Donations surpass $7 million ahead of Garding Against Cancer’s annual event

Published: May. 5, 2023 at 8:37 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - UW Men’s Basketball Coach Greg Gard knows firsthand the financial and emotional impacts cancer can have on a family.

In May 2015 Greg Gard’s father, Glen Gard, was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive and relatively rare brain cancer. About six months after his diagnosis, Glen Gard passed away at the age of 72.

After Glen’s passing, Greg Gard and his wife Michelle created ’Garding Against Cancer,’ a campaign to raise money for cancer research and patient care across the state of Wisconsin. Since launching in 2016, Garding Against Cancer has raised over $7 million to assist the UW Carbone Cancer Center in helping people battle cancer in the state of Wisconsin.

On Friday night, Garding Against Cancer transformed the Kohl Center into a ‘Supper Club’ for their 6th-annual Signature Event and welcomed a sold out crowd of 650+.

“I think the number one thing that stands out are the people that you get to reconnect with each year,” Greg Gard said. “A lot of that reconnection revolves around their personal cancer stories unfortunately, that connects a lot of us.”

In attendance at Friday’s event was Packers Head Coach Matt LaFleur. Gard said his 30 minute phone call to LaFleur was about two minutes of him inviting LaFleur, and the rest was talking football. LaFleur said whether it’s the Badgers, Bucks, Brewers or Packers, every Wisconsin coach roots for each other, and he wanted to show his support for the event.

“We are pretty fortunate to be in the jobs that we’re in but at the end of the day our jobs are surrounded around entertainment,” LaFleur said. “Granted we do have a responsibility in helping developing people, but what they do is real life stuff.”

LaFleur said cancer touches everyone’s life. He lost an uncle to cancer and his wife lost her grandfather.

“It’s something that affects us all,” LaFleur said. “And the more we can do to help prevent and eliminate, it’ll be good for everybody.”

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