Pink Vail 2019 – Every Cancer, Every Color
On March 16, Vail Mountain will host Pink Vail, the world’s biggest ski day to conquer cancer. This all-day event features live music, deck parties, costume contest, kid’s activities and more. 100% of Pink Vail donations and registration fees benefit all patients at Shaw Cancer Center through enhancements to patient care and patient programming. All Shaw patients, whether male or female, no matter their cancer diagnosis, have the opportunity to benefit from Pink Vail funds throughout their cancer treatment experience and beyond.
Pink Vail has raised more than $4 million since its inception in 2012 for patient care and programming including three new patient focused positions: Patient Resource Navigator, Nutritionist and Licensed Professional Counselor. The roles have changed the lives of the employees and the patients they serve. Here are a couple of their stories.
Daniel Elsbury, Patient Resource Navigator
I never thought getting diagnosed with cancer at the age of 31 would make me realize my next direction in life. A cancer center is not an ideal place to walk into at such a young age but it became my second home. From 2015-2017, I battled colorectal cancer and would have never seen the other side had it not been for the entire care team at Shaw Cancer Center. The relationships I built and the support that I received was life-changing and made battling my disease more bearable.
As a patient, I looked forward to Pink Vail throughout the year. The support I receive continues to grow. It is phenomenal how many families travel across the country for Pink Vail. The atmosphere created at the event brings together so many cancer survivors and supporters that it makes me forget that I went through cancer in the first place. Like we say, if you hate cancer and love to ski, we’ve got an event just for you.
After participating in the Pink Vail funded Spirit of Survival program and getting my health back, I realized Shaw was where I wanted to start the next chapter of my life. I became a volunteer for most of 2018 and was recently offered a full time position. As a Patient Resource Navigator, I am a resource to patients, their caregivers and staff. I am truly blessed at how Pink Vail and Shaw Cancer Center have come full circle. I am proof that life can turn a negative situation into a positive one and I hope to inspire others.
Kristi Grems, Licensed Professional Counselor
I have been a participant and a volunteer with Pink Vail since the inaugural year, 2012. As many of us, I have had loved ones experience the diagnosis, battle and (some) remission of cancer. Their stories strengthen my motivation to participate and support Pink Vail. Coincidentally, I completed a portion of my internship for my master’s degree in counseling psychology from the University of Colorado with a social worker at Shaw Cancer Center in 2002.
I am thrilled and honored to have become a member of such an amazing team this past November as a Licensed Professional Counselor adding to the Psycho-Social Services at Shaw Cancer Center.
This year I will be at Pink Vail’s Celebration of Life ski down on Ruder’s Run overseeing a terrific new art piece that will be created at the event and hung permanently at Shaw Cancer Center. Please come see me and add to the creation which honors every cancer and every color!
To register, donate or learn more about Pink Vail visit www.pinkvail.com.
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