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Coaches vs. Cancer Gala

The American Cancer Society’s 12th annual Coaches vs. Cancer Wisconsin Gala took place Saturday, April 13 at Monona Terrace in Madison, raising over $600,000 for cancer research. Retired University of Wisconsin–Madison men’s basketball coach Bo Ryan attended, and delivering the event’s keynote was four-time cancer survivor and former University of Connecticut men’s basketball coach Jim Calhoun. Additionally, the Coaches vs. Cancer Wisconsin Gala presented its Fan of the Year award to an individual who has displayed courage, passion, and hope in the face of adversity. This year’s recipient was cancer survivor Mackenzie Valentyn. At 25 weeks pregnant, Mackenzie was diagnosed with Lymphoma. She delayed treatment until after her daughter was born at 34 weeks, and then endured six months of intense chemotherapy. A recent scan showed that she responded positively to treatment. Mackenzie’s husband, Brett Valentyn, played for Coach Ryan from 2007–2011. The Coaches vs. Cancer Wisconsin Gala is the most successful American Cancer Society gala of its kind, having raised $7.7 million since it started. (For information on getting your event featured in the IB Gallery, email

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