The first-ever Comedy Against Cancer lived up to its name in January.
More than 250 cancer survivors, physicians, patient care providers and community members shared many laughs as they raised more than $53,000 to support Marshfield Clinic Cancer Care.
Comedy Against Cancer started as an idea of Drs. Anna Seydel and Jessica Wernberg, and Nurse Practitioner Kelly Noreen, all of General Surgery, who wanted to demonstrate to their patients and the community their commitment to cancer patients and emphasize the importance of keeping a sense of humor during a cancer journey.
The laughter-filled evening featured Comedy Sportz, an improvisational comedy show from Minneapolis. Two teams battled for laughs and points as they made up scenes, games and songs on the spot, with the help of the audience.
The outpouring of support for the show was overwhelming to Dr. Seydel, who specializes in breast cancer surgery and was an organizer for the event. "Everyone had a great time and wished the show would have never ended," she said.
Her fellow surgeon, Dr. Wernberg, who specializes in cancer surgery, noted "there is always a lull after Christmas when we need some brightening. This was a fun event to beat the winter blahs."
The event had a serious moment when Joellen Heiman of Weber's Farm Store shared her journey with breast cancer, highlighting the great care she received at Marshfield Clinic.
Funds raised at the event will be used to help improve cancer care and prevention, with the goal to purchase a new machine that performs tomosynthesis. With this technology, an x-ray arm takes multiple images of the breast in just seconds and a computer creates a 3-D rendering of the breast tissue instead of the typical 2-D images now used.
This technology will improve diagnostic imaging for breast cancer, help avoid unnecessary biopsies and possibly better detect some types of cancers, Dr. Wernberg said.
Presenting sponsors for the event included Nasonville Dairy, Roehl Transport and Security Health Plan.
Planning is already underway for next year's event.