The Wellness Community and Amgen Partner with Professional Cyclist George Hincapie to Launch "Breakaway from Cancer" Initiative
Public can learn more by visiting www.breakawayfromcancer.comWashington, D.C. and Thousand Oaks, Calif. - December 8, 2005 - The Wellness Community® (TWC) and Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) today joined Discovery Channel® professional cycling team member and 10-time Tour de France veteran George Hincapie in launching Breakaway from Cancer , a national education campaign to raise awareness and funds to support valuable services and programs that help people affected by cancer.
TWC is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to providing free support, education and hope for people with cancer and their caregivers. The Breakaway from Cancer initiative, presented by TWC, is designed to help people affected by cancer learn about new treatment and support options. Supported by an educational and charitable grant from Amgen, Breakaway from Cancer is a complementary component to Amgen's sponsorship of the Amgen Tour of California, a more than 700-mile world-class cycling event to take place February 19-26, 2006.
Hincapie, who will ride in the Amgen Tour of California for Team Discovery, will participate today in TWC's free educational workshop Frankly Speaking About Cancer in Westlake Village, Calif., where he'll share his personal experiences in rallying around a loved one living with cancer. Frankly Speaking About Cancer workshops, the core educational component of the Breakaway from Cancer program, will be held at TWC centers across the country and focus on helping people with cancer take control of side effects through medicine, mind and body. Today's workshop is a joint program with TWC - West Los Angeles in Santa Monica, Calif. and TWC - Valley/Ventura in Westlake Village, Calif.
"I'm proud to partner with Amgen and The Wellness Community on the Breakaway from Cancer campaign because nearly everyone is touched by cancer in one way or another and it is critical that those affected realize they don't have to face this illness alone," said Hincapie, who recently lost a family member to cancer. "Just as in cycling, where it takes a great support team to help an individual breakaway from the pack, it takes a strong support network to help a cancer patient face the many hurdles throughout treatment."
Hincapie will also participate in educational workshops in Washington, D.C. on December 15, Indianapolis on January 9, Philadelphia on February 1 and Miami on February 7. More workshop sites and dates will be announced in the near future.
"There are nearly 10 million cancer survivors living in the United States today and more than 1.4 million Americans will be diagnosed this year," said Kim Thiboldeaux, president and chief executive officer of The Wellness Community. "Through our partnership with Amgen and George Hincapie, we are pleased to be a part of this new awareness campaign to help empower people with cancer and their caregivers with support, education and hope so they can learn to live well with this disease."
As part of the national campaign, funds will be raised through the sale of Breakaway from Cancer apparel and coffee mugs. Merchandise can be purchased online at www.breakawayfromcancer.com, with all proceeds benefiting TWC.
"For 25 years, Amgen has tapped the power of pioneering science and innovation to discover and develop vital medicines to help in the fight against cancer and other grievous illnesses," said Kevin Sharer, Amgen's chairman and chief executive officer. "We saw an opportunity through the Breakaway from Cancer initiative to build on our Amgen Tour of California sponsorship by partnering with The Wellness Community in a relevant and meaningful way that can truly benefit people affected by cancer across the country."
For the latest information about Breakaway from Cancer workshops across the nation and ways to support those living with cancer, please visit www.breakawayfromcancer.com.
Amgen discovers, develops 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 and 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, and other serious illnesses. With a broad and deep 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 our vital medicines, visit www.amgen.com.
About The Wellness Community and Group Loop
The Wellness Community is an international, nonprofit organization dedicated to providing free support and education as well as hope to people affected by cancer. Through participation in professionally-led support groups, educational workshops, nutrition and exercise programs, and mind/body classes, people affected by cancer learn vital skills that enable them to regain control, reduce isolation and restore hope regardless of the stage of their disease. Today, there are 21 Wellness Communities across the United States, five in development, 28 satellites, two centers abroad in Tokyo and Tel Aviv, and a community online at The Virtual Wellness Community. Please visit www.thewellnesscommunity.org for more information.
The Wellness Community