Two males, two females standing and smiling
From L-R: Ryan Erlacher, director of Augusta University Athletics, Je'Bria Fullwoo, women's basketball player, Timmy Sellers, men's basketball player, and Balveen Kaur, PhD, associate director for research at the Georgia Cancer Center

Augusta student-athletes and cancer researchers partner in ‘Here to Win’ campaign for innovation, discovery and hope

Building an innovative cancer research project takes time, creativity and, most importantly, a team of scientists working together on a new way to treat cancer or keep the cancer from spreading to other parts of the body. When it comes to bringing home victory for Augusta University’s various athletics programs, teamwork defines success on the field of competition. Together, cancer researchers and AU student athletes are “Here to Win” when it comes to bringing awareness to cancer prevention and early detection.

“Cancer is complicated, but the goal of our Georgia Cancer Center is not,” said Jorge E. Cortes, MD, director of the Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University. “Each member of our Cancer Center clinical and research programs may have a different way of attacking cancer’s growth and spread in the body, but everyone is fully committed, and they are all united in the desire to eradicate cancer. It is that level of attention to the burden that cancer represents that gives me hope of finding new treatment options, new screening opportunities, new avenues for prevention. We will win this battle.”

Picture of volleyball player and basketball player with caption "here to win"

The ”Here to Win” campaign was developed as a partnership between the Georgia Cancer Center and Augusta University Athletics with help from the team at Wier/Stewart, a marketing agency headquartered in Augusta. Georgia has a disproportionate number of cancer diagnoses with poor outcomes, but through its dedication to serving minority and underserved populations, the Georgia Cancer Center is the state leader making progress to change this statistic by providing industry-leading cancer research and care that benefits patients locally and globally.

“The work the laboratory scientists are doing at the Georgia Cancer Center is absolutely amazing, you can feel the passion and enthusiasm these researchers have for finding a way to beat cancer,” said Ryan Erlacher, director of Augusta University’s Athletics program. “They know they have a big task at hand because every cancer can behave differently. But they are determined to be vigilant and collaborative in their approach to each research project. It is this collaborative spirit that excites our coaches and staff about all the ways we can work together.”

To kick off the “Here to Win” campaign, Augusta University’s women’s volleyball team will host their “Pink Out” Match Friday, Oct. 6, 2023, inside Christenberry Fieldhouse. The ladies welcome Francis Marion to town with the match getting underway at 6 p.m. All fans are encouraged to wear pink to the match. There will be opportunities for everyone to make a donation to assist in the battle against cancer, and all proceeds go directly to the Cancer Center. In addition, fans can make a solid donation or pledge an amount to donate for every Jaguar volleyball dig. For every dig the Jaguar volleyball team has in the match, money will be given directly back to the Cancer Center. The Georgia Cancer Center will also have an educational display to provide information on promoting health, preventing cancer and obtaining screening or cancer risk reduction services.

Text on image: "Cancer Awareness Pink Out Games. Augusta University vs. Francis Marion. Join in and cheer for our valleyball team during their cancer awareness game! Dress in pink to show your support! 10/6/2023 6:00 PM Christenberry Fieldhouse 3109 Wrightsboro Rd., Augusta, GA 30909."

“If you think our volleyball student-athletes get after it in competition, you should see Georgia Cancer Center’s worldclass team of groundbreaking, on-site researchers,” Erlacher said. “Just like the volleyball team, they’re leaving everything on the court to help win the battle against cancer.”

Admission is $5 for adults ages 17 and over. Admission is free for patrons ages 16 and under, AU students and employees with valid ID, first responders, military and senior citizens. Cancer patients and survivors, please RSVP to Mason Grounds for free admission.

“Please, come out to support the women’s volleyball team and our Georgia Cancer Center,” Cortes said. “Partnerships like this one can increase access to education and cancer screenings, which can be extremely valuable for finding cancer sooner in a stage where there are more treatment opportunities available to patients.”

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Written by
Chris Curry

Chris Curry is the 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

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Written by Chris Curry

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. 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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