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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Friday, June 22, 2012

Two-Time Cancer Survivor Honored by American Cancer Society

On June 30th, the American Cancer Society will honor Santa Barbara City Fire Department’s Captain Michael dePonce at the 3rd Annual Santa Barbara County Gala, “Stetsons & Stilettos,” at Rancho La Patera & Stow House from 4pm-8pm.


Mike Deponce
Click to enlarge photo

Mike Deponce

Captain Michael dePonce is a two-time cancer survivor recognized for his community commitment and supporting services of cancer patients. He was diagnosed in 1997 with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of pediatric bone cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 133,955 Californians will be diagnosed with cancer this year and about 54,655 will die from the disease.

Guests will whip out western wear for this year’s outdoor event featuring a fierce firefighter’s rib bbq cook-off between Santa Barbara City and Santa Barbara County firefighters judged by event sponsors at 4 pm. The evening will feature noggin-nodding toe-tapping live entertainment by Caught Red Handed, flavorful food, wondrous wine, and a stunning silent auction to raise funds for the Society’s groundbreaking research, early detection, and free local patient services and programs.

“Firefighters and volunteers for the American Cancer Society have one big thing in common—we are all working to save lives,” Captain dePonce says. “It is every cancer survivor’s responsibility to get involved and make a difference. I believe in the American Cancer Society’s mission and its many support programs. I was a recipient of these services and I’m humbled to be honored.”

As someone who provides aid for others, Captain dePonce knows the power of community support.

“I’ve had incredible support from my buddies at the fire station,” he says. “They pulled my shifts so I could take my chemo. More than 100 firefighters shaved their heads when I was going through treatment.”

The captain’s family is no stranger to cancer: his father fought prostate cancer for ten years under the care of the 2011 Stetsons & Stilettos Honoree, Dr. Fred Kass.

“I would like to honor my father who lost his battle with prostate cancer. We were concurrently undergoing treatment and although he was dealing with his own health issues, he made sure I was taken care of. I’m surrounded by abundant love and support.”

Tickets for the event are available for $150. For ticket or sponsorship information, please contact Sandy Berg at 805-644-4237, x220 or email her at Sandy.Berg@cancer.org.

The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing more than $3.4 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us any time, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit their website.

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