|WARE — A record number of walkers from area communities participated in the seventh annual Walk of Champions on May 6 to benefit Cancer Care Services at Baystate Mary Lane Hospital.
More than 1,200 walkers raised $77,400, setting off from the Goodnough Dike amid the magnificent views of the Quabbin Reservoir, in an extraordinary show of support for friends, family members, and neighbors who have been touched by cancer.
“Keeping cancer care local is important, and we are honored by the hundreds of walkers who support this important event,” said Lori Tuttle, program manager of the Baystate Regional Cancer Program at Mary Lane Hospital. “Their ongoing generosity and support helps us offer the highest-quality care in a patient-centered environment, with the expertise of our medical staff from the Baystate Regional Cancer Program right here in Ware.”
Chuck Gijanto, president of Baystate Regional Markets, which includes Baystate Mary Lane Hospital, added, “we are very grateful to our presenting sponsor, Country Bank for Savings, and to other local businesses that sponsored the event, including Health New England, Intercity Lines, Boar’s Head Pioneer Provisions, and Quaboag Rehabilitation & Skilled Care Center. They all contributed immeasurably to the success of this event.”
The 2012 Walk of Champions included live music throughout the morning, featuring musician and cancer survivor Buzz Tremblay, lead singer of the band New Bay Colony. He joined Ware paramedic Christopher Gagnon on stage for a moving tribute to all who walk in honor or memory of those touched by cancer. “I have made several great friends, including the important members of my health care team who now walk with me throughout this journey with cancer,” said Tremblay. “The close-knit staff at the Baystate Regional Cancer Program at Baystate Mary Lane Hospital has become a great source of strength for me; I’m receiving outstanding medical care from the team that is compassionate with just the right measure of dignity, reality, and lightheartedness.”
Gijanto remarked, “it was an amazing day as our patients, joined by their families and friends, supported each other during the very moving walk, which, since 2006, has raised $378,000 to benefit cancer care right here in our community. I speak on behalf of our Cancer Care team at Baystate Mary Lane Hospital and Baystate Health in saying thank you to the many teams, individual walkers, corporate and in-kind sponsors, schools. and volunteers who helped to make the seventh annual Walk of Champions a huge success.”
For more information about the Walk of Champions, or to find out how you can become involved, contact Michelle Graci at (413) 794-7654 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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