Moses Walk/Run for Life distributes $90,000 from event proceeds to many St. Lawrence County non-profits
Sunday, February 7, 2016 - 4:31 pm

The following story originally appeared as a “Progress 2016” story in North Country This Week.

Founded in 1979, the Edward I. Moses Walk/Run for Life has been a leader in raising money for the local fight against cancer. To date, the event has raised nearly $1.4 million which has been distributed to local charities that work to educate the community and help with the prevention, early detection and diagnosis of cancer for local residents.

A total of $90,000 was distributed among organizations throughout St. Lawrence County to provide funds and programming in 2016. Currently funded programs include:

• Ryan’s Wish Foundation -- Provides assistance to families and individuals as they travel to cancer treatment appointments. Recipients receive gifts of gas cards, money for hotel stays, help with regular maintenance of vehicles for travel, funds for medical co- pays and help with medications not covered by insurance. In 2015, Ryan’s Wish helped 95 families and distributed more than $28,000 to help with cancer related expenses.

• St. Lawrence Health Initiative’s Cancer Services Program -- Funding received from St. Lawrence County Cancer Fund (SLCCF) will cover the cost of anesthesia for 16 colonoscopies, 4 breast MRI screenings, 10 cervical cancer screenings, mammography for 10 women and will help to cover follow-up diagnostic testing and care for income eligible clients.

• Hospice and Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley -- Funds are used to provide Palliative Care Case Management cancer patients. Helping cancer patients manage the symptoms of their disease allows them to maximize quality of life. This funding will provide 82 palliative care visits in 2016.

• Gouverneur Business Women Breast Cancer Fund -- Works to alleviate financial barriers to proper health care for newly diagnosed breast cancer patients and provides assistance with basic necessities such as; medical care, transportation, nutritious foods, housing and utility assistance and child care while patients receive treatment.

• Massena Memorial Hospital -- Hosts free monthly Skin Cancer Screenings. MMH will also support the offering of free educational seminars including Colorectal cancer awareness, Melanoma cancer detection and awareness, Ovarian, Uterine and Breast Cancer and lung cancer.

• Canton-Potsdam Hospital – For transportation for residents who were receiving treatment at their facility. Their vehicles dedicated to transporting patients log more than 20,000 miles each year and is used sometimes daily by their patients. In 2016 they will expand opportunities for education for patients and families undergoing treatment, as well as providing items to increase quality of life.

• Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center -- In 2016, CHMC intends to continue its partnership with Dr. Brandy and will provide 8 free colonoscopies. Additionally, they will offer 70 low dose CT lung cancer screenings with the help of the St. Lawrence County Cancer Fund.

The need for these important programs increases daily. Recognizing the necessity for ongoing support, the volunteer committee responsible for organizing the event decided to form a more broad corporation. In 2012, the St. Lawrence County Cancer Fund was established with the hope that the community would provide support for the local fight against cancer throughout the year.

Although the corporation is new, the mission is the same: to provide funding for programs that work to educate the community and help with the prevention, early detection and diagnosis of cancer for local residents. The Edward I. Moses Walk/Run for Life serves as the primary fundraiser for the St. Lawrence County Cancer Fund.

Since learning that 100 percent of the money raised for the Fund stays local, a number of community members and groups have stepped forward to provide additional support. Recently, a memorial giving program was established with area funeral directors giving families who have lost a loved one to cancer the opportunity to remember their loved one by supporting the St. Lawrence County Cancer Fund to help with the local fight again cancer.

In the summer of 2015, Sami Curtis, board member and longtime advocate for the St. Lawrence County Cancer Fund, learned she would begin fighting her own battle. Truly a self-less person, Sami wanted to turn this into an opportunity to create more awareness about the organization she had supported since the age of 3. The community rallied around her and put together “Help Sami Kick Cancer” an activity packed day at Honey Dew Acres in August.

At her request, all proceeds raised were donated to the St. Lawrence County Cancer Fund. As the event got closer, it got larger and larger. Events included a horse show, dunk tank where students would pay for a chance to dunk teachers from Canton Central School, bounce houses, games and raffles.

The response to Sami’s request to raise money for the Cancer Fund was absolutely overwhelming. The event was organized and staffed by countless volunteers and featured a raffle with several hundred items graciously donated by local businesses. The total raised to date is more than $62,000.

The St. Lawrence County Cancer Fund would like to thank the planning committee, volunteers, organizations, businesses and many individuals that contributed to Help Sami Kick Cancer in one way or another.

The SLCCF is extremely grateful to those who have provided support in the past and are looking forward to continuing this very important fight. If you would like more information about the St. Lawrence County Cancer Fund or The Edward I. Moses Walk/Run for Life, contact Mark Brackett at 854-5563 or Kellie Hitchman at 244-1801.

Also, visit our website at www.walkrunforlife.com We hope you will join us on Sunday, April 24, 2016 at Appleton Arena where every dollar raised stays in St. Lawrence County.