7 years, Chris was fed up with hearing that pancreatic cancer is a death sentence.
Chris Calaprice says: "We set out on the Road 2 A Cure to change the nation’s view of pancreatic cancer from one of hopelessness to hope, and to capture it in documentary style."
"What we learned is that cancer funding is largely driven by big marketing dollars and politics, but we can change that through our democracy – survivors and supporters need to exercise their voices."
"My wife and I paid a high price to bring pancreatic cancer awareness to America, but it is imperative for those millions of people out there being crucified by this unforgiving disease."
Chris literally woke up one morning and told his wife that they had to do something – something big. Road 2 A Cure was born, the tour was planned, they left the comfort of their home and stuffed everything in a big ‘ole RV that Chris’s wife Jennifer would have to drive while Chris braved the elements and risked his health and life to ride his Victory motorcycle to every corner of the U.S. to make a difference. He endured chemo treatments every eight weeks on the road.
Off the bike for a few days, then back on for hundreds and hundreds of miles each day to meet with federal legislators, Congress, doctors, researchers, medical centers, survivors and families who have lost loved ones to pancreatic cancer – all the while risking his own health and sacrificing a comfortable home life as most of us know it to use his gift of time to make a difference.
Why is all of this so important? Because pancreatic cancer is the 4th leading cause of cancer deaths, yet receives less than 2 percent of the National Cancer Institute’s annual budget. Why 42,000 miles?
Chris Calaprice says: "I am riding one mile for each person in the U.S. who will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year alone."
"You know that old saying ‘knowledge is power?’ Well, knowing you have pancreatic cancer early and finding a specialist gives you the power to act quickly so you don’t die, quite frankly. But the current level of funding and federal support does not allow most this advantage."
Dr. Isacoff (UCLA School of Medicine MD/Chris’s doctor) says: "Currently the accepted standard of care for patients with advanced pancreatic cancer is gemcitabine, a drug developed by Eli Lilly and approved by the FDA 13 years ago. It has marginal activity when used as a single agent, resulting in tumor shrinkage in less than 10% percent of patients and a survival benefit that is disappointingly low – less than 6 months."
"Yet the vast majority of oncologists continue to recommend this treatment to their patients. Since gemcitabine‘s approval by the FDA, no other FDA-approved drug or gemcitabine-based combination has improved this dismal outcome."
Dr. Isacoff, who has treated numerous family members of Hollywood celebrities, adds, "Pancreatic cancer patients should be enrolled in clinical trials that utilize combination chemotherapy using three or four drugs where the treatment regimens are rationally designed with regard to an understanding of dosage, timing, and biochemical interactions. Following a relapse of his pancreatic cancer in 2004, Chris Calaprice received a four-drug chemotherapy regimen – that he remains on today – and currently shows no detectable evidence of the disease."
Road 2 A Cure encourages fellow riders and supporters to meet up with Chris and ride his final miles with him! Here’s the info on the celebration party:
- WHO: Open to the public, motorcycle enthusiasts, survivors, friends and families
- WHAT: Celebrate the end of a successful pancreatic cancer awareness tour
- WHERE: Senor Fred’s Restaurant, 13730 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA
- WHEN: Saturday, November 20, 2010
- OTHER: $10 donation for food, drink, live music and a chance to win a $500 VISA card
In the meantime, for more information or to donate to help Chris get home, visit road2acure.org or call 661-702-9202.
ABOUT ROAD 2 A CURE:
Road 2 A Cure co-founders Jennifer and Chris Calaprice became involved in the fight against pancreatic cancer in October of 2003 when Chris was diagnosed. Road 2 A Cure, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was their answer to making their own fight have a global impact in the war against cancer.
Road 2 A Cure is out doing what others won’t – speaking their minds and actively engaging those affected by pancreatic cancer and those responsible for finding a cure. To donate today, visit road2acure.org.