We remembered Karen Wyckoff’s vision to support sarcoma patients and to galvanize researchers to find a cure for the disease. Many friends of the Wyckoff family who were there in the beginning as the foundation took shape, came for this historic evening to honor Pete and Sue Wyckoff for their passion and tireless energy in furthering the sarcoma story. The Wyckoff family, Pete, Sue and son Pete, and a host of family and close friends helped establish RIS as a nationally recognized organization.
In addition to Pete and Sue, we recognized the educators and researchers who work in the trenches with patients, in the lecture halls with students and in research labs. On this special night, Dr. Randy Hurley, medical director of oncology and hematology at Regions Hospital and Karen Wyckoff’s oncologist, presented the 2019 Excellence in Education Award to Dr. Christian Ogilvie. New research grants to Mayo Clinic and Children’s Minnesota, totaling $45,000, were announced.
As the evening continued it was clear the RIS mission would continue to make an impact under the strong leadership of Blake Hastings, RIS Board President and sarcoma survivor. Blake shared his sarcoma story, recounting with gratitude the physicians who expertly treated him with care and compassion and welcomed all to enjoy dinner and the rest of the evening.
After dinner and an exciting live auction, Denis Clohisy, University of Minnesota orthopedic surgeon, introduced Casey O’Brien, the evening's keynote speaker. Casey’s physical presence, his story as a four-time cancer survivor, and his drive to beat sarcoma to achieve his dream of playing football for the University of Minnesota Gophers was absolutely captivating. Casey embodies the RIS vision. He received expert care from physicians at the University of Minnesota who often work in collaboration with doctors and researchers at Mayo Clinic. He is also surrounded by a community of supporters who continue to encourage him to shoot for the stars. Casey inspired us to continue to educate, support, and to give generously to sarcoma research. Watch Casey's story.
At the close of a perfect evening, nearly $170,000 was raised to further the sarcoma story so that more stories of hope like Casey’s can be shared. Since the inception of RIS, research grants totaling $2 million have been awarded. It was truly a night to remember, honor and celebrate!
Thank you to our photographers: Bill Donovan and Ruth Hoban (photo booth)