A fund for all cancer victims

Published 11:28 pm Tuesday, November 5, 2013

In the world of cancer fundraising, breast cancer seems to get most of the attention, but it is neither the deadliest nor most prevalent of cancer types. Whatever the reason for the focus, advocates raising money in support of breast cancer research and victims have been extremely successful, sometimes at the cost of funding for worthy programs related to other forms of cancer.

At the very least, there is sometimes an unhealthy competitive nature to the fundraising efforts by folks working to support victims of various types of cancer. The Obici Hospital Auxiliary seeks to break down the competitiveness of cancer fundraising with a new event, “Nobody Fights Alone.”

“There was too much inter-competition,” volunteer coordinator Jackie King said of the various events that focused on one form of cancer. “It really made more sense to come together to help all cancer patients at Obici, regardless of which diagnosis they have.”

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King has a personal connection to the anti-cancer work at Obici. Her husband, Dr. Brian King, is a cancer surgeon there, and he often sees patients whose care is impacted by a job or financial situation — for example, farmers who delay surgery until the harvest is in.

The event, scheduled for Nov. 16 at the Hilton Garden Inn on East Constance Road, aims to raise money for an Obici fund that is used to give patients help in the form of gift cards to grocery stores, pharmacies or gas stations, King said.

The fund is especially geared toward patients who do not have insurance, are self-employed or part-time workers, don’t have paid sick leave at work or are unemployed, and the money is available to help folks, regardless of the type of cancer they are fighting.

There will be food, drinks and a silent auction at the fundraiser, but the highlight will be the shoe art competition. Eight shoe art awards will be given, including first, second and third places, most humorous, most creative, most inspiring, best craftsmanship and best business.

Tickets to the event are $50 in advance or $65 at the door. Call Angie Conary at 934-4791 or email alconary@sentara.com for tickets or more information.