Iowa State University
INDEX A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

7-26-06

Contacts:

Ruth MacDonald, Food Science and Human Nutrition, and Nutrition and Wellness Center, (515) 294-5991.

Brian Meyer, College of Agriculture, (515) 294-0706.

Mike Ferlazzo, News Service, (515) 294-8986.

Cathy Curtis, College of Human Sciences, (515) 294-8175

Lance Armstrong leaves money for Iowa cancer survivors in his trail

When Lance Armstrong rides through Iowa on RAGBRAI this week, he'll leave more than dust in his bicycle tracks. The seven-time Tour de France winner and cancer survivor will leave money for Iowa cancer survivors.

Ruth MacDonald, professor and chair of food science and human nutrition at Iowa State University, and interim director of ISU's Nutrition and Wellness Research Center, learned this week that her research team will receive a $10,000 grant from the Lance Armstrong Foundation. MacDonald's team of researchers and clinicians from Iowa State and Mary Greeley Medical Center (MGMC) in Ames will use the grant to develop educational materials that teach cancer survivors how to get healthier.

"We know how nutrition and physical activity can benefit the outcome of cancer treatment, but there is no comprehensive educational program that disseminates this information to cancer survivors in Iowa," said MacDonald.

Experts agree that healthy lifestyles can help cancer patients reduce fatigue, improve tolerance of cancer treatments, speed recovery, and reduce the recurrence of the disease.

"There is a lack of infrastructure for cancer survivors," said MacDonald. "The greatest barrier in working with rural patients is that of access. Currently, access to information about healthy lifestyles in relation to cancer is available only through visits with an oncologist or over the telephone or via the Web, through federal agencies," she said.

The ISU-MGMC team will design informational packets for distribution to people affected by cancer and living in 24 rural counties surrounding Ames..

Undergraduate and graduate students in Iowa State's diet and exercise program will help develop programs, lead demonstrations and prepare newsletters to educate cancer survivors about healthy eating and physical activity. They will also follow up with patients to encourage permanent lifestyle changes.

The grant supports development of the informational content. Once the content is developed, the team will apply for a second grant to support implementation of the program. If funded for completion, the program's headquarters will be at the Nutrition and Wellness Research Center, located in the Iowa State University Research Park in Ames..

"We expect this to become a sustainable program for the local area. It will also serve as a diffusion model for expansion to communities throughout the state and beyond," said MacDonald.

-30-

Quick look

A team of researchers from Iowa State University's Nutrition and Wellness Center and Mary Greeley Medical Center (MGMC) in Ames will receive a $10,000 grant from the Lance Armstrong Foundation. They will use the grant to develop educational materials for cancer survivors.