BEL AIR — Nearly 1,000 walkers raised $95,000 for Cancer LifeNet at the Sixth Annual Amanda Hichkad CCA Celebration Walk, held May 18 at The John Carroll School in Bel Air. The walk was presented by Klein’s ShopRite and organized by the Upper Chesapeake Health Foundation and its Chesapeake Cancer Alliance volunteers.

Since the walk’s inception in 2014, more than $700,000 has been raised by friends and neighbors helping friends and neighbors in support of Cancer LifeNet, which is funded solely by philanthropic support.

“In 2017, I attended the walk as a newly diagnosed cancer patient. Little did I know, in two years, I would be in remission and the honorary chair of this event. This walk, this community, the Kaufman Cancer Center and Cancer LifeNet saved my life,” said Michelle Cipollone, leadership volunteer and honorary chair of the Sixth Annual Amanda Hichkad CCA Celebration Walk.

Cancer LifeNet, based at the Kaufman Cancer Center at University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air, is a free-of-charge nurse navigation and supportive care program offered to cancer patients and their loved ones, regardless of where they receive cancer treatment.

The program provides nurse navigators, volunteer navigators, oncology social workers, support groups and specialized classes including tai chi, yoga, healthy cooking and group programs for children who have a parent or loved one with cancer. Last year, 1,700 cancer patients and family members received free-of-charge services through Cancer LifeNet.

The highest fundraising team, PJ Chambers – Kerry’s Crusaders, raised more than $10,000 for Cancer LifeNet. The largest team, KCC Hich-hikers, organized by Kaufman Cancer Center team members, participated with 80 registered walkers.

“I like to think of this event as ‘the Komen Walk’ of Harford County, except it’s particularly magical because it is the true definition of community,” said Jay Young, board chairman of the Upper Chesapeake Health Foundation. “Participants support each other, and they support a community health care system with a world-class program in Cancer LifeNet. This walk truly is friends and neighbors helping friends and neighbors.”

The walk is named after the late Amanda Hichkad, a Bel Air wife, mother of three boys and volunteer extraordinaire. This annual event honors and memorializes all cancer patients and their loved ones while celebrating the power of community and raising funds to support Cancer LifeNet.

Donations are still being accepted to support Cancer LifeNet and the 2019 Celebration Walk by visiting uchfoundation.org or calling 443-643-3460. To learn more about Cancer LifeNet, visit umuch.org/cancer or call 866-393-4355.

Next year’s Seventh Annual Amanda Hichkad CCA Celebration Walk will be held in May 2020 at The John Carroll School. To learn more, stay connected and pledge your support, visit uchfoundation.org for updates.

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