NEWPORT, R.I. - Beth Jussaume lost her nearly six-year battle with oral cancer when her son Jeremy Dias, now a sophomore nursing major at Salve Regina, was a senior in high school. To honor her memory, Dias founded Beth's Walk "2 Make Oral Cancer History," which will be held at Salve Regina at 9:45 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 12.
"The idea of a walk to bring awareness of oral cancer to others in my community is so that no other individual will have to share the same fate as my mom," Dias says. "I feel her legacy now is to save lives and have her memory live on, and to remember all those who lost their lives to this disease as well."
Proceeds from Beth's Walk will benefit the Oral Cancer Foundation, a national nonprofit entity designed to reduce suffering and save lives through prevention, education, research, advocacy and patient support activities.
All members of the Salve Regina community are invited to participate in the walk at a cost of $25 per person. Participants who preregister online by Nov. 1 are guaranteed a free T-shirt. On-site registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. on the day of the event, which kicks off from the Rodgers Recreation Center.
Nearly 37,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year, and more than 8,000 will die. Of the newly diagnosed individuals, only slightly more than half will be alive in five years, a number that has not significantly improved in decades. The death rate for oral cancer is higher than cervical cancer, Hodgkin's lymphoma, endocrine system cancers (such as thyroid) and skin cancer (malignant melanoma).
For more information on Beth's Walk, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (508) 250-2267.