2/4/12, I decided to go back to my roots! I am going to swim!
8/13/11, Jimmy would have been 12 this week. I only know that because Gina's FB status was a heart wrenching plea for the heartache to stop. I feel the depth of that pain because I am a mother. I am clueless to the scope of that pain because I am clueless to what loosing at that magnitude means. I want to embrace her, hold her, make the pain stop. I think of the tattoo on my leg and the little yellow butterfly that rides above the bicycles and I am drawn into her pain even further. Gina, I know words can't help, but my heart is with you... I suddenly realize that FB may have triggered this cascade of tears as a posting about national son's week comes up on one of my cousin's status posts. CANCER SUCKS!!!! My prayers and heart is with any mother who has lost their son to this dreadful disease!!! The tears are hard to hold back!
8/8/11- the PMC
THE PMC (my experience from 2 days of this amazing stream of hope)
My latest fundraising letter:
Since 1980, the PMC has raised $270 million for cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber. The majority of this impressive total is considered unrestricted support-critical, flexible funding that can be directed where and when it is needed most. As the PMC generates nearly half of the Jimmy Fund's annual revenue, every rider supports the efforts of more than 3,000 DFCI faculty and staff members as they make countless advances that have become the standard of cancer care and research.
The following provides tangible examples of how unrestricted money is propelling Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund's lifesaving mission:
• Increasing survival rates of pediatric cancers
Overall cure rates for pediatric cancers continue to rise. Survival rates of acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), the most common type of leukemia in children, have improved steadily in the past 40 years-in the 1970s, five-year survival for children younger than 20 was 61 percent, and today has
• Declining rates in cancer deaths
Despite the fact that the cancer mortality rate in the U.S. has risen steadily for the past 50 years, scientific advances appear to have begun to turn the tide. 1997 was the first year in the past half century in which fewer Americans died of cancer than the year before-the start of what researchers hope will be a long-term decline in cancer deaths.
• Increasing survival rates of breast cancers
Survival rates of breast cancer have steadily increased over the past six decades-in the 1950s, five-year relative survival for localized breast cancer (cancer that has not extended to the lymph nodes or other areas) was 80 percent, and today has reached 98 percent.
• Decreasing incidence rates colorectal cancer
The incidence rates of colorectal cancer have declined for the majority of the last two decades. In 1985 there were approximately 66 cases per 100,000 individuals and in 2004 there were approximately 48. The decrease has been the most drastic from 1998 to 2004, in part because more people are being screened for the disease, which can help detect colorectal polyps that can be removed before they evolve into cancer.
• Declining incidence rates of lung and bronchus cancers
Incidence rates of lung and bronchus cancers in men have decreased considerably, from as many as 102 cases per 100,000 individuals in 1984 to almost 74 cases in 2004. Furthermore, the incidence rate for women is advancing toward a plateau after increasing for many years.
• Funding promising early-stage research
In 2008, Dana-Farber was the second highest recipient of grant funding from the National Cancer Institute. Dana-Farber's generous donors enable the Institute to make a stronger case for major research grants by being able to demonstrate first, through innovative pilot studies, that its work holds great promise and is worthy of further support. All donor gifts-including those from the PMC-make a huge impact at Dana-Farber because, by funding early-stage efforts, staff and faculty can leverage donor contributions into more dollars from the government to advance research even further. In addition, the competition for private grants is on the rise, and many researchers with promising discoveries are left with few options. Unrestricted dollars help fill the gap so that investigators who are between grants can continue their work rather than having to dismantle their laboratories.
• Purchasing powerful new equipment that drives scientific results
Dana-Farber has utilized unrestricted funds to purchase new technologies and sophisticated equipment that collects and analyzes data from large numbers of genes and proteins more rapidly and accurately.
• Recruiting world-class junior faculty
Thanks in part to unrestricted support, Dana-Farber's adult and pediatric fellowship programs are among the most sought-after and selective in the nation. Each year, hundreds of highly qualified physicians compete for fellowships and the opportunity to train with leaders in the fields of oncology and hematology.
• Funding investigator-led clinical trials
Investigators, such as Ian Krop, MD, PhD, of Dana-Farber's Breast Oncology Center, rely on unrestricted funds to convert research discoveries into clinical trials and bring effective new drugs to our patients as quickly as possible. Krop is working to understand better the mechanics of HER2-positive breast cancer cell so that he can develop new therapies that overcome resistance to current drugs.
• Providing financial assistance to patients and their families in need
Dana-Farber's Office of Patient and Family Assistance provides direct financial support to more than 1,200 patients annually to help them meet expenses like rent and mortgage payments, utility bills, groceries, and transportation, including gasoline. Social workers and psychologists collaborate with resource specialists to help address financial concerns, and free financial coaching services are also offered.
• Launching nine new integrative centers
Dana-Farber recently created nine collaborative centers to facilitate the rapid exchange of ideas between scientists working in the lab and physicians who see patients. Each center addresses a critical step along the cancer research continuum from basic discovery to drug development and clinical applications in patients, with the common goal of developing more targeted, individualized therapies.
The following centers were created:
* Center for Cancer Genome Discovery
* Center for Cancer Systems Biology
* Center for Applied Cancer Science
* Cancer Vaccine Center
* Center for Clinical and Translational Research
* Center for Developmental Therapeutics
* Center for Molecular Oncologic Pathology
* McGraw/Patterson Center for Population Sciences
* Perini Family Survivors' Center
I have decided to change the name of this page so that I can post my PMC letters here. In reality, I have been promoting pediatric cancer causes for awhile and in several different ways, Beads of Courage, St. Baldricks, and the Sunflowers for Life Fund at the Jimmy Fund.
So where am I at? I need to buckle down on the fundraising. I leave for Salt Lake City in a few weeks and I know I will not have time to raise money while I am out there. SO I need to raise 4250. and I am just about at 300. I need to find 79 more people to donate 50. to this cause. This is scary. Now that I am registered, its mandatory to raise the funds whether I ride or not. I have taken a big leap of faith here. HELP?
Watch here in a few days for the fist edition of my PMC Team Kermit letter!
April 3, 2011:
We are getting ready for the MUD Exhibit opening reception where we will hold a bead event (checks made out to Beads of Courage). This will be a 10. suggested donation for a bead and stringing material, of course more is welcome. I will be held from 6-8 PM on Wednesday April 6th at the Carriage Barn Arts Center in New Canaan, CT.
February 2, 2011:
Its been awhile since I have updated this, but that doesn't mean that we haven't been busy. We have had beads at the following events: The US Nationals, The Masters Single Distance, The Halifax Marathon and the Charles Jewtraw. This weekend we will be in Milwaukee where athletes are competing in a number of events such as the Jr Nationals, Jr. World cup, North American Championship, and the American Cup 3. Next weekend we will be in Lake Morey for the North American Marathon. The photos below were contributed by Josh Cummings (NNY) who happened to be in Salt Lake for the US Nationals; Thanks JOSH! We will be sending these beads and all of the notes after next weekend's events.
all rights reserved Josh Cummings
December 31, 2010:
I just spent the week in Lake Placid coaching, training, thinking about my own skating. I handed out a few of my beads that I intend to send on to BOC. I also mailed a few out to Andrew in Salt Lake. I hope to have pics with the beads from both the Masters Single Distance and the US Nationals soon.
I also handed one to Kelly, who is training for the Pittsburgh marathon and she will carry it throughout her training on ice and on the road before relinquishing it with a note when she is ready to.
I arrived home to a nice note from my cousin Ali who is also doing an ultra- marathon (135 miles) as part of THON. I am so excited to hear this! Ali, I will send you something soon. In the meantime, RUN Ali RUN!
December 21, 2010:
The word is out and the skaters who participated in BOC last weekend are being asked to come forward and join BOC officially as their first speedskating team. I have posted the two e-mails I received from BOC and invite all of you as well as any other speedskaters out there to join Chris and I on this endeavor.
Here are the notes:
Go Team BOC Speed Skaters!!!
, Director of Development
Join our email list:
Lake Placid Marathon: December 18 and 19, 2010
This was a three ice marathon weekend - 10K, 25K and 40K raced by all ages and all abilities
I spent the hour before warm-up asking some of the top speedskating JR Athletes in US and a few younger up and coming athletes (including one ski jumper) from the US or Canada to help me with this Beads of Courage project. Each one of these athletes picked out a bead, wrote a note, raced a marathon or two (Chris raced both the 25K and 40 K) and took a picture with the bead they chose. Tonight Chris and I are packing up the beads and mailing them off, with a small donation to Beads of Courage. If you would like to help us out with this project, please let me know.
I would like to thank Mary-Kate, Petra, Andrew, Matt, David, Mathias, Zari, and Chris for making me proud to be a coach and teacher! You guys made me understand how important a job I have as well as renewed the tremendous faith I have in the world's youth!
Here are the pictures: