Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Wildly caring: Confluence Health partners with Wenatchee Wild to fight cancer

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Wenatchee — The boards still rattled as players competed in an exciting game but, for this night at least, a hockey fight took on a whole new meaning. Partnering with the Wenatchee Wild, Confluence Health presented the Hockey Fights Cancer night at this past Saturday’s game against the Prince George Spruce Kings with $3 from every fundraising ticket sold going towards causes that support the fight against cancer. In addition to the game, hockey fans also received rally towels to show their support, had the opportunity to snag a photo with Walt the Wolf, and browsed various booths and activities with information about local cancer support services. An auction for Wenatchee Wild hockey jerseys specially designed for the event was also held, with all proceeds going to support cancer programs. The event saw the largest turnout to a Wenatchee Wild home game since February 1, 2020, with 3,521 community members turning out to do their part to fight cancer.

“Cancer care is something that requires us to all come together and fight for our friends, family, and neighbors to keep the best access to care and services available, commented Spencer Green, the oncology service line director for Confluence Health.

“Approximately 1,500 people begin receiving treatment for cancer each year at Confluence Health. With most patients continuing active follow-ups for five or more years after their initial diagnoses, this means at any given time that we see between 7,000 to 10,000 patients annually. Cancer rates have held steady, but the number of patients has continued to grow as our population grows, which is why we need to continue our efforts in this fight.

These events are vital to not only raise funds to help the efforts to address cancer patients’ needs, but also to spread awareness and support while celebrating cancer survivors and their families. This year, the proceeds from the event will go to the EASE Foundation, a local group that supports cancer education and awareness, which will help to continue and expand these efforts.”

A family event showing how connected and united we all are in the fight against cancer, many different community members participated in making it a success. Violet Madson, daughter of Confluence Health employees Brant and Rachel Madson and one of the leads in the Wenatchee School District’s recent all-district musical, performed stirring renditions of the national anthem for both the United States and Canada while over 300 staff members from Confluence Health and their families, including many from the oncology department, cheered on from the stands. In addition, 17 cancer survivors, whose years of survival range from eight months to 36 years, attended the event as guests of Confluence Health and were made honorary Wenatchee Wild team captains for the game.

While the final amount is still being tallied, over $15,000 was raised for the EASE Foundation, double what was raised last year. “It was great to see so many turn out to support patients and their families as they fight cancer,” continued Green. “We’re truly better together and, when we unite in common cause, it’s amazing what we can do.”

About Confluence Health: Confluence Health serves the largest geographic region of any healthcare system in Washington State, covering over 12,000 square miles of Okanogan, Grant, Douglas, and Chelan counties. Confluence is one of only two locally-lead healthcare systems in the state with the purpose of maintaining availability and access to high-quality, cost-effective healthcare services for North Central Washington. The Confluence Health Board of Directors provides governance for Confluence Health, the Clinic, Central Washington Hospital, and Wenatchee Valley Hospital, and includes nine community board members and six physician board members.

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