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Dunking to fight pancreatic cancer in memory of Geoff Shudtz

Aug 23, 2022

Dunk for a cure

For Julie Shudtz, who lost her husband Geoff to pancreatic cancer in 2019, fighting pancreatic cancer is more than a mission. The founder of Fight Cancer Stay Positive (FCSP) Foundation says it is also a way to remember and honor Geoff’s legacy by giving back to advance cancer research. Every year, Shudtz and her family – including Geoff’s sister, Kristin, and her husband, Bill Potter – host a FCSP Foundation Dunk for a Cure event. Back in person this year after a two-year hiatus, the event at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery - West Creek, is an afternoon of live music, local food and beer anda water-filled dunk tank to raise money to fight pancreatic cancer.

Here, Bill Potter, Geoff’s brother-in-law and FCSP board member, talks about the event, the mission of the FCSP Foundation and the reasons why fighting pancreatic cancer is so important – so others like Geoff can beat cancer and continue to spread positivity.

Dunk for a cure image
“The Fight Cancer Stay Positive Foundation was founded in 2019 in remembrance of my brother-in-law, Richmond native Geoff Shudtz, who passed away from pancreatic cancer at the age of 34.

When Geoff was told in December 2017 that he had Stage IV pancreatic cancer and months to live at best, he could have been mad. He could have raged and lamented a diagnosis that came just weeks after his son was born. He could have withdrawn at the age of 34, refusing to enjoy the next year of his life.

But he didn't. Instead, Geoff thought of others. He thought of ways to make the lives of patients and their families easier. Ways to sort through clinical trials and the monotony of sitting around hospital rooms. He made sure to have an amazing summer and to be an incredible father and husband.

And importantly, he found a way to galvanize others against pancreatic cancer with his motto: “Fight Cancer, Stay Positive.”

And that's why his family and friends will gather at Hardywood on August 27, 2022 – as they do every year – being dunked throughout the day to raise money as part of the FCSP Foundation's Dunk for a Cure.

The goal is simple: ending pancreatic cancer, one dunk at a time. Proceeds will be donated to VCU Massey Cancer Center, and to the Lustgarten Foundation.

Julie Shudtz, Geoff's widow, Kristin and Bill Potter, Geoff’s sister and brother-in-law and many of Geoff’s and Julie’s friends and family – plus members of Massey Nation, including Jose Trevino, M.D., surgeon-in-chief and division chair for surgical oncology at Massey – and captain of the FCSP team, Team Massey – will be there, ready to dunk and to be dunked, and to share their  experiences and reasons for fighting pancreatic cancer. Reasons like making sure the world doesn’t lose others like Geoff to pancreatic cancer in the future.

In two pandemic-altered years, the FCSP Foundation has already raised $250,000 towards that goal.

Dunk for a cure image

Watch Dr. Trevino talk about pancreatic cancer research at Massey

Register for FCSP’s Dunk for a Cure event at: or donate to Dr. Trevino’s FCSP Team Massey.


A newfound hope in the fight against pancreatic cancer

Earlier this year, the Shudtz family made a $1.5 million donation to create the Geoffrey R. Shudtz Chair in Pancreatic Cancer Research at VCU Massey Cancer Center. Read more about Geoff and Julie's story here.

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