On April 19, 57-year old grandfather Eric McIntyre left the comfort of his home in New Orleans and to ride his bike 75 miles a day, over 7,000 miles, for a 3-month journey in tribute to his wife Liz and her ongoing battle with pancreatic cancer.
McIntyre’s journey throughout the United States is a fundraiser for the Lazarex Cancer Foundation, a grassroots non-profit which has successfully supported over 1,000 end-stage cancer patients by connecting them to 399 FDA-approved clinical trials for 88 cancers and covering the cost of travel for each patient and a companion. He plans to underwrite the costs of the Tour to ensure that 100 percent of the donations directly benefit Lazarex patients. Sponsors (including Boston Scientific, Bergeron Volvo, Bicycle World LA, Champion System, Clif Bar, MPA Event Graphics and TLC MediaWorks) are donating products, services and funding to help control the costs.
Liz McIntyre was first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2012. The clinical trial she enrolled in at the National Institute of Health in Washington, D.C., has currently slowed the progression of the disease. “We are optimistic, yet realistic about Liz’s fight,” says Eric. “Since her courage is so very inspiring we are committed to calling this a Victory Tour!”
Whenever possible, Liz will travel in the support vehicle to share this meaningful journey with Eric. “We have been through so much together during our 20-year marriage,” said Liz. “This will be another remarkable chapter in our lives,” said Eric.
The “Tour” is the maiden voyage of the Pancreatic Cancer Victory Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit. “We established the Foundation to spread hope among those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and focus attention on effective clinical trials. Liz and I agree that this is about so much more than our personal journey and we sincerely hope it inspires others,” said Eric.
Eric and Liz did a lot of research before choosing Lazarex Cancer Foundation to benefit from the Tour. “All anyone fighting cancer wants is more time with loved ones, which made Lazarex the best possible choice for us,” said Eric.
“We are thrilled to be part of this heartfelt journey,” said Dana Dornsife, Founder & President of Lazarex. “Eric and Liz will be an inspiration to all families fighting cancer.”
On April 19, Eric began his journey from the French Quarter surrounded by supporters. He is connecting with cycling clubs throughout the country to accompany him and there will be two opportunities for locals to participate. On June 3 there will be a “Sunset Celebration” with Erik on the Santa Monica bike path, just south of Ocean Park Boulevard,at 6 p.m. There will be a short one-hour ride followed by reception with Eric and Liz with food donated by Border Grill, Mud Hen Tavern and Nook Neighborhood Bistro. On June 4 riders can participate in a 45-minute ride starting from the same location.
For more information, visit www.crowdrise.com/pcvtour.