SURPRISE, ARIZ. – Dec. 2, 2015 – More than 370 guests “dared to dream” of a world without cancer at Sun Health Foundation’s annual gala, held Nov. 7 at Wigwam Arizona in Litchfield Park.
The gala — themed “Dream the Impossible Dream” — raised more than $150,000 for cancer treatment and prevention services at Banner Boswell Medical Center in Sun City and Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center in Sun City West.
JoAnn Shaw, a five-time cancer survivor and chair of the gala planning committee, shared how gratitude, attitude and dreams have sustained her in her ongoing fight against the disease.
“I have unbelievable gratitude for the people in my life, starting with my first oncologist who told me, ‘We have options here and one of the options is to never say never. Don’t give up until you take your last breath. Don’t let cancer define who you are.’”
Michael Mandell, immediate past chair of Sun Health Foundation’s Board of Trustees, shared how he and his wife Robin were both diagnosed with cancer within the same hour on Halloween four years ago. Mandell’s wife was diagnosed with breast cancer while he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Mandell praised the health care professionals at Banner Boswell, where his wife received care, and Banner MD Anderson in Gilbert, where he was treated.
“They provided us with excellent care, and today both of us are cancer free; very much alive and happy,” Mandell said.
Shaw and Mandell both expressed excitement about the recent opening of Banner MD Anderson’s radiation oncology treatment center on the Banner Boswell campus and voiced hope that more cancer services will be added soon.
“My dream is a see a full-service cancer facility here (in the West Valley) in my lifetime,” Mandell said.
Shaw, who recently joined the Sun Health Foundation Board of Trustees, noted how the Foundation is stepping up its efforts to raise more money for cancer care.
“We’re making progress against cancer, but we need to keep telling the story and raising money,” Shaw said.
The gala featured entertainment, a gourmet dinner, a silent and live auction and an after-party dance band.
Major sponsors for the Gala included Gold sponsors: Banner Health and The Weitz Co; Silver sponsors: Ensemble Real Estate Solutions, Northern Trust, N.A., The CORE Institute and Wells Fargo; and Bronze sponsors: Aetna, Bankers Trust, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona Advantage, BMO Harris Private Bank, CornerStone Partners LLC, Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, Grand Canyon University, HilgartWilson, LLC, Orcutt/Winslow Partnership, Plante Moran and Wilhelm Automotive.
About Sun Health Foundation
For nearly 50 years, Sun Health Foundation donors have supported superior health care in the West Valley. The foundation is a philanthropic partner to the Banner Sun Health Research Institute, Banner Boswell Medical Center and Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center, as well as community wellness programs and senior living services provided by Sun Health.
# # #