Pancreatic Cancer Survivor Chris Calaprice Roars Into LA After 42,000+ Mile Motorcycle Tour

Chris Calaprice Is Raising Awareness About the Nation's 4th deadliest cancer

Southern California – November, 20, 2010
It is no coincidence that former Army Ranger Chris Calaprice is: a) still alive; b) strong enough to ride a motorcycle; or c) wrapping up a grueling motorcycle tour this month – which happens to be National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. Chris and his entourage of friends, survivors and supporters will celebrate the end of a 9-month-long, 42,000-mile tour of each of the 50 states Nov. 20th at Senor Fred's in Sherman Oaks, CA.

Calaprice is a walking miracle - a man who should have been dead three times over at the ripe old age of 43, who survived pancreatic cancer twice, and also battled melanoma, the deadly form of skin cancer. Having survived these deadly diseases, along with countless drug regimens, for 7 years, Chris was fed up with hearing that pancreatic cancer is a death sentence and wanted to do something about it.

"We set out on the Road 2 A Cure to change the view of pancreatic cancer from one of hopelessness to one of hope, and to capture it in documentary style," says Calaprice. "What we learned is that cancer funding is largely driven by big marketing dollars and politics, but that we can also change that – survivors and supporters need to exercise their voices. My wife and I... are bringing pancreatic cancer awareness to America, but it is imperative for those millions of people being crucified by this unforgiving disease."

Chris literally woke up one morning with the realization that they had to do something about the disease – something big. Road 2 A Cure was born and the tour began taking shape. They hit the road with Chris' wife Jennifer driving a big ‘ole RV stuffed with necessities, while Chris braved the elements (and his life) to ride his Victory motorcycle to every corner of the U.S. He endured chemo treatments every 8 weeks on the road. He'd come off the bike for a few days, then back on for hundreds of miles each day to meet with federal legislators, Congressmen, doctors, researchers, medical centers, survivors and families who have lost loved ones to pancreatic cancer – all the while risking his own health and sacrificing a comfortable home life to use his time to incite change.

The Calaprices say it's important for folks to realize that, while pancreatic cancer is the 4th leading cause of cancer deaths, it receives less than 2 percent of the National Cancer Institute’s annual budget. So why the 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. But the current level of funding and federal support does not allow most this advantage.”

Dr. Isacoff, a UCLA School of Medicine MD (and Chris’s doctor), says, “Currently the accepted standard of care for patients with advanced pancreatic cancer involves gemcitabine... a drug 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 less than 6 months. Yet the vast majority of oncologists continue to recommend [it] to patients. Since gemcitabine‘s approval... no other FDA-approved drug or combination has improved this dismal outcome.” Dr. Isacoff adds, “Pancreatic cancer patients should be enrolled in clinical trials that utilize combination chemotherapy using three or four drugs [with]... an understanding of dosage, timing, and biochemical interactions. Following a relapse of his pancreatic cancer in 2004, Chris received a four-drug chemotherapy regimen and currently shows no detectable evidence of the disease.”

We encourage fellow riders and supporters to meet up with Chris and ride his final miles with him! Here’s the info on the celebration party:

WHO: Open to the public, motorcycle enthusiasts, survivors, friends and families
WHAT: A celebration of the end of a successful pancreatic cancer awareness tour
WHERE: Senor Fred's Restaurant, 13730 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA
WHEN: Saturday, November 20, 2010 $10 donation for food, drink, live music and a chance to win a $500 VISA card

For more information or to donate to help Chris get home, visit www.road2acure.org or call 661-702-9202.

ABOUT ROAD 2 A CURE: Road 2 A Cure co-founders Jennifer and Chris Calaprice became involved in the fight against pancreatic cancer in October of 2003 when Chris was diagnosed. Road 2 A Cure, a 501(c)(3) non–profit organization, was their answer to making their own fight have a global impact in the war against cancer. Road 2 A Cure is out doing what others won't – speaking their minds and actively engaging those affected by pancreatic cancer and those responsible for finding a cure. www.road2acure.org.