The Third Annual Bobby F. Garrett Throat Cancer Benefit will be held on Saturday December 3, 2011 at Saint Matthew AME Church at 3:00 PM. The benefit is an effort to raise awareness about the disease and to raise funds for research and ultimately prevention.
Throat cancer is a “silent killer” that is spreading rapidly in the African American Community. Until recent years there was little known or said about throat cancer Fifty years ago, throat cancer was five times more common in men than in women, today it is only twice as common. About 70% of those with throat cancer are detected at a late stage, therefore reducing the chances of survival. The life span of throat cancer patients is approximately five years after the initial diagnosis. It should also be note that cancers in the throat and mouth area, if arrested with treatment, have a high likelihood of recurring and aggressively spreading to other areas of the body. Symptoms of throat cancer include, but are not limited to a lingering sore throat, hoarseness, temporary loss of voice, swelling in the throat area, and continuous acid reflux. Treatment of the cancer is often two or three fold. It can be radiation, chemotherapy, surgery, removal of the vocal chords, and or a tracheotomy which creates a means of breathing through the neck.
When asked about the founding of the benefit by herself and her daughter, Dr. Alice Garrett stated, “after the care giving for eleven years of her husband and benefiting from the love and support of so many people during such a difficult time, we had to do something to give back, to help arrest this disease, and to help other families who might experience the same or similar trauma. She further stated, “Esophagus Cancer is the least funded cancer of all known cancers in the United States. In our communities we often give to benefits and participate in groups but rarely do we step out and start something that can be identified with us as a people. Our giving is most often couched under the umbrella of well established organizations and benefits.” Even so, the most important thing is that we give to help any cause that will save lives. We never know the devastation and the need until it touches our lives.” The benefit is the first known effort to raise awareness and funds for throat cancer.
All proceeds from the benefit go to the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina who has partnered with the Garrett family. To assist in the benefit efforts you may send tax deductible donation to Garrett Benefit, 1607 East Martin St. Raleigh, NC 27610. Please write Garrett Benefit on the memo line. Online donations are accepted at http;//garrettconcert.kintera.org
(Esophageal is used interchangeably in this article because once the cancer is found in any area of the neck and throat. If the cancer recurs, it spreads throughout all areas.)