The 9th annual JoAnne Sullivan Memorial Golf Tournament is scheduled for Monday, August 19 at the Framingham Country Club, and Pat Sullivan is ready to help cure cancer.
He does it for his late mother.
“I’m the biggest mama’s boy that anyone’s ever gonna meet,” Pat said. “She was my best friend and my hero.”
JoAnne Sullivan was diagnosed with breast cancer when Pat was 10; after chemo and radiation, she was cancer-free. But ten years later, doctors found a stage four tumor in her back. JoAnne spent the next four years getting treatment at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
“Every moment we were at Dana Farber we knew that… whatever care she was going to get in that hospital would be the best care she could get anywhere in the world,” shared Sullivan.
JoAnne passed away after those four years.
“Having to say goodbye to her the way I did was heartbreaking, but she asked me to make a promise.”
Pat promised to do whatever he could to “make sure other sons don’t see their mother go through this.”
The Sullivan family wanted to give back to Dana Farber, so they started their annual golf tournament. Nine years later, they’ve donated over $350,000.
That funding has gone towards groundbreaking research in cancer treatment, helping doctors develop a type of immunotherapy and chemotherapy that targets specific cancer cells. The treatment is associated with fewer side effects, and has a strong success rate among patients.
It’s just one step towards the aim of the fund — to help cure cancer.
“The goal is to make it so when you get diagnosed with cancer, it's not a death sentence,” said the event organizer. “The goal is to get to a point where cancer doesn't affect people more than strep throat. [We’ll] just keep doing this until there is a cure.”
On Monday, supporters will head to the Framingham Country Club to raise money for an important cause, while having fun doing it.
There will be a big dinner in the evening, when people will share stories with lots of laughter and emotion. And there will be pink jackets awarded to the winners of the tournament. “There’s lots of prestige in that,” Pat joked.
While the tournament itself is sold out, anyone can come on Monday to support the fund.
Tickets for the dinner are still available, and the fund is accepting donations.
Until then, Pat is busy getting ready for the tournament.
“We’re getting ready to finally get this thing underway.”
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