WINGS OF HOPE FOR PANCREATIC CANCER RESEARCH held its annual fundraising event April 25th at The Wildlife Experience. Based on the comments from those attending, it was an inspirational and unforgettable evening for all who gathered to help raise awareness and research funding for the pancreatic cancer programs at the University of Colorado Cancer Center.
WINGS OF HOPE founder and former mayor of Castle Pines Maureen Shul opened the evening by sharing that it was her grief over losing her brother and mother within months of one another to pancreatic cancer that led to her establishing the foundation.
Special guest speaker was Maureen’s brother, SR-71 Pilot Brian Shul, who shared his story of being shot down near the Cambodian border during the Vietnam conflict, being severely burned and hospitalized for more than a year before coming back to fly the highest, fastest flying jet ever built. His story of resilience in the face of incredible odds resonated and touched every one that filled the Extreme Screen theatre to hear his story and see rare photos and video of the SR-71 on the massive screen.
Maureen Shul added that based on the outpouring of support for the event and effort to increase pancreatic cancer research funding at Anschutz Medical Campus, work has already begun on the next event. “More than providing an enjoyable evening, I would like everyone to walk away with more awareness than they had before on pancreatic cancer, how urgently needed the research is, and how each person has the opportunity to make a difference in this effort,” stated Maureen Shul.
Attendees at the sold out event included presenting sponsor Walt Imhoff and Betsy Hogan, former State Senator Paula Sandoval, Robert Olislagers, Nancy Doty, Dr. and Mrs. Judy Kleiner, Linda Michow, Sam and Isabella Realmuto, Chip and Debbie Coppola, Greg and Jennifer Miller, Betsy Crane, Nick and Jenn Kemp, Virginia Shaffer from Phoenix, Jim and Janet Comerford from Grand Junction, Mary Jamison from Houston, Heather Wick, Ginger and Scott Rubey, Charlie and Gayle Johnson, the John Buffington family, Anne, Bill and Jake Cunningham, Stacy Ohlsson, and Bill Falkenberg. The University of Colorado Cancer Center, which recently entered into a partnership with Wings of Hope, was represented by Dr. Colin Weekes, Dr. Wells Messersmith, Dr. Dan Theodorescu, Dr. Andrew Thorburn, Dr. Stephen Leong, Dr. Chris Lieu, Allison Krebs, Adam Crowley and Cancer Center Administrator Mark Kochevar.
Photos courtesy of Lynn Hillenburg Zahorik
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