PPD Beach2Battleship Heroes Promote Participation in Clinical Trials

Triathletes share personal stories of life-changing medical research

17 Sept. 2015


WILMINGTON, N.C. (Sept. 17, 2015) – Pharmaceutical Product Development, LLC (PPD) today announced the 2015 PPD Heroes team of athletes competing in the Oct. 17 PPD Beach2Battleship Triathlon, one of the top-rated iron distance competitions in the world.

PPD Heroes, everyday people who overcame illness with medical treatments developed through clinical research, raise awareness about the importance of increasing participation in clinical trials, which are integral to developing new medicines. PPD Heroes will share their inspirational stories at the PPD Hero Awards, an invitation-only celebration at the company’s worldwide headquarters in Wilmington on Oct. 16, a day before competing in the triathlon.

“Stories of the triumphant PPD Heroes overcoming significant health conditions are inspiring to researchers in their tireless efforts to develop new medical treatments,” said David Simmons, chairman and CEO of PPD. “Raising awareness about clinical trials helps both patients and physicians understand innovative treatment options. By increasing patient and physician participation in clinical trials, together we can more quickly develop safe, life-changing medicines.”

The 2015 PPD Heroes team:

  • Teresa Dunlap, an executive director of project management for PPD, has worked for more than 20 years on clinical trials and now oversees general cardiovascular and large cardiovascular endpoint clinical trials. Three years ago, she was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer. The 2015 PPD Beach2Battleship weekend will mark her third year post-treatment, which places her out of the danger zone for a recurrence. After last year's PPD Hero Awards, Dunlap began training with a team of colleagues for this year’s triathlon to celebrate her return to good health.

  • Liz Lloyd, a pharmacist with PPD and an avid swimmer, had difficulty walking at the end of 2011. Her limp led her doctor to a diagnosis of late-stage metastatic breast cancer that had spread to her bones. Although standard-of-care treatment worked for four years, with a change in her condition, she joined a clinical trial in June. Lloyd believes being in a clinical trial is empowering and provides another tool for researchers to find cures.

  • Mark Hoffman, a business consultant, was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease five years ago. Hoffman matched his intense medical treatments with triathlon training. After several unsuccessful treatments, a surgeon removed six inches of his intestine last year, and his doctor enrolled him in a clinical trial that Hoffman hopes will treat his Crohn’s.

  • Jolene Hopper, a corporate tax administrator, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999. Her oncologist encouraged her to enroll in a clinical trial with the hope of improving her condition and also helping others facing the same diagnosis. The resulting chemotherapy and radiation treatments successfully treated Hopper, a mother of two.

  • Meg Roberts, diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 10, credits clinical researchers for developing therapies that help her manage the condition. As there is no cure for diabetes, to stay healthy she must inject insulin several times a day. Over the years, clinical research has aided the development of insulin and enhanced blood glucose monitoring methods that have vastly improved the quality of life for Roberts and countless other people with diabetes.

  • Garrett Rush-Miller and Eric Miller mark Garrett’s 15-year anniversary since having surgery to remove a brain tumor, which left him profoundly visually impaired. With his father, Eric, by his side, Garrett received six weeks of radiation therapy and 64 weeks of chemotherapy. Along the way Garrett had to relearn to walk and talk. Today, Garrett is an Eagle Scout who enjoys sports. He has inspired the Rush-Miller Foundation, which has allowed nearly 2,300 blind and low-vision kids to ride a tandem bicycle.

PPD is celebrating its sixth year as title sponsor of the PPD Beach2Battleship Triathlon, which has been ranked among the top five triathlons in the world by readers of Triathlete magazine. The race starts in Wrightsville Beach, winds through New Hanover, Pender, Sampson and Bladen counties and ends in downtown Wilmington. The full iron distance triathlon includes a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run. The event also offers a half iron distance triathlon course.

In addition, the lineup of race weekend events includes the second year of the New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NHRMC) 5K run, providing an expanded opportunity for participation. The NHRMC 5K will be held the morning of the triathlon, ending at the PPD Beach2Battleship Triathlon finish line.

More than 2,000 athletes participate in the PPD Beach2Battleship Triathlon, helping generate approximately $4 million in local economic impact. Funds raised benefit the Wilmington Family YMCA. PPD Beach2Battleship is produced by Set Up Events, one of the largest triathlon production companies in the United States, producing more than 150 events annually in eight states.


About PPD

PPD is a leading global contract research organization providing drug discovery, development, lifecycle management and laboratory services. Our clients and partners include pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, academic and government organizations. With offices in 46 countries and more than 14,000 professionals worldwide, PPD applies innovative technologies, therapeutic expertise and a commitment to quality to help clients and partners accelerate the delivery of safe and effective therapeutics and maximize the returns on their R&D investments. 


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