People and organizations involved in cancer issues and awareness.
Bob Husz, 52, traveled across Iowa on a 270-mile trek in his restored antique tractor to raise money and awareness for cancer. Diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2004, Husz spent six months restoring a 54-year-old tractor to keep his spirits up while being treated with chemotherapy. Husz’s Tractor Ride Against Cancer campaign has raised more than $8,000 for the University of Nebraska Medical Center. He says he’s dedicating the ride to his father, who died of lung cancer in May 2005. Husz plans on making additional trips.
Suzanne Pleshette, 69, who played wife Emily Hartley on the long-standing series The Bob Newhart Show, was diagnosed with early-stage lung cancer after it was revealed on a chest X-ray. Pleshette first became well known after starring in Alfred Hitchcock’s famous film The Birds. She is currently undergoing chemotherapy.
2006 Olympic medalist ice dancers Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto, along with several other world-renowned ice skaters, will be on hand to raise money for the 38th annual An Evening with Champions. The nonprofit, student-run event has raised more than $2.3 million for the Jimmy Fund of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, which funds oncology research. Former Olympic silver medalist Paul Wylie will host the event October 6-7 at Harvard’s Bright Hockey Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.aneveningwithchampions.org. Photo by Paul and Michelle Harvath.
The Yellow Umbrella Tour, which began as a benefit concert in New York City in 2002, now tours from September to October each year to raise awareness of cervical cancer. Christine Baze, a Boston musician and cervical cancer survivor, founded the nonprofit organization PopSmear.org, which sponsors the tour. This year, the Yellow Umbrella Tour will feature Kaki King as its headliner and will tour 35 cities throughout the United States and Canada.
Beads of Courage, a new program that is being adopted in pediatric oncology wards across the country, helps young cancer patients decrease illness-related stress, teaches them a positive coping strategy, helps them find meaning in their illnesses and restores a sense of self. The program begins by giving each patient a set of beads that spells out the letters of his or her name, and with each treatment milestone, such as chemotherapy, radiation or stem cell transplant, the doctor presents them with additional beads, ending with a purple heart at the end of treatment. Another program for the patient’s family and friends, called Partners in Courage, is also being developed. For more information, visit www.beadsofcourage.net.
The National Prostate Cancer Coalition awarded philanthropist Michael Milken the first Golden Glove Award for Prostate Cancer in early September after online voters cast their ballots on the NPCC’s website. Milken, who has poured tens of millions of dollars into cancer research and early detection awareness, is former chairman of the NPCC. While Milken received the most votes, the next top five were inducted into the NPCC Hall of Fame, including comedian Jerry Stiller, William Catalona, MD, inventor of the prostate-specific antigen screening test, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and Transformers cartoon character Optimus Prime, who brought awareness to a new level and a new generation last year when the cartoon character did a public service announcement for prostate cancer screening shortly before “dying” of prostate cancer on Cartoon Network’s Robot Chicken. Because September is prostate cancer awareness month, the NPCC is also offering free screenings around the country at all Vitamin World locations.
Former Texas Gov. Ann Richards, died at the age of 73 of esophageal cancer. Richards was diagnosed with the disease in March 2006. The former schoolteacher rose to popularity during the 1988 presidential campaign when she gave a keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention. She was elected governor in 1990 for one term before being ousted by George W. Bush in 1994. Richards was known for her quick wit and Southern feminist humor, as well as for her "New Texas" agenda, where she appointed more minorities in government roles than any other past Texas governor.
Simon Property Group, which own nearly 200 malls across the country is donating $1 for each pink gift card purchased through October to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. The cobranded gift card is a prepaid Visa card available in denominations of $20 to $500.