Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Don Smith won’t retire until a cure is found for melanoma.
Since his wife passed away from the skin cancer in 2009, the 68-year-old owner of Sun and Shade Garden Center has devoted himself to helping fund research through the Elizabeth Roberta Smith Melanoma Cancer Research Fund. The nonprofit organization, which is managed by the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga, will have its largest fundraiser yet Saturday, May 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the Tivoli Theatre.
“Anyone who comes will be giving to cancer research and getting a good show,” said Smith.
Country music singer and songwriter Bobby Bare will headline the show, which will also feature performances by local musicians Wesley Crider, Ellen Ireland and Rachel Holder. The event will also include updates on ongoing cancer research.
“We are on the verge of a great research breakthrough,” said Smith of melanoma cancer research. “People that want to know about it need to be there. We’ve got some good research and believe we are on the verge of killing the father of many cancers.”
One local patient who has been undergoing treatment at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, for stage four melanoma cancer will speak at the event about some of the treatment and research she has been a part of during her 33 trips to the center.
“It started in her lungs and moved to her fallopian tubes and uterus,” said Smith of this patient’s experience. “People don’t survive stage four, but she is surviving.”
According to Smith, melanoma is a known cause for brain, lung and kidney cancer, and some researchers suspect it may cause more types of cancer.
“Could we wipe out half of the world’s cancers with a cure to melanoma? How many cancers could we learn melanoma fathers?” asked Smith. “We won’t know until we get a cure, and I think it’s coming soon.”
Tickets to the show cost $30 and can be purchased at www.etix.com or at the Memorial Auditorium box office by calling 757-5050.
For more information visit www.elizabethmemorialfund.org or Sun and Shade Garden Center in Lookout Valley.