How quickly time flies!! The calendar already shows April in 2012 as we distribute our first quarterly newsletter in 2012. It’s amazing to think, but this month we celebrate the 1 year anniversary of our Gastric Cancer Registry being live and collecting critical patient data. As we’ve discussed several times, this registry is the foundation of our current and future research projects. As always, it’s our job to get as many patients and support people to complete the registry with data that researchers can use to help find commonalities and assist in fighting this disease. To register, simply go to Gastric Cancer Registry Login to get started.
This spring also marks our third year in operation. We have achieved a great deal in a short period of time, transitioning from just a few people, simply raising money to fight a terrible disease to an organization with supporters, volunteers and donors from across the globe and multiple sustained programs – our Registry and Genomics testing – to fight gastric cancer. To signify our progress, we have made a minor modification in our name. As of April 27, 2012, we are no longer the Gastric Cancer Fund, but rather the Gastric Cancer Foundation. Nothing changes regarding our mission, relationship with The V Foundation for Cancer Research, or even our acronym (GCF), but this does represent growth and maturity in our organization. Honestly, many people have always thought this was our name, so this change should be seamless, but please take note of the change in your references, donations and support of our organization.
This quarter, we have some exciting new features in our newsletter. First, in response to many reader requests, we’ve started a “Survivor Spotlight” section, where we interview someone that is currently fighting gastric cancer and learn a little more about them, their struggle and how they can inspire us. Our first spotlight participant, John Cardinale, is an extraordinary man with a great story that has personally inspired me to fight the disease and live a long and healthy life. I think many of you will feel the same way so please learn more about John by reading his Survivor Spotlight.
Next, we’ve added an event spotlight. Many folks ask me, “How can I help?” Obviously, we love financial donations, and you can make a quick and easy donation right here. In addition, many supporters are finding they can have a tremendous impact and some fun by hosting a local event. This first spotlight features Lesley Bloese and her family, who host the EP Classic in honor of their father. By getting creative and enlisting all sorts of family and friends in her community, Lesley has been able to raise over $35,000 in the last two years in the name of her father in the fight against gastric cancer.
Not to be completely outdone by Lesley and her family and friends, our organization continues to drive its own events as well. As many of you have heard, we hosted our record-setting 3rd Annual GCF Gala last December, raising over $90,000 for gastric cancer research. This year, we are hosting our first organization-led event in New York City, the Michael Feinstein Benefit Concert on Thursday September 6, 2012 at Loews Regency Hotel in New York City. Enjoy an intimate dinner and 5-time Grammy nominee Michael Feinstein in a beautiful and private setting in NYC, as the Gastric Cancer Foundation officially expands its presence to the Big Apple.
Finally, I wanted to provide a brief update on my own health. As most of you know, in December of 2010 I experienced a reoccurrence of my gastric cancer. While this process has had its ups and downs, including new chemo regimes, cutting-edge radiation techniques, plus battling everything from oral surgery to multiple bouts of pneumonia, as of my last scan in March, I am currently cancer free!! However, we all know that this disease is unrelenting, so we march on as quickly and passionately as possible. I thank you all for your thoughts, prayers and support of our organization. I truly believe that we are saving lives and will change the course of history with our work. But it takes time, hard work, a great deal of money and a little bit of luck.
As always, if you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact me directly. Your opinion and participation in our organization are critical to our success, so please keep in touch!
In health and gratitude,
Chairman, Gastric Cancer Foundation Board of Directors