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By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 26 April 2006

Cal Ripken, Jr., baseball's "Iron Man," will be the keynote speaker at the eighth annual fund-raising luncheon for Oregon's largest cancer facility — the Providence Cancer Center. 

The keynote subject is "Positive Perspectives: Creating Hope for Cancer Patients." The luncheon, sponsored by the Prov-idence Portland Medical Foundation, will be held from 11a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 9, in the Oregon Convention Center.

Cal Ripken, Jr. retired from baseball in 2001 after 21 seasons with the Baltimore Orioles. Ripken holds the world record for consecutive games played (2,632), and is one of only eight players ever to hit 400 home runs and reach 3,000 total hits.

He credits his father, Cal Ripken, Sr., for much of his success in baseball and in life. Ripken, Sr., a mainstay in the Baltimore Orioles organization for many years, died of lung cancer in 1999.

In his keynote address, Ripken will talk about his father's battle with cancer, about his own experiences as a caregiver and about his four personal keys to success: leadership, loyalty, patience and perseverance.

"You hear a lot about cancer, but until it affects your family, you don't know much about it. Then when it breaks into the family structure, everyone tells you a story relating to this nasty disease. It affects your life and your perspective of things," Ripken said.

Proceeds from the fund-raising luncheon provide support for ongoing cancer research at the Robert W. Franz Cancer Research Center, which is part of the Earle A. Chiles Research Institute at Providence Cancer Center.

Scientists at the Franz Cancer Research Center are focusing on the immune system as the key to the next breakthrough in cancer treatment.

"Immunology involves activating a patient's immune system to recognize and eliminate cancer cells," said Walter Urba, M.D., Ph.D., director of the research center. "We are developing vaccines that can be used in combination with traditional therapies to treat cancer. We have tested our ideas in clinical trials with patients, and we have seen impressive immune responses."

Providence Cancer Center serves more cancer patients than any other health system in Oregon. A new Pro-vidence Cancer Center building is slated to open in 2008 on the Providence Portland Medical Center campus. The facility will house expanded laboratory and clinical programs that will aid in developing more vaccines to battle different kinds of cancer.
For information about the benefit luncheon, contact Providence Special Events at 503-513-1150 or visit http://www.providence.org/cancer.

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