TAMPA, Fla.—Paddle Against Cancer, a fundraiser created by cancer survivor Gene Evans, will hold its fourth-annual event benefitting Moffitt Cancer Center on Saturday, May 24. The event aimed at promoting the benefits of a healthy and active lifestyle is expected to bring together more than 150 local stand-up paddleboarders.
Evans, a senior vice president at Clearwater-based USAmeriBank, was inspired to create the paddleboarding event by his desire to give back to Moffitt and offer support for other cancer survivors. Last year’s Paddle Against Cancer raised $31,000, bringing the total raised for the cause to $70,000. Evans is determined to surpass $100,000 in total donations to Moffitt with this year’s event.
Free and open to the public, the 3-mile and 7-mile paddle event will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 24 at The Club at Treasure Island, 400 Treasure Island Causeway. Following the paddle, a poolside event will be held at The Club featuring giveaways, paddleboard demonstrations, cancer survivor stories and a live band.
“Moffitt is an amazing place where they work hard to save lives like mine every day,” Evans said. “I am very excited for us to reach the $100,000 mark in donations so they can continue to help patients the way they helped me.”
Evans was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer in May 2009, and since then has recovered from four surgeries – including two to remove tumors from his kidneys and his spine. One of Evans’ doctors, Frank Vrionis, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D. and the chief of neurosurgery at Moffitt, said, “Gene’s active lifestyle is an inspiration to other cancer survivors. We are grateful for his support towards our research here at Moffitt.”
In stage 4 kidney cancer, the cancer spreads outside the kidneys to multiple lymph nodes or distant parts of the body, such as the bones, brain or lungs. The five-year survival rate for stage 4 kidney cancer is only eight percent, according to the National Cancer Institute. Evans, however, recently celebrated three years of clear scans and attributes his successful fight against cancer to his positive attitude and active lifestyle.
The paddleboarders in the event will be making donations to Moffitt, and for those wishing to make a donation online, please visit www.MOFFITT.org/Giving and click Donate Now. Click on General Donation, choose your gift amount, and then click Yes, I would like to choose a program to support. Under the “Use my gift to support dropdown,” choose Other, then type in Paddle Against Cancer in the “please specify” text box. Participants can also make a donation the day of the event. Paddleboard rental will also be available onsite through Suncoast Surf Shop.
For more information on the fourth-annual Paddle Against Cancer, please visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Paddle-Against-Cancer/.
About Moffitt Cancer Center
Located in Tampa, Moffitt is one of only 41 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a distinction that recognizes Moffitt’s excellence in research, its contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt is the No. 1 cancer hospital in Florida and has been listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for cancer since 1999. With more than 4,200 employees, Moffitt has an economic impact on the state of nearly $2 billion. For more information, visit MOFFITT.org, and follow the Moffitt momentum on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.