July 14, 2016
As we mentioned in our last post, we are very proud to be hosting our annual Ladies’ Night Out event to raise funds for Sparkle of Hope. Previously we shared that Sparkle of Hope is a charity focused on raising awareness and money for gynecologic cancer research. Today, we have been lucky to have one of Sparkle of Hope’s founding members, Jim Hoyt, share a bittersweet story of how Sparkle of Hope began and how you can continue to support their cause even after Ladies’ Night Out.
The History and Mission of Sparkle of Hope
By Jim Hoyt
“Sparkle of Hope” began as an annual gala event that in 2008 to raise awareness of gynecologic cancers and to raise much needed money to fund important research in this area. The Sparkle of Hope gala also celebrates patients, their families, and the doctors and staff of the Carbone Cancer Center. Last year 375 people attended the Sparkle of Hope gala, which netted more than $120,000 for gynecologic cancer research. “Sparkle” evolved from an earlier annual event, “Jewel of an Evening,” which primarily offered support for families and friends of gynecologic cancer patients.
My participation in Sparkle is very personal. My wife, Cheryl, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2000. Over the next five years she received outstanding care and treatment by the staff at the Carbone Cancer Center. We could not have asked for any more compassionate or professional care. When Cheryl’s journey with us ended in 2005, I told her medical team I would do whatever I could to advance their ability to detect and cure ovarian cancer. This led directly to my involvement in the founding and the development of Sparkle of Hope.
More than 82,000 women are diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer each year. These cancers are often called “silent killers” because they have few unique symptoms, and often reach advanced levels before they can be detected. This was the case with Cheryl. As one recent promotion has put it, “They whisper, so we must listen.” In southern Wisconsin we are fortunate to have one of the leading Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the country, a facility that has been truly making a difference in the fight against gynecologic cancers. The funds raised by Sparkle of Hope provide grants to these scientists to help them apply for additional funding and to begin new and inventive research.
This year the Sparkle of Hope gala will be held at Monona Terrace at 6:00 on Friday, September 30th. The evening will include live entertainment, a fantastic dinner and program, and outstanding live and silent auction items available for bidding. The mission of the Carbone Cancer Center and the Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology is to continually work to improve the lives of women who live with these cancers. Sparkle of Hope contributes directly to that mission. For more details on Sparkle’s gala please visit their website: http://www.uwhealth.org/obgyn/sparkleofhope/sparkle-of-hope/46017.