uac082212001.gif When someone has cancer, getting the right support can make all the difference. It might be what gives a person the strength to power through one more treatment or what gives them the boost of confidence and peace of mind they need to endure another day. The staff and volunteers at the Cape Fear Valley Health Foundation’s Friends of the Cancer Center understand this and are about the business of saving and changing lives. In fact, many of the volunteers are cancer survivors and they truly understand what the patients they serve are going through. On Saturday, Sept. 15, join the fight and make a difference at the Ribbon Walk & Ride. If participating in the event is not an option, register and make a donation or come out and cheer on the participants.

Since its inception six years ago, the Ribbon Walk has grown from 140 walkers that raised $3,000 at the inaugural event, to 750 walkers last year that raised $88,000. This has enabled the Friends of Cancer Center to provide more services and programs that help local cancer patients.

Tara Brisson Hinton is the Friends of Cancer Center coordinator, and she is serious about making a difference for cancer patients and their families because for her, this is personal. “My grandfather and other family members had treatments at the cancer center and all three have since passed away,” Hinton explained.

So it makes sense that one of the things Hinton loves best about this event is that every bit of the money raised stays in the community. The money is used to support all of the programs that the Friends of the Cancer Center provides: emergency funding for patients in need; medications; help with utilities; dietary supplements and more. “We are able to meet patients’ needs but we are looking to add new programs and services,” said Hinton. “The Friends of the Cancer Center also provides a resource center, assistance with transportation to and from treatment, wigs, turbans, hats and scarves, cancer screenings, spiritual support and the Oasis Program.” Under the umbrella of the Oasis Program, cancer patients have access to massage therapy, healing touch, reflexology and artful reflections. Hinton said that she hopes to add research programs and services as well in the near future. The Friends of Cancer Center is supported 100 percent by gifts and donations.

While supporting cancer patients is the primary goal of the Friends of Cancer Center, the Ribbon Walk and Ride is a wonderful time to honor survivors. There will be a Survivors’ Reception on Sept. 14 at SkyView on Hay from 7-9 p.m. “We want to celebrate with them for a few hours the night before the walk,” said Hinton. “Every survivor who registers for the walk will receive two tickets to the reception and will be able to come to the event. A lot of survivors are unable to walk the 5k, but you can still register and you will receive two tickets to the reception.”

So far, the response has been impressive. The venue holds 650 people “… but we are having many survivors sign up each day,” said Hinton. “We are excited to see such a great response. I think after this — our first year — it will grow just like the walk.

”The survivors’ event will be catered by Elite Catering. Attendees will enjoy a live jazz and blues band, a silent auction, door prizes and a photo booth. The attire for the evening is dressy casual. “We just want them to come and relax and have fun,” said Hinton.

Registration deadline to guarantee the survivors’ reception and t-shirt size is August 31. Find out more about the walk at www.RibbonWalkForCancer.org.

The walk starts at the Medical Arts Center in downtown Fayetteville and includes small hills. Volunteers will be available along the route to help anyone who needs assistance. There are three water stations along the route. Registration is at 9 a.m. and the walk begins at 10 a.m.

There will be prizes for teams that raise the most money and the names of the winners will be on the event website and in the spring issue of Making Rounds, the Cape Fear Valley Health System magazine.

Dogs must be on a leash at all times and owners are asked to clean up a08-22-12-cover-story.giffter their dogs. Strollers are welcome but children on bikes, scooters and skateboards create a dangerous situation andinsurance liability.

The motorcycle ride also starts at the Medical Arts Center in downtown Fayetteville, and departs at 9:45 a.m. for the 40-mile round-trip drive.

It is easy to register early. Before Sept. 3, mail the registration form and $25 payment to Ribbon Walk and Ride, Cape Fear Valley Health Foundation, PO Box 87526, Fayetteville, NC 28304. Please make checks payable to Cape Fear Valley Health Foundation. Please do not mail cash. After Sept. 3, registration forms may be dropped off at the Foundation office, located in the Medical Arts Building, 101 Robeson Street, Suite 106, during normal business hours Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Find out more about the Friends of Cancer Center and how you can make a difference at 615-1434 or visit www.capefearvalley.com.

Don’t miss another opportunity to make a difference later in the month … if you would like to be a part of saving lives, Friends of the Heart Center invites you to the first In Step with the Beat Dance. This dance features beach music by the Entertainers. This event will be held on Saturday, September 22, from 8pm to 11pm at SkyView on Hay in downtown Fayetteville. Tickets for the event are $50 per person and include the entertainment, heart healthy hors d’ oeuvres and beverages. For more information, tickets or sponsorship opportunities, please contact Rachel Richardson at 615-1449 or rrich2@capefearvalley.com. Come get your Shag on and help save more lives!

Photo: Friends of the Cancer Center provides: emergency funding for patients in need; medications; help with utilities; dietary supplements and more. The walk/ride on September 15 raises funds to support the Friends of the Cancer Center.

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