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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 7, 2003

UI Health Care Staff Member To Ride With Lance Armstrong

A University of Iowa Health Care staff member who is an avid cyclist is excitedly preparing to accompany Lance Armstrong during the concluding stage of his cross-country trip to raise awareness about cancer.

Colleen Chapleau serves as associate director for the Iowa Marrow Donor Program and the Adult Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at UI Hospitals and Clinics. She will join Armstrong's "Tour of Hope" in its final stage as the cyclists end their ride across the nation in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, Oct. 18. The riders will embark on their journey on Oct. 11 in Los Angeles, CA.

Chapleau is one of 50 cyclists selected from more than 1,000 applicants for the Tour of Hope. Twenty-six cyclists will ride across America. Armstrong will join this group for the first leg of the tour in Los Angeles and for the final leg of the tour. Chapleau is one of 24 cyclists selected to join Armstrong for that concluding stage, which will end of the lawn of the White House.

The purpose of the ride is to raise awareness about the need for people to join clinical research trials to further the fight against cancer.

"I was immediately motivated to join the Tour of Hope because I'm a huge cycling fan and I greatly admire Lance Armstrong's accomplishments. Even more importantly, I share his commitment to making a difference in the lives of people affected by cancer," Chapleau said. "This project is a true marriage of two of my passions."

Chapleau trains more than 225 miles a week on her bicycle. The 26 cyclists selected for the full tour will ride night and day as they complete the 3,200-mile trip across America. Each rider on the tour is a cancer survivor, a health care professional or someone else personally affected by cancer.

Chapleau, 46, joined the staff of the Iowa Marrow Donor Program in 1985. When people agree to join the program as donors, their tissue types become registered as part of the Iowa and National Marrow Donor Programs' registries. Once registered, a volunteer may be called upon to donate marrow or blood stem cells to a person needing a transplant to fight a life-threatening disease.

Each year, more than 30,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with diseases treatable by a stem cell transplant. Of the patients needing to receive healthy stem cells from someone else, only 30 percent have a suitable family match, leaving the additional 70 percent to rely on unrelated donors. Approximately 2,000 people join the Iowa and national registries each year through the Iowa Marrow Donor Program.

For more information, call the Iowa Marrow Donor Program toll free at 800-944-8220 or locally at 319-356-3337. Information about the program can be found online at The web site address for the Tour of Hope is

Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center is Iowa's only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer center. NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers are recognized as the leaders in developing new approaches to cancer prevention and cancer care, conducting leading edge research and educating the public about cancer.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Planning, Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room 8798 JPP, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945,