Initiative, gala celebrate 10th anniversary this year
This year marks the 10th anniversary of The Scott Hamilton CARES Initiative, whose aim is to advance toward a cure for cancer and improve the quality of life for everyone affected by the disease. CARES stands for Cancer Alliance for Research Education and Survivorship.
Figure skater and Olympic gold medalist Scott Hamilton founded the program after his own successful treatment at Taussig Cancer Institute. In its decade of existence, the initiative has funded 20 new cancer research projects at Cleveland Clinic, says Brad Fellows, Director of CARES.
All proceeds from the CARES annual ice show and gala, “An Evening with Scott Hamilton and Friends,” go to cancer research or to support services for cancer patients and their families.
“People enjoy the evening while knowing that they are benefiting something bigger and something greater than what they are,” Mr. Fellows says. “We wish our services weren’t needed, but they are. We want to be there for everybody who needs them.”
CARES has a free website, Chemocare.com, which offers straightforward and up-to-date chemotherapy treatment and side effect management information in lay terms. “Anybody can get on and understand it,” Mr. Fellows says. “It’s as if you’re talking to your peers rather than doctors.” It recently has been translated into Spanish, thanks to the generosity of the Garcia family.
The 4th Angel Mentoring Program provides one-on-one, phone-based counseling to cancer patients across the country, whether they’ve been treated at Cleveland Clinic or not. “We make matches based on type of diagnosis, type of treatment, even the type of work they do – wherever we can find commonality between a patient and a volunteer mentor,” Mr. Fellows says.
A new 4th Angel website is in the works, he says. “The possibility is there that there will be thousands of 4th Angels. But we’re not driven by the numbers. We want quality matches. We personally match people to ensure it is the right match with the right person.”
This year’s ice show and gala will be Nov. 7. Many surprises are in store with the entertainment, and Scott Hamilton is planning his return to the ice at this year’s show. As she has for all 10 years, Maria Miller is chairwoman for the event. “Maria Miller has been our biggest supporter. She’s truly instrumental in getting support for the program,” Mr. Fellows says.
“Hands down, Maria’s passion and drive for curing cancer is inspirational. Together with Scott, they are a force to be reckoned with when fighting cancer.”
To make a gift supporting The Scott Hamilton CARES Initiative, Taussig Cancer Institute or any area of Cleveland Clinic, visit our secure online giving site, or call Institutional Relations and Development at 216.444.1245 or toll-free at 800.223.2273, ext. 41245.