This past week I attended two charity events in two states. The first event was Thursday night in Steamboat, the second event was Friday morning at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City. What does that mean? A very eventful drive on highway 40 in the middle of the night dodging every species known to colorado and Utah. The important thing is that I didn't hit a single one and that made the trip a success.
Thursday evening I attended the Yampa Valley Medical Center's 100th anniversary Gala. In addition to the YVMC anniversary bash it was also an event to show their fundraising efforts for a new designated Cancer Treatment Center. As one of the first patients ever to be partially treated at the YVMC for Cancer I felt it was hugely important that I show how crucial this is to the community and show face at the event. When I was undergoing Chemotherapy the trip to Denver was extremely hard on both my parents and myself, when the gracious nurses and doctors at YVMC said they wanted to try and administer chemo locally, My parents and I were relieved not to have to make the trip quite as often. I was very excited to attend, and I am very glad I made the trip as the event was a lot of fun and really cool to see their progress on fundraising. I was also honored to have the opportunity to meet some of the other survivors treated at YVMC.
After the drive and a couple hour nap I joined the CureSearch organization at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. This was an amazing opportunity for me as I was allowed to sit in and learn about the newest innovations in child hood cancer treatments. Specifically we learned about Ewing Sarcoma and the role the EWS/FLI Gene plays in the development of this cancer. Ewing Sarcoma is one of the most difficult cancers to treat and the HCI has shown some amazing breakthroughs. The details are very chemistry heavy but it was perfect timing as I just finished a chemistry class that gave me knowledge enough to understand what they were talking about. After the presentations our group went on a tour of the facility, including the research labs! The whole facility is very impressive and I can definitely see why it's one of the best hospitals in the country for cancer treatment. I mean come on check out the size of this lab...
Most notably is that this lab has, no dividers, it's very much open and this allows for the ideas and projects to be viewed by all in the building allowing the free flow of ideas and collaboration on projects. This is one of the fastest growing concepts in laboratory science as a good idea can come from anyone at anytime. Needless to say it was a very interesting day learning about the behind the scenes work in today's front lines against cancer.
Lastly I want to thank Jan Fritz and the YVMC staff for inviting me to the Gala as well as Matt Kelly for inviting me on the HCI tour. I had a great time at both events and look forward to more in the future.