Photography by Wendy Bowman

SA Cancer Council Current President Cheryl Wright shares on the organization’s legacy, community, and impact:

One of the Council’s efforts that I think best illustrates the power of volunteerism is the SA Cancer Council’s commitment in 2010 to pledge one million dollars from the sale of the Cure Cancer Cards to establish the SA Cancer Council Distinguished Chair in Oncology. This pledge funded the academic chair position in perpetuity, giving the Mays Cancer Center the ability to attract great leadership to this position, and support the holder’s efforts in cancer research. This endowment was held by Dr. Michael Wargovich, until this year when Dr. Mingjiang Xu became the new holder. This endowment is just one example of the financial impact of funds generated from the sale of the Cure Cancer Cards.  

The Council’s work is truly a community effort. Sponsors and loyal partners from the retail community are vital in so many ways.  They sell the cards, offer the discount to card holders, include the card in their marketing and even provide storage and facilities for operations in order to make the Cure Cancer Card fundraiser a reality each year. It is the unique partnership with loyal retailers that has always been the key to the success of the Cure Cancer Card. Our individual and collective partnerships with these businesses continue to create an awareness in our city about the remarkable work being done at the Mays Cancer Center in leading the fight against cancer.  

The Mays Cancer Center has a clear mission: decrease the burden of cancer in San Antonio and South Texas. A cancer diagnosis results in physical, emotional and financial challenges. The funds generated from Cure Cancer Card sales help to support cancer research and offset patient costs for necessities such as food and medicine, lodging for out-of-town patients, transportation to and from treatment, and so much more. Buying a Cure Cancer Card can help change the story for those being treated for cancer today. 

Future plans for the Cure Cancer Card fundraiser include continuing to expand our sales area. Given the fast-growing pace of San Antonio, we look forward to growing our retail partnerships. Marketing plans are underway to allow us to reach a broader segment of our city. We are working to launch a full-scale social media presence, and to increase the use of technology to make the process faster and easier for merchants and  card purchases. By implementing these strategies, we hope to double our number of partner retailers and card sales within the next five years. 

It has been a great joy and honor for me to serve as president of the Council at a time when cancer research and treatment are experiencing rapid advancements.  My career in education and serving as a volunteer at the Mays Cancer Center created a natural segue to interacting with members of the SA Cancer Council to help eradicate cancer which will impact future generations locally, nationally and internationally. I am proud to help lead the effort to save lives through Cure Cancer Card sales that will change the story of cancer for generations to come. 

Edited from an interview by Eleanora Morrison. 
This feature was (Em)Powered by the SA Cancer Council.