UPDATE July 20th: We are please to announce the conclusion of our 2013 USA Tour. 3,187 Miles. 157 Days. $103,000 Raised!
Miles 2 Give is an organization that raises funding for Sarcoma cancer research through cross country ultra running.
The M2G U.S. tour is appropriately titled, “Pursuit to Give & Inspire.” Funding will be distributed to Sarcoma Foundation of America to create the “Ashley Davis Grant.” Every $55,000 creates a research grant. Every grant there after is rightfully ours to name.The mission is “simple”, run from the Golden Gate Bridge to the White House beginning on February 14, 2013 reaching the White House on July 4th, 2013. All with design to INSPIRE thousands along the way, while additionally raising money for Sarcoma Cancer Research.
The Miles 2 Give traveling team is composed of 3 runners traveling in a Winnebago RV. Landon Cooper is Founder & Runner. Ryan Priest is Tour Director & Runner. John McKay is Videographer & Runner. The team will cover 24-30 miles daily.
Along the tour we will be visiting schools, hospitals, hosting events/fundraisers, & meeting with town locals to raise awareness while hopefully leaving everyone inspired.
The goal is to raise a minimum of $300,000 for Sarcoma Cancer research during this tour across the country. All funding raised will bring us closer towards finding an eventual cure for this disease. Partnership & distribution of funding will be with Sarcoma Foundation of America, an established 501c3. All donations are tax exempt.
From The Founder Himself
“My name is Landon Cooper and I am a 34 year young ultra runner. For the past year, I have been running races all over the nation in honor of the spirit of my late friend, Ashley Davis. On November 28th, 2009 Ashley was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma Cancer in her hometown of Peoria, Arizona. Through many promising ups and well battled downs, she eventually lost her battle and died on April 6, 2011. Ashley had an immediate impact on me. She had a vibrant spirit that could fill a room with her smile & a positive attitude that could change any scene. She was only 23. For her and many other’s that lose this battle, their spirit lives on. With the formation of M2G, what I didn’t realize was that Sarcoma affected many more friends than I was aware of. I was oblivious, but now I can see.
On November 15, 2012, I walked away from a bar/restaurant/nightclub 10 year well traveled industry career that kept my hunger climbing the invisible corporate ladder. I also walked away from a lifestyle of many sunrises & many dead ends. I created M2G to honor everyone around the world who has also been affected by Sarcoma. But, what more can be done?
In honor of all of those who are battling, survived, or we have lost to Sarcoma, & in effort to raise funding for more cancer research, my team & I are currently running from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco to the White House in Washington D.C.
The M2G running tour began on February 14, 2013 with our toes in the Pacific Ocean. Since Ocean Beach, San Francisco, we are currently running through the heart of America to Ocean City, Maryland, arriving on July 20, 2013.”
Founder and Runner – Landon Cooper
I was 15 years old when I first thought of running across the USA.”
An adventure seeker, modern-day distance runner, and traveling painter who’s greater purpose became clear over a series of events. Landon’s trail of soccer paths, 10 years of bar/restaurant/nightclub industry experience, and nomadic travels has given foundation to his belief in the power of connectivity.
For 13 years his speed of choice and fearlessness of life’s offerings has brought him to great understandings and an authentic hunger for change. One moment in particular was witnessing first hand a friend of his unable to lift her foot at work one day in Glendale, Arizona.
Her name was Ashley Davis and in November 2009 she was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma. Sarcoma? What is that?
After seeing the effects of cancer that close, he decided to take action. Three months later he gathered up some friends and formed “Team Ashley Davis.” They went on to run a marathon relay race for her on Valentine’s Day 2010.
That day a gong went off inside Landon that one day he wanted to do more for Ashley and many more that suffer through this disease.
In late 2011, the same year that Ashley eventually lost her battle, he kept running in her honor.
How many people affected by cancer in his circle of life was a shameful awakening in late 2012. November 15, 2012 he walked away from his Hollywood job, a party lifestyle, and retreated to family in Utah.
The “Life Elevated” state would do just that, elevating his greater purpose. Running. Giving. Inspiring. For three months he worked long days and trained in frigid conditions in preparation for the unknowns of running across the country.
He is extremely passionate about being a part of the generation that finds the antidote for cancer. God forbid, his own wife and children have cancer. That is why he is doing his part now.
On his recent 157 day team running tour he witnessed first hand the lethal affects of sarcoma cancer on the countless warriors and their families across the USA. The application of these discoveries are inspiring the next tour beyond just research funding.
Landon has seen countless research laboratories from ocean to ocean. He has met some of the most brilliant and respected minds in sarcoma research. He has seen sarcoma cancers under microscopes. Doctors have drawn up in research conference rooms exactly where each of their teams are with their current hopeful research.
He has gained a transparent understanding of fundraising. Why a research grant costs a certain amount? And, as simple as, the cost of a lab rat?
This unique mix of passion, inspiration, and experience will certainly prove a vital approach in making this the generation of a cure.
“I haven’t met one family tree where at least one branch wasn’t affected by cancer. Miles 2 Give (M2G) is the simplistic approach of nurturing relationships with love, and the process of eliminating that which should not exist. Cancer.”
His M2G team tours of running across or around countries is rightfully called “The Pursuit to Give & Inspire.” The give is creating needed funding for the least-funded cancer. The inspiration is selecting the desired spirit of those he brings on to each M2G Team.
“We will leave you inspired with a perspective unlike no other, until this generation can produce the antidote.”
2013 Road Team — Runners
Tour Director and Runner – Ryan Priest
This Chicago born young man has traveled to over 2 dozen countries. He has tremendous experience in camping & cultural relations. A UNA Senior, avid hiker, backpacker, & new born runner.
Tour Videographer and Runner – John McKay
John has experience in cross country journeys, having cycled across USA in 2002. A high school teacher, yoga practitioner, & ski instructor who brings a valuable intellect to the team.
From A Distance — 2013 Full Timers
Online Director – Ryan Bonhardt
Also know as “Bon”, Ryan Bonhardt is our team’s Online Director based out of Tallahassee, Florida. He specializes in internet marketing, web design and front-end development. Ryan was one of the 3 initial M2G’ers with Landon and Priest
Email Him | RyanBonhardt.com
Hospital Coordinator – Juli Kennedy
Juli is an Iowa native, University of Iowa alum and mother to two spoiled French Bulldogs. She brings 9 years of fundraising experience to the team and works for a sarcoma specialist in Iowa City.
M2G Sarcoma Doctor – Dr. Matt DiCaprio
Dr. Matthew DiCaprio is Director of Orthopaedic Oncology at Albany Medical Center in Upstate New York. He shares the passion of the M2G team for raising awareness and much needed funding to find a cure for this rare cancer.
Rest of the Team – Part-Time Volunteers
Video Editor – Fletcher Isacks
Miles 2 Give is proud to have Fletcher Isacks of Isacks Imagery as our M2G Video Editor. Fletcher is based out of the beautiful beaches of Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.
Sports Physician – Dr. Joseph Albano
An ultra running enthusiast, Dr. Joseph Albano serves as team physician to US Speed Skating, US Military Cycling, & Westminister Athletics. He is the founder of Comprehensive Orthopedics & Sports Medicine at Salt Lake Regional Medical.
Video Editor – Mike Militti
Mike lives in Ormond Beach, Florida where he owns Precision Athletic Training & Treska Medical. He provides our team with an extra dimension in video editing.
Diagnostic Sport Imaging – USMRI
The official medical provider to the US Olympic Ski, Snowboard, Free Skiing teams, and America’s Next 3000 Mile Man.
Photographer – Jeremy Hall
Jeremy Hall is a well known Utah-based photographer of Great Projects Photography & Design. Jeremy is a true pro and has worked with many artists and athletes worldwide.
Massage Therapist – Aaron Tasker
Aaron offers structural sports body work for athletes of all calibers. Aaron is currently based in San Diego, CA.
M2G Tattoo Artist – Kat Crawford
A true San Francisco Giants fan & a great mother to her little man! Kat has been tattooing the Las Vegas strip for years & has done Landon’s last 5 pieces. Her talent is limitless & her clients are lifers!
M2G Chiropractor – Dr. Justin Fogo
Dr. Fogo practices at Chelsea Chiropractic & Acupuncture just outside of Birmingham, AL. He was led to his profession in large part, by turning to alternative healthcare for his own sports injuries. We are happy to have his and his wife, Mary’s, full support behind M2G.
The Sarcoma Low-Down
About The Sarcoma Foundation Of America
The mission of the Sarcoma Foundation of America (SFA) is to advocate for increased research to find new and better therapies with which to treat patients with sarcoma. The organization raises money to privately fund grants for sarcoma researchers and conducts education and advocacy efforts on behalf of sarcoma patients.
Established in 2000, the SFA is the leading voice for sarcoma patients and their families and through our organization we fund research that will lead to new therapies as well as supporting advocacy and educational initiatives that increase awareness of this disease. Through successful fundraising initiatives, such as the Miles2Give campaign, the SFA, in just a few short years, has raised over $3.8 million toward sarcoma research.
Question and Answer with Dr. DiCaprio
Dr. Matthew DiCaprio is Director of Orthopaedic Oncology at Albany Medical Center in Upstate New York. He shares the passion of the M2G team for raising awareness and much needed funding to find a cure for this rare cancer. Feel free to contact Dr. DiCaprio if you can’t find the answer to your question below.
What Is Sarcoma?
Sarcomas are malignant tumors (cancers) arising from connective tissues in our body; bone, cartilage,
fat, fibrous tissue, nerves, and blood vessels. They are a rare and diverse type of cancer that can arise in
bone or in soft tissues anywhere in the body.
What are the keys to a cure?
With early detection and aggressive treatment these cancers can be cured in 60-70% of patients. The survival data over the last 20 plus years has been very stagnant and new methods of treatment are needed to increase patient survival rates. Research is the only way to find new treatments and test their effectiveness in battling these rare tumors.
Who is affected?
- All ages are affected.
- There are approximately 3000 people diagnosed with a bone sarcoma per year in the US.
- There are approximately 9000 people diagnosed with a soft tissue sarcoma per year in the US.
- A majority of bone sarcomas are diagnosed in children
- Most soft tissue sarcomas are diagnosed in adults.
- There are many exceptions to this age rule.
What are the most common bone sarcomas?
- Ewing’s sarcoma
What are some common soft tissue sarcomas?
- Undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma (previously called malignant fibrous histiocytoma)
- Synovial sarcoma
There are roughly 50 different subtypes of soft tissue sarcomas. The specific type has little bearing on
treatment for a majority of patients. What is more important is the grade of the tumor. A pathologist
who looks at the tumor under a microscope is responsible for the grading. Less aggressive tumors are
low-grade and more aggressive tumors are high-grade. Knowing the grade helps the treating team
determine which treatment methods should be employed.
How do they present? What symptoms do patients with sarcoma have?
Most will present to a doctor with a growing mass.
Bone sarcomas typically present with pain and on occasion as a fracture through the weakened area
of bone involved. The pain starts off very mild and frequently is ignored until it becomes progressively
more severe and frequent. Many will have symptoms for 3-6 months before diagnosis.
In general, sarcoma patients are not sick when they have localized (only present in one location) disease
that has not spread.
Because these tumors are rare, many practicing physicians will never see or diagnose a sarcoma. There
is frequently a delay in diagnosis because of a lack of awareness. Any growing mass (lump or bump)
should be evaluated by a physician. If the mass is deep (below the fascia that covers muscle) and larger
than a golf ball it should be worked up with imaging (MRI, radiographs, etc…) prior to biopsy or removal.
For most cases there is no known exposure, environmental factor or trauma that predisposes people to
sarcomas. The only exceptions to this rule are a history of exposure to radiation or Agent Orange.
How are they diagnosed?
1st step is a careful history and physical examination.
Next step is appropriate use of diagnostic imaging
- Radiographs (XRAY)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Computerized tomography (CT scan)
- Whole body bone scan
- Positron emission tomography (PET scan)
Biopsy is the Final and most critical step. A sample of the tumor is evaluated by a pathologist under a
microscope. Sometimes special techniques are needed to properly identify the tumor.
It is important for the team to work together in establishing a diagnosis. It often requires a synthesis
of the clinical information (history and physical examination), imaging findings and the microscopic
interpretation to establish a correct diagnosis. For this reason it is best for patients with a suspected
sarcoma to be referred to a center that specializes in their treatment early in the work-up. The biopsy
should be done by or guided by a surgeon experienced in the treatment of sarcomas at a center with a
team of physicians also experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of sarcomas.
Who treats Sarcomas?
A multidisciplinary team of physicians specially trained to diagnose and treat sarcomas. The team is
usually led by an Orthopaedic Oncologist (The Surgeon). The other team members necessary to care for
sarcomas include the following medical specialists:
- Adult Medical Oncologist – Chemotherapy doctor
- Pediatric Medical Oncologist – Chemotherapy doctor
- Radiation oncologist – Deliver radiation to the tumor
- Musculoskeletal Radiologist – Help with diagnostic imaging interpretation
- Musculoskeletal Pathologist – Look at the biopsy or resection specimens under a microscope
- Interventional Radiologists – Sometimes involved in biopsy and treatment techniques with surgeons
- Support staff – Nurses, Physical therapists, Social workers, etc…
What are the treatments for sarcomas?
- Surgical removal (resection), radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
- Depending on the specific tumor type and patient factors a varying combination of these different
treatments are needed.
- In general pediatric bone sarcomas are treated with chemotherapy and surgical removal
- In general adult soft tissue sarcomas are treated with radiation and surgical removal
What research is being done?
Over the last decade we have learned more details about the genetic basis to many diseases. Malignant
tumors arise from some alteration in normal cell control. Understanding what has changed in the
genetic code of these tumor cells is an active area of ongoing research. By finding changes that are
specific to each tumor type it is hoped that more targeted treatments can be developed in the near
future. Current chemotherapy treatments for most sarcomas employ the use of multiple agents and are
associated with many side effects, some of which are severe and life threatening. By designing more
targeted treatment through a better understanding of the molecular basis of the disease side effects of
current treatments can be avoided and survival rates should improve.