Jul 08, 2022 8:00 AM
Life teaches us that cancer will affect everyone. As we age, cancer touches more of our family members, friends, co-workers, and other important people in our lives. In their lifetime, one in two men and one in three women will hear the words, “I’m sorry, you have cancer.”
In this month’s message, my colleague Raegan shares why she raises money to advance cancer treatment and research.
President and COO
Huntsman Cancer Foundation
By Raegan Erickson
Huntsman Cancer Foundation
My favorite thing about working for Huntsman Cancer Foundation (HCF) is, of course, the people. My colleagues—those I get to share this work with—and the patients, fundraisers, volunteers, and donors, are the heart of my “why.”
Each Saturday, from November through June, I get to work with the Huntsman Heroes running and cycling teams as they train for endurance events that raise funds for Huntsman Cancer Institute. The Huntsman Heroes are a community team made up of patients, survivors, and supporters. Many of our trainings begin with a dedication from a team member to a friend or loved one experiencing cancer. The team keeps this person in mind as they put in their miles, reflecting on the gift of life and the preciousness of our relationships.
Over the years, as people have shared their stories with me, their “whys” have become my own. I hate why we’re here, and yet I’m grateful because it brought me this community. I am inspired by how much people believe in the work taking place at Huntsman Cancer Institute and how grateful they are for the care they have received. My work allows me to see the best in people—the generous, human side—and it is truly beautiful.
While visiting a patient participating in one of our events, I’ll always remember what he said:
“Everything that went right happened at Huntsman.”
“Everyone just seems to be on. From the custodians, to the nurses, to the doctors. There is something special about this place.”
I love that I get to work for an organization that I respect so much, and whose reputation precedes itself. I feel thankful and happy to report that it is all true! I can say that without feeling like I’m tooting my own horn because it’s others who carry out Huntsman Cancer Institute’s research and patient care. I get the beautiful perspective of providing philanthropic support while watching the work grow.
Life hands us experiences where we must accept circumstances that are out of our control. And yet, it teaches us to take full advantage of what is within our control. For many, that’s where fundraising comes in. That’s why I’m here. I’m a diehard humanitarian at heart. At HCF, I witness the impact of others who feel the same. It becomes real when you see checks coming in from small towns throughout the Mountain West, and others from prominent names and institutions here in the Salt Lake Valley. I am humbled and awed by this community. My message to those reading this is simply, thank you.