Photos by Brent Cline

First annual cancer walk exceeds expectations

While a sea of color was covered up by hoodies, coats, scarves and beanies, the cold weather couldn’t cover up the passion and the excitement during the Georgia Cancer Center’s inaugural “Unite in the Fight Against Cancer” walk. In fact, the passion for the cause was so great, the cancer center surpassed its fundraising goal by more than $5,000 with more than 600 participants spending a Saturday morning building a future for cancer care and research.

“We are so grateful for our wonderful sponsors, volunteers, staff and participants who helped to make this inaugural event such a success,” said Jane Barrett, associate director for development at the Georgia Cancer Center. “It was truly a team effort, and it was inspiring to see so many people from the community coming together in support of cancer research and patient care at the Georgia Cancer Center.”

The walk, held Nov. 10, wound through Augusta University’s Health Sciences Campus giving cancer patients, their families, friends and other participants the opportunity to see how the Georgia Cancer Center has transformed from individual buildings into a network of cancer treatment and research opportunities.

“We want Augusta and other communities in the southeastern part of Georgia and the western part of South Carolina to know we are right here where they live,” said Dr. Anand P. Jillella, J. Harold Harrison, MD, Distinguished University Chair in Medical Oncology. “This is their cancer center. We are their doctors, and they have a team ready to provide the very best care for whichever type of cancer they are diagnosed with.”

In all, the cancer center raised just over $55,000 for patient care, research projects and support services including The Image Boutique.

“The success of Unite in the Fight will truly make a difference in the lives of our patients and families,” Barrett said. “All proceeds raised from the event will support and enhance our patient services as well as fund important discoveries in cancer research right here at the Georgia Cancer Center.”

When the planning committee at the Georgia Cancer Center first started discussing plans for the walk, the team wanted to use the event to build a sense of community among the patients, their doctors, the nurses and other support staff at the center. Also, the walk would serve as an opportunity to invite others in the community affected by cancer to participate and learn more about the Georgia Cancer Center.

There were a lot of smiles, cheering and dancing as the cancer center celebrated survivors of all 28 forms of cancer. For those who lost loved ones to this terrible disease, it was a chance to share stories of their mothers, daughters, brothers, sisters, etc.

“Although it was a cold Saturday, I was honored to join family, friends and colleagues for our inaugural cancer walk,” said Lee Ann Liska, CEO of Augusta University Medical Center. “Like most of you, my family has been impacted by cancer, so I stand in the fight to help prevent this from happening to someone else. My hope is to see a cure discovered in my lifetime. Until then, I will support the fight to give cancer patients a longer, more fulfilling life through the best available treatments and therapies.”

While it has been less than a month since the walk took place, talks are already taking place about enhancements and new ideas for the 2019 “Unite in the Fight Against Cancer” walk. In fact, go ahead and mark your calendars now for Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019!

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Chris Curry
Written by
Chris Curry

Chris Curry is Communications Coordinator for the Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University. Contact him to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-799-8841 or chrcurry@augusta.edu.

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Chris Curry Written by Chris Curry

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University and AU Health. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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