TRMC and Troy University partner to fight cancer with balloon release

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Victories are always cause for celebration and Troy Regional Medical Center and Troy University are teaming up Wednesday for two victories – one in the fight against cancer and one at “The Vet.”

At 4:45 p.m. Wednesday, TRMC and Troy University will partner for the Pike Medical Foundation 2017 Balloon Release at Troy University’s Tailgate Terrace. The release of 500 or more balloons will occur as an event surrounding the ESPN televised game between the Troy University Trojans and the University of South Alabama Jaguars.

The Balloon Release is a fundraiser for TRMC and all proceeds from the event will be donated to the development of the TRMC Cancer Care Center, which is soon to open.

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“The 2017 Balloon Release has exceeded all expectations,” said Karen Herring, TRM marketing director. “The Troy and Pike County communities have been simply amazing in their generosity. And our Foundation board members are dedicated to this new center and what it will mean to our community. Their hearts are in the right place, whether they sold five tickets or 60. They are excited about what this money will be used for.”

Herring said 100 percent of the funds raised with the Balloon Release will stay in the community to build new services for its residents.

TRMC CEO Ronnie Dean said both Troy University and the Pike Medical Foundation understand the prevalence of cancer in the region and are teaming up in support of TRMC and the development of cancer services.

Dean said Dr. Thomas Brown, M.D. Hematology and oncology specialist, has joined the staff a TRMC as medical director and has begun seeing and treating patients in Troy and is making the latest cancer treatments accessible and close to home.

“The victory of the Balloon Release is that every dollar stays right here to support our local hospital,” Herring said.

The goal for the 2017 Balloon Release is 500-plus and Herring said is coming close to reality.

“We still have balloons available. Each balloon donation is $100,” she said. “Five-hundred is not the limit; it’s the goal. We will release as many balloons as we have people who want to be a part of the victory in the fight against cancer.”

The TRMC balloon crew will inflate the balloons shortly before release and tag them with the name of the owner, a number to call if the balloon is found and other instructions.

“The balloons will be tracked for two weeks and, those who find the balloons will be instructed to call a number at The Messenger and give information that includes the location where the balloon was found.

“The balloon that travels the greatest distance will be the winner,” Herring said. “The owner of the winning balloon will receive $1,000. The person who finds the balloon will get $100. Last year’s winning balloon was found by a hunter in Lumberton, North Carolina. His hunting trip had not been successful but finding the balloon made it worthwhile.”

And, the 2017 Balloon Release will be worthwhile for the people of Pike and surrounding counties in the development of cancer services here at home, Herring said.

“We invite everyone to join us at Tailgate Terrance Wednesday,” she said. “It’s going to a big day. The Troy University Sound of the South will play and we’ll have a lot of other things going on surrounding the Balloon Release at 4:45 p.m.”

Tickets for the Balloon Release are available by calling 334-670-5487 and up until release time on site.