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B2B Kickoff Spotlights Inspiring Survivors, Caregivers

By Jenny Callison, posted Oct 27, 2011

Thursday’s kickoff event for PPD’s Beach2Battleship Triathlon spotlighted five individuals with significant connections to the company’s clinical trials around the country.

The five, who have become outspoken advocates for clinical trials, were honored with PPD Hero Awards. All five will participate in the half-iron distance portion of the triathlon this weekend.

Receiving the awards were Mary Kreis from Pittsburgh, who participated in clinical trials after being diagnosed with melanoma while she was pregnant in 2004; Claudio Battaglini, an exercise physiologist at UNC-Chapel Hill, who designs and runs clinical trials; Kristen Adelman, from Colorado Springs, Colo. who has survived multiple bouts of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, thanks to her participation in clinical trials; Roseann Dougherty, a friend of Adelman’s who became her caregiver and ultimately trained as an oncology nurse as a result; and Wendy Chioji, a fitness center owner from Park City, Utah, who participated in clinical trials in her recovery from breast cancer.

Ray Hill, PPD’s new CEO, welcomed the roomful of PPD employees and community members. As a competitive rower, Hill said he understands the “dedication, perseverance, and ability to keep going despite obstacles” that it takes to compete at the highest level.

Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo underscored the importance and contributions of PPD in the community. He also remarked on the growing economic impact of sports tourism, of which Saturday’s Beach2Battleship Triathlon is an example. In its four years, the event has grown from about 500 participants to more than 1800 this year, representing 43 states and five other countries. Those athletes and their friends and families will spend an estimated $1.5 million in the area, and create an overall economic impact of about $3.9 million.

“This is the kind of thing we need here, week in and week out,” Saffo said.

The full-iron distance portion of the event consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run. The other participants will compete in the half-iron distance portion.

The race will begin at 7 a.m. at the southern tip of Wrightsville Beach and finish at the USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial in downtown Wilmington. Coordinators are expecting approximately 6,000 spectators.

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