Hello! I hope this fall edition of the Gastric Cancer Foundation Newsletter finds each of you happy and healthy. I’d like to extend a special greeting to our friends in the northeast who have been dealing with the terrible impact of Superstorm Sandy. Please know that the extended GCF community has all of you in our thoughts and prayers.
t’s amazing to realize how fast time flies and that the holidays are already upon us! For me, the holidays have become synonymous with our Annual Gastric Cancer Foundation Gala. This year the 4th Annual GCF Gala will be taking place on Saturday, December 1st at the Peninsula Golf and Country Club in San Mateo. As the article in the newsletter indicates, this looks like it will be our largest and most successful event yet. We hope you’ll make a reservation and plan to join us! If you cannot attend, please consider making a donation to the GCF as part of your holiday giving plans.
Speaking of events, this newsletter includes a look back on our first formal event in New York City. An Evening with Michael Feinstein was a great success, netting over $70,000 for our organization while treating our growing New York base of supporters to a wonderful night of food and unforgettable music by Michael Feinstein and Marilyn Maye. This event also helped solidify a group of New York volunteers dedicated to fighting the disease, so we’re looking forward to seeing more activity from this group in the future.
In this edition’s survivor spotlight, we hear from our good friend and GCF board member Hans Rueffert. Hans has helped countless survivors, myself included, navigate the confusing and often scary world of gastric cancer. We’re lucky to have him as a board member and now our community gets to share the gift of his story.
Finally, for those who haven’t seen the news, there is exciting progress in the field of gastric cancer research. With the rate of change and discoveries, it seems like we are right around the corner in regards to making a major breakthrough against this deadly disease. We need to keep the momentum going!
Finally, I want to provide you with a quick update on my health. Like many of you survivors out there, I continue to fight the disease every day. Unfortunately, my most recent chemotherapy regime, Irinotecan, did not have the long-term positive impact that I experienced previously with Taxol. So I am now on new chemotherapy, Gemzar, which we hope will give us a better result. On the positive side, I only have two relatively small tumors in my body, but one of them is completely wrapped around the celiac artery, causing major pain in my back/lower portion of my body. Along with hoping that Gemzar will shrink the tumor and reduce the pressure on the celiac, we are exploring additional cutting-edge treatments that may be able to do the same thing. With continued amazing support from my family, friends, medical team and this community, I continue to stay confident in our ability to fight this and win. We are all in this together, and together I know that we can do it!
In health and gratitude,
Chairman, Gastric Cancer Foundation Board of Directors