NBA legend and cancer survivor Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scheduled to deliver keynote.
MADISON, WIS. – April 20, 2017 – The American Cancer Society is honored to present its Fan of the Year Award to the family of Glen Pretti from Mt. Horeb, and the Spirit of Hope Award to childhood cancer survivor Ian Lock from Fond du Lac, at the 10th annual Coaches vs. Cancer Wisconsin Gala on Saturday, April 29, at the Monona Terrace in Madison.
These awards are given annually at the Coaches vs. Cancer Wisconsin Gala to individuals who demonstrate courage, passion, and hope in the fight against cancer.
Glen Pretti passed away from pancreatic cancer in October 2016. A husband, father, and commercial real estate broker in the Madison area, Pretti was also a former athlete who enjoyed coaching youth basketball for the Wisconsin Hoops Select Basketball program. In Pretti’s honor, Wisconsin Hoops Select Basketball held a fundraiser earlier this month that collected more than $8,400 for the American Cancer Society. Prior to his family receiving the Fan of the Year Award, a special video tribute to Pretti will be shown.
“We’re so grateful for the passion, dedication, and support that Wisconsin Hoops Select has shown to the American Cancer Society and the Pretti family,” said Marieanna Wild, senior development manager for the American Cancer Society in Madison. “The dollars they raised will help us fund innovative cancer research and provide the resources people need when facing a cancer diagnosis.”
Ian Lock was 16 years old when he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma – a rare form of bone cancer. Thanks to advances in cancer research shortly before Ian’s diagnosis, doctors saved his leg using a cadaver bone, along with nearly 20 rounds of chemotherapy. Today, Ian is cancer-free and a senior at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., studying biology and economics.
Ian also currently volunteers for the American Cancer Society and its advocacy affiliate, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). He’s passionate about the role cancer research plays in saving lives, and testified before Congress in 2013 to advocate for increased federal funding for cancer research.
“While we still don’t know what exactly caused my cancer, what I do know is if the National Institutes of Health hadn’t funded the cancer research that led to new treatments – I could have lost my leg and even my life,” Ian told members of Congress. “As you can imagine, cancer research means a lot to me.”
Ian will share his remarkable story of survivorship at the Coaches vs. Cancer Wisconsin Gala as part of a “raise-the-paddle” fundraiser to benefit pediatric cancer research.
The Coaches vs. Cancer Wisconsin Gala is part of the American Cancer Society’s larger Coaches vs. Cancer Wisconsin program. Each year, more than 85 teams from schools and universities throughout Wisconsin and a variety of sports host Coaches vs. Cancer fundraisers to support the American Cancer Society. Their success and statewide impact will be celebrated at the gala, and several coaches will be recognized for engaging their teams in this effort.-
Since 2008, the Coaches vs. Cancer Wisconsin Gala has raised $5.6 million to support the American Cancer Society’s lifesaving mission. In addition to a three-course dinner and live and silent auctions, the evening will include an inspirational program highlighted by remarks from NBA legend and cancer survivor Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
This year’s gala sponsors include Mike & Cheryl Shult and Family; Research Products Corp.; Bo & Kelly Ryan; Wind River Financial; The University Book Store; and Golfers vs. Cancer.
The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of 2 million volunteers saving lives in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society’s efforts have contributed to a 25 percent decline in the cancer death rate in the U.S. since 1991, driven by less smoking, better treatments, and earlier detection. We’re finding cures as the nation’s largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need and continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings and more. For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, call us anytime, day or night, at (800) 227-2345 or visit cancer.org.