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'The Greatest Escape' Motorcycle Ride Generates over $100,000 for Mesothelioma Research

the great escape

LOS ANGELES--Sept. 27, 2013: The Pacific Meso Center (PMC) at The Pacific Heart, Lung & Blood Institute (PHLBI) held its inaugural fund-raising benefit, "The Greatest Escape" motorcycle ride, this past Sunday. The event was a 50th year celebration of the film classic, The Great Escape, starring Steve McQueen, who lost his life to mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer.

Hundreds of motorcycle enthusiasts joined in the scenic, 32-mile ride up Pacific Coast Highway that started at Bartels' Harley Davidson in Marina Del Rey and ended at Sycamore Cove Beach in Malibu. The parade of motorcyclists cruising under the glittering sunshine drew hundreds of spectators. A dozen California Highway Patrol officers joined the ride. The action-packed day featured auction prizes, the Phoenix Girls, music by The Walking Phoenixes, and an array of vendors. With plenty of tri-tip, craft beer, laughter, and hope, the crowd had a great day.

"The Greatest Escape" was a big success. PMC is grateful to its sponsors who, along with the auction and raffle, and generous donations, generated around $50,000 in funds.

The event's title sponsor, Worthington & Caron PC, a leading California Law Firm specializing in asbestos-related mesothelioma cases, matched the $50,000 revenue to bring the total to over $100,000. The funds will be used to support PMC's activities including research to discover breakthrough treatments for mesothelioma.

In The Greatest Escape, Steve McQueen's character, a WWII POW, eludes his German pursuers by jumping over a barbed wire fence. McQueen's motorcycle ride is emblematic of the "escape from mesothelioma" that cutting edge medical research may someday bring to tens of thousands of victims of this life-threatening disease.

"Steve McQueen once said 'racing is life -- anything before or after is just waiting.' After riding The Greatest Escape with hundreds of other believers on bikes up PCH to a beautiful, serene beach in Malibu, this was one of the most exhilarating days of my life," said Roger Worthington, a premier sponsor. "I can hardly wait for next year's event. This year was fantastic, but next year will be even bigger as hopefully we will be celebrating new medical breakthroughs thanks to the efforts of PMC."

The Pacific Meso Center (PMC), a division of PHLBI, provides education, research, and treatment for patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), an asbestos-related cancer, affecting the lining of the chest, the pleura.