July 17th at 2:00pm
The 5th annual Sarcoma Tour in Essen was simply great. We had good conditions, mild weather and some clouds, and more participants than ever. With our orange shirts we got much attention from other people as we rode our bikes around Lake Baldenye. After the tour we had a big barbecue at the lakefront and had fun playing a little bit soccer. It was just fun. We hope to see everyone again next year!
A Bike Tour and Walk
July 25, 2009, in Essen, Germany
The fourth Sarcoma Tour in Germany was held on the 25th of July in Essen. Around 50 people gathered at the Gruga Halle in Essen for the start of the tour. This is a new record in attendance. Among the bikers there were patients, caregivers, representatives of the patient organisation “Das Lebenshaus e.V., surgeons, oncologists, radiologists and friends.
After a short welcome from Dr. Bauer, we distributed orange t-shirts that were specially designed for this event. They read on the front: “Sarcomas:.. know no borders” and on the back: “Sarcomas… you are not alone.” After that we all gathered for a picture for the local newspaper before starting the bike tour. A few patients stayed at the Gruga Park to take a walk and prepare the barbeque for the bikers. On the way to the Baldeneysee we soon had to stop and wait for some late comers.
The weather was better than last year, and we were only hit by a short rainshower during our break. After the break we started to the “traditional” mountain stage. All participants reached the mountain top in good time. Our congratulations to all bikers!
After our return to the Gruga, we enjoyed a well-prepared barbeque and had an award ceremony for the bikers in different categories (children, seniors, women, men). Altogether we raised more than 1,000 Euros during this event. This money was presented to Markus Wartenberg of “Das Lebenshaus” by Dr. Sebastian Bauer.
All participants agreed in the end, that this tour should be repeated next year to raise the public awareness that “Sarcoma knows no borders.”
The tour and the barbeque were organised by:
Dr. Sebastian Bauer and Dr. Georg Täger (both University of Essen)
Karin Pelzing and Kai Pilgermann (both „Das Lebenshaus e.V.)
Special thanks and greetings go to: Bruce Shriver, Lee Ann Lamb and Marina Symcox (to name only those who we personally know) from the USA for their work in the different sarcoma initiatives.
As an opener for Team Sarcoma 2008 we organised an evening with information about sarcomas. Different sarcoma specialists answered questions for the patients and care givers. This kind of “patient education” will take place at the University Cllinic of Essen on a regular basis.
The third German Team Sarcoma event then took place on Saturday the 26.07.2008. Around 2 PM all participants arrived at the Essener Grugahalle. Among the participants were patients, care-givers, representatives of the patient organsiation Das Lebenshaus, surgeons, oncologists, radiologists and more. Exactly at 2 PM a thunder storm arrived also. Therefore we had to wait until the tour could start.
After 30 Minutes of waiting we started the tour in a light drizzle, which some minutes later turned again into a real hard rain. At the beginning we all rode on through the rain. But as the thunder became stronger, we voted for a break in a nearby cafe.
During the break we heavily discussed if we should continue the tour or if we return to our starting point. Because the rain and especially the thunder storm would not stop we decided after an hour long break to stop the tour and return. All participants then returned to the Campus of the Univerrsity of Essen to have a barbeque. Before the start of the barbeque the staff of the clinic helped us with dry clothes. For the barbeque we had dry weather.
Although there was no mountain stage and no real “winners” because of the stopped tour, there was an award ceremony after we finished the food.
All participants agreed in the end that this tour should be repeated next year to raise the public awareness for “sarcoma knows no borders.”
The tour and the barbeque were organised by: Dr. Sebastian Bauer and Dr. Georg Täger (both University of Essen), Karin Pelzing and Kai Pilgermann (both of Das Lebenshaus).
Special thanks and greetings go to: Bruce, Lee Ann and Marina (to name only those who we personally know) from the USA for their work in the different sarcoma initiatives.
This report is also available in PDF format with additional photos.
What: Group Biking and Walking Tour
When: July 12-19, 2008
Where: Germany and Austria
This year, 56 members of the “core” Team Sarcoma biked along the Danube Bicycle Path from Passau, Germany, to Vienna, Austria. They biked along one of Europe’s most beautiful bike paths, with stunning river landscapes, picturesque villages and medieval towns, imposing castles and monasteries, and expansive vineyards. There was also a group of walkers who enjoyed other activities that included hikes, boat rides and sightseeing.
The second Team Sarcoma / Essen took place on Saturday, July 21, 2007. The weather was really nice and the 25 participants were glad that it was not nearly as hot as in 2006. Among the participants who met in the early afternoon at the entrance to the Grugapark were patients, caregivers, representatives of the patient organisation “Das Lebenshaus“, surgeons, oncologists, radiologists and friends.
After a short introduction of all the participants and an overview of the planned route,
the tour started. After a small detour (we missed an exit) we had to stop because of our first
technical problem. Then we had a beautiful ride along the Baldenneysee and reached our designated picnic area. Here everybody got refreshments and prepare themselves for the mountain stage.
Then the feared mountain stage (2 KM and 450 feet altitude) which brought us to “Hohen Kreuz” in Fischlaken started. The mountain stage was won – as last year – by Simeon Schietzel (medical student). The considered “favorite” and organiser, Dr. Sebastian Bauer, had to give up because of another technical problem, and he arrived at the goal line on foot.
Exausted after the mountain stage, there was again the possibility to get refreshments. This was well managed by a team from Das Lebenshaus. After everybody had rested enough we started the last part of the tour. Because of the very high speed set by the leading group the some participants got lost shortly. But after some time all found their way to the University clinic of Essen, where the barbeque was already under way. After that the award ceremony started and every winner got a medal.
All together over 500€ were donated for sarcoma research. All participants agreed in the end that this tour should be repeated next year to raise the public awareness for “Sarcoma knows no borders.”
The tour was organised by Dr. Florian Grabellus, Dr. Sebastian Bauer und Dr. Georg Täger.
Explanation of the route
At the mountain top
Arrival of Dr. Bauer
Award recipient with the organisers
The first Team Sarcoma / Essen took place on one of the hottest days of the year in the middle of the FIFA football world championship. Thirty determined cyclists met in the early afternoon in front of the famous Gruga-Center, one of the largest indoor stadiums in Germany, to receive an early briefing of the tour.
Among the participants were patients and relatives, representatives from the GIST-initiative “Das Lebenshaus”, sarcoma surgeons, oncologists (including a participant in the 8th month of her pregnancy), radiotherapists, anaesthesiologists, etc.
The tour comprised of 30km of hilly terrain that led around the beautiful Lake Baldeney. Just after the start of the tour the group encountered their first challenging situation when they passed a strawberry field and were forced to have their first picnic…
After about 90 minutes of beautiful riding, the first destination was reached – Lake Baldeney. It was the starting point for a 2 kilometer mountain stage (150 meters height) that led up to the “Hohes Kreuz” (“high cross”) of Fischlaken, Essen.
The race started with a fierce effort from oncologist Dr. Axel Schneider who was chased by Surgeon Dr. Schmitz and medical student Simeon Schietzel. Schietzel’s youth finally made the race and he outpaced his experienced colleagues (easily).
The senior’s category was won by Karl Pelzing, the women’s race went to oncologist Dr. Cathrin Walter, and the youth medal went to Leonhard Ruchholtz, son of sarcoma surgeon Prof. Steffen Ruchholtz.
Exhausted from the race, the group had a break at Lake Baldeney where representatives from Das Lebenshaus were waiting to treat everyone with fruits, drinks and a beautiful view.
After one flat tire on the way home, the group was separated, but everybody finally arrived at the “army tent” in front of the operation room of the Essen University hospital.
With the central air system for the hospital just in front of us, everybody inside the hospital was able to enjoy the smell of sausages with us…. With the help of the pathology assistant Gunter Strohbach, the riders were greeted with a convincing barbecue to get ready for the medal ceremony.
The post-tour event was then started by Sarcoma Surgeon Dr. Georg Taeger and Dr. Sebastian Bauer with an introduction of all participants. This allowed patients to meet the sarcoma specialists and vice versa. Karin Pelzing, director of the regional branch of “Das Lebenshaus” and GIST patient herself, introduced the work of the GIST-Initiative, which to this date, is the only sarcoma initiative in Germany.
All participants were already looking forward to joining the event next year and spreading the message that “Sarcoma knows no borders.”
Organizers of the event were Dr. Georg Taeger and Prof. Steffen Ruchholz (surgical oncology), Dr. Florian Grabellus and Dr. Sien Yi Sheu (pathology), Britta Taeger and Dr. Sebastian Bauer (medical oncology).
Special thanks and greetings are sent to Bruce Shriver (from the Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative), Lee Ann Lamb and Marina Symcox (from GSI Support International) (to name the representatives we know) – from the USA for their leadership in founding their sarcoma initiatives, building bridges, bringing people together, raising awareness and promoting research an an orphan disease like sarcoma. Thanks also to Boehringer Ingelheim, who generously supported the event.