BY KAREN ACKERMAN WITTER
The Women’s Power Lunch Against Cancer, sponsored by the Simmons Cancer Institute at SIU Medicine, inspires and celebrates while raising funds for cancer research. Nearly 500 people are expected to attend the 10th annual event on Friday, April 12 at the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel in downtown Springfield.
Courtney Clark, a motivational speaker and author from Austin, Texas, is the featured speaker. A survivor of melanoma and three brain surgeries to remove an aneurysm, she knows from personal experience that resilience in the face of major stress is possible.
Participants will also be inspired by the stories of local people who are cancer survivors and those currently battling cancer. Information will be presented about promising research being carried out at the Simmons Cancer Institute. Research at the Simmons Cancer Institute is focused on novel findings in cancer biology leading to better detection, treatment and prevention.
All funds raised at the event through sponsorships and ticket sales support the Simmons Cancer Institute’s Team Science grant program. Researchers apply through a peer review process for cutting-edge cancer research projects. The Team Science grants are intended to generate results that will enable researchers to apply for larger, competitive federal research grants.
Dr. Andrea Braundmeier-Fleming received a Team Science grant to investigate whether changes in the microbiome can be a tool for earlier detection and treatment of ovarian and endometrial cancer. Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths, and most diagnoses are late-stage, as there are no effective screenings for early detection. Dr. Andrew Wilber received a Team Science grant focused on boosting the red blood cells of people undergoing treatment for leukemia. Maintenance of healthy numbers of red blood cells can significantly improve quality of life for patients undergoing treatment for this and other cancers.
For information about tickets or sponsorship opportunities, call 217-545-2955 or register online at siumed.edu/cancer.
Karen Ackerman Witter is a freelance writer whose goal is to connect people, organizations and ideas to achieve greater results. She is a member of the steering committee for the Women’s Power Lunch Against Cancer.