“Dickie V”, the well-known college basketball broadcaster on ESPN, recently hosted Michael and Melissa Wiggins and their son, Cannon, for the second time at his annual gala to raise money for pediatric cancer research. The 13th annual event was attended by approximately 1,000 guests and raised a record $3.7 million. Since inception, the Dick Vitale Gala has raised close to $25 million for pediatric cancer research.
Cannon Wiggins had the honor of being one of 12 kids selected for Vitale’s All-Courageous Team, honoring children who are fighting cancer or who are cancer survivors. At six years old, Cannon is the youngest member of the team. Cannon became a cancer “survivor” in April, after beating neuroblastoma and continuing to show “no evidence of disease” (NED) for five years since diagnosis.
The day after the gala, Vitale hosted a private BBQ at his home for approximately 200 people, including top donors, celebrities and the families of the All-Courageous team. Melissa had the honor of being one of two guests selected to address the attendees. During her speech, she highlighted growing concerns for survivorship and issues associated with current treatments, so advancements can be made that lead to better, less-toxic options for children that don’t result in life-long side effects and illness. Melissa also shared that understanding the issue of survivorship will help change the status quo of future generations of survivors.
Cannonball Kids’ cancer thanks Dick Vitale for his dedication and passion for funding pediatric cancer research.