Unfortunately it’s a sad fact that cancer, in one form or another, has touched most of us somehow. Whether we’ve helped a friend or a family member fight it or we’ve gone through treatment ourselves, cancer is a wide-spread reality that can rock a family, a community, and of course the patients themselves.
MTB Cancer Foundation Inc. based in Virginia Beach wants to make the treatment journey just a little easier. Justin Pantophlet founded the organization over five years ago after seeing students, teachers, and other faculty and friends at work at First Colonial High School struggle with cancer. “Everybody I talk to…” Pantophlet said, “They know somebody who’s had cancer touch their lives somehow.”
Pantophlet noticed that there are a lot of organizations dedicated to awareness of one particular type of cancer, or which focus on a cure. “I wanted to think outside the box,” Pantophlet said about the creation of MTB Cancer Foundation. MTB, which stands for “More than Boobs” supports local survivors and cancer patients who have fought ANY kind of cancer. “Although they have all had different types of cancer, they all have a story and a voice about their struggle. The camaraderie between survivors and patients… we’re all in this together, no matter what the cancer.”
MTB Cancer Foundation focuses on raising awareness and caring for the individual. The foundations raises funds that go directly to cancer patients. Daily life expenses, for example, are a huge issue for many cancer patients and survivors who have to take time off from work or leave their jobs altogether while they go through treatment. There are also things that insurance just doesn’t cover, but are still important for healing.
The next big event for MTB Cancer Foundation is the Hampton Roads Cancer Awareness Fashion Show event at the Hilton Garden Inn Virginia Beach Oceanfront Saturday from 4 p.m.- 8 p.m. Local stores contribute to the fashions, local salons pitch in to make the models extra glamorous, and local cancer survivors and fighters are strutting their stuff as models.
Be sure to check out the fashion show this weekend, and please do what you can to help out this important cause and enjoy the celebration of life, camaraderie, and survival.
According to Justin Pantophlet, the organizer of the event, “None of the models are professionals, but it’s very therapeutic. The event is very celebratory. They’re fighting. They’re making it through. That’s what I enjoy the most.”