*Photo provided by worldcancerday.org
It’s World Cancer Day, a global event that “unites the world’s population in the fight against cancer”. It’s a pretty serious problem stateside. In the United States, cancer is the second highest leading cause of death after heart disease. You may be thinking, “It’s certainly a global issue, but how can I help at home?”
There are several local, Charlotte nonprofits who work to combat various types of cancer everyday. They raise funds for research. They educate our communities on cancer screenings & wellness. Most importantly, they remind us that patients with cancer are people - people who have dreams, who are strong and who also have a tremendous amount of hope.
We’ve highlighted a few organizations with current events or opportunities you can connect to.
Nonprofits you can support right now.
Teal Diva focuses on funding diagnostic research on ovarian and gynecological cancers. They also “celebrate victories, honor memories, and empower women”. Right now, they have several volunteer opportunities at a few events like their Charlotte Checkers Ovarian Cancer Awareness Night happening this Saturday and their Cooking for a Cause event in March.
Paula Takacs Foundation tackles Sarcoma and hosts their annual Sarcoma Stomp 5K in April. Their efforts bring in big results. This year, two sarcoma clinical trials will open at the Levine Cancer Institute- this means patients will get new treatment options. They are currently looking for people to join their planning committees for this year’s 5K.
Joedance Film Festival takes a different approach to fundraising. In 2010, they debuted as a full-fledged film festival in honor of Joe Restaino and have donated $77,000 dollars over the course of five years. Currently, they are looking for people who can volunteer during their upcoming events and film festival.
Nonprofits you can support in the Spring.
Susan Komen of Charlotte’s is one the largest breast cancer organizations in the U.S. Their local chapter is very active and has raised $1.1 million dollars to local programs in North Carolina. Their upcoming Laugh for the Cure event will be held on March 3.
#cancermessedwiththewrongkid, according to Erin Santos. She founded The Isabella Santos Foundation in memory of her daughter, Isabella. Now, the foundation focuses on kicking cancer’s butt through fundraisers benefitting various organizations in Charlotte. They’ll be hosting their First Annual Coffee for a Cure event in April.
Martin Truex Foundation Jr. also raises money and awareness for ovarian and pediatric cancer. Their mission began when Sherry Pollex, Martin’s longtime girlfriend, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2014. Last year, the foundation began their three-year partnership with Levine Children’s Hospital. In May, they’ll “unofficially” kickoff the NASCAR All-Star Race with their Catwalk for a Cause event.
World Cancer Day is only once a year, but you can support the fight against cancer all year long with these nonprofits and many others.