Chattanooga Oral Cancer Walk
On Saturday, April 28th, community members from Chattanooga and surrounding towns will recognize Oral Cancer Awareness Month by bringing attention to a disease which has long needed a voice. The third Chattanooga Oral Cancer Awareness Walk is being organized by local oral cancer survivor, Jeanna Richelson, who was a February nominee for the 2011 Jefferson Award in recognition of her efforts to battle the impact of oral, head and neck cancer in the community. This important annual event, which she spearheads, will feature free oral cancer screenings, raffle prizes, a silent auction, refreshments, and a special appearance by Chattanooga’s favorite Big Band, Sweet Georgia Sound! Once again, the event will be emceed by Mrs. Tennessee International 2008 and 2010, Cydney Miller. All proceeds benefit the Oral Cancer Foundation to raise awareness of the need for early detection and prevention.
The two-mile walk will take place on April 28th at First Tennessee Pavilion in Chattanooga (1826 Reggie White Blvd.) at 10:00 AM, with registration beginning at 8:30 AM. All participants are encouraged to pre-register before April 11th for a cost of $25. Registration is free for children under five years of age. To pre-register or sponsor a walker, visit the Events page of oralcancer.org or contact Jeanna Richelson at (423) 894-9215.
Approximately 37,000 people in the U.S. will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer in 2012, which includes mouth cancer, tongue cancer and throat cancer. When found early, there is an 80 to 90 percent survival rate. However, due to a lack of public awareness, the majority of cases are found as late-stage cancers that can be killers.
The Oral Cancer Foundation is a national public service, non-profit entity designed to reduce suffering and save lives through prevention, education, research, advocacy, and support activities. Check out www.oralcancer.org to learn more about risk factors, signs and symptoms, treatments, current research and current oral cancer related news, among other important information. A FREE patient/survivor discussion forum is also open to the public, where those currently fighting oral cancer can gain insights and inspiration from those who have been there before them.
At the age of 36, Jeanna Richelson, a non-smoker who was engaged to be married, was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, which is a form of oral cancer. She courageously entered an eight and a half year fight, during which the cancer returned several times. Jeanna endured chemotherapy, surgery, radiation and the painful placement of a tracheotomy and a feeding tube. Jeanna is now dedicated to educating others on the importance of screenings, warning signs and the complex challenges of fighting oral cancer as a patient. She even began the Chattanooga chapter of SPOHNC (Support For People with Oral and Head and Neck Cancer), an effort for which she was recently nominated for the prestigious Jefferson Award. She hopes the greater Chattanooga community will join her on April 28th in bringing awareness to this critical cause!
For more information on participating in the third annual Chattanooga Oral Cancer Awareness Walk to Make Oral Cancer History, on April 28th, contact Jeanna Richelson at (423) 894-9215 or Jeanna1255@aol.com or visit the Events page of oralcancer.org.