Some 150 of Bristol Myers Squibb's employees will take part cycling event in support of UICC and selected members, to raise awareness for cancer research and funds for European cancer organisations.
Since its inception in Europe, more than 300 Bristol Myers Squibb employees have raised over €1.31 million through the C2C4C ride. Although the ride was cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19, Bristol Myers Squibb maintained its commitment and made a donation. This year, Bristol Myers Squibb is matching every donation, euro-for-euro, up to a maximum total of €168,000.
"We are extremely grateful for the ongoing support from Bristol Myers Squibb and the employees who will be taking on this challenge. As the pandemic continues to drain resources away from cancer, this unique fundraising initiative will benefit not only our members but many people around the world who are living with cancer."
– Dr Cary Adams, CEO of the Union for International Cancer Control.
Cancer is among the leading causes of death worldwide. In 2020, there were an estimated 19.3 million new cases and nearly 10 million cancer-related deaths worldwide, and these numbers are growing.
COVID-19 pandemic has added to this burden, causing severe disruptions to cancer services. Fears of contagion, social distancing guidelines, travel restrictions and overwhelmed health systems have contributed to suspended prevention programmes as well as delayed consultations, screenings and treatment. As a result, many cancers risk being diagnosed at a later stage of development, leading to higher rates of cancer-related deaths long-term.
Furthermore, the reallocation of resources to the COVID-19 response and the inability for many cancer organisations to hold fundraising events have placed considerable strain on their ability to support people living with cancer.
"Biking in this year’s ride is extra special after a year of staying at home, social distancing and hardship for all of us. Since 2016, I’ve cycled in this ride because my miles raise funds for cancer research and, above all, honour and bring hope to cancer patients.”
– José Cabrera, Executive Medical Director, Bristol Myers Squibb
This year’s C2C4C ride includes employees from 14 countries where their miles make more memories for people living with cancer and their loved ones: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Ireland and the United Kingdom.
Participants committed themselves to five months of intensive training to be ready to complete their portion of the nearly 3,000km ride. Some are cancer survivors, others have witnessed the devastating impact of cancer on friends and family.
“I ride for those who are our reason for being and who inspire us daily to accomplish our mission with passion.”
– Christophe Durand, General Manager, BMS France and President, Celgene France.