On Saturday, Nov. 9, about 800 cancer survivors, family members and caregivers gathered together at the Lucy C. Laney High School football stadium for the Unite in the Fight Against Cancer walk. Participants were excited to celebrate their personal recovery journey or walk in honor of a friend or family member.
The Unite in the Fight Against Cancer walk was born from a need for an occasion dedicated to cancer survivors.
“We knew the community didn’t need just any fundraising event, but we really looked to see what was missing in the Augusta area,” said Al Dallas, chief of staff at the Georgia Cancer Center. “We couldn’t find any events that celebrated cancer survivors, so that inspired us to create the walk.”
Departing from the stadium, the participants followed a specific path, walking past the hospital’s outpatient clinic, cancer center and the Ronald McDonald House.
“The course design was purposeful, “ Dallas said. “Many of these locations are meaningful to our former patients, whether a pediatric or adult patient.”
In addition to the main walk, a smaller track was designed inside the Augusta University Health Medical Center. Inpatient cancer patients were invited to walk or be wheeled down the halls, which were lined with cheering family members and staff.
“I get chills thinking about it,” Dallas said. “These cancer patients have been through extremely difficult situations, and we were able to surround them with support and love.”
Making A Difference
Keeping with the patient-centered theme of the walk, all proceeds from the 2019 event will go toward patient support services. All donations aid the Georgia Cancer Center in continuing to provide exceptional and personalized care.
The Unite in the Fight Against Cancer walk grows each year and offers cancer survivors something invaluable: family.
“When you come to the walk, you feel like you’re a part of a family reunion,” Dallas said. “There is a wonderful spirit of teamwork, and it’s special to be surrounded by our cancer center family. It’s something we are excited to see continue on.”