WAYLAND — The first ever Night For Noyes had a great turnout at the Nugget Hill Event Center on Oct. 15 to benefit the Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center.
There was a silent auction, dinner, and live auction with all proceeds going to the cancer center.
Gunlocke Vice-President of Sales Tim Costello told Genesee County Express that they are donating $75,000 to the cancer center.
“I grew up in Wayland,” he said. “I know how important it is to have a solid health care facility nearby. Noyes has been able to steady the tide and transform the Southern Tier into the place to go for health and wellness.”
“I know how important it is to have a cancer center close by,” Costello continued. “For anyone who has to fight cancer it is hard for them to drive out into the city for treatment.”
Costello put together a proposal to the head corporation HNI for the donation and it was approved.
“Our goal is to be a good corporate citizen,” Costello said. “We absolutely love supporting the center.”
Noyes Health Foundation Director Mary Sue Dehn welcomed everyone to the first of many Nights For Noyes.
“On behalf of the foundation and auxiliary we are so glad you came here to support the Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center,” she said. “The support we have had for this event is tremendous.”
Noyes Health CEO Amy Pollard said the true meaning of this is to bring comfort and care to the region.
“To receive a diagnosis of cancer is a numbing and overwhelming experience,” she said. “We are truly blessed to be able to bring to our community the comfort of receiving care at home from the expert physicians, nurses, and staff of the University of Rochester Wilmot Cancer Center.”
“Thank you to Ann and Carl Myers for their leadership gift of $2 million to get the cancer center started,” Pollard continued. “Ann and Carl are very committed to seeing the people in our area get the best care possible.”
The cancer center should be open by January 2017.
“What we have learned through our campaign experiences is that every donation matters,” Pollard said as she thanked the donors. “Certainly the larger ones get you to your goal faster, but we don’t get to the goal without the donations. Every single one counts.”
Wilmot Cancer Institute Chief Safety Officer Dr. David Dougherty said it is wonderful to see so many people committed to the cancer center.
“We are grateful to the donors from 4-H clubs, to local swim teams, to the golfers and area businesses,” he said. “They all share a vision for a healthier community. Each one of us has been touched by cancer at some point. It is inspiring to see how all of you have turned that into something profoundly possible.”
“The Myers Cancer Center really demonstrates the power of collaboration,” Dougherty continued. “Noyes Health, Jones Memorial, and Wilmot Cancer Center have created a partnership in 2015 that has truly changed cancer care in this region. We can share new discoveries and treatments with patients who would otherwise have to travel to the city. We can offer more opportunities to patients to be part of national clinical trials. We can try therapies only available through Wilmot.”
Phil Saunders has donated to Noyes Health over the years, and just donated $150,000 to the cancer center.
“You have to go back 15 years,” he said. “I told Jon Shay and others in Dansville that eventually we need to become part of the University of Rochester, and I think everyone thought that was just a dream.”
Saunders added everyone had to figure out how to raise over $2 million for the center.
“About two years ago we got together and tried to decide how we were going to raise this money,” he said. “We had a meeting of about 10 people, and Carl said we could raise all the money at this table. I said we would cover whatever doesn’t get covered.”
“This area has come up with over $2 million, which is really amazing,” Saunders continued. “This area has done it time after time, after time, after time. This center will be a funnel for the future. This is an amazing area. What we are doing down here is great.”
There were two cancer survivors who spoke as to why we are all here.
Meghan Lowell is a survivor of stage two Hodgkins Lymphoma.
“There is so much that can be said about this disease, and all the surrounding communities that are raising awareness to cancer,” she said. “There is so much that can be said about the ones who are still battling this disease. There are some who are not lucky enough to be in remission as many of us are.”
“I knew I needed to not only share my story, but share a message from all of those who are currently fighting, are in remission, and for those we have lost. This is a message of determination, courage, and hope,” Lowell continued. “I hope to inspire others as I push forward with my life.”
Lowell recalls being diagnosed in January 2013, and her outgoing carefree life being shattered.
“Once in the emergency room I was given a chest X-ray. A scan was done after the blood work and X-ray came back normal,” she said. “There was a tennis ball-sized mass on my heart, which was pushing on my lungs, and this caused my chest pains. There was a marble-sized mass above my lungs as well.”
“The next two weeks felt like years,” Lowell continued. “A team of doctors at Strong Memorial searched for answers. The location of the masses at my age (23) was not seen often. I remember feeling disgusted. I felt sick and helpless knowing these massive intruders were unknown and in my body.”
Lowell said she felt like a burned piece of paper crumpling in someone’s hand.
“I was advised to start advanced chemotherapy and hit it hard so it doesn’t come back,” she said. “I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that I had cancer. My own body was in a civil war against itself. I have dealt with the semi-truck collision that comes when you are told you have cancer, and this diagnoses brings your life to a screeching halt. I know what it is like to be sucker punched by this disease. I know what it is like to be betrayed by my own body. I know what it is like to have poison pumped through your body that basically kills you to keep you alive. I know what it is like to have survivor's guilt every single day.”
Lowell added that because of her experience she knows the courage, strength, and love that this diagnosis has brought into her life.
“To those who are currently fighting cancer,” she said. “I promise no one fights alone.”
Katie Brice is battling breast cancer.
“I like to call myself a surviving fighter,” she said. “I am so honored to be here to celebrate the coming of the Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center.”
Brice was originally diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2007. After being told it went into remission the cancer came back in March 2014.
“I was told it came back in my bones and lymph nodes,” she said. “This was not a diagnoses I wanted to hear. Dealing with the diagnosis and treatments is stressful enough, but having to travel out of the area in bad weather conditions added to it.”
Brice added this center will benefit many people who are fighting the fight against cancer.
“This will also benefit the caregivers,” she said. “People in our community have had to travel to Rochester and other cities for treatments and care. Now these patients can get quality care in their own area. We no longer have to travel 50 plus miles for treatment. That reduces the stress. This cancer center is a blessing to so many people.”
“You are all an inspiration,” Brice concluded. “Keep fighting the war on cancer. We fight. We fight together.”
Kyle Tracy is a fourth generation auctioneer who is proud to be part of the event.
Many community members, businesses, and organizations helped to make this possible.
By the end of the evening over $170,000 was raised for the cancer center.