Paddle Against Cancer Celebrates 5th Year With Focus On Pediatric Cancer Awareness

paddle against cancer
Participants in Paddle Against Cancer, paddling with purpose. This year’s event takes place Saturday, May 23. Photo: Paddle Against Cancer

Paddle Against Cancer Celebrates 5th Year With Focus On Pediatric Cancer Awareness

Paddle event has raised more than $100,000 for Moffitt Cancer Center over past four years

TREASURE ISLAND, Fla. – Paddle Against Cancer, an annual stand-up paddleboard event benefiting cancer research, will have a new partner this year. In addition to raising funds for Moffitt Cancer Center, as it has done for four years, Paddle Against Cancer is teaming up with 1Voice Foundation to also raise awareness of pediatric cancer.

Recently, several children who have faced their own cancer fight have touched Paddle Against Cancer founder Gene Evans’ life, which is why he decided to partner with 1Voice (OneVoice) Foundation, a Tampa-based nonprofit that provides support programs for pediatric cancer families while raising funds and awareness for research.

Evans, an avid paddleboarder, was diagnosed with stage IV kidney cancer in May 2009. Over the course of 18 months, Evans underwent multiple surgeries, treatments and physical therapy, and now has had four years of clear scans.

At Paddle Against Cancer on May 23, a special paddleboard area will be set up for the 1Voice families so they can join in the paddling fun. Also, Mary Ann Massolio, executive director of 1Voice, will have an opportunity to introduce the foundation and its mission to attendees.

Among the families that will be involved is the Provenzano family of Lakeland, Fla. Dominic Provenzano, 13, is fighting a rare blood-related form of advanced melanoma, and has undergone treatment designed for adults because of the lack of research for pediatric treatments.

“Going through cancer is difficult enough as an adult,” said event organizer Evans. “I can’t imagine going through it with a child, which is why I wanted to help raise awareness of pediatric cancer.”

Now in its fifth year, Paddle Against Cancer has raised more than $100,000 for Moffitt Cancer Center in the past four annual events. More than 200 stand-up paddleboard enthusiasts are expected to participate in 3-mile or 7-mile paddle events beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 23 at The Club at Treasure Island, 400 Treasure Island Causeway.

Following the paddles, a free poolside event will be held at The Club featuring giveaways, cancer survivor stories and a live band.

Visit paddleagainstcancer.org to register for the 3-mile or 7-mile paddle or to make a donation to benefit Moffitt Cancer Center’s research.

About Paddle Against Cancer
Paddle Against Cancer, an annual standup paddleboard charity event, was founded in 2011 by Gene Evans, a Stage 4-kidney cancer survivor and senior vice president at Clearwater-based USAmeriBank, as a way to give back to Moffitt Cancer Center and offer support for other cancer survivors. In May 2009, Evans was diagnosed with Stage 4 kidney cancer after experiencing some unusual discomfort in his back. Over the course of 18 months, Evans underwent multiple surgeries, treatments and physical therapy, and now has had four years of clear scans. For more information, visit paddleagainstcancer.org.