canSURVIVE was originally proposed to Needs Beyond Medicine by Chad Hurst in 2008. It was meant to serve as a means of raising awareness of the organization and to drive funds into the various programs that Needs Beyond Medicine offers. Being a cancer survivor himself and a photographer by trade, Chad yearned to capture other brave stories of cancer survivors through his photo lens as they describe in their own words what it means to be a survivor.
In 2009, with the additional resources of Heather Hurst and Needs Beyond Medicine’s CEO Philip Brown, the first canSURVIVE gala became a reality. The initial fundraiser was held on September 24, 2009 at the Depot in Salt Lake City, Utah. This unique gallery fundraiser featured the photographs and inspirational stories of more than two dozen cancer survivors. Chad even graciously volunteered to continue photographing these amazing cancer survivors. Because of its enormous success, the Needs Beyond Medicine organization chose to continue the event as an annual fundraiser.
The canSURVIVE gallery touches people in a way that no past event ever has before. It speaks to the need for increased support of people going through cancer treatment and the necessity of enhanced awareness towards cancer prevention. We appreciate all of the survivors who have generously donated their time and shared their inspirational stories in support of canSURVIVE. With the help of sponsors and public donations, canSURVIVE has the ability to further reach out into other communities and help additional people in need.