West Virginia Wesleyan’s Men’s and Women’s Swim Teams have made a big splash to benefit breast cancer research at the WVU Cancer Institute. The teams held a swim-a-thon this past October and members received donations based on how many laps they completed. They also sold breast cancer awareness bracelets. Head Swimming Coach April Gitzen said the teams did a remarkable job of raising $3,000 and she was so proud of them.
The inspiration behind the fundraiser was Tappan Squires, the mother of assistant swim coach Katie Squires. Tappan was diagnosed with breast cancer this summer and is a patient at the WVU Cancer Institute. “I give a huge thank-you to the kids for their efforts,” she said. “I also believe we are so fortunate to have WVU and the Betty Puskar Breast Care Center to go to. I feel like I am getting the best care.”
Corey Johnstone of the men’s swim team said it “touched his heart” to participate in the fundraiser. Jordan Miller of the women’s swim team said she’s had family members suffer from breast cancer, so “giving back” meant a lot to her.
“Thanks so much for your generous donation,” Michael Ruppert, MD, PhD, Jo and Ben Statler Chair of Breast Cancer Research at WVU, told team members. “It boosts my morale to receive this kind of support to further the work we do in my lab. And, if any of you decide you want to pursue breast cancer research, please come see me at WVU.”
The Women’s Golf Association at the Parkersburg Country Club is helping the WVU Cancer Institute win the fight against breast cancer. During its Annual Golf Fore A Cure Invitational on June 14 the Association raised more than $12,000 for breast cancer research at the Cancer Institute in Morgantown and to support Camden Clark Foundation’s Pink Mammogram Fund, which provides free screening mammograms, diagnostics and breast biopsies for local underinsured and uninsured residents at the Cancer Institute’s Camden Clark Medical Center. Proceeds from the Invitational came from participant entry fees, hole sponsorships, doorprize tickets and mulligans sold the day of the event. “A lot of our members have either been treated or are being treated for breast cancer at the WVU Cancer Institute and we like to support local efforts to fight the disease,” said Sue Lilly, who co-chaired Golf Fore A Cure with Judy Crichton.
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A crowd of more than 200 got a firsthand look at the new Bonnie’s Bus that was parked outside of the WVU Health Sciences Center this past Wednesday for faculty, staff and others to tour. “It’s beautiful, just beautiful,” visitors said repeatedly as they exited the 45 foot, state-of-the-art mobile mammography unit that will replace its predecessor on July 11 when it makes its maiden voyage to the Rowlesburg Clinic in Preston County. “I was excited to come see the new Bus because we’ve been a community partner with the Bonnie’s Bus Program for several years and always have a great turnout when the Bus participates in our health fairs in Reedsville and Bruceton Mills,” Kim Riley of West Virginia Caring Hospice and Palliative Care said. The Bus Program was made possible by a generous gift from West Virginia natives Jo and Ben Statler to the WVU Cancer Institute and is a partnership between the Cancer Institute and WVU Medicine. It has served the state since 2009 and provided more than 14,000 mammograms and found 63 cases of breast cancer.