On May 4 in Denver, Colorado, the Cancer Support Community hosted 250 guests at our Kentucky Derby “Jockeys, Juleps & Jazz” event, an annual celebration at the Four Seasons Hotel to raise funds for our digital community platform, MyLifeLine. The festivities included a live jazz band, free-flowing mint juleps, silent & live auctions and live streaming of the fastest 2 minutes in sports on the big screens.
The inspiring program brought to life a celebration of the merger of MyLifeLine.org Cancer Foundation into the Cancer Support Community. The MyLifeLine digital platform has served 33,000+ people impacted by cancer over the last 12 months. We kicked off the Derby program with a champagne toast and shared the story of why we merged together – to ultimately serve more people with comprehensive resources necessary for the healing process. We also shined a spotlight on our new partnerships with Airbnb and Walgreens.
The inspiration continued as Glenn Balasky, Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers (RMCC) accepted the George Karl Visionary Award. RMCC was honored for embarking on a new partnership with us to offer CSC’s evidence-based support programs and educational materials to thousands of patients.
At the heart of the event — the mission moment. There was not a dry eye in the house when we honored 13-year old Burke Ryder, MyLifeLine member and osteosarcoma cancer survivor, with the George Karl Courage Award. His young face was beaming as he came to the stage to accept the award from George Karl himself, former NBA head coach and 3x cancer survivor. Burke, his younger brother, Teo, and his parents have shown courage, hope and optimism since Burke’s diagnosis in 2017.
They built a strong support community on CSC’s MyLifeLine to easily communicate and connect with their loved ones. Burke is still in the midst of difficult cancer treatments, and the entire audience gave a loud shout-out to him at once while a video panned the audience – “Burke, you got this!” These words have been his motto and given him strength, and Burke has now experienced what it sounds like when 250 people at once are pulling for him.
In recounting this year’s Derby Celebration, it is important to note that as a result of the generosity of supporters like you, we are able to provide $50 million annually in free services to patients and their loved ones.
Thank you for serving as champions for our cause and our organization - and please share this message with your friends and family.