‘It stopped our world:’ Annual Tennis4Cancer tournament raises funds in support of cancer patients

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. — According to the American Cancer Society, 66,440 people are expected to be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year across the United States. It’s the deadliest form of cancer with only a 12% survival rate.

However, Hector Ortega of Orange Park is among that 12%.


“It happened about 25 years ago, in my mid-30s. And it stopped our world,” Ortega said. “Effectively, my entire family had to stop, I moved, I relocated.”

This past weekend, the 12th annual Tennis4Cancer tournament in Orange Park looked to raise $60,000 for people currently going through the battle Ortega once conquered.

The event’s proceeds go towards the Hope Lodge Jacksonville, which provides a place for cancer patients to stay when getting treatment nearby, cutting down on the draining back-and-forth travel needed for treatment during the long battle that is cancer.

[SIGN UP: Action News Jax Daily Headlines Newsletter]

“It requires moving back and forth … A lot of transportation to hospitals and to clinics and to radiation centers,” Ortega said at the tournament on Sunday. “Providing this type of facility for people who are in that situation, it’s a very acute, it’s very intense, and it needs attention.”

Those who weren’t able to make it to this year’s event can also donate on the event’s website by clicking here.

[DOWNLOAD: Free Action News Jax app for alerts as news breaks]

Click here to download the free Action News Jax news and weather apps, click here to download the Action News Jax Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Action News Jax live.