A local fundraising event spearheaded by a Charlotte-area high-school student and 5MPOWER, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering other non-profits, raised over $27,000 to support bladder cancer research at Carolinas HealthCare System’s Levine Cancer Institute. Charlotte Catholic High School’s basketball program hosted “Cougars 4 a Cure” on February 6, during basketball games between Charlotte Catholic, and rival West Mecklenburg High School’s, men’s and women’s varsity and junior-varsity teams. All proceeds from the event benefited Levine Cancer Institute’s Carolinas Bladder Cancer Fund, which supports the innovative bladder cancer research projects and tissue banking efforts underway at the Institute.
During halftime of the Varsity Boys’ game, Dr. Ed Kim and Dr. Kris Gaston of Levine Cancer Institute were honored on the court as recipients of the check presentation. Matthew Salvino, a Charlotte Catholic junior, promoted the event by selling “Cougars 4 a Cure” t-shirts, and encouraged students and basketball players to wear the red warm-up shirts and socks to show their support. According to the American Cancer Society, about 74,000 new cases of bladder cancer are diagnosed each year. Bladder cancer is among the most commonly diagnosed cancer types in the United States.
The Carolinas Bladder Cancer Fund was started in 2012 by 5MPOWER. The organization continues to work with leaders from Levine Cancer Institute to identify needs in the area of bladder cancer treatment, including the need for additional research. In 2014, 5MPOWER and Matthew Salvino led a similar fundraising event at Charlotte Catholic—Cougars 4 Cancer—which raised $9,000 to support bladder cancer research at LCI.
Pictured above: Dr. Ed Kim (Director of Solid Tumors program, Levine Cancer Institute), Scott Kerr (President, Atrium Health Foundation), Matthew Salvino (student and C4C organizer, Charlotte Catholic High School), Dr. Kris Gaston (Surgical Oncologist, Levine Cancer Institute), and Kurt Telford (Principal, CCHS)
Pictured below (from left to right): Dr. Earle Burgess – Levine Cancer Institute, Morgan Salvino, Dr. Ed Kim – Levine Cancer Institute, Matthew Salvino, Kurt Telford – Charlotte Catholic High School Principal, Andre Speech – Charlotte Catholic High School Coach, Dr. Kris Gaston – Levine Cancer Institute, and Mike King – Charlotte Catholic High School Coach.