ACS recognizes Nucor – Hertford County

Published 4:06 pm Tuesday, March 5, 2024

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COFIELD – Nucor Steel – Hertford County not only boasts of manufacturing a quality product, but stands proud of its involvement in making a difference within the communities they call home.

Associates at Nucor’s plant near Cofield have earned the Hero of Research – Champion of Mission Award from the American Cancer Society in recognition of their support for Relay For Life in 2023.

The Hertford County Nucor Steel team raised more than $188,000 – the fourth largest total in the country – for the Relay For Life of Hertford-Gates counties. By reaching the $175,000 fundraising level for the first time, the Hertford County plant is one of five teams nationally to achieve Champion of Mission status. Three of those teams are from Nucor Steel plants around the country.

“By achieving the Hero of Research – Champion of Mission Award for our fundraising efforts in 2023, it just further solidifies our division’s commitment to eradicating this terrible disease called cancer,” said Nucor team captain William Riddick. “Nucor Steel Hertford County is anchored by a strong management team that encourages us daily to strive for excellence through community relations. Being involved with the American Cancer Society has been both humbling and inspiring. I’m forever grateful for the opportunity to lead this incredible team during times such as this, as we accept this historic award.”

“My story is probably no different than most everyone else, my ‘why’ is family related,” said team member Rochelle Harrell. “In 1982, my maternal grandmother was sick for months before the right combination of doctors and tests were able to find and diagnose her with colon cancer, but unfortunately that diagnosis came too late, and her cancer was too advanced. In 2017, my mother was sick for months before the right combination of doctors and tests were able to find and diagnose her with cancer. We are very blessed the type of cancer was slow growing and I am very honored to say she is a seven-year cancer survivor. But they share a common thread, both cancers were hard to find and difficult to diagnose. I Relay so we can fund the research for faster diagnosis and a cure. I Relay for my family and yours.”

The Champion of Mission Award allows the Nucor Steel team to name an existing intramural American Cancer Society mission program in honor of a loved one or their team. Named for the dedicated associates of the Nucor Steel Hertford County plant, they have selected to name a research project by Margaret Katana Ogongo, PhD, MPH, MA, the Nucor Steel-Hertford County research grant. Ogongo is a post-doctoral fellow in health services research within the surveillance and health equity department of the American Cancer Society. Her research sits at the intersection of public health and economics.

“My academic journey has been influenced by my dedication to addressing health disparities and promoting health equity,” Ogongo said. “Through my training, I gained advanced knowledge in econometric and epidemiologic methods as well as economic theory relevant to healthcare. This strong foundation had prepared me to delve into the complexities of health care delivery, more specifically in relation to cancer care.”

The Nucor Steel-Hertford County research grant will be active for one year.

“We are so grateful to everyone at the Nucor Steel Hertford County plant for their tremendous support,” said Kimberly Jackson, executive vice president, southeast region, of the American Cancer Society. “This team has raised more than $1 million dollars since 2000. They have a true passion for the American Cancer Society’s mission to improve the lives of people with cancer and their families through advocacy, research, and patient support, to ensure everyone has an opportunity to prevent, detect, treat, and survive cancer. It is because of volunteers like those at Nucor Steel that we are making progress in our efforts to end cancer as we know it, for everyone.”

The Nucor Steel Hertford County team was also named one of five Teams of Excellence nationwide.

As the largest nonprofit funder of cancer research in the United States outside of the federal government, the American Cancer Society has played a role in most of the cancer research breakthroughs in recent history. The organization has invested more than $3.1 billion in cancer research since 1991, contributing to more than 4 million fewer cancer deaths.

Founded by Dr. Gordy Klatt in Tacoma, Washington, in 1985, Relay For Life events around the world have raised $6.9 billion to help the American Cancer Society end cancer as we know it. Funds raised help fund and conduct breakthrough research and give cancer patients and their families the resources they need on their cancer journey.

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