Campaign will inform fans about prevention, risk reduction, opportunities to support innovative research
United behind the shared vision of reducing cancer's impact in Western New York, the Buffalo Sabres and Roswell Park Cancer Institute have launched a collaboration that will see the National Hockey League franchise and the National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center teaming up to arm fans and supporters with important guidance on cancer risk, prevention and research. Over the next five seasons, the two organizations will initiate a broad-based educational campaign with the tagline "One Goal: Inspire Cancer Cures."
Roswell Park, the official and exclusive comprehensive cancer center of the Buffalo Sabres, will provide evidence-based tips on cancer prevention, early detection and risk reduction to hockey fans and audiences through a variety of platforms, inside and outside of First Niagara Center, the home of the Buffalo Sabres. Fans will also have the opportunity to support the most promising research at Roswell Park through donations, and will be able to take advantage of free cancer screening programs (as medically appropriate).
"We know that every year in Western and upstate New York, about 37,000 people will face a new diagnosis of cancer, and projections call for that figure to keep increasing over the next few years. The best way to reverse this concerning trend is to make sure our community is informed about cancer risk and prevention, and we're thrilled to be able to bring our fans the latest guidance from experts thanks to our partnership with Roswell Park, the region's only comprehensive cancer center," said Pegula Sports and Entertainment President Kim Pegula, who co-owns the Buffalo Sabres with her husband, Terry Pegula.
The "One Goal" campaign will inform audiences, for example, about which cancers are associated with behavioral choices such as smoking and tobacco use, obesity and certain diets.
"Roswell Park Cancer Institute is committed to not just treating cancer with outstanding, patient-centered care, but preventing and curing cancer. And it is research and education - the two arms of our 'One Goal' campaign - that will drive our progress against this disease," said Roswell Park President and CEO Candace S. Johnson, Ph.D. "The Sabres and the Pegula family have galvanized this community to be as unified and cohesive as we have ever been, and because they share our vision of a healthier, more informed community, they are the perfect partner for this effort."
The "One Goal" communications will address misperceptions about cancer and help people learn whether they are at higher risk for different cancers based on their family history and personal circumstances. "One Goal" will direct them to opportunities for early detection and appropriate intervention.
Detecting cancer early in the course of the disease improves outcomes dramatically, allowing oncologists to monitor patients carefully to best control tumor growth and spread. While some cancers are typically diagnosed only at later stages, screening tools allow for early detection of breast, cervical, colorectal, lung, prostate and skin cancers - common cancers where screening has shown benefit - at their earliest, most addressable stages.
To kick off the onsite program, a free prostate cancer-screening event is being planned for Thursday, March 24, at First Niagara Center.
Throughout the season - including the "Hockey Fights Cancer" event, which was held last fall, during the Sabres' home game against the New Jersey Devils - fans supported Roswell Park's efforts, and more than $35,000 was raised for research conducted at the cancer center.
"Roswell Park's experts are helping to drive the latest advances in cancer care, treatment and prevention, and are helping to set the guidelines for how care is delivered across the country," Buffalo Sabres President Russ Brandon said. "All of our fans and everyone in the Sabres organization have been touched by cancer in some way, and many of us want to do something to make a positive difference and to help erase cancer for future generations. ... This partnership with Roswell Park allows us to help make those connections."
"No one fights cancer alone. That's a truth we see in action every day at Roswell Park, and one our patients and their loved ones remind us of frequently," Johnson added. "Our best chance for reducing cancer's impact on our lives and collectively on our community is through the team approach, bringing everyone into the fight and uniting our resources. ... Our team just got bigger and better with this collaboration. The Buffalo Sabres, The Buffalo (Sabres) Alumni and The Junior Sabres have supported Roswell Park and our patients in so many ways over the years, and our expectations are high as we launch our latest joint effort."
Roswell Park's mission is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1898, RPCI is one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center. It is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation's leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs.