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UNC Children’s renamed its hematology/oncology clinic The Reelin’ for Research Pediatric Hematology Oncology Clinic in honor of the organization that donated $800,000 this week and more than $5 million since 2009, all to fund cancer research at UNC Children’s.

UNC Children’s has renamed its pediatric hematology/oncology clinic to The Reelin’ for Research Pediatric Hematology Oncology Clinic.

“I cannot imagine a better name for our clinic than The Reelin’ for Research Pediatric Hematology Oncology Clinic. Fourteen years of partnership and friendship has really paid off.  The Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology would not be where we are today without the support from Reelin’ for Research,” said Stuart Gold, MD, Chief of the Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at UNC-Chapel Hill.

On Saturday April 30, Reelin’ for Research presented a check for $800,000 to Dr. Gold and Keela Lyon, Senior Executive Director of Development at UNC Children’s. The announcement was livestreamed on the Reelin’ for Research Facebook page. On Sunday May 1, Reelin’ for Research posted a video of the check presentation on their Facebook page.

The first Reelin’ for Research tournament was held in 2009 in memory of Tony Montana, who passed away from cancer in 2005. Tony was blessed to live a long and full life, but remarked during his battle that children with cancer were too often deprived of that chance. Tony’s son Richard, along with a group of his friends, decided to honor Tony’s memory by doing something to try to change that. A fishing tournament benefiting childhood cancer research seemed the clear answer. And thus was born Reelin’ for Research.

Today roughly 60 boats compete annually making Reelin’ for Research one of the largest offshore fishing tournaments on the East Coast. Even more, Reelin’ for Research has grown beyond the tournament, becoming a year-round fundraising effort with over 5 million dollars raised to date – all for childhood cancer research at UNC Children’s.

“We started Reelin’ for Research in 2009 because no child should suffer from cancer, and as a result, we have created a community of people all striving towards the same goal,” said Richard Montana, chairman for Reelin’ for Research. “The decision to rename the pediatric oncology clinic after Reelin’ for Research is a testament to the strong partnership we have built over the years and our commitment to sustain the Tony Montana Fellowship Fund into perpetuity. We are honored to be recognized by UNC Children’s Hospital, and we owe our deepest thanks to our Reelin’ for Research community of volunteers, sponsors, and teams.”

UNC Children’s has a four-tiered mission to C.A.R.E. that aligns clinical care, advocacy, research and education to deliver world-class, family-centered care – always regardless of a family’s ability to pay. Our exceptional clinical care ensures that no child needs to leave North Carolina for treatment of any medical condition regardless of how critical or rare the challenge.