Dedicated Family Works to Support Life-Saving Research
Community Fundraisers Back Great Causes at Jefferson
For Greg Fitzgerald, fundraising is a way to “do something”—a way to get involved in helping his mother stay healthy.
Greg, 27, of Delran, New Jersey, runs a golf outing every year to support the research of Takami Sato, MD, PhD, director of Jefferson’s Metastatic Uveal Melanoma Program, because “without Dr. Sato’s research, I don’t know where we’d be.”
In 2015, Greg’s mother, Susan, was diagnosed with uveal melanoma, a rare eye cancer that affects about six in every one million people in the United States. More than 95 percent of patients have tumors only in the eye when they are diagnosed with uveal melanoma, but in approximately half of these patients the cancer will subsequently spread to other parts of the body—most commonly the liver.
Susan was referred to Sato, a world-renowned expert in the disease who conducts pioneering research at Jefferson. She underwent treatment, and is currently in remission and doing well.
As soon as his mother was diagnosed, Greg says he felt compelled to take action.
“The best way for me to help my mother was to contribute to the cause, to raise money for research and clinical trials for uveal melanoma treatment,” he says.
He decided to do that by running an annual golf outing. His goal: “To raise as much as possible and donate it all to Dr. Sato’s research to eradicate the disease.”
Although he has been active in fundraising since his teens, Greg had never taken on a project so involved. He chose a golf event because “golf is a good way to get out and enjoy the summertime,” he says. “It’s something that would attract a lot of people, and more people means more money!”
The first year of the event, hosted by the Rancocas Golf Club in Willingboro, New Jersey, attracted 36 golfers and raised $900. The second year, the outing grew to 60 golfers and brought in $3,000. The third year saw 70 participants help to raise more than $7,000. And this July, 64 people teed up to raise almost $8,000.
The fundraiser takes about 100 hours of planning throughout the year—approximately two hours per week, Greg notes. And it has become a family affair with his mother, father, and two sisters and their husbands working alongside him.
Greg encourages anyone interested in community fundraising to “jump in! Not only is it fun, but it doesn’t matter whether the event is small or large—every little bit helps.”
Jefferson welcomes fundraising events organized and run by members of the community. Whether you’re planning a 5K race or golf outing, holding a bake sale, creating a fundraising page in memory of a loved one, or undertaking any of the many ways to raise money for a cause, Jefferson is there to help you. Proceeds from events support everything from groundbreaking research and exceptional education to quality patient care and healing. For more information on how you can raise money for a good cause, visit www.jefferson.edu/communityfundraising or contact Cara DiGregorio at firstname.lastname@example.org.