The term ‘uphill struggle’ deftly applies to Stelvio for Life, an event which uniquely feels like a journey in more ways than one. Not only physically (making your way up 22 kilometres of steep Alpine pass), but a personal journey too, even more so when you share in the reasons your colleagues have for taking part.
‘Why do we keep doing this?’ asked Han Hoestra, Director Treasury in Amsterdam, ‘Simple – it matters. Through this targeted approach discernible progress is made each year. In fact recently, a major step forward was announced between pharmaceuticals, Dutch hospitals and health insurance companies. This agreement sees pharma companies cover treatment in the early trial stage and for insurers to continue coverage once treatment ‘takes’, or measures success.’
All proceeds to the foundation go 100% to supporting the Center for Personalized Cancer Treatment (CPCT) in its mission to identify the most effective treatments while minimizing the side effects. Aside from matching DNA profiles with successful treatments, the CPCT is an initiator of the internationally focused Drug Rediscovery Protocol (DRUP) study for patients who are out of treatment options and which aims to simplify access to approved targeted therapies and perform next generation sequencing on tumor biopsies. This approach has led to life expectancy increases in multiple instances.
The CPCT also actively encourages the exchange of research with other countries. In the United States research is also being done on tumor DNA. In fact the American Cancer Institute has made one third of its budget available to support this type of scientific research.
Sandra van Deijl, senior property manager, Benelux, added ‘For many, the reasons for participation are deeply personal, however this event has grown to become a fantastic example of inclusion and diversity, with colleagues from all levels, backgrounds and abilities taking part. I’m really proud of the team from Warsaw, Dusseldorf, Paris, Amsterdam and even the US- who pulled out all the stops to raise an impressive €68.000 to support the cause with events like Smoothie Bowl Fridays, cake bakes, raffles, auctions garage sales and more.’
Our 2019 team success would not have been the same if it hadn’t have been for the generosity and support of our partners and sponsors – Nicolas Mestrallet Conseil, Engie, Loschelder, Arno Design, Sky Concept, Consolidated, Replato, Skyclean, Realogis, Kwadrat Polska, Hogan Lovells, Pekabex, Goldbeck and ASK Romein.
We’ll be tackling this challenge next year again too- sign up for 2020 opens in October.