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15th Annual Dragon Boat Upstate Festival
Saturday, August 28, 2021

Why We Paddle!

Team Xavier

Team Xavier is primarily made up of 5D Inpatient Oncology/McCrary Blood and Marrow Transplant Unit nurses and staff at Greenville Memorial Hospital. We wear the name “Team Xavier” in memory of a very bright, intelligent, athletic young man whose life was cut way too short by cancer. Xavier Bonaparte is the son of one of our longtime inpatient oncology nurses, Sheila Bonaparte. Xavier was born on April 30, 1999. He worked hard in school and in life. He was in the Boy Scouts of America, Troop 11, a member of the National Beta Club, had a Black Belt in Tea Keon Do, and played for the Chargers on a community football team.  He passed away on September 12, 2013 after a tough 6 month battle with a rare lung cancer. 

Dragon Boat is a very important cause for us because the money raised through this event directly impacts “OUR” patients. On many hospital units, patients are assigned to the unit for only a short time, and then they are discharged: they come in, are treated, and go home. On OUR unit, many of the patients don’t go home to stay. Many of them have to one back to get their next round of chemotherapy, or IV antibiotics for a neutropenic fever, or come back to have a stem cell transplant. These patients are not just passing through; they become part of US, part of our 5D/BMT Family. We share in their joys and heartaches. We share in their remission, and sometimes, in their last days. Oncology nursing is not easy, and it takes a mental, physical, and emotional toll on both the nurses and their families; however, this is where we want to be. We are here to fight for OUR patients!

Help Team Xavier in supporting cancer patients in the upstate by donating to the 15th annual Dragon Boat Upstate Festival. By making a donation in support of Team Xavier, you help provide vital cancer research, prevention, and survivorship programs to cancer patients in our community. So many of us have been touched by cancer in some way, and this event provides a way for us to honor and remember patients and loved ones that have faced and continue to face the disease. Make a gift to Team Xavier and know that you are making a difference to cancer patients right here in the upstate!


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Thank you to our 2021 sponsors!