Join DCI In Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

July 2, 2018
By: Julie Poucher Harbin, Writer, DCI

Rachel Blitzbau, MD, PhDDuke Cancer Institute, for a fourth year, is partnering with the American Cancer Society (ACS) to serve as local presenting sponsor for its annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk, to be held Saturday, Oct. 13, at Midtown Park at North Hills, Raleigh, North Carolina.

Last year’s event attracted more than 1,800 registered participants and raised more than $300,000 to support the fight against breast cancer. This year, organizers hope to raise $400,000

Team Duke Cancer Institute-Durham will be led by honorary team captain Rachel Blitzbau, MD, PhD, a radiation oncologist specializing in the treatment of breast cancer.

“Funds raised at this event are so important,” said Blitzbau. “They keep breast cancer research moving forward so that we can continue to improve treatments and outcomes for future patients with breast cancer.”

Breast surgeon Jennifer Plichta, MD, director of the Breast Risk Assessment Clinic at Duke, will serve as honorary co-captain. 

“I am honored to be co-captaining our Making Strides team again this year,” said Plichta. “We had a great time, and the event was amazing. So many inspirational stories and strong women, and so much love.”

Breast surgeon Gayle DiLalla, MD, faculty lead of the Duke Women in Surgery group, will lead Team Duke Women’s Cancer Care Raleigh. DiLalla also serves on the American Cancer Society’s Central and Eastern North Carolina Area Board. 

The American Cancer Society is currently providing more than $2.35 million ($2,352,500) in active scholarships and breast cancer research grants at Duke.

Current awardees include:

  • Kristin Ferguson, MSN: Graduate Scholarship in Cancer Nursing Practice
  • Dia Beachboard, PhD: “Mechanisms of RAB1B Positive Regulation of Antiviral Innate Immunity”
  • Jason Locasale, PhD: “Regulatory Principles of the Warburg Effect”
  • Rebecca Shelby, PhD: “A Self-Management Intervention for Women with Breast Cancer and Diabetes”
  • Tamara Somers, PhD: “An Accessible Mobile Health Behavioral Intervention for Cancer Pain (mPain)”

The ACS is also a long-time supporter of Duke Cancer Institute patients and caregivers through its Road To Recovery program, patient lodging program and advocacy efforts.

Making Strides organizers will host a kick-off soiree for walk participants, breast cancer survivors and sponsors on Thursday, August 16, at 6 p.m. at Renaissance North Hills Hotel in Raleigh. 

Learn more about the October 13 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event at Midtown Park at North Hills in Raleigh. We invite you to support and/or join Team Duke Cancer Institute-Durham or Team Duke Women’s Cancer Care Raleigh or form your own team.

CIRCLE PHOTO (TOP): Honorary co-captain of the DCI Making Strides team, Jennifer Plichta, MD, and honorary captain of the Duke Women's Cancer Care Raleigh Making Strides team, Gayle DiLalla, MD, show their team spirit at Making Strides 2017.