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Monday, July 27, 2020

White Out Gala: A United Night of Hope


The 2020 American Cancer Society (ACS) fundraiser, White Out Cancer – A United Night of Hope, is teaming with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana (BCBS) to host an evening of fun, laughter, tears of joy and celebration with the opportunity to support the local American Cancer Society mission.

White Out Cancer will be streamed live from Fairfield Studios at 7 p.m. on Aug. 15. Watch parties are being set up in homes, businesses and restaurants to avoid large gatherings. Sponsorship opportunities are still available and include special features for those watch parties. Organizers also suggest having participants put on white summer attire to set the mood for celebration.

As a five-year cancer survivor, this year’s chair for the event, Juanita Rodriguez, has experienced firsthand what it means to rely on cancer research and the services that the American Cancer Society offers to patients; that is what drives her in chairing the event and raising the funds for local cancer research. Money raised will go toward life-saving research and patient programs of the ACS. This year the BCBS team will focus on raising funds for pediatric cancer research, but donors to the cause can choose one of three initiatives: general cancer research, pediatric cancer research, or local transportation grants.

Ten individuals from the local community will be recognized during the event for their outstanding work in the medical field in advocating for cancer survivors with a special video of the Boomtown Casino has been a honoree during the live event.

The local ACS Facebook page will have a link to the live event and the auction beginning Aug. 1.


For sponsorship and other opportunities please visit www.whiteoutcancergala. org. You can tune in to the Aug. 15 event on Facebook at “White Out Cancer Gala,” or via YouTube.

The 10 Honorees

Barry Regula

Barry has served as senior vice president and general manager of Margaritaville Resort Casino Bossier City since November of 2012. As a longtime Bossier City civic leader, Regula personally participates in the majority of Margaritaville’s numerous volunteer events, from yard work on the United Way Day of Caring to visiting children at Shriners Hospital. He has served as the board liaison for RASA and on the advisory board of the Shreveport Bossier Sports Authority. Regula currently is the chairman of the Bossier Chamber of Commerce. In December 2016, in honor of his many years of community and military support, Regula became the first-ever inductee into the 307th Bomb Wing’s Honorary Commander Program at Barksdale Air Force Base, La. As a result of these efforts and the success of Margaritaville, Regula was named the Bossier Chamber’s 2016 Businessperson of the Year.

Margaritaville was voted “Best Property in the Mid-South” four years running and “Best Customer Service” by the readers of Southern Gaming Magazine.

Boomtown Casino has been a continued partner through the Hotel Partnership Program that offers free nights of lodging to cancer patients that are required to travel to the area for treatment. Regula also served as a 2019 Real Men Wear Pink of NWLA candidate, raising over $2,500 toward the fight against breast cancer.

Kate Young, RN, ACNP-BC

Young began her career at the CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier Health System Cancer Center in 1992, where she is currently a nurse practitioner. She is passionate about genetics counseling and provides these vital services to their patients.

She is an MSN, certified as an acute nurse practitioner, oncology certified nurse, advanced oncology certified nurse, advanced oncology certified nurse practitioner and advanced genetics nurse.

Young gives back to the NWLA community by speaking with cancer support groups, participating in skin care screenings and educating the public through various media appearances and community events. She lives in Shreveport with her husband of 42 years, Steve. They have a daughter and a son, and they both enjoy playing with their grandkids and their dog, Rambo.

Trey Gibson

Gibson has spent more than 20 years in academia teaching communication, leadership and coaching nationally and internationally recognized university debate teams, and is currently an instructor of leadership studies at LSU Shreveport. He is in the process of completing a doctorate in leadership studies.

During the fall of 2016, his daughter, Emilie, was diagnosed with a diffused intrinsic pontine glioma. Emilie’s near 14-month battle took the family to Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals, Willis-Knighton Health System and Texas Children’s Hospital before returning home. Emilie was a fighter from the day she was born. Over the course of her 14-month fight against cancer, she never let it define her as she fought with courage, sass, humor, song and an occasional dance under a crazy hat. She passed away on Halloween night 2017.

Since her death, the Gibsons and friends founded the Fight Like Emilie Foundation in her name to help families, raise awareness and support research in the fight against childhood cancer. Gibson has also lobbied for support for children with cancer in Washington and Baton Rouge and now sits on the Louisiana Interdisciplinary Palliative Advisory Council as a patient family representative through the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network - ACS CAN.

Dr. Cherrie-Ann Nathan

Dr. Nathan is the Jack Pou Endowed Professor and Chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery at LSU Health Shreveport. She is also director of head and neck oncologic surgery and research at the Feist- Weiller Cancer Center and has a gratis appointment to the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

She is a surgeon-scientist who maintains a practice treating head and neck cancer, thyroid, parathyroid, salivary gland tumors and skin cancer, and she also leads an active research team.

Nathan is currently the president of the American Head and Neck Society and serves on many national committees, some of which include the NCI Steering Committee, the American Cancer Society-CDC HPV Steering Committee, Head and Neck Cancer Alliance, Council Member for the Society of University Otolaryngology, and the Larynx Preservation Guideline Panel for ASCO. She is currently chair-elect for the ASTRO-ASCO multidisciplinary meeting and president-elect of the Association of Academic Departments of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery.

The Shreveport-Bossier Chamber of Commerce awarded Nathan the Athena Award for community service, and she was inducted into Shreveport’s 2019 Business Hall of Fame. She received the Leonard Tow Humanism award from the Arnold Gold Foundation and was also nominated into AOA by the medical students. The Board of Regents in Louisiana established the “Cherie- Ann Nathan Endowed Professorship in Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery,” initiated by grateful patients to honor her dedication and expertise. She has consistently been recognized in the “Best Doctors of America” and received the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery distinguished service award.

Suzannah Crump

Crump moved to Shreveport as a young girl, where her mother attended physical therapy school and her father attended medical school. As she watched them go through this process, she learned the importance of higher education, entrepreneurship and the impact a medical professional can have on their patients’ lives.

Crump obtained her doctorate in physical therapy at LSU School of Allied Health in 2006. After completing PT school, she was accepted into a postdoctoral residency program in wound care, the first of its kind, where she was ultimately certified in lymphedema therapy. This would soon become her passion and later her full-time specialization.

Crump opened her own physical therapy clinic and Pilates studio in 2014. She decided to focus her energy solely on treating breast cancer survivors due to the growing need of specialized care for this patient population in the tri-state area. She continues to hone her skills through each of her patient’s unique medical journeys, surgical observation and continuing education courses. Her goal is to make a positive impact on all patients that walk through her doors.

Dr. Terry Wu

Dr. Wu has been the chief physicist and radiation safety officer at the Willis-Knighton Health System Cancer Center for the past 23 years. He oversees the medical physics related operations and radiation safety for cancer treatments.

He received his doctoral degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1992. Before Dr. Wu joined the Willis- Knighton Medical Center, he was a clinical medical physicist responsible for radiosurgery in radiation oncology at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

In 1997, Wu accepted an invitation from a Louisiana native, Dr. Lane R. Rosen, to move to Shreveport and join Willis-Knighton Medical Center. Later, both had a proposal to build the Willis-Knighton Cancer Center in 1999 to accelerate the expanding radiation oncology department. Dr. Wu became the project leader of the Cancer Center. He participated in the development of many new technologies such as IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy), IGRT (Image Guided Radiation Therapy), SRS (Stereotactic Radio Surgery) and brachytherapy. He also contributed to the implementation and operation of the world’s first image-guided compact proton therapy equipment and its adaptation to clinical uses. He played the leading role in the initial commissioning of the Proton Therapy system. The Willis-Knighton Proton Therapy Center has treated over 750 patients since 2014.

Wu is the research director in the radiation oncology department at Willis- Knighton. He and his colleagues have been widely published in peer-reviewed journals. One article received the highly regarded George Starkschall Award of Excellence for Outstanding Radiation Oncology Physics in July 2019.

Jenny Booras

The three words, “you have cancer,” were initially uttered to Jenny Booras and her stunned family in 2009. After surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, she thought her fight had ended, but that was not the case. She has had six more reoccurrences since that initial diagnosis, in 2011, 2013, 2016, 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Due to the continuous support of her friends and family, Booras has continued to focus on things that are so important to her. She has continued her over 30 years mission to educate first-graders both in the public and private sector. Booras has expressed appreciation to First Baptist Church School of Shreveport for their ongoing accommodations during her treatments. She has continued to attend and volunteer at St George Greek Orthodox Church. She also enjoys volunteering her time with the Special Olympics Louisiana - Northwest Area through events like the annual Trivia Night Fundraiser and Camp Shriver. And most importantly to her, she continues to enjoy being a mother for both major events and minor moments in her children’s lives.

Willie White III

Willie White has served as the chief executive officer for David Raines Community Health Centers (DRCHC) since December 1996. He has 40-plus years of experience in the healthcare industry in both for-profit and nonprofit organizations.

He has a history of commitment to the health center movement, improving access to care, particularly for the underserved and community involvement. His knowledge and involvement in local, regional and statewide efforts to expand access to health care led to appointments by governors John Bel Edwards, Bobby Jindal and Kathleen Blanco. He was previously elected by his peers to serve as president of the Louisiana Primary Care Association as well as the board of directors of the National Association of Community Health Centers.

White is a recipient of the “Spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” Award from the city of Shreveport and the “Eric B. Taylor Leadership Award” from the Louisiana Primary Care Association. In 2019, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Greater Shreveport Chamber.

Local partnerships through the American Cancer Society and DRCHC have made a significant impact in cancer prevention screenings in the NWLA area, including the screening of over 1,300 patients for colorectal cancer in the past three years.

Jude Elmore

A green belt in Taekwondo, lover of cartoons and cupcakes and an 8-year-old cancer fighter Jude Elmore is the youngest honoree. As the son of Tracie and Mike Elmore, Jude was born in Lafayette, La., and has grown up in Shreveport.

On Sept. 8, 2019, Jude was diagnosed with lymphoma. In typical fashion, he has approached the hardship with a big heart and a great sense of humor. People constantly share with his parents how much he is loved by all those around him. Through his continued daily battle, Jude has truly been an example of a fighter. He is focused on living life to the fullest, making great strides toward beating cancer.

Kim Green

Garry Kim Green, MBA, MHA, FACHE, is the administrator of Shriners Hospitals for Children - Shreveport. He came to “the first Shriners Hospital” in 2002, having previously served as senior assistant hospital administrator at LSU Health Sciences Center (now University Health).

He is past president of the Northwest District of the Louisiana Hospital Association and past member of the Board of Trustees of the LHA. He is a published author and is involved in many community programs in the Shreveport-Bossier City area.

Green began is battle against cancer in November of 2017, and after three rounds of chemotherapy and 35 rounds of radiation, he was pronounced free of cancer in February 2018.


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