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Creighton and UNMC to Host Fifth Annual “Kicks for a Cure” April 16,17

Creighton and UNMC to Host Fifth Annual “Kicks for a Cure” April 16,17

The fifth annual “Kicks for a Cure” soccer weekend to raise awareness and generate funds for research, education and prevention of women’s cancer will be held April 16 and 17. This year, a featured highlight will be a 7 p.m. Saturday, April 17 match between Creighton University’s men’s soccer team and the reigning NCAA Division I champion University of Virginia.

That game will conclude a Saturday schedule of games that includes a varsity high school match and two women’s collegiate matches: UNO vs. Northwest Missouri State and Creighton University vs. University of Nebraska. All matches will be played at the Michael G. Morrison, S.J. Soccer Stadium at 18th and California Street on the Creighton University campus.

The Friday, April 16 schedule includes a free soccer skills clinic for underprivileged youngsters from Boys/Girls Club of the Midlands, Girls, Inc., Boys Town, All Our Kids and Campfire Kids, conducted by participating coaches and players. A fundraising dinner highlighting cancer research conducted at Creighton University Medical Center and University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) will be held at the Doubletree Hotel Downtown.

Since “Kicks for a Cure” was started in 2004, it has generated nearly half a million dollars to support cancer research initiatives at Creighton University Hereditary Cancer Center and UNMC Eppley Cancer Center. Proceeds from the event are donated through “Liz’s Legacy”, a charitable fund set up in memory of the late Liz Karnes, avid educator and activist as well as a devoted “soccer mom”. Her public struggle with the disease, and her involvement with cancer research at both institutions inspired many who deal with cancer.

This year’s “Kicks for a Cure” event chairs are Terence, M.D. and Mary Zach. Dr. Zach, is a pediatric neonatologist with Creighton Medical Associates. The Zachs’ daughter, Claire, plays for the Creighton Women’s soccer team. Honorary Chairs of “Kicks for a Cure” are former U.S. Senator Dave Karnes and daughters Korey, Kalen, Kara and Laurel.

Zach emphasized that “Kicks for a Cure” is not only for soccer fans. “Anyone who has been touched by this disease is encouraged to make a memorial or a tribute to a cancer victim or survivor, knowing their donations will directly support research in women’s cancer,” he said.

"Everyone knows someone who has been affected by Cancer", said Daniel O'Neill, President, First National Bank of Omaha, presenting sponsor of Kicks for a Cure. "The passion and commitment that goes into this event is remarkable and instrumental in the support of cancer research. This research not only gives hope to patients and their families, but it also leads to innovative and more effective prevention and treatment approaches for Cancer.”

Henry Lynch, M.D., director of Creighton’s Hereditary Cancer Center, is an internationally known pioneer in hereditary cancer research. In the late 1960’s, when cancer was thought to be triggered almost solely by environmental causes, Lynch began pursuing the possible genetic link to certain cancer types, emphasizing breast cancer. His painstaking records and compilations of family medical history data led him to identify cancer syndromes and their patterns of inheritance through generations of extended families.

“As the only National Cancer Institute designated cancer center in Nebraska, more than 200 nationally recognized clinical and basic science experts work in a ‘bench-to-bedside’ research environment to develop more sensitive, effective, reliable tests for the early diagnosis of ovarian cancer, and studying the factors that influence the development of women's cancers, says Kenneth Cowan, M.D., Ph.D., Director, UNMC Eppley Cancer Center. “This collaboration supported by Kicks for a Cure is leading to more women being diagnosed early and surviving ovarian and other types of women's cancer."

“Kicks for a Cure” is sponsored by First National Bank. Tickets for the soccer matches, proceeds of which will go to “Kicks for a Cure”, can be purchased at the Morrison Stadium ticket office. All seats are general admission and cost $8 for adults and $5 for youths. Children five years of age and younger will be admitted free. Discount coupons for $1 off are available at all Omaha-area First National Bank locations.

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