NMDP Cycle Kicks Off Nationwide Cycling Events Giving Hope to Patients in Need of a Blood Stem Cell Transplant

Riders can select from six routes to help raise funds and bring awareness to NMDP’s lifesaving mission

MINNEAPOLIS, March 29, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- NMDPSM Cycle (formerly Be The Match® Tour de TC) kicks off March 30 on a six-ride tour throughout the country to raise funds to help remove barriers to treatment for patients in need of a blood stem cell transplant. Starting with a trek across Texas to catch the solar eclipse in Austin, the remaining five rides include a trip through wine country in Napa, California, rides in the Midwest and a tour along the shores of the upper East Coast. By raising funds, NMDP Cycle helps more patients access cell therapy treatments for up to 75 different blood cancers, including leukemia, or blood disorders such as sickle cell disease.  

Each of the six rides present varying degrees of difficulty and allow up to 25 participating cyclists. With an annual fundraising goal of $300,000, riders will join alongside transplant recipients, donors, physicians and other NMDP supporters. These rides will help fund patient assistance grants, research to improve transplant outcomes, and fuel the growth of the NMDP Registry. In 2023, the NMDP Foundation provided $5.6 million in grants to 2,600 patients and their families in need of financial assistance. Last year NMDP Cycle raised more than $200,000 and 33 cyclists rode 1,990 miles.

"I am alive today because of the selfless act of a blood stem cell donor,” said Bob Falkenberg, founder of the NMDP 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. This year, I will ride more than 3,000 miles all to raise funds and awareness towards the mission of NMDP.”

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. He began cycling to fundraise for NMDP, would stop at transplant centers along the way, inspiring both hospital staff and patients. Through his passion and dedication, Bob’s good goes a long way through the NMDP Cycle campaign, through which Bob has raised more than $150,000 and cycled over 25,000 miles – more than the circumference of the globe.  

“Bob is an inspiration, and we are so grateful for his vision and dedication to offering hope and resources to transplant patients in need. His efforts to fundraise and bring awareness to NMDP have benefited so many people in need of lifesaving cell therapy,” said Joy King, Chief Advancement Officer, NMDP. “We expect this year’s NMDP Cycle events to be bigger than ever 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 events or make donations to support the riders and the patient community by visiting NMDP.org/ride: 

Eclipse Over Texas (Start in El Paso; Finish in Austin) –March 30 – April 8, 2024
Napa Wine Country (Daily rides out of Napa) – May 12-17, 2024
Milwaukee vs. Chicago (Start and finish in either Milwaukee or Chicago)– June 22-23, 2024
Boston Coastal Tour (Start and Finish in Boston) – July 14-20, 2024 
Ride Pennsylvania (Start in Pittsburgh; Finish in Philadelphia) – August 3-10, 2024
Minneapolis One-Day (Start and finish in Minneapolis) – Date TBD. 

Thanks in part to fundraising, NMDP has made monumental strides in accelerating progress and expanding access to treatment. The organization recently unveiled breakthrough research that will allow more patients with blood cancer or blood disorders to receive life-saving cell therapy.

At NMDPSM, we believe each of us holds the key to curing blood cancers and disorders. As a global nonprofit leader in cell therapy, NMDP creates essential connections between researchers and supporters to inspire action and accelerate innovation to find life-saving cures. With the help of blood stem cell donors from the world’s most diverse registry and our extensive network of transplant partners, physicians and caregivers, we’re expanding access to treatment so that every patient can receive their life-saving cell therapy. NMDP. Find cures. Save lives.


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