How an Oshkosh surgeon “put a cork” in cancer

Dr. Patrick Daly and his wife, Gina

Patrick Daly, MD, is a general surgeon at Aurora Health Center in Oshkosh. He has operated on many cancer patients throughout his career, but the impact of this horrible disease really hit home in May 2015. That’s when Gina, Dr. Daly’s wife, was diagnosed with sarcoma.

“She was stretching one day and noticed a lump in her leg. The mass had gotten big enough to where it herniated. It had been growing quietly for a while,” Dr. Daly explained.

Gina has undergone several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, and just had surgery to put a rod in her femur earlier this year. Dr. Daly is a surgeon, who is used to helping patients get better. But this time the person in need of care was his own wife, and he wasn’t able help in the operating room. So instead, he came up with a fundraiser to not only lift Gina’s spirits but to also help other local cancer patients like her. He came up with the idea to “Put a Cork in Cancer.”

“We purchased food and then selected about ten different wines from different regions, with different flavors  and styles. There was no fee for attending but everyone knew there would be an ask for donations,” Dr. Daly explained.

Around 40 people, including Dr. Daly’s neighbors, colleagues and Oshkosh business leaders, attended the fundraiser last fall. Together, they raised more than $12,000 for the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation. And thanks to the Foundation’s program of matching gifts by 50 percent, around $18,000 will go to the Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic in Oshkosh, which supports Aurora Cancer Care patients.

For Dr. Daly and Gina, keeping it local was important, “Sometimes if you donate to a big organization you don’t necessarily have a handle on where the money goes. We wanted to keep it here, we know the people here. I also wanted us all to relax and get to know each other better, because you just never know what tomorrow may bring.”

You can support Aurora Cancer Care patients in your community  at one of ten Lombardi Walks to Tackle Cancer this June and July. Start your team today and register now at LombardiWalk.org. 

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