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Upstate Foundation to host third annual Call In For Cancer

The Upstate Foundation is partnering with iHeartMedia to conduct Call In For Cancer on Thursday, Oct. 21 to benefit unmet needs for patients treated at the Upstate Cancer Center. The third annual fundraiser will be broadcast live from radio stations News Radio 570 WSYR and Y94, from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m., featuring stories of hope, courage and caring from patients, family members and health care providers.

“The stories are so inspirational,” noted Eileen Pezzi, vice president for development at Upstate. “It’s very gratifying listening to testimony after testimony of the great work being done at the Upstate Cancer Center, and knowing the Foundation’s role in supporting its patients and families, and our colleagues.”

Pezzi cited the capital campaign conducted by the Upstate Foundation to help construct the facility, and the ongoing annual support of the Cancer Center’s programs, services and research in the years since its doors opened seven years ago. 

“Even with the Foundation’s annual fund, the needs of cancer patients far outweigh the resources we can provide,” Pezzi added.

“Call In For Cancer gives the Central New York community a glimpse into the lives of their neighbors and friends who are undergoing very challenging times,” explained Sheila Ossit of the Foundation. “It is an opportunity for listeners to say, ‘we care about you and what you’re going through.’ They essentially become part of the healing process.”   

The statistics are eye opening. Since the Upstate Cancer Center opened in 2014, patient volume at the has increased 35 percent. On any given day, more than 375 patients will be treated at Cancer Center sites in Syracuse, Oswego and Oneida; there were 4,200 new patients at these same sites in 2020. Over 500 children were treated last year. There are 75 active clinical trials open and accruing at the Cancer Center.

Due to increased demand, the Cancer Center has upgraded and expanded its Oswego office, and planning is underway for new offices at Community Hospital, Verona and Auburn. The Community office is scheduled to open in November 2021.

Donations can be made online now and throughout Call In For Cancer by visiting www.upstatefoundation.org/CallInForCancer, or on Oct. 21 from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. by calling 315-464-5500. Donors may also text To Give, keyword CALLIN to 4-1444. To learn more about the patients featured during Call In For Cancer, visit the Upstate Foundation and Upstate Cancer Center Facebook pages.

For more information, contact the Upstate Foundation at 315-464-4416.


Caption: Dave Allen, left, of News Radio 570 WSYR, interviews Dr. Jeff Bogart, then-interim chair of the Upstate Cancer Center, last year as part of Call In For Cancer. WSYR’s Ian Wheatley listens in.