When the Virginia Orthopedic and Spine Specialists (VOSS) team learned in June 2007 that their friend and co-worker Dr. Anuradha Datyner had been diagnosed with breast cancer, they rallied around her. They formed Team Datyner and participated in their first Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in October that year.
Datyner battled an aggressive form of breast cancer and passed away on Feb. 25, 2009. In her memory, the team continues to raise money to fight breast cancer, topping $50,000 to date.
“It’s our love for her that keeps us going,” said team leader Danielle Geyer, VOSS surgical scheduler. “She was one of the greatest, most down-to-earth people you could ever meet. She was just a wonderful person.” Along with having between 30 and 60 team members participating in the Race for the Cure each year, Team Datyner holds creative fundraisers year-round. They’ve sold Cold Stone Creamery ice cream, held candy sales, designed and sold T-shirts, hosted yard sales, and sold gift baskets. They even held a tattoo fundraiser two years ago with tattoo artists donating their time and 100 percent of the proceeds.
Dr. Mark Kerner, a VOSS spine surgeon who married Datyner in 2006, also joins the efforts. Kerner was named a “pink tie guy” in 2010 by Komen Tidewater for his dedication and support.
“Every time you turn around, you find out someone else has got breast cancer. We do what we can do to make a difference,” Geyer said. “We’ve always been a close-knit office. [Datyner’s] diagnosis and her death have brought us even closer.”
During October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the team is planning a special fundraiser with local bands at Awful Arthur’s. Concert details are available by calling the VOSS office at 757-397-6930.