(BPT) - A team of cyclists personally impacted by multiple myeloma has crossed the finish line of a 3,400-mile cross-country journey to raise awareness and critical funds for cancer research. The Road to Victories cycling event from the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) is sponsored by Janssen Oncology.

At www.RoadToVictories.com, visitors can watch inspiring stories from the cyclists and learn how to navigate living with multiple myeloma, the second most common blood cancer in the United States behind lymphoma and leukemia.[1] An estimated 30,000 Americans will be diagnosed with multiple myeloma this year.[2]

'I have been living with multiple myeloma since 2003. To me, this journey was about giving others hope. I know there are many people who are facing a much harder road than the one we were cycling,' said Chuck Wakefield, who rode coast-to-coast from California to Connecticut. 'Our team faced our own set of challenges along the way - extreme heat, long days, and endless elevation changes - but we overcame these together to achieve our common goal of accelerating research in multiple myeloma.'

The dedicated team of cyclists encompassed patients, loved ones, supporters, and MMRF and Janssen employees, who embarked on their cross-country journey in Los Angeles, California, on September 3. Eighteen cyclists began the journey, including 5 multiple myeloma patients, with 11 riding through the Mojave Desert to Flagstaff, Arizona. Seven cyclists completed the entire coast-to-coast ride, crossing 14 states over 7 weeks.

The Road to Victories team stressed the importance of empowering multiple myeloma patients across the country to be informed and work closely with their healthcare teams.

'Along the route, I realized that both the differences in terrain and knowledge of multiple myeloma seemed drastic,' said Randi Schwartz, who is living with multiple myeloma and rode through the Mojave Desert. 'It's so important people advocate for themselves - ask questions, talk to their doctors, and work as a team. It might take them down a different path they did not know existed.'

While reaching the Atlantic Ocean signified the end of the riders' cycling journey, the journey continues for everyone who is living with multiple myeloma and everyone working to accelerate progress through research, education, and community support. For more information about the Road to Victories cycling event and campaign, visit RoadToVictories.com.



[1] American Cancer Society. 'Cancer Facts & Figures 2017' Available at: https://www.cancer.org/research/cancer-facts-statistics/all-cancer-facts-figures/cancer-facts-figures-2017.html. October 2017.

[2] American Cancer Society. 'What Are the Key Statistics About Multiple Myeloma?' Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/multiple-myeloma/about/key-statistics.html. October 2017.

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