Brandon Hayes-Lattin, M.D., knows the challenge of fighting cancer. Not only is Hayes-Lattin, a member of the OHSU Cancer Institute who conducts cancer research and treats cancer patients, he is also an eight-year testicular cancer survivor.
These are some of the reasons Hayes-Lattin has been named the honorary chairman of the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) LIVESTRONG Challenge Portland, a bike, walk and run event planned for Sunday July 30, starting at Portland Meadows and presented by Nike.
Hayes-Lattin also is a passionate voice for young adults with cancer. He is the medical co-chairman of the LIVESTRONG Young Adult Alliance, a group whose mission is to improve survival rates and quality of life for young adults aged 15 to 40 living with cancer by promoting research and patient care, raising awareness of cancer issues in this age group, and advancing community-based programs and services.
"Having been involved as a fundraiser and cycling participant in LAF events since my own cancer diagnosis in 1998, I have seen the power of events like the LIVESTRONG Challenge to inspire individuals and their supporters facing cancer. But I have also seen the LAF successfully channel that energy and those funds into programs that have improved cancer care for all of us."
"This year is shaping up to be a defining year in the birth of a new area in cancer care: Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA), oncology. As a direct result of partnerships with the LAF, we at the OHSU Cancer Institute are able to design new programs here in Oregon as well as participate directly with the National Cancer Institute and other powerful national organizations to focus cancer research and advocacy efforts on the unique needs of the young adults."
Although Hayes-Lattin is an avid bike rider, having ridden across country with Armstrong in the Tour of Hope, he'll be walking the LIVESTRONG Challenge due to recent injuries.
As honorary chairman, Hayes-Lattin will participate in several LIVESTRONG Challenge events and will be available to talk with the media about cancer treatments, research and what the future may hold for young adults with cancer.
Approximately 1,500 participants and more than 500 volunteers are expected to accept the LAF's challenge. Among them will be the foundation's namesake, cancer survivor and seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong. Money raised will be invested in the LAF's advocacy, research and public health programs for cancer. In Oregon, the LAF has granted more than $700,000 to cancer organizations.
For example, the OHSU Cancer Institute received a two-year grant of $543,808 to establish the Adolescent and Young Adult oncology program from money raised during the 2005 Portland LIVESTRONG Ride. The AYA Program will include clinical space in the new OHSU Center for Health & Healing scheduled to open this fall on the South Waterfront. The AYA Program is especially important because cancer is the leading disease killer among 20-to 39-year-olds who face a spectrum of cancers unique to their age group. Since early advances in the 1970s, survival rates have not been improved in this age group. The AYA Program will address such factors as delays in diagnosis, low rates of participation in clinical trials and the need for new research programs focused on cancers in young adults.
In addition to the LIVESTRONG Challenge event on Sunday, the LIVESTRONG Village will be open Friday, July 28, from 4 - 8 p.m. and Saturday, July 29, from noon to 6 p.m. at the Portland Expo Center. The village will offer cancer information, sports gear and apparel, and new product demonstrations. It is open to the public.
The LIVESTRONG Challenge kicks off on Sunday at 6:45 a.m. and the post-event party will wind down around 5 p.m. The start and finish lines are at Portland Meadows. At approximately 6:45 a.m., Lance Armstrong will greet the participants. The cycling routes range in distance from 10 to 100 miles with a 10K (6.2 miles) run and a 5K (3.1 miles) run/walk.
The post-event party is open to participants, their guests and the general public to celebrate with fun, food and live music from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Portland Meadows.
The OHSU Cancer Institute is the only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center between Sacramento and Seattle. It comprises some 200 clinical researchers, clinicians and basic scientists who work together to translate scientific understanding into longer and better lives for Oregon's cancer patients. Armstrong's oncologist is Craig Nichols, M.D., D'Armond Chair of Clinical Cancer Research at the OHSU Cancer Institute, professor of medicine, and chief of the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology at OHSU.
To register or to learn more about the LIVESTRONG Challenge, call 888.4.CHALLENGE [888.424.2553] or visit http://www.livestrongchallenge.org. Visit ohsucancer.com for more information about the OHSU Cancer Institute.
About the Lance Armstrong Foundation
The Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) inspires and empowers people affected by cancer. We help people with cancer focus on living; we believe that unity is strength, knowledge is power and attitude is everything. From the moment of diagnosis, the LAF provides the practical information and tools people with cancer need to live life on their own terms. The LAF serves its mission through advocacy, public health and research. Founded in 1997 by cancer survivor and champion cyclist Lance Armstrong, the LAF is located in Austin, Texas. For more information, visit livestrong.org.