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Ultimate Medical Academy Bringing Record Volunteer Team to 2019 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk

Making Strides team

Beth, Ilyasha, Yliana, Amber

TAMPA, Fla., Sept. 9, 2019 —
Ultimate Medical Academy aims to bring a record-breaking team of hundreds of walkers to this year’s American Cancer Society’s (ACS’s) Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in Tampa on Saturday, October 19 at Raymond James Stadium.

This will be the 22nd ACS walk, and last year UMA set a record with more than 700 walkers in the event, including 54 from its Clearwater Campus. This year, UMA wants to top that level and bring more than 750 walkers. UMA is a Tampa-based nonprofit healthcare educational institution that is leading the way in Hillsborough County to raise awareness and join in the fight against breast cancer.

UMA is a major sponsor of the event, participating at the Silver Sponsor level and the medical tent sponsor for 2019. UMA has donated about $75,000 since 2014. This year, UMA Senior Vice President of Human Resources Beth Garland is the Event Chair for Tampa.

“I believe every one of us knows someone touched by this tragic disease, and several women in the UMA team have heart-wrenching personal stories about battling and beating cancer,” Garland said. “We thank Strategic Partnerships Regional Manager Ilyasha Hood, Learner Services New Student Advisor Yliana Rodriguez and Learner Services Advisor Amber Acosta for bravely sharing their stories of survival, and for encouraging UMA employees to join them at the walk on Saturday.”

Hood is a breast cancer survivor who was 24 when she received the phone call that changed her life. Watch Hood’s story here.

Rodriguez helped care for her mother who survived her battle with breast cancer. Watch Rodriguez’s story here.

Acosta is an ovarian cancer survivor who after treatment took advantage of furthering her education at UMA to be the first one in her family to earn an Associate’s degree. She also helped support her mother through a successful battle with breast cancer. Watch Acosta’s story here.

UMA is walking in solidarity with students, faculty, staff and their loved ones who have personal experiences with breast cancer. In addition to walking, last year, UMA team members raised $14,000, which UMA matched dollar-for-dollar for a total donation of $30,000. This year, the UMA team aims to raise even more funds.

As part of being a top Making Strides team, UMA employees will be taking calls at the Fox 13 Making Strides phone bank. Phone bank volunteers answer hundreds of calls during the day, helping people with questions about a diagnosis or medications they were prescribed. Other callers receive information about mammograms and where to find financial assistance. Volunteers also provide details on the Making Strides walk and how people can get involved.

Through the Making Strides walk, UMA is offering its support for anyone who has experienced their own cancer journey and thanking all of the people who have joined the ACS’s fight against breast cancer.