Walk aims to raise $150,000 for Cancer LifeNet and its vital, free-of-charge supportive care services
Marking a significant milestone in 2023, the 10th Annual Amanda Hichkad CCA Celebration Walk takes place May 13 at 8 a.m. at The John Carroll School (703 East Churchville Road in Bel Air). The walk raises funds for Cancer LifeNet, which provides free-of-charge, supportive care services to residents of Harford and Cecil counties, regardless of where cancer treatment is received.
This year’s goal is to raise $150,000. Community members are invited to be part of the walk as a team captain, sponsor, participant and/or donor. The May 13 event is a one-mile walk around the John Carroll turf field, and anyone can participate. Those who may not be up to walking are welcome to attend to witness and experience the feeling of community that participants remark on every year. To sign up or to learn more, visit uchfoundation.org.
The Presenting Sponsor is Klein’s ShopRite of Maryland.
In addition to the 10th anniversary of the walk in 2023, it’s also the 10th anniversary of the founding of the Kaufman Cancer Center at the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air and the 20th anniversary of the Chesapeake Cancer Alliance, which partnered with The Upper Chesapeake Health Foundation in 2014 to establish the walk fundraiser.
Over the past year, more than 2,000 people have benefited from the various programs and services provided by Cancer LifeNet, which is located at the Kaufman Cancer Center. The services are designed to help patients and their loved ones find the resources needed to balance work, family and cancer treatment. Nurse navigators, social workers and other specialists work alongside people diagnosed with cancer and their families to create a safe and nurturing environment and help them with each stage of their cancer care.
Darlington resident Linn Griffiths is one of those patients. She was diagnosed in 2019 with breast cancer. Most of her treatment, including two courses of chemotherapy, took place at the Kaufman Cancer Center.
“My doctors saved my life. The team approach was wonderful, and I felt so well cared for,” Griffiths said.
Cancer LifeNet’s offerings, including the ability to work directly with a nurse navigator and a social worker, were a huge help for Griffiths. “I utilized my nurse navigator and called her several times a week with questions and concerns. I also utilized my social worker quite a bit. She would meet me in the hallway after almost all my doctor appointments to check on me,” Griffiths said. “I feel there is always someone there for me.”
Peter Griffiths, Linn’s husband, has been at her side since day one of her cancer diagnosis and treatment. “We need to keep Cancer LifeNet going because you never know when you or a loved one or someone in the community will need it,” he said. “A cancer diagnosis is not a death sentence, and the Kaufman Cancer Center helps you every step of the way to survivorship,” he said.
This year marks the third year Linn Griffiths has organized a team for the walk. Called the Griff Pack, she is hoping to raise $1,000. She believes strongly in the care and appreciates the programs provided by Cancer LifeNet and the Kaufman Cancer Center.
A longtime biology teacher at C. Milton Wright High School, Griffiths has a personal connection to the walk, which is named after the late Amanda Hichkad, a Bel Air wife, mother of three boys and volunteer extraordinaire.
“I have taught two of the Hichkad boys in my biology classes,” Griffiths said. “One I have this year, so I feel a kinship with them.”
Cancer LifeNet’s $1 million annual operating budget is funded solely through philanthropic support by friends and neighbors. Last year, the Amanda Hichkad CCA Celebration Walk raised $140,000, bringing the cumulative total to more than $1 million raised for Cancer LifeNet since its founding in 2014.
Over the past 17 years, more than 20,000 cancer patients and family members have used the more than 300 free-of-charge services provided by Cancer LifeNet.
Community and corporate support are vital to the success of the walk. To sign up to walk or donate, visit uchfoundation.org, call The Upper Chesapeake Health Foundation at 443-643-3460 or email [email protected].
About University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health
University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health, part of the University of Maryland Medical System, includes the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center and the Patricia D. and M. Scot Kaufman Cancer Center on its Bel Air campus. Most recently, it opened The Klein Family Harford Crisis Center in Bel Air offering services for behavioral health. The Senator Bob Hooper House in Forest Hill is an assisted living facility that specializes in hospice. The University of Maryland Harford Memorial Hospital has been operating in the community for over a century and is located in Havre de Grace. The leading health care system and the second largest private employer in Harford County, UM Upper Chesapeake Health offers a broad range of health care services, specialty care, technology and facilities to the residents of northeastern Maryland. Visit www.umms.org/uch for more information.