Markey Cancer Center Chief: 'Research Provides Hope'
Media Contact: Keith Hautala, 859-257-1754, x231
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 26, 2009) - Dr. Mark Evers, director of the University of Kentucky's Markey Cancer Center, offered hope and encouragement to cancer survivors and their families Friday night during the "Fight Back" ceremony at the American Cancer Society's Fayette County Relay for Life.
Relay for Life is the American Cancer Society's largest annual fundraiser, with local events taking place in dozens of communities across the country. Each Relay for Live event consists of three phases: Celebrate, Remember and Fight Back. UK HealthCare was the Fight Back sponsor for Fayette County.
Evers said he became aware of the devastation of cancer when he was just four years old. A young playmate of his was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma and died after a desperate struggle with the disease.
"Back then, Hodgkin's was a death sentence," Evers said. "Today, it is a very survivable disease. And this illustrates the main point I want to make, which is that research provides hope. The knowledge that we gain in the laboratory results in new treatments that can save people's lives."
Evers then told the story of his father, who has fought three different types of cancer and is now 87 years old.
Teams from UK HealthCare raised more than $4,000 for the American Cancer Society. But there is a value for participants that goes far beyond the money raised, said Celeste Clevinger, the Fight Back chair for Fayette County.
"Relay for Life is a great way to raise money for cancer research, but it's also a very emotional event for survivors and their families, and for people who have lost a loved one to cancer," said Clevinger, who works in the UK College of Agriculture. "Everyone here has been touched deeply by this disease."