UVMC Cancer Awareness Symposium to feature Dave Dravecky

For the Miami Valley Today

MIAMI COUNTY — The Upper Valley Medical Center Foundation will host the 2022 Bill & Ruth McGraw Cancer Awareness Symposium on May 16 at 6 p.m. at the Fort Piqua Plaza, 308 N. Main St., Piqua.

Featured speaker will be Dave Dravecky, major league pitcher, award-winning author and cancer survivor, who will share his story of hope, courage and perseverance in the midst of dark and overwhelming uncertainty.

In 1988, Dravecky was at the top of his game and life. Not only did the Youngstown, Ohio, native have a wonderful family, but he was reaching his all-star peak playing the game of his childhood dreams for the San Francisco Giants. His 5-1 opening day victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers was overshadowed later that fall by the discovery of cancer and removal of half of the deltoid muscle in his pitching arm.

Defying all odds, after battling cancer in his pitching arm, Dravecky came back to pitch once again in the major league. For baseball fans worldwide, Dave Dravecky etched his name into history on Aug. 10, 1989, as he pitched for the San Francisco Giants against the Cincinnati Reds. People were on their feet cheering and anticipating the game while he stretched and warmed up.

He became an inspiration not only to cancer fighters, but to all who needed hope that day. After being told by his doctors, “Short of a miracle, you’ll never pitch again,” he pitched a 4-3 win for the Giants.

Sadly, Dravecky‘s comeback was short-lived. Five days later, in Montreal, he threw “the pitch that could be heard around the world” when his arm split in two. Little did he know that the dream he had since he was a little boy was simply a platform for his purpose to share hope with those suffering around the world.

This year’s Cancer Awareness Symposium is presented by the UVMC Foundation with support from the McGraw Family Fund of The Troy Foundation, StoryPoint Senior Living, and Minster Bank. The annual Symposium is named in memory of Bill and Ruth McGraw, parents of Bill McGraw III, and his sisters, Karen McGraw and Chris Grilliot. Between them, Bill and Ruth McGraw had cancer five times, but neither died from the disease.

This event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited, so reservations are strongly suggested. To reserve a seat, please call the UVMC Foundation Office at 937-440-7541 or email [email protected] by May 11 at noon.