How, you might ask, does a fund get such a long name?
The answer is quite simple. For Becky Van Riper “above on left” calling out digestive system cancers was a no-brainer. When your mother, best friend and husband are all taken from you with the same kind of cancer, you want to fight back. The difficult to diagnose disease has taken those nearest and dearest to her. She wants to help others in the area to be diagnosed sooner so their disease can be beaten.
Brad Van Riper’s untimely death from a digestive system cancer shocked his family, friends and colleagues from around the world. Their contributions in his memory to the LINKS Charity endowed fund at WCA Foundation moved Becky Van Riper to remember her husband with a fund to fight the disease that took his life. The fund will support the purchase of medical equipment to facilitate the treatment of patients at UPMC Chautauqua who have a digestive system cancer.
Brad and Becky Van Riper had been volunteers for LINKS Charity since Brad became the Chairman of the golf tournament of the same name which is sponsored by TruckLite, his employer. Supporting the UPMC Chautauqua Cancer Care Program with specialized equipment for cancer detection and treatment, the organization has donated more than $1,600,000 over the years. The LINKS Charity Walk is another community awareness and fundraising event sponsored by the group.
In the fall of 2017, Brad greeted the LINKS Pink Walk participants in the capacity of honorary chairman, with his hair and mustache colored pink. Only months after Brad’s death, Becky followed in his footsteps for the 2018 Walk to benefit the charity its support for cancer treatment at UPMC Chautauqua. Both were an inspiration to all fundraisers gathered. Becky sported the same t-shirt worn by event participants that solicited an opportunity for all to talk about the dreaded disease they were fighting. The pink shirts with a large mustache in the middle of their petition read: You “mustache” me why I wear pink. This year to honor Brad’s years of efforts to fight cancer, participants sprayed their hair pink and donned pink mustaches to highlight their battle against breast cancer that day.
To join the thousands in our community fighting cancer through their support of the endowed and pass-through funds at WCA Foundation, donations can be made on the WCA Foundation website at www.wcafoundationjamestown.org/donate/make-a-gift-today/ There you can support the Van Riper fund to fight the evasive disease of digestive system cancer and see the other funds created by generous members of our community that assist UPMC Chautauqua serve patients fighting cancer with top services in their home community.
To learn more about supporting the healthcare of this community through WCA Foundation like the Becky Van Riper, contact WCA Foundation at P.O. Box 840, Jamestown, NY 14702-0840, Brigetta Overcash at 716-664-5461 or Overcashbe@upmc.edu or Megan Barone, director of development, at 716-664-8424 or Baroneme3@upmc.edu. To learn more about WCA Foundation go to www.wcafoundationjamestown.org