The 8th Annual Spirit of Survival is on Oct. 6, 2013. This multi-race event in downtown Lawton focuses on raising funds and awareness for cancer research and clinical trials being conducted in the Southwest Oklahoma community. All proceeds will benefit the Cancer Centers of Southwest Oklahoma and cancer research worldwide. Read more about the Cancer Centers of Southwest Oklahoma here.
Building the Cancer Centers of Southwest Oklahoma
Spirit of Survival 2006 – 2009
In 2006, Comanche County Memorial Hospital, Jackson County Memorial Hospital, and Duncan Regional Hospital recognized the need for local cancer treatment in our Southwest Oklahoma community, and began the 1st Spirit of Survival to help fundraise for the construction of a major cancer treatment facility in three locations: Lawton, Duncan, and Altus. And with only 327 participants, the 1st race was definitely a learning experience for all of us!
But we were so honored and pleased that our communities rallied together to support our cause and with that help, the new Cancer Centers of Southwest Oklahoma broke ground and began construction in 2007. Before our combined efforts to localize available treatments for cancer patients, many Southwest Oklahomans have been challenged to fight the battle against cancer in unfamiliar places, hundreds of miles from home and isolated from their friends and family. In many cases, the cost and the resources to travel frequently for treatments have been too great, and patients have resolved to forego potentially life-saving cancer treatment.
By late 2007, the race had grown to over 1,000 participants and construction was well underway. Spirit of Survival 2008-2009 brought in almost 2,000 runners and walkers and the Cancer Centers of Southwest Oklahoma with its three locations were complete and seeing patients.
Helping Cancer Research Locally and Nationally
Spirit of Survival 2010 to Present
After the completion of the Cancer Centers, the 5th Annual Spirit of Survival event turned our focus to help fundraise for clinical trials in our community. All proceeds are 100% donated solely for the purpose of cancer research and clinical trials.
Under the direction of Medical Director Nadim Nimeh, MD, there are nearly 30 cancer research projects taking place at the Cancer Centers of Southwest Oklahoma. This includes 28 clinical trials, as well several drug protocols and registries. Recognized as one of the leading cancer researchers in Oklahoma, Dr. Nimeh has over 435 patients currently enrolled in research.
Spirit of Survival 2010 grew to over 2,000 walkers and runners and helped raise over $80,000 for cancer research. With that money, clinical trials began at Duncan Regional as well as attributed to the continuation and growth here at the Lawton campus. Our cancer research and clinical trials locally have a direct impact on the treatment of cancer nationally and could lead to a cure for all.
In 2011, the sixth-annual event included about 2,500 participants in the competitive and non-competitive events, 500 community volunteers and about $85,000 raised for cancer research -- making it our best event yet!