Taking Time Off From Cancer- Part 1
May 19, 2015
Hosted by Kim Thiboldeaux
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With summer quickly approaching, a question you hear time and time again is “What are your summer vacation plans?” Vacations offer a time for adventure and fun, as well as relaxation and rejuvenation. For families facing a cancer diagnosis, a vacation may be the furthest thing from their minds, but maybe it shouldn’t be. In this first part of a special two part series, our guest is Marci Schankweiler, the Founder and President of For Pete’s Sake Cancer Respite Foundation.
Frankly Speaking About Cancer with the Cancer Support Community
Tuesdays at 1 PM Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Health and Wellness Channel
Frankly Speaking About Cancer takes you on a journey through topics that inform and inspire people with cancer and their loved ones. Hosted by Cancer Support Community President and CEO, Kim Thiboldeaux, episodes tackle critical issues including: achieving the best care and quality of life, treatments of the future, the drug approval process, relieving stress and anxiety, life beyond treatment and talking to kids about cancer. Every week, Kim brings together the voices of noted physicians, researchers, nurses and social workers, as well as patients and caregivers from every walk of life with whom you can connect and draw inspiration. Timely and relevant, Frankly Speaking About Cancer guides you through the cancer maze and gives you the tools you need to live well. Frankly Speaking About Cancer with the Cancer Support Community is broadcast every Tuesday at 1 PM Pacific Time and 4 PM Eastern Time on the VoiceAmerica Health and Wellness Network.
Kim Thiboldeaux joined The Wellness Community in 2000 as President and CEO. In November 2009, the headquarter offices of The Wellness Community and Gilda’s Club joined forces to become the Cancer Support Community, the largest provider of psychosocial cancer support worldwide. The combined organization is also likely the largest employer of psychosocial oncology support professionals, advancing the idea that psychosocial care is as important as medical care in the face of a cancer diagnosis. The Cancer Support Community provides social and emotional support through a network of nearly 50 local affiliates, more than 100 satellite locations and online. Kim has a wealth of experience in health care, patient education and national patient advocacy. She serves in numerous leadership roles including: founding board member of ENACCT (Education Network to Advance Cancer Clinical Trials), member of the National Advisory Board of the American Psycho-Oncology Society (APOS), and member of the Caregiving in America Advisory Group of the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Human Development. Kim has appeared on Dr. Mehmet Oz (Oprah & Friends, XM Radio), ABC News Now, The Wall Street Journal and Prevention Magazine. She is the co-author of the award winning, The Total Cancer Wellness Guide (BenBella Books) which offers a roadmap for all people affected by cancer and tips on treatment decisions, side effect management, social and emotional issues and more.
Sara Bartosiewicz-Hamilton tested positive for the BRCA2 gene mutation in 2006, a gene mutation that can significantly increase a person’s chances of developing breast cancer. She had a prophylactic mastectomy shortly after. In other words, both breasts were removed. Sara is the co-founder of Flat and Fabulous, a Facebook group whose goal is to “support and empower women to embrace life without reconstruction after mastectomy.” She is a mom & writer and also has a day job in the pharmaceutical industry. View Guest page
Amy Berman is a Senior Program Officer at the Hartford Foundation where she heads the Integrating and Improving Services program, focusing on developing innovative, cost-effective models of care for older adults. The mission of the Hartford Foundation is to improve the health of older Americans. She also directs a number of collaborations with the U.S. Administration on Aging/AARP that address the needs of family caregivers. Prior to joining Hartford, Ms. Berman served as Nursing Education Initiatives Director at the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing at New York University’s College of Nursing. View Guest page
Dr. Nicholas Blondin
Ken Burns is considered one of the most influential documentary filmmakers of all time. Ken has been making documentary films for more than 35 years. He has directed and produced some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made, including The Civil War, The Central Park Five, The Dust Bowl, Prohibition, Baseball, Jazz, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea and, most recently, The Roosevelts: An Intimate History. His films have been honored with dozens of major awards, including 13 Emmy Awards, two Grammy Awards and two Oscar nominations. In September 2008, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award. View Guest page
Ricardo Antonio Chavira
Ricardo Antonio Chavira is an American actor best known for his role as Carlos Solis on the ABC television series Desperate Housewives. Off-screen, Chavira has played a different supporting role as caregiver for his mother and sisters during their battles with breast cancer. When Chavira was a teenager, his mother Elizabeth Ries Chavira died of breast and ovarian cancer at age 43. During her struggle with breast cancer, Chavira and his sisters assumed the role of caregiver and supported their mother by cooking, buying groceries, balancing finances and paying bills. In late 2008, Chavira found himself in a similar role following the devastating news that two of his sisters had also been diagnosed with breast cancer. While his sisters have undergone treatment and are doing well, Chavira’s personal connection as a cancer caregiver has inspired his involvement in cancer advocacy and caregiver support initiatives. Given his personal connected and dedication to breast cancer advocacy, Chavira has partnered with The Wellness Community (TWC) to launch a new, innovative campaign to help educate people about the needs of cancer caregivers and provide much needed support. Made possible by a grant from The Breast Cancer Fund of National Philanthropic Trust, the C.A.R.E. (Cancer Advocate Resources and Education) Campaign for breast cancer caregivers provides free resources, tips and support for those caring for a loved one with breast cancer. (Photo: wellness comm chavira) View Guest page
Dr. Leah Christl
Dr. Leah Christl is the Associate Director for Therapeutic Biologics in the Office of New Drugs in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Dr. Christl leads the Therapeutic Biologics and Biosimilars Staff. Her team is responsible for ensuring consistency in the scientific and regulatory approach and advice to sponsors regarding development programs for proposed biosimilar products and related issues regarding development programs for therapeutic biologics. Prior to joining the FDA, Dr. Christl received her Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Pathobiology – Marine Biomedicine and Environmental Science from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. She also spent 2 years at the University of South Carolina as an Associate Research Professor. View Guest page
Dr. Cynara Coomer
Dr. Coomer is the Chief of Breast Surgery and Director of the Florina Rusi-Marke Comprehensive Breast Center at Northwell Health-Staten Island University Hospital. Previously, she was a Breast Surgeon at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. Dr. Coomer is an expert in surgical oncology as well as the latest technological advances in breast procedures. She is committed to increasing community awareness about breast disease, and is a frequent medical contributor for Fox and FOXNews.com. Dr. Coomer is the recipient of several awards including the Patient’s Choice Award and America’s Top Surgeons. Along with being a doctor, Dr. Coomer is a cancer survivor, having been diagnosed with thyroid cancer in December 2010. Her diagnosis came just four weeks after giving birth to her first child. View Guest page
Dixie Davis is a retired interior decorator. Dixie's husband Tim passed away in 2000 from cancer also after a five year battle. She is the mother of one son and has six grandchildren. Sam and Dixie have been married for almost 10 years. View Guest page
Sam Davis served in Vietnam and is a Medal of Honor recipient. Sammy's wife Peggy passed away from cancer in 2004 after a five year battle. He is the father of three and grandfather of nine View Guest page
Sara is the Senior Director of Program at the Cancer Support Community. She is responsible for the development of new programs, special projects and ensuring quality standards of program delivery across the affiliate network. Sara has worked in the field of psychosocial oncology for the past 19 years, most recently as the Director of Program Support at Gilda’s Club Worldwide. View Guest page
Barak Goodman is the co-founder of Ark Media and a principal producer, director and writer with the company. His films have been nominated for an Academy Award, have won multiple Emmys and Writers Guild Awards, Peabody Awards, the RFK Journalism Prize, and twice been official selections at the Sundance Film Festival. They regularly appear on PBS’ primetime series FRONTLINE and American Experience. His four-hour biography of President Bill Clinton was nominated for a National Primetime Emmy and a Writers Guild Award. Another documentary, My Lai aired on PBS and won a National Primetime Emmy and a Peabody Award. It was rated one of the 10 best nonfiction television shows of the year by the New York Times. View Guest page
CSC welcomes the Showtime hit series “The Big C” creator and executive producer Darlene Hunt for a rare look into the real-life inspiration behind Showtime’s hit series. Airing Tuesday, August 16th, at 4 p.m. EST, the episode reveals Hunt’s motivation for creating a show that so boldly walks the line separating comedy from tragedy. Kim Thiboldeaux goes for a look behind the scenes, with Hunt for a discussion of the role the show plays in the broader cancer community and lessons we can all learn from the main character’s journey, as a person newly diagnosed with cancer. View Guest page
Karen Hurley is a licensed clinical psychologist. Karen specializes in hereditary cancer risk counseling and also conducts lectures, workshops and training sessions. Her counseling areas include medical and surgery decisions, fear of genetic testing, anxiety about screening and coping with risk. View Guest page
Danny grew up in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, NY. Known as "The Wasteland". This is one of the toughest neighborhoods in the area. Having an older brother and living in Brownsville made fights a part of everyday life for him. Danny started boxing when he was 15. As a highly touted amateur boxing prospect, he was an alternate for the USA Olympic Boxing Team for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. During his amateur career, Jacobs won four New York Golden Gloves championships. In 2007, he officially went pro, signing with two of the most influential figures in boxing: Al Haymon (Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s manager) and Oscar De la Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions. in 2011, Danny was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive bone cancer called osteosarcoma. It caused partial paralysis of his legs and damaged nerves in his spine. Doctors didn’t know if he would ever walk again. Danny is the first cancer survivor to win a boxing championship. He is the current WBA Middleweight champion and former NABO and NABF Middleweight champion. View Guest page
Suleika Jaouad is a 24-year-old writer, young adult wellness advocate, speaker, and cancer survivor. Suleika is the author of the weekly New York Times column and video series, “Life, Interrupted,” where she chronicles her experience as a young woman with cancer. Shortly after graduating from Princeton University in June 2010, she was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). She recently underwent a bone marrow transplant and is currently undergoing maintenance chemotherapy. In addition to resonating with readers who are struggling with disease, Suleika’s story speaks to anyone (everyone) dealing with life’s more minor challenges. We all have life, interrupted moments whether we are dealing with a health crisis, unemployment, or a bad break up. Suleika shows us that it’s not the interruption that matters. It’s how we deal with it. How we learn from it. And how we grow beyond it. View Guest page
Tom Kirk is the CEO of Us TOO, a nonprofit focused on support for people impacted by prostate cancer. View Guest page
JONATHAN LEVINE (Director) was born and raised in New York City, Jonathan Levine has been an aspiring filmmaker since the age of 12. Following his graduation from Brown University's Art/Semiotics program, he worked in New York as personal assistant to renowned writer/director Paul Schrader. In 2002, Jonathan moved to Los Angeles to attend the American Film Institute Conservatory as a director. There, Levine met the writer and producers of All The Boys Love Mandy Lane, which he was soon hired to direct. Upon graduation, Levine premiered the film at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival, which was purchased almost immediately by The Weinstein Co. In 2008, The Wackness, Levine’s second feature and his first as both writer and director, won the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival and LA Film Festival. Starring Ben Kingsley and Josh Peck, the film also earned Levine an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best First Screenplay. It was released in July, 2008 from Sony Pictures Classics. Most recently, Levine completed direction on 50/50 for Mandate Pictures, which will be released on September 30, 2011 by Summit Entertainment. The film, which stars Joseph Gordon Levitt, Seth Rogen, Bryce Dallas Howard and Anna Kendrick, follows the story of Adam Lerner, played by Levitt, who at 25 is diagnosed with a rare type of cancer. Next up on Levine’s directorial slate is a film based on his own adaptation of the novel Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion, also for Summit Entertainment. He is also attached to direct the film Little Girl Lost, for Universal Pictures, Jamaica, a reteaming with Reiser, Rogen and Goldberg for Mandate, and Legend, a futuristic teen romance, for CBS Films (photo is the one with all the numbers) View Guest page
Joan Lunden is an award-winning journalist, bestselling author, motivational speaker and successful entrepreneur. As host of Good Morning America for nearly two decades, Joan brought insight to millions of Americans each day and kept them up to date on how to care for their homes, their families and themselves. As a working mother of 7 and having been the caregiver of her elderly mother, Joan truly understands the stresses women face today. With her interest in family, health, and wellness, Joan has continued to be a reassuring and informative presence in American homes for more than 30 years.
In 2014, Joan was diagnosed with stage 2 triple negative breast cancer. As part of her treatment, she had 16 rounds of chemotherapy, six weeks of radiation, a lumpectomy and two blood transfusions. I’m happy to add that today Joan is cancer free and as busy as she ever was.
Joan is the author of the recently released memoir entitled Had I known. View Guest page
Dr. Jennifer Malin
Dr. Danielle Ofri
Dr. Holly Pederson
Dr. Holly Pederson is the Director of the Medical Breast Program at the Cleveland Clinic and Associate Professor of Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University. Her focus is on breast diagnostics, breast cancer risk assessment and management of the high risk patient. She runs a Hereditary High Risk Clinic for patients with identified genetic mutations predisposing to breast cancer and is actively involved in clinical research.
She is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, completed a clinical genetics fellowship at Cleveland Clinic in 2008 and City of Hope training in 2017. She serves on the Genomics High Risk Focus Group at Cleveland Clinic as a member of the Cancer Genetics Program of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and on the NCCN Breast Cancer Risk Reduction Committee. View Guest page
Maureen Rigney is the Director of Community and Support Services for the Lung Cancer Alliance where she oversees support and outreach services. Maureen is a licensed clinical social worker and has been working with the Lung Cancer Alliance since 2005. View Guest page
The Emmy-nominated Holly Rowe joined ESPN on a regular basis in August 1998. She had previously served as a sideline reporter for select ESPN telecasts in 1997 and for ABC Sports from 1995-96. As a reporter, Rowe primarily covers college football, men’s basketball and softball, as well as the NBA and WNBA. She plays a role in ESPNW’s coverage, and has provided play-by-play commentary for women’s college basketball, softball and volleyball. In addition, Rowe has covered soccer, swimming, track & field, and the Little League World Series of baseball and softball for ESPN. Rowe has battled cancer for years, but she hasn’t let it sway her positive spirit or her love for her work. View Guest page
Jonathan Sackner Bernstein
Lisa Schlager is the Vice President of Community Affairs for FORCE, Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. View Guest page
Dr. Leslie Schover
Leslie Schover, Ph.D. is an internationally recognized clinical psychologist as an expert on sexual problems and infertility related to cancer treatment. She became an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in 1982, doing clinical work and research on cancer and sexuality. Dr. Schover was a Staff Psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation for 16 years, before returning to MD Anderson in 1999 where she continued to work with patients and teach Behavioral Science until she retired in early 2016. She now devotes her full time to Will2Love.com, an online platform that provides free education, forums, webinars, and resources to cancer patients about sexual wellness, fertility, and parenthood. View Guest page
Dr. Mikkael Sekeres
Julie Silver, MD
Silver is a founder of the STAR Program (Survivorship Training and Rehabilitation) and an associate professor at Harvard Medical School in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She is also a breast cancer survivor. View Guest page
Margaret Stauffer, LMFT
Margaret Stauffer is a licensed marriage and family therapist. Margaret has extensive experience working with patients and their loved ones, including those with cancer, diabetes, and other health challenges. Margaret is the Chief Mission Officer at the Cancer Support Community of San Francisco Bay Area. She is responsible for managing mission delivery and maintaining the high quality of CSC’s comprehensive cancer support services. She develops new program components, supervises the clinical team, and ensures that program services are available and accessible to as many people affected by cancer as possible. Since 2008, Margaret has been providing support to patients through CSC’s decision support counseling program called Open to Options. View Guest page