SupermanHPV plans to 'smash cancer'


October 5, 2018

On Sunday, Oct. 7, at Flemings Steakhouse in Winter Park, there will be a "Smashed Cancer" whiskey, wine and beer event from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. This is a precursor to "Smash Cancer," which is a tennis tournament to raise funds for oral cancer screenings and Human Papillomavirus, better known as HPV, vaccinations. There will be a Smash Cancer tennis tournament at the USTA National Campus in Orlando on Saturday, Nov. 3. However, if you don't play tennis, or aren't even interested in tennis, but enjoy having a drink with your buddies, you can still help support the cause.

Funds raised at the whiskey event will help head and neck cancer patients who need assistance with transportation to chemo/radiation, as well as specialized dental care.

Tournament and whiskey event organizer Jason Mendelsohn, a cancer survivor, is a tennis player and former USTA Junior Team Tennis "dad captain" with a long history in the Orlando tennis community. He was diagnosed with cancer caused by HPV, and shares his story in hopes of letting families know that there is a vaccine available, and to encourage people to get screened.

"Being able to raise funds to help head and neck cancer patients through a sport I love is an awesome privilege. The HPV vaccine, which is for boys and girls, had it been around when I was a kid would have likely stopped me from ever getting HPV throat cancer."

Mendelsohn was likely exposed around age 18 to HPV, which didn't manifest in cancer until age 44.

Statistics show that three out of four adults by age 30 have HPV, including 62 percent of freshman in college. Men between the ages of 40-60 are the most-highly diagnosed, decades after being exposed to the virus.

"Oral cancer screenings are extremely important," Mendelsohn says. "I share my story to stop other parents from ever making videos to their kids saying goodbye as I did just 4-1/2 years ago. I feel that it's my responsibility to protect future generations from a preventable cancer."

Learn more about Mendelsohn's story, and cancer awareness and prevention,


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