Cruisin' for a Cure

Event raises funds to fight kidney cancer

Sometimes, a passion for something can produce amazing results – results that can even end up saving lives. In May, Patt Goff put on the first “Cruisin’ for a Cure” benefit in memory of her husband, Bernard, who had a passion for classic cars.

The benefit, held in St. Albans, W. Va., near Mrs. Goff’s home, raised $10,000 for kidney cancer research at Cleveland Clinic’s Taussig Cancer Institute.

Bernard Goff was diagnosed with kidney cancer in July 2009, and shortly afterward, the Goffs learned that his tumor was inoperable. After a previous positive experience with Cleveland Clinic involving their son, and doing research on the best options for this type of cancer, the Goffs chose Taussig Cancer Institute for treatment.

While under the care of Jorge Garcia, MD, Mr. Goff participated in a clinical trial supervised by Brian Rini, MD, for the drug SUTENT (sunitinib malate). For a few months, he was “really doing great,” says Mrs. Goff. She credits her husband’s participation in the trial as well as the efforts of his team at Taussig for extending his life and giving him a higher quality of life until he died in December 2010.

After this experience, Mrs. Goff became determined to call attention to kidney cancer. Doing so with an event near to her husband’s heart seemed to her to be a perfect solution.

“Bernard was a real lover of muscle cars and car shows,” she says. “People know all about 5K’s for breast cancer, but there has to be awareness and the same level of attention to kidney cancer. Seventy-five percent of the people you ask know nothing about kidney cancer or its symptoms.” As an example, she says her husband experienced high blood pressure, which is one of the symptoms of the disease. Other symptoms include blood in the urine, side pain, low-grade fever, anemia and a general sense of tiredness and not feeling well.

Mrs. Goff hopes that research will lead to clinical trials that may one day result in screening tests for kidney cancer. “If we save one person, our mission will be accomplished,” she says.

The next "Cruisin' for a Cure" will take place May 20, 2012, with a 5K walk/run followed by a classic car parade on May 19.

To make a gift supporting Taussig Cancer Institute or any area of Cleveland Clinic, visit our secure giving site or call Institutional Relations and Development at 216.444.1245 or toll-free at 800.223.2273, ext. 41245.

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