‘Raising Spirits for the Cure’ A Great Success

Preston Roy Barrett

Coming together for a good cause and honoring a life well lived and hard fought inspired nearly 200 guests to attend the first annual Raising Spirits for the Cure of the University of Cincinnati Cancer Institute. The wine tasting on March 29  raised more than $30,000 for head, neck and oral cancer research and awareness.

Nan Roy led the Hank Squad to organize the event.  The Hank Squad is comprised of friends and family of Hank Roy, who died of tongue cancer in February 2013.  Dennis Preston, a Hank Squad member and esophageal cancer survivor treated at UC Medical Center, chaired the sponsorship committee and secured platinum level sponsorship from two Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Groups:  Neat, Redpath & Spaeth Wealth Management and the Evelo Singer Sullivan Group.  Other platinum level sponsors included Blue Dahlia Events, Margaret and Albert Vontz III Family, Faye & Dennis Preston and George & Nancy Bemis. Another head neck cancer survivor and UC Health patient, Jim Winner, was the evening’s emcee.

In her address to the crowd, Nan Roy explained her inspiration for the fundraiser, “I want to do everything possible to make sure no one else suffers and dies unnecessarily as my husband did.  People need to know that UC Cancer Institute is where patients should be from the beginning of their treatment.”  She credits Dr. Keith Casper, Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, and Dr. John Morris, Professor Head and Neck Cancer and Thoracic Cancer, with giving her husband another year to live.

Dr. Casper seized the opportunity to highlight many facets of the research taking place on the University of Cincinnati campus from basic science research to first in human trials.  He also shared good news about our outcomes, “We are a high volume cancer treatment center and statistics show that patients treated at high volume centers have better outcomes.”  Dr. Morris also spoke about the importance of funding research and closed his remarks by saying, “I am a better doctor and a better person because I knew Hank Roy.”

Guests bid on live and silent auction items and provided overwhelming support for “Fund the Cure.” Nan Roy kicked off the “Fund the Cure” portion of the evening by reminding everyone, “Cancer doesn’t make logical sense.  So it comes down to research, and we have cutting-edge research at UC. We must fund research.  We must fund the cure.”

For more information about the Hank Squad visit www.thehanksquad.com.

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