Friday Frontline: April 26, 2019


From a sweet fundraiser for breast cancer to today’s top performers and athletes, here’s what’s making headlines in the cancer space this week.

NBC Sports Boston anchor Gary Tanguay announced in a short video tweet Monday morning that he has received a diagnosis of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Tanguay was optimistic about his diagnosis and appeared upbeat in the video. “I’m under great care at Brigham and Women’s [hospital] and also Dana-Farber. My cancer is treatable and I consider myself to be very, very lucky,” he said.

Brenda Jackson, the mother of Dale Earnhardt Jr., has died of cancer. Earnhardt Jr., a semi-retired professional stock car racing driver, team owner and analyst for NASCAR, tweeted, "I'm glad her suffering has ended and she can be at peace. "She would be in tears of happiness over the words of support and remembrance she's been shown today. Our family appreciates it as well. She will live in our hearts forever."

Inspired by helping out a friend with cancer, one good Samaritan is giving back to the community by driving patients to their treatments for the American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery program. After driving a friend who had prostate cancer to and from radiation therapy five days a week for nine weeks last year, Gary Hamelin of Johnson City, New York realized the unmet need of patients who require rides to and from radiation and chemotherapy treatments and noted that not all patients have family or friends who can drive them, reported Pressconnects.

“I know what a worry it is for someone who says, ’how am I going to get there,”’ he said. “This is one less thing they have to worry about,” Hamelin said.

The American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery program, which is actively looking for volunteers, matches drivers and patients with cancer who need transportation to and from treatment.

World Golf Hall of Famer Tom Watson made a young cancer survivor’s day by signing her hat last Saturday. Madison Williams, a University of North Georgia student and survivor of grade 3 anaplastic ependymoma, admitted she was star-struck when Watson signed her hat before the second round of the Mitsubishi Electric Classic at TPC Sugarloaf, reported The Gwinnett Daily Post. Being a golfer, she was thrilled to meet Watson, whose wife, Hilary, is incidentally in the midst of an ongoing battle with pancreatic cancer.

Williams grinned for about five straight minutes, her mother said. “He took quite a bit of time truly asking her genuine questions,” Jennifer Williams, Madison’s mother, said. “Meeting Tom Watson, having him sign her hat, pretty big deal.”

Eleven bakeries and restaurants will be participating in this year's Rhode Island Bakes For Breast Cancer fundraiser event, held from May 12-18, to support breast cancer care and research. Starting on Mother's Day at participating establishments, all sales of a certain dessert will go to the nonprofit organization during the week-long fundraiser. This year's proceeds will be used to fund research conducted by Rachel A. Freedman, M.D., M.P.H., at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, that will focus on older patients.

The Rhode Island Bakes For Breast Cancer organization, founded in 2000 by Carol Brownman Sneider in memory of her mother who died from breast cancer, has raised more than $1 million since it was founded.

"The research we have supported always has benefited many in Rhode Island,” Sneider said. “Now with the new affiliation between Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Lifespan, even more will benefit in the future."

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