Nolan Smith – former Duke basketball star, 2010 NCAA national champion and current special assistant under Mike Krzyzewski – is joining the national non-profit Teen Cancer America (TCA) as a celebrity sports ambassador. Founded by rock ’n’ roll legends Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend of The Who, TCA is dedicated to developing specialized facilities that address the age-specific clinical and psychosocial needs of teenagers and young adults with cancer.
Since launching in the U.S. in 2012, TCA has projects underway or in development with world-class cancer centers at UCLA, Stanford, Memorial Sloan Kettering (New York), Dana-Farber (Harvard), Yale, University of Chicago, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Moffitt (Tampa), Vanderbilt, Baylor and Case University. Partnerships with more than 50 hospitals around the country are in various stages of planning, including Duke Cancer Institute at Duke University Hospital and UNC Cancer Care at UNC Medical Center in Chapel Hill.
Smith will announce his “TCA Tuesday” social media campaign which will call on supporters to donate at least $1 each Tuesday to reach different TCA fundraising goals. Smith, who has more than 87,000 Twitter followers (@ndotsmitty), will be supported in the campaign by Duke Basketball (@DukeMBB), which has more than 800,000 followers. Smith will “live tweet” to kick off the TCA Tuesday campaign during the press conference. As a TCA ambassador and one of the ACC’s most popular stars, Smith will lead a variety of specific fundraising initiatives that call on the fans of Duke, UNC and other universities to come together in a common cause.
One of the fundraising goals will benefit the “Nolan Smith AYA Cancer Leaders Workshop” during the 2017 AYA (Adolescent and Young Adult) Cancer Conference in Atlanta, sponsoring 20 cancer care professionals from hospitals and community clinics for a training day at the international conference. Smith will also work in partnership with Raleigh-based First Citizens Bank, a major sponsor of TCA, to drive awareness of its corporate campaign, #LetMyLoveOpentheDoor, which serves to raise funds online as well as through branch locations in 18 states.
In addition to Smith, speakers at the press conference will include:
- Sally Webb – founding board member, Teen Cancer America
- Cheyenne Corbett, PhD – Administrative Director, Supportive Care & Survivorship Director, Duke Cancer Patient Support Program at Duke Cancer Institute
- Roger Daltrey (via special video message)