Our projects

Our origins

It started on the Alpe d’Huez in 2005

In the summer of 2005, two cycling friends came up with the bizarre idea of cycling up the legendary Alpe d’Huez six times in one day. This was not for fun, but to raise funds for the fight against cancer and to improve life for the cancer patient.

Quickly, the two friends found a small group of fellow enthusiasts to join them in the challenge. Despite all the scepticism like ‘You must be mad’ and ‘You’ll never make it’ were some that were more polite, so they carried on training and collecting sponsors. On the 6th of June 2006, at 6 minutes past 6 in the morning, it was time to prove the sceptics wrong and start what has since become an international movement. They came, they saw what was ahead of them: exhaustion, heat and cramp but also friendship; and together they conquered and achieved their goal all under the motto of ‘Never ever quit!’.

By the end of that magical day almost all the cyclists had reached the summit six times. They had raised close to four hundred thousand euros, every single euro of which went to the Dutch Cancer Society. Everyone was elated, but back at home they found it difficult to explain exactly what had happened that day. That was when the organizers decided to make it more than just a one-off event. The rest, as they say, is history. Tens of thousands of people are now involved and hundreds of millions of euros have been raised.

“Things weren’t going fast enough.”

Questions about how to use the collected donations

Two years later the Alpe d’HuZes founders, together with the Dutch Cancer Society were looking at how best to use the money that had been raised. Their approach was unconventional. It was important, above all, for it to be used to make better, faster treatment, most importantly in the patients’ interests. Therefore, the way the money was spent totally changed. Patients, researchers and clinicians discussed the research that needed to be done on an equal basis.

At first, most of the money went on seeking to improve patients’ lives, with a unique recovery program being set up. However, there was also more needed to be done elsewhere in the world. The founders had no idea, for example, when they were asked, what was being done to help children with cancer in India.

This got them thinking about doing things differently, including the approach towards research. They started talking to leading scientists and reached one all-important conclusion:

The start of Inspire2Live: more focus needed on the patient

There needed to be more of a focus on both healthcare and research on the patients rather than just the disease.

This marked the start of Inspire2Live: an independent, international patient advocate and scholar activist organization in the fight against cancer.

By making better use of existing knowledge, sharing information and generating new energy and fresh ideas, we are seeking to achieve a break-through in cancer research. Always with one aim: we exist to make cancer care truly patient-centric by heeding the patient’s first three priorities:

Prevention

Performance in daily life

Pain control

Prevention

Performance in daily life

Pain control

We do this by catalysing coalitions of all stakeholders together with patients, by worldwide sharing of energy, intellect and emotion.

Our mindset: if about us not without us

All Inspire2Live activities are performed by achievers with ambitious goals and prepared to put in enormous efforts. The patients’ interests are at the heart of whatever they do, and the focus is always on sharing knowledge and information and on being willing to cooperate. No-one is in it for personal gain. That’s why we’ve adopted the powerful motto of ‘If about us not without us.’

At first, most of the money went on seeking to improve patients’ lives, with a unique recovery program being set up. However, there was also more needed to be done elsewhere in the world. The founders had no idea, for example, when they were asked, what was being done to help children with cancer in India.

Working on our mission with patient advocates and scholar activists

So far Inspire2Live has now over 75 patient advocates and scholar activists from different countries. All are highly motivated and educated: they know what they are talking about and do their work based on science, knowledge and facts. With knowledge and experiences in all areas of cancer research and treatment they approach the stakeholders and work with them and ask them to put ‘Patients first’. They define the strategy of the topic and then start lobbying in politics, government or industry. We use media and communications to contribute towards the realization of our mission.

 

We keep expanding our reach and impact

We continue to grow our number of patient advocates and scholar activists to increase our influence in putting ‘Patients first’.

Alpe d’HuZes and Inspire2Live have each followed their own path. Alpe d’Huzes is still a successful fundraiser for the Dutch Cancer Society. Inspire2Live has a growing worldwide influence through patient advocacy in many fields, as well as through the World Campus and structured contact with the World Health Organization/IARC.