Community leaders to raise awareness with ‘Colors of Cancer’ campaign

A colorful campaign to benefit the American Cancer Society (ACS) has revealed the names of 15 community leaders throughout Greater Memphis who have committed to raise awareness and funds to support the organization’s fight to end all cancers.

“Colors of Cancer” – which runs through May 31 – provides the candidates a unique platform to highlight their personal connection to a specific cancer type and color. They will wear their chosen color in May to help bring awareness to their efforts to raise funds for the ACS.

Candidate bios and donation links are at

This year’s Colors of Cancer will bring awareness to colon cancer (dark blue), liver cancer (emerald green), childhood cancer (gold), brain cancer (gray), prostate cancer (light blue), lymphoma (lime green), leukemia (orange), breast cancer (pink), pancreatic cancer (purple), thyroid cancer (teal/pink/blue) and lung cancer (white).

Lakeland resident Michael Robinson, is one of the 15 nvolved in Colors of Cancer. He participates in memory of his father, who passed away from lung cancer in December 2008.

“My dad showed no signs, and then one day he went to stand up and almost fell down,” said Robinson. “Dad started radiation but never got to the point for chemotherapy.” He died about five weeks after the cancer diagnosis. Robinson will wear something white throughout May.

And, he is honoring his wife, Maria, a 9-year cancer survivor. She was diagnosed that same December.

“The hardest thing was to tell our two boys that your mother had the same thing that your grandfather just passed from. They thought mom was going to die,” said Robinson. But Maria had a different cancer type and a good prognosis.

Today she manages the Harrah’s Hope Lodge for the ACS. The facility provides free lodging for cancer patients and their caregivers while in Memphis for treatment.

“She is so passionate about the Hope Lodge. Having been through cancer herself, she can relate to the people there,” said Robinson, a financial advisor with Renasant Financial Services.

The candidates are:

  • Brittney Block, regional sales execution manager, Entercom
  • Brett Borm, director and coach, Memphis HappyFeet Soccer
  • Dr. Phillip Bowden, gastroenterologist, Mid-South Gastroenterology Group
  • Susan Eads, general manager, Carriage Crossing
  • Sarah Edmiston, president, SouthGroup Insurance Services
  • Jill Finkey Lucchesi, Realtor, Sowell & Company Realtors
  • Troy Keeping, president, I Square Management LLC
  • Latrice McLin, investment specialist, Shoemaker Financial
  • Michael Robinson, financial advisor, Renasant Financial Services
  • Allison Spencer, broker, Burch Realty Group LLC
  • Aleasheia Stanford, network manager, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee
  • Lita Tartt, administrative assistant, Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto
  • Jeff Ward, managing member, Ward Law Firm PLLC
  • Richard Williams, general manager, Memorial Park Funeral Home and Cemetery
  • Toni Williams, director of member services and special events, Spring Creek Ranch

The ACS supports ground-breaking cancer research, offers free rides to cancer treatment and free lodging near hospitals, and provides a 24/7 helpline at (800) 227-2345. Its website,, offers in-depth information on specific cancer types and ways to get involved with the organization.

Horseshoe Casino & Hotel Tunica and Tunica Roadhouse Casino & Hotel are the presenting sponsors of the campaign.