Since its founding in 2014, more than $600,000 has been raised to help cancer patients and their families
More than $100,000 was raised for Cancer LifeNet at the Fifth Annual Amanda Hichkad CCA Celebration Walk May 12 at The John Carroll School in Bel Air. More than 50 teams and 1,000 participants walked three laps around the perimeter of the school’s stadium fields to complete the one-mile walk.
Since the walk’s inception in 2014, more than $600,000 has been raised by friends and neighbors helping friends and neighbors in support of Cancer LifeNet, which is funded solely by philanthropic support.
Cancer LifeNet, based at the Kaufman Cancer Center at University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air, is a free-of-charge nurse navigation and supportive care program offered to cancer patients and their loved ones in Harford and Cecil counties, regardless of where they receive their cancer treatment.
The program provides nurse navigators, volunteer navigators, oncology social workers, support groups and specialized classes including tai chi, yoga, healthy cooking and group programs for children who have a parent or loved one with cancer. Last year, Cancer LifeNet provided these free-of-charge services to approximately 1,700 cancer patients and family members.
Presented by Klein’s ShopRite, the Celebration Walk was organized by The Upper Chesapeake Health Foundation and its Chesapeake Cancer Alliance volunteers.
Steve DiBiagio, president of The John Carroll School, greeted the Celebration Walk participants. “It’s an honor to serve as event host of the 2018 Amanda Hichkad CCA Celebration Walk,” he said. “By being here this morning, we are doing what is best for our community, our neighbors, and we’re making a difference for cancer patients and their loved ones in Harford County.”
Several awards were presented at the Celebration Walk. Dr. Angela Poppe Ries, president of the medical staff at University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health, and Dr. Jay Parsa, a medical oncologist with Upper Chesapeake Hematology Oncology, received the 2018 Physician Ambassador Award.
The 2018 Physician Ambassador Award recognizes the extraordinary care provided by the honorees to cancer patients and their loved ones and for their personal commitments of supporting the mission of University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health through volunteerism and philanthropy. Both physicians and their families have attended the Celebration Walk all five years.
Receiving the award for the largest fundraising team was Kerry’s Crusaders, organized by Patrick and P.J. Chambers, who raised more than $11,000.
Team Captain P.J. Chambers said, “I walked in memory of my friend, Kerry Hochstein. It was an incredible way to honor him while raising funds to help cancer patients and families, right here in our community. I’m already looking forward to next year’s walk. It’s such a special morning to be a part of.”
The largest team of walkers, Team KCC Hich-Hikers, included more than 50 walkers and was organized by Kaufman Cancer Center employees.
The Celebration Walk is named after the late Amanda Hichkad, a Bel Air wife, mother of three boys and volunteer extraordinaire. This annual event honors and memorializes all cancer patients and their loved ones while celebrating the power of community and raising funds to support Cancer LifeNet.
Donations are still being accepted to support Cancer LifeNet and the 2018 Celebration Walk by visiting uchfoundation.org or calling 443-643-6430. To learn more about Cancer LifeNet, visit umuch.org/cancer or call 866-393-4355.
Next year’s Sixth Annual Amanda Hichkad CCA Celebration Walk will be held in May 2019 at The John Carroll School. Visit uchfoundation.org for updates.