Friendship for the Future

Phoenix Friends of the Arizona 
Cancer Center Are Always Ready 
to Lend a Helping Hand

In 1986, 12 passionate and energetic women got together and organized a dinner and auction at Saks Fifth Avenue in Phoenix with one goal in mind: to raise funds for ground-breaking cancer research. The event, called Evening in the Park, proved to be a huge success. It raised over $13,000 for research and spurred the women to go on and establish a volunteer organization dedicated to supporting the University of Arizona Cancer Center.

Thirty years later, the Phoenix Friends of the Arizona Cancer Center (FACC) is still going strong, with 45 caring and enthusiastic members who are constantly planning new events and fundraisers to support cancer research in Arizona.

“When I first joined I wanted to know where the money was going, and I’m proud to say that every penny that the Phoenix Friends raises stays here in Arizona and goes towards research,” says FACC President-Elect Beth Komadina.

The FACC’s most recent fundraiser, An Evening with The Friends 2016, was a western-themed event to “Give Cancer the Boot,” featuring dining, dancing and a fabulous auction. Always looking to give, the proceeds raised at the event will go directly towards funding early stage clinical trials at the Cancer Center’s Phoenix location.

New Horizons

The organization has also played a major role in helping the Center open its new University of Arizona Cancer Center at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix. This is a comprehensive outpatient medical facility dedicated to providing top-notch patient care in all aspects of treatment, utilizing world-renowned specialists in symptom management, palliative care, nutritional care, and much more.

“Just the physicians at the Center and their passion to help patients and their families is phenomenal. We even have a nutritionist who will go to the market with patients and their loved ones, walk them through and then go back to the kitchen here and teach them how to cook healthy,” says Komadina.

Built to Last

It’s relationships like the one between the FACC and University of Arizona Cancer Center that are truly built to last, allowing both organizations to thrive and change the lives of many for the better.

“I really think that the relationships that have been built between the FACC and the physicians and researchers are so truly special, and we really want to get the word out in our community about the new center,” says Komadina.  “Because if you know that there are people taking care of you and that are truly concerned, it gives you more confidence to beat it.”

That’s exactly where the heartbeat of the organization lies, in its members’ enormous sense of compassion and sincere dedication to giving patients and their families hope, support and encouragement from diagnosis to treatment, and beyond.

“That’s why I continue to do it, because they truly do care,” says Komadina.

With continued support and dedication from the FACC in raising funds for cancer research, it seems like the possibilities are endless for the University of Arizona Cancer Center. That’s a friendship truly built to endure.

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