Thursday, August 16, 2007

UA student and cancer survivor ‘walks the talk’ to raise funds

[Source: Donna Breckenridge, AzCC] - On Nov. 10, 2007, Todd Lane will once again join his fellow Greek community members at the CATwalk, a public philanthropic event created by the University of Arizona Greek community to raise money for the Bobbi Olson Fund for women’s cancer research at the Arizona Cancer Center. However, this year Lane’s participation in CATwalk goes beyond his Greek affiliation.

In Dec. 2006, Lane’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer for the third time and was informed that it had spread to her liver and bones. Three months later, Lane found himself at the office of his mother’s oncologist receiving the news that he had testicular cancer. Lane underwent surgery on his 19th birthday and began his chemotherapy regimen one week later. For three months, he received chemotherapy Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in his hometown near Boston, Massachusetts. After his Friday treatment, his father drove him to the airport to fly back to Tucson, where Lane attended classes for the two weeks in between chemo cycles. “I didn’t want to stop going to class and lose a semester’s worth of work,” says Lane. “I never missed class when I was in Tucson, but I did have to take a lot of naps.” In May 2007, Lane finished the semester with a 3.8 grade point average, an impressive achievement for any college freshman. One month later, he achieved something even more impressive - he completed his chemotherapy treatment and was cancer-free. “My number one priority now is raising awareness,” explains Lane. “I want people to realize that cancer can happen to anyone, even a 19-year-old college freshman.”

For this year’s CATwalk, Lane’s goal is to get all 70 members of his fraternity Phi Kappa Psi to participate. For the first time, the CATwalk will offer a 10k run in addition to the 5k walk. Also new this year is the involvement of the Arizona Cancer Center’s Better Than Ever (BTE) Program. Since its inception in Sept. 2000, BTE has encouraged more than 2,300 people of all ages, sizes, and fitness levels to become more fit while raising awareness and more than $1.3 million for the Arizona Cancer Center.

Starting Sept. 4, 2007, BTE will provide participants with training for the CATwalk 10k, including weekly sessions led by volunteer coaches, training packets, educational lectures and numerous social events with fellow BTE participants. In return for the training program and coaching, program participants are asked to pay a $250 registration fee ($225 is tax deductible) or pledge to fundraise $250 through donations.

You are invited to attend the Better Than Ever Training Program Kick Off for the first CATwalk 10k:·

  • Wednesday, August 29, 2007
  • 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Arizona Cancer Center, Kiewit Auditorium (1515 N. Campbell Ave.)

Even if you don’t join the BTE training program, you can still help the Arizona Cancer Center by participating in the CATwalk on Nov. 10. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Bobbi Olson Fund at the Arizona Cancer Center. “CATwalk may seem like a small event, but it can have a big effect for a lot of people,” says Lane. “An hour of your time can make a big difference for someone else.”Hall of Fame Basketball Coach Lute Olson has also invited the Tucson Community to join him and his Wildcats as they walk for this worthy cause. He says “supporting CATwalk is a great way to give back to the UA and Tucson community while showing solidarity in helping to fight for a cure for all women’s cancers!”

For more information, please call (520) 626-7177.

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