Vantage Press & Media
Getting Into Camo for a War on Cancer - Donna Pike of Vantage Oncology is hoping to make camo the new color design for the
fight against cancer.
By Brent Coleman, Staff Writer
March 9th, 2012
Donna Pike wonders if “camo” can heighten the understanding, prevention and available treatments of all cancers in the way pink has done for breast cancer. Come March 24, when the Cincinnati Combats Cancer information extravaganza comes to Xavier University’s Cintas Center, she’ll have a better idea.
The 9 a.m.-8 p.m. event on the center’s concourse level unites the region’s hospitals and cancer service agencies in a single effort to increase awareness of prevention, detection and treatment of all cancers. The free event will include a Grand Health Fair with more than 60 booths offering information, from the importance of cancer screenings to artwork by cancer survivors.
The event and camouflage motif are the brainchildren of Pike, a 35-year member of the medical community and a local marketing manager at Vantage Oncology, one of the event’s leading sponsors.
It’s the first time, Pike said, that an event has brought together the region’s leading hospital groups – TriHealth, Mercy and St. Elizabeth – to combat cancer. “It’s all about unite. Unite colors. Unite hospitals. Unite doctors. Unite people,” said Pike.
“If we all unite, we’re going to be better off as far as raising money and research,” said Pike, who hopes to grow “Combat” into a nationwide effort.
“I mean (Susan B.) Komen (for the Cure) started somewhere, right?”
Cincinnati oncologist Thomas Morand hopes Cincinnati Combats Cancer will make men and women to become more vigilant about their health.
“We continue to make tremendous strides in the detection and treatment of cancer. However, these advancements are for naught if we can’t convince men and women to visit their doctor to receive life-saving screenings,” Dr. Morand said.
Speakers, including physicians and three survivors, will deliver talks on these cancers: Colon, testicular, melanoma, leukemia/lymphoma, thyroid, ovarian, pancreatic, laryngeal, brain, ENT, gynecologic, urological, bone, skin, liver and pediatric. There will be seminars on radiation, holistic treatment, pain management and a two-hour conference with TriHealth physicians. Entertainment throughout the day will feature the likes of the Rusty Griswolds, Cincinnati Rollergirls, Cincinnati Ben-Gals and comedian-juggler Scott Burton.
Pike credits her childhood friend, Lori Garner Sommer of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for inspiring the camouflage theme of Cincinnati Combats Cancer. When Sommer found out she had cancer in the mid-1990s, she battled it like a soldier, said Pike.
“She went out to an army supply store and got totally outfitted in camo clothings. Every time she went in for chemotherapy, she’d wear it,” said Pike.
Years later, Pike thought she might have cancer, and Pike delivered a suitcase full of her camo clothes to her old Maderia High School friend. The Army theme will be everywhere at Cincinnati Combats Cancer and there will be camo promotional items to buy, including wrist bands, baseball hats, lanyards, nail files, bracelets and car magnets.
Eastgate and InterCommunity Cancer Centers/Vantage Oncology