Photography by Sarah Oden
The Cattle Baron’s Ball brings together cowboys and cowgirls for an evening of western-themed fun and a mission that resonates with many families – the fight against cancer. While the ball guarantees a toe-tapping, knee-slapping good time, this vision of the American Cancer Society and philanthropists like Dr. Omar Atiq remains unwavering.
Dr. Atiq works at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, after nearly three decades at the Arkansas Cancer Clinic in Pine Bluff. The American Cancer Society remains an invaluable partner for Dr. Atiq “I have utilized the many resources available through the American Cancer Society for our patients throughout the years. More recently, I was appointed to the American Cancer Society National Lung Cancer Roundtable, which is working around the country to reduce the morbidity and mortality from this lethal disease. Arkansas has some of the worst lung cancer outcomes in the nation. I am working with the American Cancer Society to help reduce suffering from this scourge.” He gained international acclaim after forgiving $650,000 in medical bills of cancer patients at the Pine Bluff clinic. In recognition of this act of kindness and for his continued commitment to the American Cancer Society, Dr. Atiq will be honored at the Cattle Baron’s Ball. Proceeds support the vital cancer research as well as the Community Transportation Grant Program in Arkansas, which makes treatments more accessible for cancer patients through transportation assistance.
Cattle Baron’s Ball Chairman Lauren McCullough lost her father to the disease in 2017. Like too many Arkansans, she’s personally invested in the invaluable resources that the American Cancer Society provides. “It never gets easier. We miss him every day,” Lauren elaborates. “When my dad was going through treatment we were so fortunate to have family who could be with him, but for many Arkansans that’s simply not an option. If we can take away the stress of getting to and from treatments, these most vulnerable patients can concentrate on the job of getting better – we’ve done something we can all be proud of.”
The American Cancer Society is comprised of more than 1.5 million volunteers dedicated to saving lives, celebrating lives and leading the fight for a world without cancer. Dr. Atiq adds, “The American Cancer Society is a leader in cancer education, prevention, screening and treatment related services in the world. It strives to make cancer less of a burden on individuals and families and wishes to ultimately eradicate it.”