Newsletter - March 2011


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Newsletter - March 2011

  1. 1. March 2011 ** Change in Venue ** Thank You Sponsors! Lonestar High School Survivor Friday, May 20 6:00 p.m. through Saturday, May 21 6:00 a.m. Gold Need to Register Your Team? Join a Team? You are One Click Away! Bronze Goa l 2 011 The ams ! 5 te is 7 Click here to Register Click here to Join *No maximum to the number of participants a team can have* Sponsorships are still available. *Luminarias you sell go directly to your team total*Please contact Jaimee Zimmerer at or 214-476-6030 For additional information, please contact Lori Morrison for additional information. or 469-855-3872
  2. 2. Survivor Spotlight Amanda Bliss When I was 26 years old, I was diagnosed with Granulosa Cell Tumor (GCT), a rare type of ovarian cancer. The news sent my world into a tailspin. So many questions ran continuously through my mind and so few answers accompanied those questions. I was married, young and trying to start a family. I had been going to a doctor for almost two years with thesame complaint; I wasn’t experiencing “that time of the month” anymore.I wasn’t in any pain or discomfort but I knew something had to be wrong.It just wasn’t normal. The doctor I was seeing tried the same medicationrepeatedly over these two years and the problem just continued. I finallygot fed up with the insanity of doing the same thing over and over andfound a new doctor.My new doctor was determined to find the cause of the problem, not justtreat the symptom. She ran every test and scan she could think of untilshe found a tumor fully encompassing one of my ovaries. Because of thetenacity of this doctor and my unwillingness to sit back and accept therewas nothing else to be done - we found the tumor.
  3. 3. Survivor Spotlight, contIt was caught early enough to be completely removed during surgery.When I turn 34 on August 2nd of this year, I will be celebrating 8 yearsof being cancer free!!In the years since, I have been continually tested, scanned and had addi-tional surgeries to remove masses. The odds are that the cancer willcome back in my lifetime. I am beating cancer and have a much differentoutlook on my life because I took my care and my fate into my own handsand with the help of a wonderful doctor found my cancer early.Early detection was the key to my life and it’s very important for every-one to understand its significance. I want my life to serve as a testamentto others; listen to your body and participate in screenings and examsfor things you may be at risk for. If something doesn’t seem right to youdon’t stop pursuing a resolution until you are satisfied with the answer. Today, there are no effective and proven screening tests for early detection of ovarian cancer, but there are things you can do. Please click here for the American Cancer Society’s Prevention Checklist for Women
  4. 4. A Caregiver’s Journey Doug Gray On July 5th of 2010, my wife Diane and I visited the Legacy ER building with concerns of left facial droop and tingling in her right foot. Diane’s initial diagnosis was Bells-Palsy. An MRI was run and a spot was identi- fied on her brain. Following more MRIs and spinal taps, we were officially diagnosed with Large Diffuse B Cell Lymphoma. Additional testing further diag- nosed her with Primary CNS Lymphoma (Non- Hodgkins)/Brain Cancer). Diane and Doug Gray Between, July and December, Diane had many hospitalvisits from many doctors, across many disciplines. We became patients with Texas Oncol-ogy and spent a lot of time at Baylor Hospital in downtown Dallas. There was a tumor on thebrain, there was lymphoma in the spinal fluid and we started a long, uphill battle with che-motherapy.Diane had a dual-port PICC install in her chest for chemo and fluids. She had an OmayaReservoir inserted in her head to allow chemo squirts to the brain. The brain tumor waspressing on the 7th, 8th and other nerve cells and as a result Diane had severe issues withbalance, sight and hearing. Prior to all this, Diane was very healthy and active, and now shewas battling for her life.We had her left eye sewn shut because the nerve used to keep the eye closed was notworking. Diane had difficulty speaking and eating because of facial droop. She had diffi-culty walking because the nerves used to help with balance and sight stopped working. Sim-ply walking the dog became a very difficult and painful experience.In addition to walking and speaking, Diane’s hearing in her left ear was extremely limitedand her short term memory was affected. As the brain tumor grew, additional symptomswere to follow. At the beginning of November, Diane had brain surgery.
  5. 5. That was probably one of the toughest nights of our life. After more than 6 hours of sur-gery, they could only extract 75% of the tumor. Diane continued to fight but the tumorcontinued to grow.After recovering from the surgery, we started whole brain radiation and a new chemo drugand treatment. On December 9th, 2010 Diane’s journey was over. From diagnosis to herpassing, it was about 6 months; however, looking back we struggled with odd symptoms formore than a year.We were fortunate to have a lot of support from family and friends. We had been sup-porters of Relay For Life for quite some time, as well as the Lance Armstrong andLiveStrong foundation for many years. Diane was involved with Relay For Life for manyyears after her mother passed way from Melanoma.The best advice I could provide someone in the caregiver role is to be patient, be gentleand be the rock they need. Go to the hospital and provide the best support you are capableof providing. Take notes, do research and ask questions. A lot of new terms are thrownyour way every day, having access to web sites to better understand the terminology wasvery helpful. Diane was a fighter and the battle with the beast can become very over-whelming very quickly.Spend as much time possible with friends and family. Make the patient as comfortable aspossible. People will have a lot of questions and want to know how things are going and hav-ing to repeat it can be overwhelming. Utilize websites such as www.lotsofhelpinghands.comThe details of how we found out and the many, many steps along the way are huge burdensand it helps to write it all down and let them read for themselves. At the beginning of thejourney, I bought Diane an iPad, mainly because there was going to be a lot of hospital timeand I wanted her to have access to videos, pictures, books, etc. What we really used it forwas taking notes and doing research during our many doctor visits. It also helped keep usentertained with different games.Doug and his family recently honored Diane by participating in the LiveStrong AustinMaraton. He and his team are excited about also honoring Diane in this year’s Relay ForLife Frisco.
  6. 6. Pink in the Rink with The Texas Tornado The Texas Tornado hosted the third annual Pink in the Rink hockey game on Saturday, February 12th at Dr Pepper Arena in Frisco. The Tornado partnered with Relay For Life Frisco to dedicate the game to raising money for cancer awareness. “The Pink in the Rink night is always a special one,” said Head Coach Tony Curtale. “It has special meaning to our players and is always one of the more memorable games of the year.” During the game, the Tornado wore special pink jerseys, which were then auctioned off following the game. The night also allowed the Tornado to honor and celebrate the life of Lisa Flowers, a long-time Tornado fan and a former billet parent to many former Tornado players in past seasons. Lisa lost her battle with breast cancer in the fall of 2009, but her legacy lives on through the Flowers Cup.(Back Row) JC Flowers, Sandra Soutter (Lisa’s sister) (Front Row) Sarah and Ben Flowers A Tornado Siren Dancer and Mini-Relayer Carlee Morrison get into the spirit of the game.
  7. 7. Relay UniversityThe American Cancer Society staff and Regional Council hosted Relay University or asits more commonly known, “Relay U” in January.This annual training event brings together Relays from around North Texas for infor-mational and inspirational training sessions and presentations on how to make their in-dividual Relays the absolute best they can be.This year’s Relay U had more than 500 committee members, more than double fromlast year! (Left to Right) Gloria Martinez, Registration Chair, and Co-Chairs Kristen Scherer and Tracy Fenwick having some fun with the football theme event. (Left to Right) Shanna Hoertsch, Accounting Chair; Michele Skene, Regional Council Chair; Co-Chairs Tracy Fenwick and Kristen Scherer; Amanda Bliss, Accounting accepting an award on behalf of Relay For Life Frisco
  8. 8. 2011 CommitteeKristen Scherer Event ChairTracy Fenwick Event ChairAudra Cozart ACS PartnerGloria Martinez Registration ChairAlyssa Sanders Registration Co-ChairBrad Box RegistrationDiana Valtr RegistrationValerie Conley Online - CommunityGary Rowe Online - TechnicalShanna Hoertsch Accounting ChairAmanda Bliss AccountingKellee Albrecht Survivor ChairVickie Boynton Survivor Co-ChairGloria Novocilsky SurvivorsBrenda Price SurvivorsKristi Godfrey Luminaria ChairRosemary Mills LuminariaLori Morrison Teams ChairGilley Estes TeamsJennifer Fredrickson TeamsLynne Michelich TeamsKim Carmichael TeamsDeb Cortese Volunteer ArmyLiz Watkins Volunteer ArmyMichelle Skene Team MentorJaimee Zimmerer Sponsorship ChairKristin Zimmerer Sponsorship Co-ChairAnthony Cordova Logistics ChairMatthew Mosier LogisticsBarbara Krehbiel-Thompson LogisticsRene Sinclair Special Events ChairBuzz Priestly MissionsCandice Dingman AdvocacyLaura Lamkin Entertainment/ActivitiesAmy Cohen Publicity/Marketing
  9. 9. Facebook News Don’t forget to “Friend” Us on Facebook!Need to print team registration forms from our Website? Click here to view an easy “How To” video. Mark Your Calendars! MARCH is National Nutrition Month March 23 — Kick Butts DayMarch 24 — Survivor Dinner at Centennial Medical Center 6:30-8:30 p.m. April is National Cancer Control Month April 7 — World Health Day May is Cancer Research Month May 2 — Melanoma Monday May 8 — Women’s Health/Cancer Awareness May 8-14 — National Women’s Health Week May 20-21 — Relay For Life Frisco May 31 — World No Tobacco Day June June 5 — National Cancer Survivor’s Day June13-19 — National Men’s Health Week June 19 — Men’s Health/Cancer Awareness