Six people donate to Jefferson Health after assistant coach Dave Joerger is treated for cancer

Sixers owner Josh Harris, co-owner David Pletzer, chief basketball operations Daryl Morey, general manager Elton Brand, general manager Doc Rivers and CEO Tad Brown have teamed up to lead a $75,000 donation to the Jefferson Health-designated Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center. for cancer.

The donation was inspired by the treatment Sixers assistant coach Dave Juerger received at the center after he was diagnosed with head and neck cancer in October. Joerger underwent seven weeks of radiotherapy and chemotherapy and returned to The Sixers in early February.

“This gift sends a powerful message to all Philadelphians to never stop fighting, and never lose hope,” said Dr. David M. Cognetti, MD, professor and chief of otolaryngology – head and neck surgery at Jefferson Health, in a statement. “We are delighted to have coach Georger back on the bench, and we are very grateful to Championship 76ers for their commitment to our community.”

» READ MORE: Dave Gorger returns from his battle against cancer with a new perspective on life: ‘He made me so appreciative’

The money will be used to expand Jefferson Health’s early detection, screening, and educational programs for “disadvantaged communities that need it most,” according to a press release.

The center estimates that the Sixers gift will cover portable screening—provided by a unit on wheels that can go directly to neighborhoods—for more than 1,200 people at events that may not be easily accessible. The statement said the donation will also support head and neck cancer research, along with expanding data analysis capabilities to focus more on risk factors and health disparities to help improve early detection efforts. Referrals to additional cancer center resources, such as smoking cessation programs, will also be provided free of charge to those who attend mobile screening events.

“I am grateful to Dr. David M. Cognetti, Dr. Vuchita Bar-Ad, Dr. Jennifer Johnson and the global medical team at Sydney Kimmel Cancer Center-Jefferson Health for their support over the past few months as I battle head and neck cancer,” Gorger said in a statement. “Their work for me has reinforced the importance of providing our community with access to early cancer detection, screening, and educational opportunities. I am humbled and thankful to the 76ers organization for not only supporting me during my fight, but for making a touching donation that will help those who need it most in our community.”

In 2021, Jefferson Health launched the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center and the Dietz & Watson Mobile Cancer Screening Unit for those with limited transportation options and/or who live in underserved communities with a large number of immigrants or a limited number of English speakers. In addition to detecting head and neck cancer, the unit also has the latest imaging technology to detect breast cancer, prostate cancer and melanoma.

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