American Cancer Society taps female leaders for ResearcHERS

Female leaders in KY, IN helping American Cancer Society meet research goals

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The American Cancer Society works tirelessly to find the answers to unlocking a cure for cancer. The world’s best and brightest researchers relentlessly pursue the answers to understand how to prevent, detect, and treat all cancer types - and they’re calling on WAVE Country women to help.

The initiative is called ResearcHERS. The ACS is supporting the work of women researchers fighting cancer, while also fighting for the funds to support their life-saving work.

Leading the campaign are co-chairs Reanna Smith Hamblin, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau, and Victoria Russell, Chief of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Papa John’s. The co-chairs, the ResearcHERS – Women Fighting Cancer ambassadors, include leaders from all over Kentucky and Indiana, including WAVE 3 News anchor Dawne Gee.

Women researchers and ambassadors for the American Cancer Society’s were honest about their own battles during Friday’s launch.

“May is the month that my mother passed away just a year ago,” ambassador Victoria Russell said. “This is something I can do to honor her legacy.”

“I had a double mastectomy, went through several rounds of chemo., lost my hair,” ambassador Reanna Hamblin Smith explained.

The movement engages women to raise funds directly to support cancer researchers, women cancer researchers and all that ACS does for cancer patients and their families.

“We wanted to focus on the women in research and we wanted to inspire individuals that are thinking about a career in science,” Erica Kellem Beasley with ACS said.

The ambassadors will work to build a powerful and growing force of fighters and donors to help save lives from all types of cancer.

Erica Kellem Beasley with the American Cancer Society stressed that cancer affects everyone in some way shape or form.
Erica Kellem Beasley with the American Cancer Society stressed that cancer affects everyone in some way shape or form. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

“Everyone, regardless of who you are, has been affected by cancer in some way, shape or form,” Beasley said. “That’s how big cancer is.”

The ACS needs the Army against cancer to be even bigger.

“If we don’t have people giving to the cause then we’re never going to find a cure and we’re not going to be able to offer the support that we want to offer to patients and their families,” Beasley explained.

Find out how you can help here.

In Kentucky, the ACS is currently funding $4.5 million in research grants at UK, UofL and Hosparus. By July that amount will raise to $5.3 million dollars.

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