Stage 5 – Survivors shine in Paso Robles

Slovakian Peter Sagan swung wide right in the final 100 meters of today’s stage, speeding from fifth place to win the fifth stage of the Tour of California. Sagan, of the Liquiqas-Cannondale team, won the 135-mile (217-kilometer) stage from Seaside to Paso Robles in 5 hours, 16 minutes, 3 seconds. Chris Horner (USA) of Team RadioShack remains the overall race leader.

Paso Robles welcomed cancer survivors, caregivers, healthcare professionals and advocates alike to march the last mile of today’s stage, in recognition of the thousands of cancer survivors living in the U.S. and beyond. Flags waving and bells ringing, 150 people celebrated cancer survivorship, cheered on by a crowd of thousands.

Leading the Breakaway Mile march was cancer survivor Deleena Rankin. In July 2010 Deleena experienced a devastating blow when her two-year-old grandson unexpectedly died at age two. A few months later, Deleena she began getting headaches, which ultimately led doctors to discover a brain tumor. The day after the diagnosis, she underwent surgery. Unfortunately, the tumor returned quickly and Deleena was back in the hospital within weeks for a second brain surgery. This time, she found a treatment team at Stanford Hospital that brought her back from near death.
Deleena’s family was not given much hope for recovery. For motivation, Deleena – an accomplished athlete and avid cyclist – surrounded herself with her triathlon and cycling medals and jerseys, as well as Lance Armstrong posters. She watched Lance Armstrong videos for inspiration and held onto the will to live and become stronger. The brain cancer has left Deleena with limited eyesight, but she continues to work out to regain her strength.
One of her greatest joys is riding her stationary bike. A friend explains that Deleena has come a long way through perseverance, faith and determination, maintains a positive outlook and inspires and motivates everyone around her.

A huge thanks to the CSC affiliate in Paso Robles, The Wellness Community – CA Central Coast, for their support in the CSC booth and along the Breakaway Mile. Paso Robles is a fantastic community filled with passionate and caring people – we’re so glad to have been able to visit along on this year’s tour!

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