Jeroen van Lierop, Patient advocate and Program Management
My role in Inspire2Live is to organize program management structure for the inspirers and patient advocates.
In my day job as freelance consultant, I manage development and innovation of products and services based on emerging technologies. Like inspire2live, such innovation, starts with an idea. My role is to build a team equipped to undertake a journey to beat the odds and develop the idea to become a reality.
In 2008, the Dutch cycling initiative Alpe d’HuZes and the big dreams of Coen van Veenendaal and Peter Kapitein inspired me. I joined their team and took on the challenge to set up and organize the first sister event in Belgium. So we formed a team and went on a journey together. And after a year of preparation, we had a fantastic first edition of Ve2-4Cancer. 66 Belgian and Dutch participants climbed the Mont Ventoux four times to raise funds for the Flemish Cancer League. In the years that followed, we initiated and organized similar events in the UK, France, Norway and Costa Rica.
Up until 2008, cancer was just one thing to me: a terrible and frightening disease. As a young teenager, I had been really scared of getting it myself and in later years, I lost several relatives to cancer. But after several events in Inspire2Live, cancer is much more to me than a threat. I met beautiful, strong, optimistic and wise people who lived with cancer. Some of them survived and are now dear friends. Others passed away, but keep on inspiring me. I feel privileged to be a part of their world.
In my capacity as program manager of Inspire2Live I ask every patient, researcher and clinician: inspire me with your dream and I will help you make it a reality.