A local fundraising event spearheaded by a Charlotte-area high-school student raised more than $9,000 to support bladder cancer research at Carolinas HealthCare System’s Levine Cancer Institute. Charlotte Catholic High School’s basketball program hosted “Cougars 4 Cancer” on February 7, featuring four 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 benefitted the Institute’s Carolinas Bladder Cancer Fund at Carolinas HealthCare Foundation, which supports the innovative bladder cancer research projects and tissue banking efforts underway at the Institute.

“The funds raised by Cougars 4 Cancer to support bladder cancer research will be instrumental in helping us improve our understanding of the disease, “ said Ed Kim, Chair of Solid Tumor Oncology and Investigational Therapeutics at Levine Cancer Institute. “Over the coming years, we hope to make significant progress in terms of identifying new therapies and treatment options that effectively target, and kill, these cancerous cells.”

During halftime of the Varsity Boys’ game, Dr. Kim and Dr. Kris Gaston were honored on the court as  recipients of the check presentation.  Matthew Salvino, a Charlotte Catholic sophomore, spearheaded fundraising for the event by selling “Cougars 4 Cancer” t-shirts and socks, and encouraged students to wear these items to show their support. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 73,000 people will be diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2014. Bladder cancer is currently the 5th most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States.


cougars for cancer02