Five firefighters and a general sent out twelve days to cover 879 kms in the south of France. They were accompanied by two car-sharing people to collect blood donations and raise awareness for bone marrow and blood donation.
Jacques Courtade (62), a retired La Poste officer and chief sergeant for the volunteer firefighters at Saint-Beat-Marignac rescue centre (Haute- Garonne) was the original founder of the project. After being diagnosed with leukemia in September 2012, the 60-year old wants to "bring [sa] contribution to the research and cure for leukemia".
In 2013, he was able to receive a bone marrow donation, which led to complete recovery. He rallied around his rescue center colleagues, Philippe Janvier (lieutenant at 47 years), Vincent Arnaud (1st Class, 47 year old), Pierre Sartori Bize (captain at 56 years), and Pierre Sartori-Bize (captain at 56 years), as well as his two sons Ludovic (18 years) and Jean-Baptiste (18 years). This 26-year-old young man, passionate about cycling, is a policeman in the Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne brigade. Marlene Dulon, 35 years old, will accompany them. She is a liberal nurse and adjutant at the rescue center. Fanny Grand-Dulon will be their guide (9 years).
The small group will take a dozen steps to collect donations. They will rely on local communities for support. All donations will be donated directly to the Leukemia Hope Federation. The group of cyclists will join Valloire, then Briancon, Gap (Hautes-Alpes), Sisteron, Manosque (Alpes-de-Haute-Provence), Arles, Sete, Beziers, Carcassonne, Toulouse, Saint-Gaudens before ending with an organized meal by the friendly rescue center of Marignac (Gironde).
The big start was given this Monday, June 6 at 8:30 a.m. in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, after having sensitized the inhabitants on Sunday with members of the association for the donation of organs and tissues (Adot 73) . This brings attention to organ and bone marrow donation in Savoie. It is also an attempt to reduce the refusal rate which is much higher in France than in Spain (around 33% compared with 15%).
It is crucial to notify his family members as they will be the ones to give the consent to the medical body.