While some cancers have higher survival rates, it doesn’t mean those cancers are “good cancers.”
This is the message Jodie Hammerberg is spreading as she “drops the hammer” on all cancers and joins with the Georgia Cancer Center to raise money for cancer research and patient care.
For Hammerberg, the cancer her family has faced is thyroid cancer.
“When someone finds out they have thyroid cancer, it is often diminished ever so slightly by even the most well-intentioned family members and/or friends,” Hammerberg said. “But at the end of the day, it is still cancer — cancer that wreaks havoc on your life, cancer that wreaks havoc on your body, cancer that wreaks havoc on your emotional well-being.”
Hammerberg created “Team Hammerberg — Drop the Hammer on Cancer” for the 2019 Unite in the Fight Against Cancer fundraising walk. The team is her way to honor her husband, Larry Hammerberg, and his sister, Amie Hammerberg Trent.
Larry was diagnosed with thyroid cancer when he was 32. For Amie, the diagnosis came at age 39. According to Hammerberg, both had to go through testing for months, including biopsies and scans. In the end, both had to have surgery, with Amie undergoing additional procedures because the cancer metastasized to her lymph nodes.
“From the outside, aside from a few scars that most people would miss, Larry and Amie look well,” Hammerberg said. “But the fact remains: they are survivors. They survived cancer. And while it isn’t always easy, they continue to survive cancer every day.”
This is the second year Augusta University and the Georgia Cancer Center will host Unite in the Fight. The event, which is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 9, was created for the community to honor survivors and those who lost their lives to cancer. While many people are familiar with October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, there are more than 25 different forms of cancer, and the Georgia Cancer Center has specialists ready to treat almost all of them.
Participants can register for the 1.5-mile walk as an individual or create a team with family and friends. Individuals and teams will determine a fundraising goal, with money raised going to support patient care and cancer research projects at the Georgia Cancer Center. Walkers will also have the opportunity to purchase an official Unite in the Fight Against Cancer T-shirt in the color representing their cancer’s awareness ribbon.
“We will be wearing the thyroid cancer awareness colors, teal/pink/blue,” Hammerberg said. “Together, we can drop the hammer on cancer!”
As part of this year’s Unite in the Fight celebration, the Georgia Cancer Center is bringing the event to patients currently receiving in-patient treatment at Augusta University Medical Center. Please, show your support for the inaugural Unite in the Fight .25K being held at 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1. Patients and their families will walk throughout the south, north and west wings of the fifth floor of the Augusta University Medical Center, and employees are asked to line the halls and cheer them on as they walk by.
There is still time to also register for the Unite in the Fight Against Cancer walk happening Nov.9 or make a donation to support our cancer patients. There is no fee to register. Once you sign up, invite your family members, friends, etc. to join your team. For more information, call 706-721-5751. We can’t wait to see all cancer represented on Nov. 9.