Decade Two of Racing Against Cancer!

It's a race against cancer. Will you take to the water to help us raise funds for cancer research and survivorship programs right here at home? Register now to take the plunge today.

Our Goal

About the Dragon Boat Upstate Festival

The Dragon Boat Upstate Festival benefits cancer research and survivorship programs at the Cancer Institute of Greenville Health System (GHS)Institute for Translational Oncology Research (ITOR), Center for Integrative Oncology and Survivorship (CIOS)Center for Cancer Prevention and Wellness, and the South Carolina Ovarian Cancer Foundation.

To date, the Dragon Boat Upstate Festival has raised over $2.5 million for local cancer research and survivorship programs.

Want more information on how we are putting your dollars to work? Download the Dollars At Work Fact Sheet.

Dollars At Work Fact Sheet


Funds from the 2018 Dragon Boat Upstate Festival will help fund:

  • 2018 dollars will fund clinical and support needs of the Institute for Translational Oncology Research (ITOR), including areas like clinical trials and biorepository needs for patients at the Cancer Institute of Greenville Health System.
  •  2018 dollars will fund a comprehensive oncology rehabilitation and survivorship program focused on helping a person with cancer regain maximum physical, social, psychological and vocational functioning with the limits imposed by the disease its treatments.
  • 2018 dollars will provide support for our Blood and Marrow Transplant Program and it's patients close to home. 
  • 2018 funds will also support the new Center for Cancer Prevention and Wellness. The goal of the center is to provide customized cancer surveillance and prevention interventions based on an individual’s specific health status and personal history, as well as their particular genetic, molecular and immune profile.
  • Finally, 2018 funds will assist our organizing partner, South Carolina Ovarian Cancer Foundation (SCOCF), with survivorship and outreach efforts for families across the region.
  • Research

    Dragon Boat dollars have helped launch programs such as:

  • Institute for Translational Oncology Research Tissue Bank (ITOR) – a tissue repository that tracks the effectiveness of current and new treatments for all cancer types, in order to better understand and treat cancers through their genetic profiles.
  • ITOR Tissue Bank Freezers and Storage Tracking – more than 10,000 samples stored for future use.
  • Molecular screening for new treatment solutions – now standard part of many treatments at GHS Cancer Institute, located at Greenville Memorial Medical Campus.
  • Rare Tumor Center – launched March 2014 to serve nearly 100 families from across the country. These rare tumors represent nearly 20% of all cancers. The only center of its kind in the U.S.
  • With a focus on translational research and personalized medicine, the Institute for Translational Oncology Research (ITOR) of GHS provides some of the most advanced cancer treatments available anywhere in the world while supporting industry’s crucial need to achieve greater efficiency and expediency in bringing life-saving cancer drugs to patients. The effort to advance these goals led to the creation of ITOR – an evolutionary process that began in 2004.

    ITOR is a major pillar of translational cancer research at GHS. The efforts of ITOR include a phase I Clinical Research Unit, a Biorepository Services platform, and proteomics & genomics capabilities.

    ITOR advances cancer care on multiple levels, facilitating pioneering research as well as clinical care delivery. ITOR is committed to “Translational” medicine, which is a branch of medical research that forges a direct link between basic research and patient care. In the case of drug therapies, translational medicine refers to the 'translation' of basic research into beneficial drug treatments for patients.

    ITOR focuses on discovering and developing drugs that help people who have cancer.

    As part of a major hospital system and the developing GHS Regional Cancer Institute of Excellence, ITOR brings together comprehensive and complementary cancer care services, technologies and facilities under one umbrella. ITOR collaborates with innovative, global partners and strives to make available life-enhancing, personalized cancer medicine to patients throughout the country in the most efficient, effective and expeditious manner.

    For more information about ITOR, please visit


  • Moving On – a rehabilitation program that physically helps cancer patients get on their feet again. Most recently, Dragon Boat dollars have helped purchase new rowing equipment for the program, which allows patients the chance to work on their Dragon Boat paddling skills.
  • Survivorship programs – weekly planned programs for patients and caregivers, from yoga to journaling to walking to nutritional counseling to support groups.
  • Patient counseling and program support for SC Ovarian Cancer Foundation
  • The Center for Integrative Oncology and Survivorship (CIOS) focuses on survivorship and integrating evidence-based complementary therapies with traditional cancer care. Complementary therapies, in concert with traditional therapies, provide holistic, patient-centered care encompassing mind, body and spirit to improve patient outcomes. Examples of programs offered include mindfulness classes, yoga, CSC Pacers Walking Club, music therapy, art and writing programs. 

    The survivorship component of the GHS Cancer Institute is led by a team of physicians and other health care professionals specially trained in survivorship issues whose role is to help patients develop a personalized survivorship plan that can enhance treatment efficacy and symptom control and promote overall healing. This plan may include CSC programs and services and/or complementary therapies like the ones previously mentioned.

    Group setting support services are available to patients and provide an opportunity to make connections in the community based on their diagnosis, age, needs, etc. 

    CIOS also provides educational programs that include information on healthy cooking, lifestyle changes, aromatherapy and more. Lastly, CIOS focuses on socialization to decrease isolation following a diagnosis. Patients have the opportunity to make cards for loved ones as well as newly diagnosed cancer patients. 

    'Survivorship begins when a patient is diagnosed and continues throughout treatment and beyond, which is why it’s important to treat the whole patient – not just their physical needs,' said Dr. Mark O’Rourke, medical director of GHS’ survivorship program. “Cancer is not a simple disease, and survivorship care is about healing each person and helping improve their quality of life.”

    For more information about the Center for Integrative Oncology and Survivorship, please visit