(Minneapolis, MN) — May 23, 2023 — Tour de TC 2023 kicked off on May 22 in Healdsburg, California with six rides touring the picturesque California Wine Country, before expanding across the country to give hope to patients in need of a lifesaving blood stem cell transplant. Tour de TC will help raise funds and awareness of the Be The Match mission and help remove financial barriers so more patients can have access to this critical treatment that can cure or treat up to 75 different blood cancers, including leukemia, or blood disorders such as sickle cell disease.
Tour de TC offers six scenic tours across the country and will allow up to 12 cycling enthusiasts to join alongside transplant recipients, donors, physicians and other Be The Match supporters for a meaningful ride with a goal of raising $300,000 to help fund patient assistance grants, research to improve transplant outcomes and fuel the growth of the Be The Match Registry®. In 2022, Be The Match Foundation provided $6.1 million in grants to 2,320 patients and their families in need of financial assistance. Last year Tour de TC raised $134,131 and 27 cyclists rode 2,915 miles and visited 15 transplant centers.
“I am alive today because a blood stem cell transplant from a willing donor cured my leukemia,” said Bob Falkenberg, founder of the Tour de TC cycling program. “I started biking when I first began my healing journey post-transplant, and quickly realized I could use my passion to help others. I know there are too many patients who do not have access to this lifesaving treatment – and with more funding we can remove many of the barriers that exist and help save more lives.”
After receiving a leukemia diagnosis and blood stem cell transplant in 2009, Falkenberg progressed from barely being able to walk to cycling in 100-mile races. Bob began cycling to fundraise for Be The Match, and would stop at transplant centers to inspire hospital staff and patients undergoing transplants, so they could see that surviving and thriving was possible. Through his passion and dedication, the Tour de TC cycling program was created, and Bob has since raise more than $150,000 and cycled over 25,000 miles – more than the circumference of the globe – on behalf of the Be The Match mission.
“We are so grateful for Bob’s vision and his invitation to others to offer hope to patients in need through this bike tour. He is an inspiration and his efforts have benefited so many other patients and their families,” said Joy King, Chief Advancement Officer of Be The Match and Executive Director of the Be The Match Foundation. “We expect Tour de TC to be bigger than ever this year and are excited to offer rides of varying levels so anyone can participate and join this powerful movement.”
Supporters can register to participate in the tours or make donations to support the riders and the patient community by visiting BeTheMatch.org/TourdeTC:
California Wine Country Tour (Daily rides from Healdsburg) – May 22-26, 2023
Wisconsin Summer Fun Tour (Start and finish in Milwaukee) – June 10-17, 2023
Rocky Mountain National Park Tour (Start and finish in Ft. Collins)– July 9-15, 2023
Escape to the Cape Tour (Start and Finish in Boston) – July 15-21, 2023
Bike to the Beach Tour (Start and finish in Philadelphia) – July 23-30, 2023
Puget Sound and Victoria, BC Tour (Start and finish in Seattle) – August 7-12, 2023.
About Be The Match Foundation®:
Be The Match® is a global leader working every day to save lives through cellular therapy. For people with life-threatening blood cancers—like leukemia and lymphoma—or other blood disorders like sickle cell, a cure exists. Be The Match connects patients with a matching donor for a life-saving blood stem cell transplant. Be The Match Foundation® raises funds to advance the Be The Match mission. With the public’s philanthropic efforts, the foundation is able to add more potential life-saving blood stem cell donors to the Be The Match Registry®; provide financial assistance to patients and families to overcome financial barriers before, during and after transplant; and fund groundbreaking cellular therapy research.