uac090413001.gif Have you been affected by cancer? Almost everyone has. Maybe a family member, friend, neighbor or someone at your church is dealing with cancer. Perhaps you are a survivor yourself.

I lost my grandfather to Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma last year. As I remember the struggles my family and I endured during his illness, it helps to know that there are organizations like Cape Fear Valley Health Foundation’s Friends of the Cancer Center to provide support to cancer patients, survivors and their family members.

Members of the community can also show their support on Saturday, Sept. 21, at the 8th Annual Ribbon Walk & Ride, occurring at the Medical Arts Center in Downtown Fayetteville.

The purpose of Friends of the Cancer Center is to alleviate some of the stress that is placed on cancer patients and their families. A cancer diagnosis can come as a shock to patients and their loved ones. Treatments and financial obligations can add to that stress.

Fortunately, all proceeds from the Ribbon Walk & Ride go toward The Friends of the Cancer Center’s mission of helping cancer patients at Cape Fear Valley cope. This includes helping cancer victims with funds for cancer screenings, prescription medicines, wigs, hats, scarves, transportation, dietary supplements, utilities and even rent. It also involves offering emotional support and therapeutic outlets both for patients and their families.

With funds raised by events such as the Ribbon Walk & Ride, Cape Fear Valley Cancer Treatment and CyberKnife® Center offers the Oasis Complimentary Medicine Program, which provides numerous therapeutic exercises for patients. Services concentrate on the mind, body and soul. Patients can receive a massage or reflexology for an exceptional price. Nutritional classes are also offered and patients may attend art therapy classes to therapeutically express any feelings of depression or anxiety they may be experiencing.

A healthy soul heals, and the Oasis Complimentary Medicine Program is aimed at treating the areas that radiation and chemotherapy can’t reach.

Tara Brisson Hinton, Friends of the Cancer Center Coordinator, would like to see these services continue to expand, in order to help even more patients through their journey with cancer. Doing so will require raising funds through events like the Ribbon Walk & Ride.

One of the great things about participating in this special event is that you are helping patients right here at home, in your community.

There are numerous ways you can support those who are fighting cancer. You can choose to walk by yourself, with a team or register as a survivor.

Those up to the challenge created a team and recruited others to join. Some came up with a creative name or named their teams after someone they have lost to cancer.

All teams must be registered by Friday, August 30, to be acknowledged on the team banner. The team who raises the most before Monday, September 30, will receive The Crystal Trophy, with their team name engraved on it. Additionally, the top 3 teams will receive:

• A thank you letter from the Cape Fear Valley Health Foundation’s Board of Directors and recognition at their annual meeting

• Certificate of Appreciation09-04-13-ribbon-walk-and-ride.gif

• Team name listed on the foundation’s donor wall panel for the year

• Honored at a special reception at the Cape Fear Valley Cancer Center Treatment & Cyberknife Center on Oct. 17.

A new element has been added this year. A school competition will be held for elementary, middle and high school teams participating in the walk. Students, staff, family and friends may join the school teams. First, second and third place teams will receive awards for the Most Money Raised and Most Registered Participants. Also, teams will receive their award at a special reception at the Cape Fear Valley Cancer Center Treatment & Cyberknife Center.

Cancer survivors may register for the event for only $15 and receive an honorary Survivors T-shirt and a personal invitation to the Survivor’s Reception.

The Second Annual Survivors Reception will be held at Sky View on Hay Street on Friday, Sept. 20 – the night before the Ribbon Walk & Ride — from 7 to 9 p.m.

The 2012 reception was a wonderful success with more than 350 guests in attendance. Each survivor, regardless of where they received their treatment, may bring a guest if they register for the Ribbon Walk & Ride before Monday, Sept. 6.

“This is a time to celebrate with all cancer survivors,” says Hinton. “We honor them and their fight against this horrible disease, as well as their caregiver as we start off a weekend of hope and support for our patient’s right here at home.”

The reception will be elegant with delectable food, live music, prizes and an entertaining photo booth. Get silly and have fun with the photo booth accessories because you can have a print for a keepsake.

On display the night of the reception will be an art showcase, featuring work by the artists of Cape Fear Valley’s Artful Reflections Program.

Survivors are not required to walk in order to attend the reception. Don’t miss out on an enjoyable night of entertainment and laughter.

More than 950 people participated in the 2012 Ribbon Walk & Ride, raising more than $79,000. Cape Fear Valley’s Friends of the Cancer Center is hoping to top that with a goal to raise $100,000 this year.

At over halfway to the goal, I encourage everyone to participate in this year’s 8th Annual Ribbon Walk & Ride. For more information on how to register or donate to support cancer patients at Cape Fear Valley Cancer and Cyberknife Center, please call (910) 615-1434 or visit www.ribbonwalkforcancer.org.

Photo: Local citizens take on cancer at the annual Ribbon Walk & Ride for Cancer.


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