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February 1, 2011

Pink Ribbon Polo Cup: Patients and Friends Stress Importance of Cancer Research

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The Pink Ribbon Polo Cup brightened up the day in Crozet last Saturday, June 16. The breast cancer fundraiser, expected to net tens of thousands of dollars, took place at the King Family Vineyards in Crozet.

The fundraiser benefits cancer research projects. Every three minutes, a woman in the United States is diagnosed with breast cancer.

WCAV-TV covered the event.

In the past, the proceeds went to the American Cancer Society generally and some funds were returned to UVa and other cancer centers.

“This year, they were trying to find a way to keep the money local so that it would most benefit people in the Charlottesville community,” said Julie Speasmaker. Speasmaker is a cancer survivor and co-director of Patients and Friends, a local group of cancer survivors associated with the UVa Health System who want to help in the fight by funding research for a cure.

“We support the ideas in their infancy,” said Meredith Gunter of Patients and Friends.

One of those new ideas is a vaccine being developed in a UVa project spearheaded by Dr. Craig Slingluff and Dr. David Brenin. This new type of treatment for breast cancer (and for other forms of cancer as well) is a promising alternative to chemotherapy. So far, the vaccine has proven to be less toxic, and patients will only suffer from flu-like symptoms.

There is no word yet on how much money was raised this year. The money will be split between UVa Health System and Martha Jefferson Hospital.

For more information about UVa Cancer Center and its programs, visit

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