Jeffrey Keith & John Ragland
Co-Founders of the CT Challenge
The vision of the CT Challenge is linked to our deep history of blending sports with a passion for supporting cancer patients and survivors. By building community support through first class events such as the CT Challenge Charity bike event, our goal is to provide avenues to attract energetic people who share our mission to empower cancer survivors to live healther, happier and longer lives.
At the CT Challenge, we are grounded in a philosophy and mission that speaks to people like us, people who find self-discovery and personal fulfillment in pushing limits and thinking big. We were started by a band of people who cared about one thing - helping cancer survivors. We have enjoyed a common low-key style but have also grown survivor programs explosively through big ideas and hard work. The approach we take toward incubating and advancing survivor programs demonstrates our willingness to expand the reaches of the current support systems available to cancer survivors.
Our health care system is not currently organized to support post-treatment care for the 13 million cancer survivors in the US. The survivor population is growing, and thankfully in response to that growth, we have seen the emergence of a limited number of survivor clinics around the country. These clinics are doing their best to meet the growing need, but the clinics can only address part of the problem. We need more clinics, more allied support services, and much stronger organization of all the services available to cancer survivors. This is what drove us to create the CT Challenge in 2004; as a key component of that inception, we convinced the Yale Cancer Center to launch the first adult survivorship clinic in CT. Over the past 9 years, the programs we fund have reached thousands of survivors.
The CT Challenge Network promotes the creation of new survivorship support services throughout Connecticut. The Challenge Network will also make support services easy for survivors to locate through a comprehensive internet based survivorship event and program directory. The dedicated medical professionals who are committed to survivorship will receive the promotion they deserve and the support they need to improve the lives of survivors. We will support these medical professionals as they expand their knowledge-base and expertise in this emerging field. We have surrounded ourselves with a medical advisory board and a group of passionate survivors and caregivers who are providing constant feedback and professional expertise, so we can continue to grow and stay focused on our mission.
In October 2012, the CT Challenge opened the Center for Survivorship in Fairfield, CT. The Center is a first in the nation. A standalone survivorship Center offering evidence-based programs designed to help empower cancer survivors to live healthier lives, and a facility where we are conducting research to advance the field of survivorship and improve care for the population of 13 million cancer survivors.
We invite new friends to reach out and to join us in this cause that undoubtedly touches everyone. If you are energetic, passionate and committed to making a difference in this world, then please join us. We want you to become active in the community, to help us grow our organization, and to extend our mission into every corner of the state.
Jeff Keith & John Ragland
The Connecticut Challenge