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Get Your Run On

My standard Friday evening usually involves getting home from work, chilling out, and having a drink with friends. But not on Friday the 10th of July. Instead, after work I and an SAP team of 60 other colleagues headed to the National Center for Tumor diseases (NCT) in Heidelberg to take part in their charity run. But instead of racing against each other, we were racing with each other for one common goal: Beating cancer.


The 4th annual charity run, which was co-sponsored by SAP, Roche, and Molecular Health, was open to everyone.  Yes, some of us were there clad in lycra and our newest running shoes, but what made the atmosphere so great was the mixture of other runners: parents running with prams, kids on scooters, groups of friends walking together. “How far would you go?” was the event slogan and everyone there, all 2,000 participants, were doing there bit to go the extra mile. The track wound through the NCT grounds and the University Clinic of Heidelberg, even going past the balconies and rooms of patients who are staying there. The event raised a staggering 58,879 Euro, all of which will go towards supporting innovative clinical research./wp-content/uploads/2015/07/nct_lauf_0715_0369_751638.jpg

This is not the first time that SAP and its employees have joined together in the fight against cancer and SAP works closely with NCT using SAP HANA. As part of the “Corporate Oncology Program for Employees” (COPE), SAP is working with MolecularHealth to offer employees with cancer access to personalized medicine. Eligible employees are being offered the “TreatmentMAP” solution for free, which won the SAP HANA Innovation Award this year in the category “Technology Trailblazer- Business Application”.

Using a patient’s genetic profile and medical background, the “TreatmentMAP” is able to deliver personalized tumor analysis by combining this knowledge, along with huge amounts of data, which are processed on the SAP HANA platform, and the individual tumor genome. All of this leads to safer and more personalized treatment options for the patient, as they are offered therapies specific to their tumor. An SAP colleague, Franz Deitering, who was facing cancer, saw the COPE offering and took hold of the opportunity. Running may be an ongoing theme with NCT, as despite the fact he’s missing 70% of his right lung, he ran a half marathon in May. You can read about his story and how he fought cancer with COPE here.

After the run there was live music, food, drinks, and even a massage tent to sooth the aches and pains. It may not have been my standard Friday evening, but it was definitely a memorable one. Maybe it sound cheesy, but what the run shows is that everyone can make a difference. Sometimes it’s just as simple as getting involved.

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Professional photographs of the race from Philip Benjamin.

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