I thought i had almost seen everything this year at Sturgis; from hot naked women running around, to some of the coolest custom Harley’s ever built, but when i met Chris & Jennifer Calaprice, directors of Road 2A Cure, I was blown away at their dedication to finding a cure for pancreatic cancer.
The Road 2a Cure booth was right next to the BAM Booth, and after i had mingled with the crowd in the buffalo chip i kicked back and watched bands like Ozzy, Motley Crue and the Doobie Brothers and chatted with Chris’s wife Jennifer. Chris Calaprice is a 6 year survivor of Pancreatic Cancer, who has made it a goal to show others that there is hope, and they can survive.
Their purpose as take from their website is:
Dedicated to raising awareness and funds for pancreatic cancer, Road2ACure has started national awareness campaign that will pass through all 50 states and span over 42,000 miles- each mile representing a person, who will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the coming year. On the journey they will meet fellow survivors, oncologists, pancreatic cancer researchers, legislators and grassroots activists.
As a 6-year pancreatic cancer survivor, Chris Calaprice is fed up with hearing that pancreatic cancer is a death sentence. He is a survivor – and there are others, but there should be more. Actor Patrick Swayze should still be here. Renowned lecturer Randy Pausch should still be here too. Pancreatic cancer, the 4th leading cause of cancer deaths receives less than 2 percent of the National Cancer Institute’s annual budget. This statistic was so appalling to Chris that he is staging this 9-month-long awareness tour – and receiving his chemo treatments on the road. Yes, you read that correctly. Chris’s doctor, leading oncologist and pancreatic cancer specialist Dr. William Isacoff of Los Angeles, will fly out to meet Chris on the road every 8 weeks to administer his chemo treatments throughout the course of this grueling 42,000-plus-mile motorcycle tour through all 50 of the United States.
So why 42,000+ miles? “I am riding one mile for each person in the U.S. who will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year alone,” says Chris. “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.”
Says Dr. William H. Isacoff, MD, a medical oncologist who practices at the UCLA School of Medicine and Chris’s doctor, “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.”
Want to make a donation or learn more, visit www.road2acure.org