VVMC raffling off Subaru for cancer center

Daily Staff Writer
Members of the Vail Valley Medical Center Volunteer Corps show off the Subaru Outback XT they are raffling off.

Raffle tickets may be purchased through any volunteer, as well as at the information desk at the Vail Valley Medical Center and Shaw Regional Cancer Center. For information regarding the luncheon, preview party or raffle tickets, call the hotline at 569-7465. There are still tickets available, though it is expected to sell out.EAGLE COUNTY – I wouldn’t complain if a sparkling new car pulled into my driveway, someone handed me the keys and said, “Have fun for the next two years.”I certainly wouldn’t complain if they told me that all I had to do was fill her up with gas and keep my insurance current because they’d take care of the registration, title and taxes.The icing on the cake would be the car itself. It would be a 2.5-liter, DOHC intercooled turbo charged Outback XT wagon with active all-wheel drive. Two hundred fifty horse should zip me up Vail Pass, and although I have no clue what a horizontally-opposed Subaru Boxer engine is, it sure sounds spiffy to me.The Vail Valley Medical Center Volunteer Corps is raffling off this beauty – a champagne-colored, feisty wagon that will undoubtedly turn heads in your neighborhood.Now, for the good part.

The money raised from the sale of this fully paid, two-year lease is going to purchase amazing new equipment for the Shaw Regional Cancer Center. The equipment is called high-dose radiation therapy, or “brachytherapy” equipment. Mainly used for treatment of breast and prostate cancer, brachytherapy is cutting edge technology. Isotopes are placed within the tumor so radiation is aimed directly from within the tumor. There is substantially less damage to surrounding tissue and skin. Possibly the most dramatic difference from traditional radiation, though, is the decrease from treatment time from six weeks to six days.Local Sheri Panter experienced brachytherapy first hand when she was being treated for breast cancer. “When I was diagnosed for the second time with breast cancer, I was told it would take three months to see a doctor in Colorado,” she said. Instead, she traveled to the University of Wisconsin in Madison to see Dr. Kuske, who had worked with local Dr. Patricia Hardenbergh. “Cancer is a kick in the stomach,” she said. “But with brachytherapy, I was through with treatment in two weeks, with only five days of intensive radiation, twice per day. I’d go in for 10 minutes, listen to classical music while my radiation was given through a shunt.

“It put a smile on my face,” she added. “I couldn’t believe the feelings and emotions to have a non-invasive treatment for my cancer.”The new machine runs about $400,000. The volunteer corps this year decided to direct the funds from their annual spring luncheon and Neiman Marcus fashion show to assist in the purchase of this capital equipment. Last year’s event assisted Caring House, a building to house patients being treated at Shaw.”We feel strongly about supporting the Shaw center and the new Sonnenalp Breast Diagnostic and Imaging Center,” said Andy Searls, president of the volunteer corps. “Cancer has touched many friends in our valley.”Wayne Kieffer, general manager of Silverthorne Auto Group, jumped at the chance to provide the Subaru and front a good chunk of the cost for the volunteer corps and cancer center.”We want to be a part of this community and help in any way we can,” he said. “This car is the most popular Subaru we have, so it was the logical choice.”Spring wear

The Neiman Marcus fashion show is a popular springtime event. The general manager of the Cherry Creek store, Christel Dikeman, and Nancy Sagar, head of marketing, always bring a contemporary and fun spectrum of what Neiman’s suggests for springtime wear, which is different than local retailers offer, so competition isn’t much of a factor.This year they promise a diverse collection for every budget. The show is also enhanced by a special preview party the evening before the luncheon, on April 5 for patrons who purchase a luncheon ticket at the $150 level and up.WestStar Bank, along with David and Ellen Mitchell, are underwriting the preview night party.Vail, Colorado

Support Local Journalism