Stage 6’s Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider jersey was awarded to Oscar Freire (ESP) of Rabobank Cycling Team, who best exemplified the character of those engaged in the fight against cancer – courage, sacrifice, inspiration, determination and perseverance.
Cancer survivor and Breakaway from Cancer supporter, Lee Hansen and his wife have been following the 2011 tour since Stage One. Lee was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2006 and was treated immediately with surgery followed by six months of chemotherapy. The cancer recurred in February 2007, resulting in six more months of chemotherapy along with 37 radiation treatments. After more than two years of remission, cancer recurred once again. In 2010, Lee had surgery to remove the remainder of his right lung and underwent another six months of chemo.
During recovery from his first surgery, while surfing the web in search of more information about cancer, Lee discovered the Breakaway from Cancer website. At the 2009 LIVESTRONG Challenge, he was surprised to come across the Breakaway from Cancer booth. “This chance encounter led to an invitation for my wife and I to attend the 2010 Amgen Tour of California,” Lee said. “We immediately began making travel plans! Our trip was wonderful!”
The BFC partners are thrilled to welcome Lee and his wife back for a second year along the tour. Prior to this year’s overall race Start in Lake Tahoe, Lee joined Amgen and BFC partners for a brief kickoff meeting. At the meeting, Lee informed us all of a recent friend request he received on Facebook from a man in Australia. He didn’t know anyone in Australia and was confused why someone from down under would reach out to him with a friendship request. As it turns out, the man had visited www.breakawayfromcancer.com and read about Lee’s story of survivorship. Facing cancer himself, the man was inspired by Lee’s courage and decided to reach out.
Lee shared this story because he wanted all of us to know that the Breakaway from Cancer initiative does, indeed, have a global impact for cancer survivors. We continue to be grateful for his support and passion, and are happy to be able to share his story with others. Read more about Lee’s journey and stories from many other cancer survivors on the BFC website, here: http://www.breakawayfromcancer.com/survivorship/currentyearstories.htm#62