‘24 Hours of Booty’ expected to draw hundreds to Charlotte’s Myers Park to benefit cancer survivors
Walkers, runners and cyclists will take to the streets of Myers Park to raise money for programs that directly benefit cancer survivors, along with the families standing beside them.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - It’s a 24-hour party centered on those fighting the good fight in area communities.
The annual “24 Hours of Booty” kicks off Friday, July 29, at 7 p.m. Walkers, runners and cyclists will take to the streets of Myers Park to raise money for programs that directly benefit cancer survivors, along with the families standing beside them.
Starting back in 2002, Spencer Lueders, founder of the 24 Foundation, says he wanted to find a way to help patients battling cancer and in recovery right now, a deviation from programs centered on cancer research as opposed to direct care, support, and healing.
“So, there’s like 60-plus programs at the Levine Cancer Institute that we fund that are literally not covered by insurance,” Lueders said. “So, these are programs that people need. They use them every single day they’re there, and it helps people get through it.”
Programs like acupuncture, art, music and touch massage therapy, nutritional services, and more are many times not covered by insurance agencies but are nevertheless vital to the emotional, mental and physical healing and recovery for not just cancer patients, but their families.
It’s something Dr. Chasse Bailey-Dorton, a pioneer in the integrative oncology program at Levine Cancer Institute, says is also equally valid and needed.
“If we don’t have these funds, they can’t get that service,” Bailey-Dorton said. “And that’s probably the most heartbreaking, to see somebody that needs this and doesn’t have the funds.”
A 20-year cancer survivor, Bailey-Dorton is now on the other side working to provide affordable and beneficial care to patients facing a long road to recovery, along with the families that support them.
“We have massage services,” Bailey-Dorton said. “We have therapeutic art, which is a wonderful way to process some of the emotions dealing with a cancer diagnosis. We have a wonderful music therapy program. They do some cool stuff dealing with pain and anxiety and sleep issues. We have nutrition services. We just have this full range that not a lot of cancer centers have.”
24 Hours of Booty - aptly named after the 3-mile “Booty Loop” outside of Queens University in Myers Park - will have its opening ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Friday. After that, walkers, runners and cyclists will head out at about 7 p.m. and will go at their own pace until the ride ends at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
In between, participants and the community will be able to enjoy local food, games, giveaways, live music, bike support and more at the “Bootyville” village on Queens Road West.
Bailey-Dorton says it’s essential not to forget the support families and loved ones needed when navigating a difficult and life-changing cancer diagnosis.
“We want to provide services to the family, too, because they’re often the forgotten ones while we focus on the patient,” the doctor said. “But this whole family’s going through the stress of this diagnosis and journey. And we provide a lot of services to the family, too.”
This year, the organization has already raised over $1 million for local cancer-support programs in and around the Charlotte metro area. So far, 24 Foundation has raised over $25 million for navigation and wellness programs at the Levine Cancer Institute, Levine Children’s Hospital and other beneficiaries.
While the future of cancer research is promising, Lueders says it’s important to always pay attention to the immediate needs of those working hard to get better.
“Obviously, there’s a huge amount of research to be done,” he said. “There’s billions of dollars to cover that. We raise over a million dollars a year here in Charlotte, and that goes directly to help people here in the community.”
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