Fitzgibbon Hospital’s 30th Annual Pete H. Rea Memorial Golf Tournament will be held Saturday, July 10, at the Indian Foothills Golf Course in Marshall. And as one of the primary public events that helps support the not-for-profit hospital, the stakes this year are higher than ever.
All proceeds from this year’s golf tournament will help fund the new Linear Accelerator for the Fitzgibbon Community Cancer Center. This device is the main piece of equipment used in providing radiation therapy cancer treatment to individuals in our area. Replacement of the Linear Accelerator will allow more types of cancer to be treated without having to make exhausting trips into large cities to receive treatment. The new device also will allow treatments to occur more quickly, meaning the time patients need to set aside in their schedules for recurring treatments will be reduced.
“This is my first year experiencing the Pete H. Rea Memorial Golf Tournament, but the assistance of tournament directors Tanner Fennewald and Lisa McComas, as well as the amazing volunteers that we have from the hospital and community, make me see why this tournament has been the most anticipated tournament for the last 30 years” said Andrea Barr, Fitzgibbon Hospital Foundation Director.
Barr took the reins of the Fitzgibbon Hospital Foundation late last year and has already led a successful “virtual” Fling online fundraising event.
“Last year, we had to cancel the golf tournament because of Covid-19. Everyone has been very enthusiastic about getting back on the course and showing their support for Fitzgibbon Hospital and our effort to help more people through the Fitzgibbon Community Cancer Center,” said Barr.
Fitzgibbon Hospital launched its capital campaign to replace the linear accelerator in the fall of 2020. The campaign goal is $2 million, with an installation date scheduled for later this year. The current linear accelerator was purchased as part of the opening of the Community Cancer Center 11 years ago and was funded partiall through the donations. While the current machine is fully utilized and still delivers therapy according to the standard of care, the new linear accelerator will increase the speed at which radiation is delivered, as well as provide new opportunities for treating additional cancers.
Currently, the linear accelerator moves and stops many times as it provides the targeted radiation therapy to the patient. The new linear accelerator will provide the treatment without stopping, in arcs around the affected area. This will greatly speed the delivery of radiation, which also will allow the Fitzgibbon Community Cancer Center to expand its offering of cancers that can be treated. Some individuals have medical conditions that preclude them from being able to be still for long periods of time. This new linear accelerator will make care for them possible, as the technology will be able to precisely map the areas that will receive treatment, even when the patient has to move slightly. Lung cancer, for example, is difficult to treat locally because the treatment area moves as the patient’s chest expands and collapses as they take each breath.
But speed is not the only benefit that will be gained with the new linear accelerator. The technology itself has improved over the last 10 years with all the research in cancer treatment. This means the Saline County and surrounding area will be able to take advantage of additional capabilities in cancer care. This new linear accelerator will have an immediate impact on individuals battling lung, prostate, head and neck cancers.
For more information about the Fitzgibbon Foundation or to sign up a team to play in the 30th Annual Pete H. Rea Memorial Golf Tournament, call Andrea Barr at (660) 831-3850 or email at [email protected].
To give to the Fitzgibbon Community Cancer Center’s Linear Accelerator Capital Campaign, visit the Fitzgibbon Hospital Foundation page at https://www.fitzgibbon.org/about-us/giving-back.