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Lighting Campus for Hope Honors Borderplex Cancer Warriors

Updated: Feb 2

The celebration concludes the university’s 10th anniversary by raising $67,750 for 366 life-saving breast cancer screenings

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso welcomed the Borderplex community to its “home” on campus on Friday, Dec. 1, 2023 to honor cancer warriors and conclude the university’s 10-year anniversary at the Lighting Campus for Hope event. Local title company Lone Star Title was the presenting sponsor of the celebration.

The free event included a fireworks extravaganza, food trucks, photos with Santa and friends, a musical light show, mascot dance-off and more. Wells Fargo Bank was the Hope Light Show sponsor.

Felipa Solis, emcee for the event, has had several titles in her life including executive director of El Paso Pro Musica and former TV news anchor.

Her most life-changing title might be breast cancer warrior. She was diagnosed in summer 2017.

At the event, Solis asked breast cancer warriors to join her on stage and be recognized before a moment of silence for cancer warriors in our community.

Foster School of Medicine student Diana Moreno and community philanthropists Kirk and Judy Robison.

Amid the night sky, hope and light radiated at the event with a blue tree lit in honor of first responders, a lavender tree lit in honor of all cancer warriors and a pink tree lit in honor of breast cancer warriors. The campus was also decorated with blue and lavender luminarias.

The occasion not only honored breast cancer warriors but also marked a significant achievement, with $67,750 raised since October dedicated to providing 366 free breast cancer screenings for underserved women within our Borderplex community. Attendees also had the opportunity to help to support screenings through a scan-to-give option. Every $185 raised will pay for one mammogram and additional contributions will fund follow-up diagnostic exams.

"In supporting our community's health, we've come together to make a real impact. The successful fundraiser for breast cancer screenings reflects the heart of TTUHSC El Paso, where compassion meets action,” said Andrea Tawney, Ph.D., vice president for Institutional Advancement at TTUHSC El Paso. “As we close this chapter of giving, we also mark the end of our university's 10-year anniversary. A decade of growth, learning and making a difference. Here's to the power of unity and a future filled with continued impact and shared successes."

In our Borderplex, breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among Hispanic women. It’s estimated that by the end of 2023, there will be 20,750 new cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed in Hispanic women in the U.S. In addition, an estimated 3,200 Hispanic women will die from breast cancer.

Early detection is the key to fighting breast cancer. Diagnostic tests, like mammograms, can identify the disease in its early stages. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an early diagnosis of breast cancer will improve a cancer warrior’s chance of surviving five more years by 99%.

Working in conjunction with our region’s promotores, TTUHSC El Paso will promote the free mammograms and screenings to the local community. Several of the university’s programs, such as the Medical Student Run Clinic in the colonia of Sparks and the Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso’s Breast Cancer Education, Screening and Navigation Program (BEST), will provide vital health care access in an effort to build a healthy community.

El Pasoan Gloria Sanchez is alive today because of life-saving access to BEST and treatments here at TTUHSC El Paso. She was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer following a screening in January 2022. Sanchez joined other breast cancer warriors at Lighting Campus for Hope.

"If it wasn’t for the screening, my cancer would have grown. And if it keeps growing it's going to be a harder fight. It's still going to be a fight, but I am able to fight back before it grows," she cautioned. "So, it's always easier and it's best for you to take care of yourself and every year make sure you screen yourself, do your self-exams, and be ready."

Sanchez is eternally thankful for BEST, its outreach workers and those who contribute to these life-saving programs.

Lone Star Title’s commitment to enhancing health care in our region inspired the company to sponsor several past university initiatives, including last year’s 10th-anniversary campaign for the Hunt School of Nursing. Both Lone Star Title and TTUHSC El Paso share a vision for advancing world-class education, research and patient care within our community.

We extend our sincere gratitude to our esteemed sponsors, whose generosity ensures that a growing number of individuals have access to vital screenings, fostering a community united in the pursuit of a cancer-free future. Every dollar raised from generous sponsorships and donations goes directly to the breast cancer screening fund.

Lighting Cancer for Hope Sponsors:

Presenting Hope:

Sponsor: Lone Star Title

Contribution: $15,000

Coverage: 81 cancer screenings

Hope Light Show: 

Sponsor: Wells Fargo

Contribution: $7,500

Coverage: 41 screenings

Supporting Hope: 

Sponsors: JP Morgan Chase Bank, Raiz Federal Credit Union, Subaru of El Paso, Sunflower Bank

Contribution: $5,000 per company

Coverage: 27 screenings per $5,000


Sponsors: Freeport McMoRan, National Restaurant Supply, RM Personnel, Sandy Messer & Associates/Wendy Sudimack

Contribution: $2,500 per company

Coverage: 14 screenings per $2,500

Additional Sponsor:

Sponsor: Broaddus & Associates

Contribution: $1,250

Coverage: Eight screenings

Celebrating a Decade of Excellence

Over the past decade, TTUHSC El Paso has significantly expanded its academic programs, increased enrollment, and fostered clinical partnerships with local hospitals and health care entities.

TTUHSC El Paso is home to the Foster School of Medicine, Hunt School of Nursing, Francis Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Hunt School of Dental Medicine.

Since its establishment, the university has successfully graduated more than 2,200 health care professionals. A substantial number of these graduates have elected to remain in the region, directly contributing to our local community and addressing the need for skilled health care providers in our underserved area.

TTUHSC El Paso also is a significant contributor to the economy, with an economic impact of $634.4 million annually, up from a previous $227 million, according to a Texas Tech University Rawls College of Business report.

TTUHSC El Paso’s success in the community is built on its ability to provide advanced educational opportunities for underrepresented students, a distinctive curriculum that offers students early clinical training and community service opportunities, and, ultimately, the impact graduates have on increasing access to quality health care.

The Next 10 Years 

Lighting Campus for Hope not only commemorated TTUHSC El Paso's decade of service to our community but also highlighted the next chapter of providing world-class, comprehensive cancer care in the future Steve and Nancy Fox Cancer Center. 

On Aug. 8, TTUHSC El Paso, along with local community leaders Steve and Nancy Fox and their daughters Paige and Ashley, announced a historic $25 million investment to support the future comprehensive cancer center to be constructed on the university’s campus. The facility will allow cancer warriors to remain in our region for treatment. Families will find support close to home and will no longer have to bear the cost and hardship of traveling out of town for care. 



Help transform health care in our community and beyond by making a gift to Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso. CLICK HERE to learn how to give.

At TTUHSC El Paso, we are committed to growing our own health care heroes and changing the state of health care in our Borderplex. For more information about how you can help, please contact or or visit


Original Article: TECH TALK - DEC 5, 2023


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