Every July, thousands of people gather in Hanover, New Hampshire, to bike, hike, row, golf, and go-the-distance in support of cancer research and patient and family services at Norris Cotton Cancer Center. This year marks the 39th Prouty—the cancer center’s signature fundraising event—and the first time participants will not gather in person. Instead, participants will “Prouty” virtually, from the safety of their own homes and communities.
“We’ll find a way to log our miles because The Prouty is such an important event,” said Peter Mertz, cofounder of Global Forest Partners, a Lebanon, NH-based company and corporate sponsor of The Prouty. Peter and his wife, Carolyn, have been biking in The Prouty since 2012, and, every year, Global Forest Partners fields a team of more than a dozen families. “Helping the community in which we live and work has always been a core part of our company’s philosophy.”
The Prouty is personal for Peter and Carolyn, too. Peter lost a brother to cancer, another brother is currently in remission, and several friends have been affected by cancer. “It is so gratifying to see the strides made in research that have helped so many recover,” said Peter. “Cancer is a family battle, which underscores the importance of the family supports provided by Prouty funding.”
Apart but Together
It will take thousands of people like Peter and Carolyn Mertz to achieve this year’s goal for The Prouty of $3.5 million—money that will fuel vital patient and family support services and cutting-edge research that will benefit patients worldwide, not just at Norris Cotton Cancer Center.
“No one chooses when to get cancer, and this is an especially difficult time for patients and their families.”
“No one chooses when to get cancer, and this is an especially difficult time for patients and their families,” said Steven Leach, MD, director of the Cancer Center and the Preston T. and Virginia R. Kelsey Distinguished Chair in Cancer. “Chances are, we all know someone struggling with or affected by cancer. Participating in The Prouty is a way to make a difference, a difference in patients’ lives and in discoveries that will transform cancer prevention and treatment.”
Every year, The Prouty provides seed funding for new research, allowing scientists and physicians to move ideas forward quickly. For example, Prouty pilot grants have spurred innovations that make breast surgery more accurate, radiation therapy safer, the diagnosis of prostate cancer easier, and the detection of cancer in the blood possible.
Prouty funds also fuel vital patient and family services—from support groups to grocery gift cards to meditation and yoga classes, currently being delivered online.
“To help others who are in need, and to do so together as a community, is especially meaningful,” added Peter. Anyone can make a difference in cancer research and the lives of cancer patients and their families—with or without a bike, paddle, or even sneakers. Learn more at theprouty.org.
By Jennifer Durgin