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Tie the Ribbons Brings Hope to Our Mothers, Sisters, & Daughters

Tie the Ribbons Brings Hope to Our Mothers, Sisters, & Daughters

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Through shared stories of amazing perseverance and a day of fundraising for the future, the HudsonAlpha Foundation’s Tie the Ribbons event brings hope to those battling breast and ovarian cancer. This year’s event will be returning November 9 at 11:30 in the VBC South Hall.

Hope Reigns at Tie the Ribbons

Tie the Ribbons was started in 2009 by Elizabeth Herrin in honor of her mother who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and later diagnosed with breast cancer. From the humble beginnings of 200 people, the event has grown to welcome 1,200 guests and helps generate over $100,000 a year to go towards HudsonAlpha’s breast and ovarian cancer program..

Erica Gattis leads the planning team for this year’s event, the first in person event since the start of the pandemic. She says they’re excited to have the event come back and to continue the special tradition.

Survivors share stories of hope and resilience during Tie the Ribbons.

“It’s an event all about hope and honoring the survivors and loved ones of people who have battled these two types of cancers. It will feature testimonials from survivors and their personal stories of strength and inspiration, and  Dr. Sara Cooper will give an update on how HudsonAlpha is using genomics in breast and ovarian cancer research,” Gattis said.

In addition to sharing stories of hope and strength, the event will have a silent auction and fashion show to enjoy. The Tie the Ribbons Luncheon historically is a sold-out event, so be sure to grab your tickets.

“We have a wonderful and supportive audience and we can’t wait to see our TTR friends again,” Gattis said.

Making Strides in Diagnosis and Treatment

Tie the Ribbons directly supports HudsonAlpha’s breast and ovarian program. “Dr. Sara Cooper is a Faculty Investigator at HudsonAlpha and says the support is critical in the work that they are doing.

“The Tie the Ribbons event supports a variety of research projects all related to breast and ovarian cancer at HudsonAlpha. My lab is interested in a couple of specific questions related to cancer research. HudsonAlpha is a genetics and genomics research institute, so we are interested in using those technologies to help us understand cancer in a variety of different ways,” Cooper said.

In addition to their breast and ovarian cancer programs, HudsonAlpha offers genetic cancer screenings through their Information is Power initiative.

Cooper and her team focus mainly on treatment resistance and immunotherapy treatment research. They’re working to find out why treatments do not always work and how to identify individuals who may not respond, so that a better option can be offered. In addition, Cooper and her team are looking into immunotherapy treatments that help stimulate the body’s natural immune system to recognize tumors and kill them.

“I think the approach that we are taking is exciting because it allows us to essentially explore lots of different ways that cancer cells become resistant and potentially identify many different ways that we could reverse that resistance or even prevent it in the first place,” Cooper said.

HudsonAlpha is researching treatment resistance and immunotherapy treatment for breast and ovarian cancer.

In addition to providing funds for their research, Tie the Ribbons also helps support HudsonAlpha’s genetic cancer risk screening initiative, Information is Power. Open to adults 19 years and older, this simple cheek swab helps identify genetic changes that can increase the risks of developing certain types of cancer.

Cooper says the funds from the Tie the Ribbons luncheon is essential to what they do in the lab, but also serves as an important day of reflection and inspiration.

“It’s an honor to have the opportunity to talk to people and it’s hard to put into words how important that support is for the work that we do. I think it’s an honor and a privilege to give updates on what we’re doing and also to hear the stories of the people that have taken the time to share a part of their life that you know has been challenging. Every year I think it couldn’t possibly be as good as the year before, but it’s always wonderful to hear all the amazing stories,” Cooper said.

“That day is a reflection of why we are doing what we’re doing. It’s not just the data. It’s about helping people and impacting lives.”

Tie the Ribbons Event Details

Date: Wednesday, November 9, 2022 at 11:30 a.m.
Location: VBC South Hall (map)
Website | Facebook Event

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