Amgen UK and Ireland* take part in fourth and final Myeloma UK London to Paris Ride
Amgen UK and Ireland, for the fourth consecutive year, is supporting the Myeloma UK London to Paris Bike Ride. As a company dedicated to improving patients’ lives, we are sponsoring a team of 10 Amgen staff members for 2019, from across our UK/Ireland office sites and our field teams.
Myeloma UK has teamed up with cycling event specialists to stage this event with professional-quality support including rolling road closures, support vehicles and mechanical back-up. The London to Paris ride will be a challenging four-day event, which will mean a whopping 500km for each rider. At the finish, the riders will arrive in Paris under police escort up to the Arc de Triomphe, across the Seine and then on to finish close to the iconic Eiffel Tower.
Through this major fundraising event, Myeloma UK aims to accelerate scientific breakthroughs and transform the clinical trial environment in the myeloma landscape. Amgen is a corporate partner for the event and together with Amgen Europe colleagues, is entering a total of 25 plucky cyclists for the event. While the entry fee is funded by Amgen, all participating riders are undertaking their own personal fundraising of a minimum of £1,500 each. In this feature, you'll meet the Amgen team, find out a little more about them and what it takes to prepare to undertake an endurance cycling event.
Over the last three years, through the generosity of many, our staff has raised an incredible £60,000. Please help us in supporting the rider team again this year!
As an ex-rower, I signed up for this ride to Paris having never sat on a road-bike before. I saw this ride as my next challenge so was keen to get involved - yet ironically, I went from a sitting down sport to a sitting down sport! I hope to meet the fundraising target which will all go directly into funding research into the incurable blood cancer, myeloma. Please support the team in reaching their fundraising targets!
I only got into cycling a year or so ago after completing the London-Surrey Prudential 100, which was something I had never planned to do but really enjoyed! Since catching the cycling bug, I have been looking to take on a new challenge, and I am so excited (and nervous!) to have been offered the opportunity to take part in this ride and help raise money for such a good cause. Being new to Amgen I am really looking forward to getting to know some new colleagues and crossing the finish line in Paris together. All the money we raise will go to Myeloma UK, so please dig deep, support us, and make our pain worthwhile!
My role in Amgen is being a part of the field force in Southern Ireland. I bought a Ridley Yana bike when I retired from camogie a few years ago but unfortunately it has been gathering dust in the shed. I am looking forward to the opportunity to take part in this cycle, not just for the physical challenge that it presents, but also the chance to talk to patients and carers whilst sharing my experience as a daughter with a mother who has gone through a tough time with leukaemia.
Working in the multiple myeloma disease area has exposed the grisly nature of this incurable cancer. However, it has also underlined the invaluable support Myeloma UK provides to patients living with myeloma and the exceptional research they conduct in this space. I am proud to be able to support their vision of finding a cure through raising awareness and funds by cycling to Paris later this year. As a complete cycling novice, I expect this to be extremely tough – both physically and mentally – and I’m grateful to be part of such a supportive and committed Amgen team. It’s the thought of the finish line and knowing that this is for a great cause that will keep the wheels turning.
Over the last few years I have completed several long distance rides: Cambridge to Edinburgh in 2018 and St Ives (Cambridgeshire) to St Ives (in Cornwall) in 2017. Each has had its own challenges (nearly getting hypothermia on Exmoor was a bit hairy) but on the whole it’s been very enjoyable. In addition, I bike to work along the guided busway most days. I love being able to get places under my own steam! Applying for the London to Paris ride seemed like a no brainer and I am really looking forward to long days in the saddle with no traffic (it’s a closed road event!) and having a support team to make sure I don’t get lost! This ride is for a fantastic cause which I am proud to raise money for. Through Myeloma UK’s work they are helping to understand and develop treatments for what is currently an incurable disease.
I am privileged to have been selected to join the Amgen team representing Myeloma UK in this year's London to Paris charity ride. An amazing effort in previous years by Amgen Staff has raised much needed awareness and funding for the charity. As a mountain biking enthusiast, I’m excited to switch the baggy shorts for lycra and hope to have the same impact, dedicating my time and efforts this year for the charity and for the patients. All money raised goes directly to Myeloma UK, who receive no government funding, so please give as little or as much as you can.
I’ve always enjoyed cycling, but it’s fair to say that I’ve been a lazy cyclist through most of my 30s. But now, with a new road bike and some lycra, I’m back cycling, loving it and in need of a truly amazing challenge! I’ve never personally raised money for charity or taken on such a physical challenge before, but the stories shared by past riders and knowing that I will be riding with patients, family members and healthcare professionals is hugely inspiring. I feel incredibly privileged to have been selected for this challenge. Myeloma UK are a great charity that make a real difference to patients and families. I see this as my chance to make a difference where I pedal, sweat and pedal some more and ask you to donate to this fantastic charity.
Whilst in a meeting at work, I heard the emotional testimony of an Amgen employee, parent to a child suffering from leukemia. In her testimony, she described how the gesture of an anonymous donor, in a different country, made a difference in their lives, and their child’s life. You suddenly realise that for those suffering with life threatening diseases, such a gesture, is the greatest gesture of all. When I heard of this challenge, I decided it was my time to make a small gesture. I have always been active, but cycling is a new thing for me. The process is certainly exciting, and one that is also helping me keep active. Riding with the rest of the Amgen team whilst raising money for Myeloma patients is one of the most exciting things I have done in a while.
Having watched the videos and heard the stories from previous years I feel extremely lucky to have made the team (and just in time for the final year!). I’m new to cycling and loving the training so far - I think I might have found a hobby for life, so it’s already been a great opportunity from a personal perspective, but I suspect it may also bring a whole new perspective to working at Amgen as well. I’m looking forward to spending quality time with the patients, their friends, relatives and clinicians to hear their stories and experiences. Thank you for any donations to support Myeloma UK’s fantastic work to improve the lives of myeloma patients.
I’m thrilled to be part of the 2019 Amgen UK and Ireland team, having supported last year’s riders with fundraising and sharing their experience of the 500km ride. The unique opportunity to raise money for this very worthy cause, alongside other Amgen teams, people from other companies, patients, and their families, is a brilliant way to help Myeloma UK, and I’m looking forward to testing my fitness in a different way to what I’m used to. As somebody who is new to the world of road cycling, I’m hoping the many hours I’ve spent in the spin studio will help to make up for a lack of experience – especially when tackling some of the tougher hills I’ve heard previous teams talk about!
*Amgen UK Ltd and Amgen Ireland Ltd.