The Oral Cancer Foundation Fundraising Walk – North LA/Malibu
Wow! We did it! On November 3, over 100 people came out to Pepperdine University to support The Oral Cancer Foundation Fundraising Walk – North LA/Malibu! Thank you so much for your support for this amazing cause. It could not have been the success it was without help from amazing people like you. Over 51,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or oropharyngeal cancer this year. It will cause over 10,000 deaths, killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours every day. Of those newly diagnosed individuals, only slightly more than half will be alive in 5 years. Often, oral cancer is only discovered when the cancer has metastasized to another location, most likely the lymph nodes of the neck. Prognosis at this stage of discovery is significantly worse than when it is caught in a localized intra-oral area. Early discovery and diagnosis saves lives. That is why Dr. Mimi Theerathada, DMD of Westlake Smile Studio joined forces with the Oral Cancer Foundation (oralcancer.org) to bring awareness of oral cancer to our community. The Oral Cancer Foundation Fundraising Walk – North LA/Malibu took place on Saturday, November 3 at Alumni Park located on Pepperdine University’s campus. Over 100 attendees and volunteers came out to raise funds and walk in honor of those who have by affected by this aggressive disease. The event kicked off with the national anthem sung by local youth Alex Chavera followed by a touching program by Oral Cancer Foundation’s co-founder, Ingrid Hill, wife of co-founder Brian Hill, a survivor of oral cancer. “Cancer changed everything in our lives and it changed both of us profoundly,” said Hill. “But for Brian, it was both physically and emotionally changing, and became a cause.” Attending survivors and loved ones of those who have passed from the disease kicked off the 5K walk through Pepperdine’s campus chanting “Beat oral cancer!” Attendees then celebrated with food and shopping from event vendors. The event raised over $11,000 with donations still being accepted up until December 30. These fundraising walks take place all over the country and offer free oral cancer screening to all attendees. An oral cancer examination by a medical or dental professional takes less than 5 minutes and can save lives. “It has been proven that early detection saves lives,” said Dr. Mimi, who performed dozens of screenings at the event. “Often, dentists are the first line of defense to identifying suspicious lesions at their early stages in order to prevent the progression of a condition that could become life-threatening.” Through increased public and professional awareness, prevention through lifestyle changes, early detection initiatives, education, improved treatment modalities, and sponsorship of research, the Oral Cancer Foundation is able to contribute to the reduction of suffering, permanent physical damage and disfigurement, and death caused by this disease. “Patient, caregiver, family member, or friend, it becomes part of who you are. It will always be a part of me,” said Hill. The success of this event could not have been possible without the support from dedicated sponsors VELscope, Vitamix, Waterpik, Henry Schein, Throat Scope, Westlake Smile Studio, DenMat, Prevail Boxing, Carl F. Bucherer, Barry’s Bootcamp, and Point of Impact. Special thanks to the students of the dental hygiene departments of Cerritos College and West LA College, Starbucks, Trader Joes, Pepperdine University, The Deluxe Balloon Company, Soul Cycle of Westlake Village, Urban Plates, Oroscoptic, Active of Thousand Oaks, and all the volunteers, walkers, donors and supporters of this event. “The support we received from our community made my heart full,” said Dr. Mimi. “This was the first year the event came to LA/Ventura area and we cannot wait until next year.” It’s not too late to support the event! Donations will be accepted up until December 30, 2018. Help us reach our goal and save more lives! Click here to view more photos from the event and upload yours, too. Want to help with the event next year? We need volunteers, vendors, sponsors and walkers. Email Katie at email@example.com for more information.