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1440_405-1116_628-768_432 An Evening of Hope Helps Patients Cope | Spirit of Health | CHI Saint Joseph Health

An Evening of Hope Helps Patients Cope

April 19, 2022 Posted in: Cancer Care , Stories of Giving  4 minute read time


Despite a challenging couple of years, the CHI Saint Joseph Health Foundations consider fundraising for cancer care in Kentucky a top priority. The Foundations report more than 30,000 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed across the Commonwealth this year.

To unite the community and carry on the mission of providing advanced and compassionate cancer care, the Foundations created a new event last year called, Evening of Hope. This year’s event will be held on June 18. Evening of Hope will make it possible to give much‑needed support to cancer survivors and their care teams.

"The financial impact of fighting cancer is so great,” said Leslie Smart, CFRE, president of CHI Saint Joseph Health Foundations. “Through the past year we have remained immensely motivated as a foundation team to support our patients as well as our clinical teams at the bedside.”

Real Impacts From Evening of Hope

Smart says Evening of Hope will bring together donors across the state with intimate dinner parties. Last year’s inaugural Evening of Hope events were hosted at local distilleries and in homes with themes like a Hawaiian luau. World-renowned gardener and landscaper Jon Carloftis opened his historic home, Botherum, for the cause. More than 700 guests and 42 sponsors came together that night to raise $370,000 for cancer care at Saint Joseph Health. Smart said, “This year we hope to exceed that number.”

These funds make it possible for CHI Saint Joseph Health to offer the best care available to help patients like Kelly Terry, a young mother diagnosed with advanced colon cancer who was not eligible for the cancer screening that may have caught her disease early. Terry was recovering from major surgery and had anemia when she met Scott Pierce, MD, an oncologist at CHI Saint Joseph Health – Cancer Care Center in Lexington.

“Kelly was faced with terrible circumstances on the day we met,” Dr. Pierce said. “Yet she had a miraculous outcome from her treatment and is now disease-free.”

Stories like these are central to the Evening of Hope cause. More than just a fundraiser, Evening of Hope is focused on prevention and accessibility to screening for patients like Terry. Dollars raised have been used to support the cost of screenings and diagnostic services, comfort items for patients receiving oncology treatment, integrative medicine and financial support services.

“We know a critical component to battling cancer is early screening and detection,” Smart said. “Through events like Evening of Hope, we’ve been able to expand upon the lifesaving screening programs like Yes, Mamm! Yes, Cerv!”

A Community Makes Early Detection a Priority

Founded in 2012 and expanded this year to include cervical cancer screenings, the Yes, Mamm! and Yes, Cerv! programs provide mammograms and cervical cancer screenings to low-income or underinsured patients. So far, the program has served over 2,850 patients and provided over 6,600 breast care services. The generous donations received through Evening of Hope make these benefits possible for people in need.

The community is now rallying behind the success of Evening of Hope to create local fundraising events throughout the year. Both Moe’s Southwest Grill locations in Lexington held donation drives. The Cotton Patch of Kentucky women’s apparel boutique and Lexus of Lexington have hosted successful fundraisers and sporting events such as the Lexington Challenger Tennis Event. The Bardstown Oral Surgery & Dental Implants football fundraiser also contributed to the cause.

“The creativity that goes into these important third-party community events and the Evening of Hope are so appreciated,” Smart said. “The critical dollars are important to our ministry and for the patients we serve.”

For more information about Evening of Hope, call 859.313.1705.

A version of this article originally appeared in the Winter 2022 print edition of Spirit of Health.

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