‘Be a Part of the Cure’ Televised Event to Benefit UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute on Sept. 2

By Susan Van Dusen

The first-ever Be a Part of the Cure televised event is set for 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Sept. 2 on KATV, Channel 7. Viewers are invited to phone or text their donations to benefit the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute.

The event is presented by Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort and chaired by Natalie and Win Rockefeller Jr.

“The Cancer Institute’s programs are vital to the health of all Arkansans. Be a Part of the Cure is a new and exciting way for the Cancer Institute’s many friends to offer their support, especially during this challenging time,” Natalie Rockefeller said.

The UAMS Cancer Institute offers research-driven cancer treatment and therapies unavailable elsewhere in Arkansas. The institute saw about 25,000 patients in fiscal year 2019 in its clinics, infusion centers and Radiation Oncology Center.

Its scientists are engaged in laboratory, clinical and population-based research to understand how cancer develops and how more effectively to prevent and treat it.

Members of the Cancer Institute’s Board of Advisors and volunteers will answer phones throughout the televised event, which will air live on KATV periodically throughout the day.

To make a donation prior to Sept. 2, visit the Be a Part of the Cure webpage or text WPRCI to 41444.

“We are excited to share inspiring stories of our cancer survivors, world-class doctors and innovative researchers throughout the event and hope everyone tunes in to hear about the tremendous work being done at the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute,” Win Rockefeller Jr. said.

Viewers also will learn about the institute’s quest to become Arkansas’ first and only NCI-designated cancer center. There are 71 NCI-designated cancer centers in the United States, with the closest to Arkansas in Memphis (pediatrics only), Dallas and Oklahoma City.

Achieving NCI Designation would provide many benefits, including improved access to clinical trials and new therapies unavailable elsewhere in the state; greatly increased access to federal research grant awards; and the creation of more than 1,500 new jobs over five years.

The Rockefellers developed the idea to host a televised event after COVID-19 safety measures required the Cancer Institute to postpone its annual Gala for Life, which they had planned to chair.

Although necessary, postponing the highly anticipated annual fundraiser had a particular sting as it was to be the event’s 25th anniversary celebration.

“It’s unfortunate that we won’t get to celebrate our milestone this year, but we look forward to chairing a wonderful event Gala for Life in fall 2021,” Win Rockefeller Jr. said.

Individuals also may participate in Be a Part of the Cure by sharing stories and photos about their cancer experience on the Cancer Institute’s Facebook page, along with the hashtag #BeaPartoftheCure.