‘Stayin’ Alive’ for cancer, Grossmont Hospital Foundation’s 32nd annual gala

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Huge Afros, psychedelic jumpsuits and a lot of bling to go along with the many incredible designs made and evening of disco into a fun filled charity event benefitting the many in East County and beyond that are struggling with cancer.

Huge Afros, psychedelic jumpsuits and a lot of bling to go along with the many incredible designs made and evening of disco into a fun filled charity event benefitting the many in East County and beyond that are struggling with cancer.

The Virginia Napierskie Family Grossmont Hospital Foundation’s 32nd Annual Gala was a wonderful throwback to the days of disco with its Stayin’ Alive Disco Night benefitting the David and Donna Long Center for Cancer Treatment. Held at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina on Nov. 4, the night was founded in love and delivered fun, music, food, silent and live auctions, dancing and an entire evening of entertaining fun. All for a great cause, to make the David and Donna Long Center for Cancer Treatment a better place for families that find themselves in the middle of this contemptible disease that has no scrutiny on who it might affect.

The Center offers the best in the latest cancer treatments and the fact that it tackles the struggles that people and families face together at all stages of treatment. It is truly a one-stop cancer center that meets the needs of everyone affected with cancer in their lives, or the lives of their loved ones.

This year’s event would not have been possible without the tremendous support of the Virginia Napierskie Family, the Grossmont Healthcare District, Sharp Grossmont Hospital medical staff, generous sponsors and the hundreds that attended and supported this years Gala.

Disco Co-chairs Sandy Jackman and Mona Pear were an important foundation in this year’s success along with the 2017 Grossmont Foundation Gala Committee.

Jackman said it was a labor of love for the entire committee that takes a lot of time and a year to pull together. “We are hoping to make so much money tonight because the money goes to the cancer center,” she said.

Pear said the night was full of surprises and fun and that everyone involved was there to make sure that all who attended had as much fun and purpose as they did in making the evening a night to remember for everyone who gave their time and money to attend.

Sharp Grossmont Hospital Senior Vice President and CEO Scott Evans said it is the vision of the hospital to create an environment that its patients deserve. He said because of this vision, he was inspired to share his family’s story in dealing with cancer. “We were challenged by cancer with our most vulnerable family member, our son, Christopher,” he said.

When his son was almost 4-years-old, he became very sick and they thought it was a late March flu. When his wife took him to his pediatrician, they found he had a large mass. “That was probably one of the most devastating things that we could have heard,” he said.

It wound up being a tumor that grows on the kidney. He said as devastating as it was, it also had its benefits in that they started focusing on what is really important in life. “We decided at that time we were going to start having a lot of fun,” he said.

Although after surgery, chemo and radiation, they got news that the cancer had spread. In going through this with his family he learned that the environment of the treatment is as important to the wellness of the patient as the treatment itself. Chris received a bone marrow transplant, but during the entire ordeal, they both learned that the support of others in their position was an integral part of successful treatment and began to share their story with other cancer patients and their families.

“The environment that we were in when we finally got to a good place in our cancer treatment was so helpful to us,” he said. “For all of those reasons I think that environment is so important. I want to thank all of you that are here helping us tonight to make an environment that our cancer patients deserve is so personal for me. In behalf of my family, on behalf of everyone that works at Sharp Grossmont and our cancer, I want to thank you.”

Chris is now a cancer survivor and one success story that drives Sharp Grossmont Hospital’s David and Donna Long Center for Cancer Treatment to strive to create an environment that matches the newest and best cancer treatments that it can provide.

For more information on how you can support The David and Donna Long Center for Cancer visit www.sharp.com/locations/sharp-grossmont-hospital/david-and-donna-long-center-for-cancer-treatment-282

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