Large vertical color posters of cancer survivors graced the reception area reminding guests of innovative surgical techniques and award-winning health care and groundbreaking techniques provided by University of Colorado Hospital physicians, nurses and staff.

In recognition of this great work, more than 1,000 guests, donors and staff packed the Hyatt Regency Colorado Convention Center hotel to support the University of Colorado Hospital Foundation’s “Let’s Knock Out Cancer” Gala held Saturday, January 24.

Emcee and KUSA/9News Anchor Corey Rose described the program and introduced UCH board leaders including University of Colorado President Bruce Benson and UCH CEO/President John Harney, who thanked guests and described hospital facilities and innovations. Speaker Jon Wilmot–a stage IV lung cancer survivor–described his long journey battling the disease.

As a non-smoker in excellent health and an avid mountain biker who jogged regularly, Wilmot’s 2011 cancer diagnosis blindsided him. And, except for some persistent wheezing he had no other obvious cancer symptoms. Fortunately, follow-through with UCH physicians discovered and effectively treated his cancer with positive results and outcome.

Wilmot credited his faith and family for their support and praised physicians, nurses and staff for his survival. Thanks to UCH’s latest cancer-fighting techniques and his extensive exercise regimen he has resumed his mountain bike treks of 2,000 miles annually throughout Colorado’s steepest mountain inclines.

Former Broncos player Reggie Rivers lead the live auction representing several one-of-a kind gifts, memorabilia and dining and vacation packages. Best known for their 2005 hit “How to Save a Life,” the Grammy Winning rock band The Fray closed the evening for the capacity crowd in the grand ballroom.

All proceeds from the “Let’s Knock Out Cancer” Gala benefit the University of Colorado Hospital and the University of Colorado Cancer Center—the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center within an 800-mile radius.

For more information and to donate visit the University of Colorado Hospital Foundation web site at: