Welcome to the CRCFL Team, Monica Vakiner!!

We’re delighted to announce that Monica Vakiner has joined the CRC staff as our Client Services Coordinator.

Monica joins Kerry Quinn in providing direct assistance to clients, leading support groups, and generally “being there” when someone calls or stops by to say, “I was just diagnosed with cancer and I need your help.”

Monica is a registered nurse, is a survivor of breast cancer, and formerly provided patient support at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, FL.

Day of Renewal – our annual retreat for women with cancer

Sunday, April 12, 2015 at La Tourelle Resort & Spa.

Whether you are newly diagnosed, in treatment, or are a cancer survivor, we invite you to join us for a day of nurturing.

Click here for more info & to download a registration form.
Questions? Contact Sharon 277-0960 or sharon@crcfl.net. Register early to reserve your spot!

Thank you to CFCU for sponsoring our spring retreats!

Third Tuesday Gathering: A New CRC Program

We’ve had requests for a new type of gathering – one that’s open to men AND women with all types and at any stage of cancer, and open to caregivers and family memebers as well.

In response, we’ve created the “Third Tuesday Gathering” that will take place, not surprisingly, the third Tuesday of each month from 5:30-7:00 pm at the Cancer Resource Center.

This is not a formal support group. Instead, it’s an informal chance to meet others, hear occasional speakers, and be part of a community. Topics will be scheduled based on the interest of attendees.

The first gathering takes place on April 21. Please come and help shape this new adventure. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, please contact Monica Vakiner at 277-0960 ormonica@crcfl.net.

Monthly Cancer Research Meeting

Emily Perregaux will present: “From Lab to Patient: Research and Regulatory Hurdles for New Drugs”

Wednesday April 8 from 5:15-6:45pm, Cornell Vet School Hagan Room

These monthly seminars present up-to-date cancer research in lay language. Everyone is welcome. Researchers, students, clients, and members of the public are welcome.

On a somewhat related note, Shake and Vent is a fun Chemistry music video from Cornell. If you watch closely, you’ll see Brandon Wenning who’s a regular participant in our seminars!

“Flair on Ice” Fundraiser: Saturday, April 18th, 12 – 2pm

The Rink – 1767 East Shore Drive, Ithaca

Performances by the IC Figure Skating Group, Cornell Figure Skating, Cornell Synchro team & other local skaters.  All proceeds from the event will go to support CRCFL.

Click here to purchase tickets or donate. For more information contact Show Coordinator, Jaclyn Saksa at jsaksa@ithaca.edu or contact CRCFL at info@crcfl.net or (607) 277-0960.

Kickball Tournament Fundraiser for CRCFL

Tue. April 21 from 6-10pm @ the Ithaca College Athletic & Events Center.

This event is open to the community, so form a team and sign up!!
Or come as a spectator to watch the fun, enjoy refreshments and try your luck at the 50/50 raffle. For more information, contact Matt Connolly atmconnol3@ithaca.edu

for CRCFL’s:

Second Annual
President’s Cup Golf Open

Fri. July 17 at 8am
Country Club of Ithaca

21st Annual Walkathon & 5KSat. Oct. 24
10am at Cass Park.

“One Funny Ithaca Story” was a huge success!

We made the news! Click here to see a  clip of the Newswatch coverage of the event!

THANK YOU to everyone who joined us for “One Funny Ithaca Story.”  What an amazing event! Not only did we have a great time and a lot of laughs… we also raised $4,000!

THANK YOU to Gary Stewart for dreaming up this idea and making it a reality. He THINKS that he drove me crazy in the planning of this event, but truthfully I had a great time working with him.

THANK YOU to all the terrific performers who did such a great job entertaining us:
Michelle Berry, Jim Dennis, Tom Hittinger, Mark Lawerence, Doug Levine, Perri LoPinto, Joel Malina, Jean McPheeters, Carolyn Peterson, Bob Riter, Tom Rochon, Camilla Shade, John Simon, Julie Waters and especially Svante Myrick…
because he finally agreed to act as the starter at this year’s Walkathon & 5K Run!

THANK YOU to GreenStar/Deb Lazinsky for being so helpful, for the wonderful space and the delicious tea and Ithaca Bakery/Mimi Mehaffey for donating refreshments with very little notice.

THANK YOU to GiveGab for creating our cool website & being so helpful in every way, to Katrina Morse for designing the great poster and to Rosemary Li for creating the program, misc. signs and everything else we needed leading up to the event.

THANK YOU to all the wonderful volunteers who made everything run smoothly on the big day:
Fran Manzella, Sharon Kaplan, Monica Vakiner, Lisa LiVigne, Casey Keller, Dave Hall, John Vakiner, Jacob Hall, August Ryan, Anna Addario, Mike Addario, Cindy Getchonis, Lanie Wilmarth and Sheila McCue

What a wonderful community we have!! See you in October!!
Jyl Dowd, Development Coordinator

Perri LoPinto & Gary Stewart

More photos from the event
& great article in the
Ithaca Journal

The Stars

Volunteers: Cindy Getchonis,
Casey Keller & Jyl Dowd

Fatigued? Here are some practical suggestions

A group of occupational therapy students from Ithaca College
recently completed a class project with the Cancer Resource Center.
One of their tasks was to create a brochure providing practical
suggestions to cancer patients who are fatigued. Here’s the finished product!

Sharing with Ithaca College Students

Bob Riter, Beth Brunelle, Brandon Wenning and Jason Hungerford recently visited “The Cancer Experience” class at Ithaca College to share their own experiences with cancer.


Article in Tompkins Weekly
“CRCFL Aids Community Resiliency”
By Fran Spadafora Manzella

Advanced Breast Cancer Seminar in Rochester

Advanced Breast Cancer:
Tools for the Journey of Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer

The Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester organizes a terrific spring seminar that focuses on metastatic breast cancer. Some of us from the Cancer Resource Center always attend and we’d be happy to have you car pool with us.

Click here for details about the seminar, and contact Bob Riter if you’d like a ride.

Apply Now for Project LEAD®

The Project LEAD Institute is a five-day intensive science course for breast cancer advocates covering the basics of cancer biology, genetics, epidemiology, research design and advocacy. This course provides a foundation of scientific knowledge upon which participants can strengthen and empower themselves as activists.

It’s a terrific opportunity to learn about the science of breast cancer.

Ithaca Residents Serve as Consumer Advocates on Breast Cancer Review Panels

Breast cancer advocates Monica Vakiner &Bob Riter recently participated in the evaluation of research applications submitted to the Breast Cancer Research Programsponsored by the Dept. of Defense.

As consumer reviewers, they were full voting members, along with prominent scientists, at meetings to help determine how the $120 million appropriated by Congress for Fiscal Year 2014 will be spent on future breast cancer research.

Consumer reviewers are asked to represent the collective view of breast cancer survivors and patients, family members, and persons at risk for the disease when they prepare comments on the impact of the research on issues such as disease prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life after treatment.

Vakiner & Riter, both affiliated with CRCFL, are active in a unique local program that connects cancer survivors and doctoral students engaged in cancer research at Cornell University.

The Department of Defense program fills important gaps not addressed by other funding agencies by supporting groundbreaking, high-risk, high-gain research.

Fundraisers, Thank you’s and Birthdays

Beth Marsh coordinated a Scentsy fundraiser and the host, Meggan Tobin VanNess, donated her commission bringing the grand total up to $100. We are so grateful to these ladies for their endless support, energy and generosity!

Ithaca Girls Varsity Soccerraised $200. Thank you!

IC Men’s Track & Field Team& the IC Student Athlete Advisory Committee raised$750. Thank you all!

Thank you, Beth Marsh
for organizing another
Doug’s Fish Fry Fundraiser!

Thanks to some late donations, the grand total
for the Punch & Kickathonwas $2,722!

Happy Birthday to
Lanie Wilmarth &
Monica Vakiner–>

2015 CRCFL Board of Directors

Please welcome to our 2 new board members: Jerry Dietz and Christine Decker.
Click here for a full list of current CRCFL board members.

Caregiver Corner

For caregivers, relatives, friends, or anyone
interested in supporting someone with cancer:

We have a new page on our website that features
highlights (articles, books & new ideas on care-giving, etc.)and a resource section (which includes local & national programs, services, websites, and other helpful sources of information for caregivers.) Please check it out!

Medical & Nutritional Supplies Available at CRCFL

Occasionally, Cayuga Medical Center or CRC receive medical supplies or cases of a nutrient supplement (usually Jevity or Glucerna) from cancer patients who are no longer using them. We appreciate receiving these generous donations & would like to get them into the hands of folks who can use them.

We have created a page on our website that we will keep updated with what is available.
If you have any questions (or donations) please leave a message for the coordinater of this program: Nancy Istock at info@crcfl.net or 277-0960.  She’ll get right back to you.

FREE: Lifestyles adjustable memory foam double bed w/ remote

For any person whose long term health would benefit from this bed!
Questions? Contact Peter Schrempf at pfs1@cornell.edu

The bed adjusts like a hospital bed. It was new in 2012 and is in excellent condition
(it was always used with a mattress pad.)

This offer is intended for someone with a prognosis for long term health needs where this bed would increase the person’s comfort.  Go to http://www.smallcomforts.org/  for an application form & directions. IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO BE A MEDICAID PATIENT. THE FORM IS USED TO UNDERSTAND THE NEEDS OF THE PERSON REQUESTING THE BED.

The Angel Fund

The Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes is honored to have established the Angel Fund in memory of Miguel Ángel Balsa Marín.

This fund is used to provide direct cash assistance to individuals with cancer in our community who have a specific immediate financial need.

We’ve created a special campaign in support of this fund during the months of March & April.

Please click here to read more about Miguel & the fund that was created in his memory.

Last month, we were very grateful for the donations that we received from our wonderful community in memory of:

Susan Harper
Rich Inman
Rev. Katharine Olson
Marilyn Porter
Lucy Burrows
Helen Miles

Cancer in the News

How this Buddhist Monk made peace with cancer (Huffington Post)

Lost in transition after cancer (NY Times). My doctors had finally pronounced me in remission. I had thought I’d want to celebrate or dance a jig in my hospital gown or throw a rager when I got there. But it didn’t feel anything like the endgame I had imagined.

Simmons College President makes cancer fight a public journey (Boston Globe). September was a very inconvenient time for Simmons College president, Helen Drinan, to learn that she had an aggressive form of breast cancer.

Why the war on cancer hasn’t been won(NPR)

Cancer drug shortage send patients on a grim search (About BCG – a common treatment for bladder cancer)

How exercise may aid cancer treatment (NY Times). In a new study involving mice, aerobic exercise slowed the growth of breast cancer tumors and made the cancer more sensitive to chemotherapy. The results raise the possibility that exercise may change the biology of some malignant tumors, potentially making them easier to treat.

Before I go: A Standford neurosurgeon’s parting wisdom about life and time(Washington Post)

Cancer: The mysterious miracle cases inspiring doctors (BBC) Scientists are looking to the underlying biology of so-called “spontaneous regression” to hunt for clues that could make these rare cases of self-healing more common.

Websites to Note

Talking with loved ones about how they want to die (The Conversation)

One Medicine: Treating Lymphoma in Dogs and Humans (Cornell)

Hormone Therapy: The Basics (OncoLink)

The Microenvironment and Metastasis (An excellent “lay-friendly” description of the science of metastasis from Cancer Research UK)

8 Things Not to Say to Someone with Cancer (Cosmopolitan)

Cancer made me want mashed potatoes(BBC). But what should you eat when you’ve been diagnosed and are undergoing treatment? It is not, as many might think, about eating organic, avoiding red meat or even taking supplements.

The new cancer survivors (Psychology Today). Extraordinary advances have turned cancer from an apparent death sentence into a manageable chronic illness for many. But what does it mean to live with a terminal disease…interminably?

The Emperor of All Maladies is being shown this week on PBS. The episodes are also available on-line.

Bob Riter’s articles in the Ithaca Journal last month

How to help a cancer patient’s caregiver  ~  A funny thing happened on the way to chemo

Bob’s book, When Your Life is Touched by Cancer, was recently reviewed in CURE Magazine!

Do you have a life celebration ahead but feel like you already have enough “stuff”? Would you rather help out a good cause?

Why not suggest that people make a contribution to the Cancer Resource Center in honor of your birthday, anniversary, wedding, graduation, or other milestone? You can also ask friends to donate in memory of a loved one in your honor.

We’ll thank them and let you know that they donated in your honor. We’re also happy to provide you with brochures or other items to send out with the invitations to your event.

And they’ll even get a tax deduction. Everyone wins!

We’re proud that all donations to CRCFL stay local

It’s easy to donate to the Cancer Resource Center through
Network for Good, Paypal, Amazon Smile, Goodshop, Ebay Giving Works.

Take Note


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