You might say Ben Fields is committed to cancer – volunteering and raising money to beat cancer, that is. It’s true that he’s a cancer survivor, and for that he is very grateful. But long before he was diagnosed with cancer, he was raising money for cancer care in our community and it’s that commitment that drives him daily to do more for those who have less. In fact, Ben, who is 83 years old, has been volunteering in the fight against cancer for more than 25 years. His work started many years ago with the Wings Cancer Foundation where he helped produce golf tournaments and other fundraising events as well as serving on its Board of Directors. After he retired from a successful career in corporate relocation, Ben was able to dedicate even more time in the fight against cancer. And then, when he was diagnosed himself and had a “relatively easy” cancer recovery, he felt an even greater responsibility to give back.
In addition to having cancer himself, and seeing many close friends diagnosed, Ben lost his mother to cancer. So for him, the fight is personal, and that personal commitment drives his energy and enthusiasm for doing as much as he can for West Cancer Foundation.
Ben began working with the foundation several years ago, honing his brilliant fundraising skills so that more people can benefit from the free cancer services the foundation provides. Year after year, Ben Fields and Friends is consistently one of the top fundraising teams for foundation’s signature event, West Fight On. Ben expects this year’s event on Sept 9 to be the biggest yet and says he’s honored to be able to give back in this important way.
“When you see what West Cancer Foundation does for cancer patients in our community, particularly those who are already in financial need, it touches your heart,” he said. When asked about his fundraising experience, why he volunteers, and what it’s like asking people to give, he had this to say: “I get a lot of people who say no, but then I get a lot more saying yes! It’s such a good feeling, and I get so much in return. If you do it from your heart it becomes a passion.”
During his professional career, Ben was lucky enough to win numerous awards and accolades, but the award he cherishes most is being named Volunteer of the Year by West Cancer Foundation in 2020. “Of everything I’ve accomplished in my life, it’s my volunteer work in the fight against cancer that I’m most proud of. West Cancer Foundation is truly changing the lives of Memphis cancer patients in need. It’s my privilege to give back so that the foundation can do more.”