Event honors cancer patient, raises funds

First Posted: 9/15/2014

More than 300 people from the Back Mountain and Wyoming Valley attended a Screw Cancer Brew Hope fundraiser Sept. 6 on behalf of Olivia Marquart.

Marquart was diagnosed in August 2013 with synovial sarcoma, a soft tissue tumor behind her knee. She is now undergoing a set of treatments for subsequent tumors affecting her lungs.

Marquart, 23, was the guest of honor at the fundraiser, which was held at the home of James and Keri Wood.

Marquart said that one of the most difficult things about being a young adult cancer patient is being older than the pediatric patients and younger than the average cancer patient. Young adult cancer patients often find it difficult to find someone their own age to whom they can relate.

Marquart also said that, through the Ulman Cancer Fund, young adults can find others in their own age range going through the same experiences.

The event was geared toward raising awareness for the fund.

The fund, of which James Wood is a board member, is a resource network for adults ages 18 to 40 battling or surviving cancer, as well as their families and loved ones. The foundation’s mission statement is “we change lives by creating a community of support for young adults and their loved ones as they fight cancer and embrace survivorship.”

Nearly 70,000 new cases of cancer are found in young adults in the United States each year.

Marquart is a 2009 graduate of Wyoming Seminary and a 2013 graduate of Salve University in Newport, Rhode Island. She wants to pursue a career in early childhood education to become a teacher of pre-school to second-grade students.

Saturday’s event was held to raise money for the organization. The evening featured dinner and drinks followed by a program in which Marquart was the speaker, as were Wood and Brian Satola, chief operating officer and senior director of awareness and activation at the Ulman Cancer Fund.

Live entertainment was provided by the band Teddy Young and the Aces.

Erica Johnson, who is now working for the Ulman Foundation in Baltimore, also was an organizer of the evening’s events. Johnson is a graduate of Lake-Lehman High School and recently participated in a 72-day cross country bike ride to raise funds and awareness for cancer. She served as captain of the 30 cyclists who traveled over 4,000 miles for the cause.

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