The battle lines have been evenly drawn. Two teams, though facing each other, will actually be double-teaming to fight for a single cause.
The inaugural – and perhaps beginning of the annual – Hoops for a Cure Cup basketball-related competition will take place tonight in the Lake Norman High School gym.
The event, being used in part as a fundraiser for the Hoops for a Cure campaign founded as well as organized by Mooresville’s Scott Montgomery, will pit members of the faculty staff at host Lake Norman opposite counterparts from cross-town Mooresville.
Tip-off time in the LNHS gym is set for 7 p.m.
Cost of attending is $3 for all spectators.
Proceeds from the affair will go to benefit both schools as well as Hoops for a Cure.
The Hoops for a Cure Cup event is a partner to the earlier Hoops for a Cure Basketball Challenge that involved youth competition held in Mooresville’s Talbert Recreation Center’s gym.
The PMP Research Foundation is “an IRS-designated 501(c)3 charitable organization that was created in 2008 by a community of individuals affected by Pseudomyxoma Peritonei (PMP), Appendix Cancer, and related Peritoneal Surface Malignancies (PSM).”
Event coordinator Montgomery was diagnosed with metastatic mucinous appendiceal adenocarcinoma, a rare form of cancer in which a tumor forms on the appendix, in October 2013, after he visited the doctor over symptoms that he thought were normal but started to add up.
Montgomery said eventually doctors found that his weight gain was attributed to the mucin that his tumor was secreting (a jelly-like substance that replicates and gradually fills the abdominal cavity creating smaller tumors).
“It’s a slow-growing cancer and I’d apparently had it for 10 to 15 years without knowing,” he said. “After my surgery was complete, they told me that at some point, my appendix had burst and what they thought was my appendix in surgery was actually the tumor.”
He explained that he went through what physicians sometimes call the "mother of all surgeries" -- cytoreduction surgery (where the surgeon opens up the abdomen and removes as much of the mucin and tumors as possible) and HIPEC treatment, a heated chemotherapy treatment.
Montgomery also had two and a half feet of colon and small intestine removed, as well as his gallbladder. After finding additional tumors in his diaphragm and having complications with his incision, it was May 2014 before Montgomery said it was all behind him.
“I still go for constant check-ups because this type of cancer is not cureable,” he said. “Because of the mucin, I will have to be evaluated closely for the rest of my life.”
Unfortunately, he said that appendix cancer is often not diagnosed until another health issue or surgery comes along. Montgomery mentioned that Stuart Scott, a well-known sports analyst, also recently died from the same form of cancer.
Because the cancer is so rare, Montgomery noticed that a lot of the money that he was raising for other foundations wasn’t being used for appendix cancer research.
“As I was doing research to see which foundations I could do a fundraiser for, the PMP Research Foundation caught my eye because it’s all volunteer-based,” he said. “100 percent of the donations go to education and research grants.”
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