We Made History!

Team Sarcoma was a global, grass-roots movement of individuals, families, communities and organizations. The events brought people together in life-affirming action for 11 years and raised more than $3 million for sarcoma research. They also increased sarcoma awareness by attracting media coverage around the world.

Those who joined this movement were devoted to doing good in the face of illness and grief. Volunteers planned, marketed, led and participated in events that educated and inspired thousands of people. The events had a warm and caring atmosphere, and the gatherings became “hope in action” as friends and neighbors worked toward a goal together.

Why Team Sarcoma?

Sarcomas affect thousands of people around the world; yet they are rare cancers that receive limited research funding. Many sarcomas are not fully understood, and this makes them difficult to treat. Even though the need for sarcoma research is great, most cancer research funds are used for the more well-known cancers.

The good news is that people affected by sarcoma can make a significant impact by choosing to advocate for sarcoma-specific research! Nearly all of the cutting-edge research funded by the Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative has been raised by inspiring families and communities at Team Sarcoma events. Learn more here.

Creating an International Sarcoma Awareness Week

Team Sarcoma events started small and soon led to the formation of an International Sarcoma Awareness week in July. The week of activities grew each year through 2010. After 2010, Team Sarcoma events continued throughout the year.

2003 Cycle Zydeco Ride – Liddy Shriver and six of her loved-ones took to the back roads of south central Louisiana for a bike tour. They raised over $14,000 for sarcoma research at Columbia University.

1st Annual Team Sarcoma Initiative – In early July of 2003, 28 members of Team Sarcoma biked the paths and roads of Denmark. They were joined by 260 Virtual Bike Tour riders from around the world. This amazing event raised $75,000 for the Sarcoma Foundation of America.

2004 Cycle Zydeco Ride – More than 30 cyclists in the 2004 Cycle Zydeco dedicated their ride as a memorial to Liddy Shriver by wearing Team Sarcoma armbands and by helping to increase awareness of sarcoma. More than 250 Virtual Bike Tour cyclists from all over the world biked along with them. They raised $8,000 for sarcoma research.

2005 Cycle Zydeco Ride – More than 80 of the cyclists in the 2005 Cycle Zydeco dedicated their ride as a memorial to Liddy Shriver by wearing Team Sarcoma armbands and by helping to increase awareness of sarcoma. More than 260 Virtual Team Sarcoma cyclists from all over the world biked along with them. They raised more than $16,000 for sarcoma research.

2006 Team Sarcoma Initiative: The 2006 Team Sarcoma Bike Tour took place in Denmark during July 1-7, 2006. Forty-nine people participated in the event in Denmark and were joined daily by a several people along the way. There were 25 Team Sarcomas formed and 825 people participated in various Team Sarcoma 2006 events worldwide. Over $114,500 was raised for sarcoma research and families.

2007 Team Sarcoma Initiative: The 2007 Team Sarcoma Bike Tour took place in the Lake Champlain area in Vermont and New York during July 14-21, 2007. The 2007 Team Sarcoma Initiative was truly an International Sarcoma Awareness Week with over 3,400 people participating in over 50 events worldwide. Over $150,000 was raised to support sarcoma research and families.

2008 Team Sarcoma Initiative: More than 8,000 people in 14 countries participated in the 6th annual Team Sarcoma Initiative. Most of the events occurred during International Sarcoma Awareness Week, July 12-20, while the core team biked along the Danube River in Germany and Austria. Over $225,000 was raised to support sarcoma research and families.

2009 Team Sarcoma Initiative: More than 16,800 people in 14 countries participated in the 7th annual Team Sarcoma Initiative. Most of the events occurred during International Sarcoma Awareness Week, July 18-26, while the core team biked along the historic Chesapeake and Ohio Canal towpath from Cumberland, MD, to Washington, DC. Over $480,000 was raised to support sarcoma research and families.

2010 Team Sarcoma Initiative: More than 21,500 people in 14 countries participated in the 8th annual Team Sarcoma Initiative. Most of the events occurred during International Sarcoma Awareness Week, July 17-25. Over $647,000 was raised to support sarcoma research and families.

2011 – 2014: Events continued throughout the year, and many of them funded sizable International Collaborative Grants through with the Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative.

You can read about many of these events by browsing our event descriptions on this website. Some of the most recent events have been described at SarcomaHelp.org.

Win two tickets to “A Night with Ike Davis”

Striking out Childhood Cancer: A Night with Ike Davis” is a charity event that will benefit the Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative and Solving Kids Cancer. The dinner will be held on Sunday, July 17th, at 7:00 PM at Michael’s Restaurant in Brooklyn, NY. The family-friendly evening includes: a full dinner and drinks, a live interview with Ike with Q&A from the guests, a signed baseball item from Ike, a special event t-shirt, photographs, an auction, a raffle and a gift bag of goodies. The event is hosted by Linda Cohn of ESPN’s Sportscenter and other special guests. The tickets to the event run $200/adults and $100/kids (less than 16-years old).

A generous donor has offered the Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative the opportunity to give tickets to a number of families (12 people total – children and adults). This should be a fun event for New York Mets fans living in the tri-state area. We will choose the families by asking those who are interested to send us a paragraph (400 words maximum) by Friday, July 8th, telling us why meeting Ike would be special to them. We will select the “winners” from the responses we receive and send them a note on Sunday, July 10th. Please send your entries to Bruce@SarcomaHelp.org . Please include your name, phone number, age, and type of sarcoma in the note. We welcome entries from kids and adults. Good luck!

Upcoming Team Sarcoma Events

Team Sarcoma 2011 events are taking place throughout the year. They are organized by dedicated people who have been affected by sarcoma. The following Team Sarcoma events will raise money for sarcoma research through the Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative. We are grateful to everyone involved in planning these events and look forward to hearing about their success!

July 9-10Team Raven Lunatics Event
This small group of ultramarathon bicycle racers will ride to increase sarcoma awareness and raise funds for research in the Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic!

July 17: A Night with Ike Davis
Brooklyn, NY: Tickets include dinner, drinks, entertainment, t-shirt and one limited edition Ike Davis signed item! Registration information can be found on the second page of the event flyer.

July 22-24Team Raven Lunatics Event
This small group of ultramarathon bicycle racers will ride to increase sarcoma awareness and raise funds for research in the Race Across Oregon!

August 6: Be A Hero: Team Sarcoma 5k
Waco, Texas: The 3rd annual Team Sarcoma Waco event features a 5K Race, 5K Walk, and 1K Fun Run. The fun run also features an optional hero-themed costume contest (for kids and adults!) and will be lead by our very own cast of friendly superheroes. This event was started three years ago in support of Andrew Moore, age 8, who at the time was fighting epithelioid sarcoma. Andrew, now age 11, is doing wonderfully.

August 11: Strike Out Sarcoma Night at Chase Field
Phoenix, Arizona: Raising awareness and funding for Ewing’s sarcoma research in memory of Michael Lio. Together we can…STRIKE OUT SARCOMA!

September 17: Halfway to St. Patty’s Day Happy Hour
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Join in the second annual fundraiser for clear cell sarcoma research celebrating the life of Steve Byrne. A $50 donation includes an open bar and buffet.

December 12: Run for Anna
Sacramento, California: Jennifer Cotter will run in the California International Marathon in memory of her niece, Anna Rogotzke.

Third annual Soccer Round the Clock event helps fight cancer

Soccer Round the Clock

July 26, 2010: Mlive.com

Logan Brasic never faced a shot as hard as osteosarcoma when he was the goalie of the Jackson Northwest soccer team.

But he’s also never come up with as big a save as he has in fighting the aggressive bone cancer.

From noon Saturday to noon Sund, the 23-year old Brasic and his mom, Lori, proved that families fight cancer together through love, and in their case soccer, with the third annual Soccer Round the Clock celebration.

More than 400 people signed up to play in 18 games, with a goal of raising $5,000 for metastatic pediatric osteosarcoma research to add to the $14,000 the event raised in 2008 and 2009.

While the highlight of the event was the first celebrity game — with the likes of former Michigan State athletes T.J. Duckett and Goran Suton and Food Network star Adrien Sharp on hand — each game was a proud moment for the Brasic family two years after Logan was told there is no evidence of the disease in his body.

Saturday’s kickoff game was no exception, as Logan watched his 74-year old grandfather play goalie against a group of family members and high school friends.

His grandfather Barry Saltman said he had never played goalie in his life, but someone had to give it a shot. He was beaming after making a late save on someone less than a third his age.

“I kept saying I’ve got to make one stop, and the kid who kicked it was nice enough to not quite kick it hard enough to get through,” he joked.

Each goal scored or save made was also a reminder of the money being raised. Each team paid a $250 registration fee, and there were many generous donations as well.

Ferris State University student Lauren Drayton got to know Logan a few years ago when she met one of his friends while at the school, and she had an envelope full of hope for the Brasics.

“This year I sent out letters to raise money, just from my family and friends, and I was able to get almost $1,000,” she said. “The first time I met Logan, I already knew how extraordinary of a person he was just from what he was going through and how he was upbeat all the time. The more I get to know him the more I realize how awesome he is.”

Brasic was in the familiar position of goaltender during the celebrity game Saturday, saying he “made sure T.J. Duckett was on his team so he didn’t have to face a shot from him,” but this event is not the only thing making him smile these days.

A year-and-a-half after having his left leg removed, the 2005 Jackson Northwest graduate is working full-time at LeMatic, while spending a lot of his time running free soccer clinics and finding ways to encourage others.

“The last year has been the kind of coming out of the darkness where I’ve become OK with being an amputee and just kind of become at peace with myself,” he said. “It’s given me a chance to look at my life and kind of move in the direction I want to again and cut my losses, I guess you could say, and move on.”

Lori said she knows she “is damn lucky” to still have her son with her, but she knows the fight is a never-ending one.

“The last three years of my life I’ve walked on eggshells, wondering if he’s going to (have no evidence of disease),” she said. “I wanted to do something for all of the other kids who fought the fight and made it through and knew they could go through it again and again and could end up dying.”

Friends, family remember ex-Chaparral baseball player Michael Lio with fundraiser

Michael Lio

July 23, 2010: The Arizona Republic

It was Michael Lio’s kind of turnout Saturday night. Friends filled the spacious kitchen and front room of his parents’ ranch-style home in northeast Phoenix. More friends were upstairs playing pool in the game room. His girlfriend, Samantha Cerny, greeted guests at the door.

Michael Lio wasn’t there, but the former Chaparral High second baseman’s spirit was. Guests bought Michael’s Angels Strike Out Sarcoma T-shirts, black wristbands and other items in a fundraiser to fight the battle against Ewing’s sarcoma that took Lio’s life at age 22. It is a rare cancer that attacks the soft tissues and bones and claimed Lio on Oct. 29

His mother, Melanie Lio, said the goal was to raise $22,000 between that and Monday night’s Diamondbacks-New York Mets game at Chase Field for the initial Strike Out Sarcoma Night. Funds go to Ewing’s sarcoma research as part of the FJC/Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative in memory of Michael Lio.

It was appropriate it came with the Mets in town. Mets rookie first baseman Ike Davis grew up playing sports, particularly baseball, with Lio. After Fall League games, he came to the hospital and spent the night during Lio’s last day. Shortly after Davis was called up by Triple-A Buffalo early this season, Davis got behind an “I Like Ike” T-shirt promotion with proceeds going to Ewing’s sarcoma research. That last October night, the hospice room was overflowing with past Chaparral teammates, including Davis.

“Everybody loved him,” said Toni Dietz, whose son Spencer was one of Michael’s closest friends growing up.

Lio was the scrappy kid who pulled everybody together for get-togethers at his home. He was the one making the calls to arrange a baseball game. He played the sport year-round. He was part of a national championship club team with Davis. As a sophomore, Lio’s hit triggered the 12th-inning run in 2002 that beat Coronado for the first of the school’s four consecutive state baseball championships.

“He was always going to be on top of the world, just like we were all back then,” former Chaparral teammate Mike McDonald said. “He was one of the most fun-loving kids in our group. He was probably the biggest prankster, playing jokes, just having fun all of the time.”

Tim Sherlock, who went on to play at Duke after graduating from Chaparral in 2005, was stunned to hear the news of his friend suffering from cancer last year.

“It’s scary how something like that can happen,” Sherlock said. “He was always a happy, cheerful guy.”

After complaining about persistent pain in his neck behind his skull, Lio had an X-ray performed by a chiropractor. That’s when the cancer was spotted. He traveled out of state to see a specialist. He had surgery, and the family never lost hope.

“Actually, he handled it better than all of us,” Mario Lio, Michael’s father, said. “He was unbelievably sane about the whole thing. He never said, ‘Why me?’ ”

Getting behind the initiative has been therapeutic for the Lio family. Pictures and plaques from Michael’s baseball days fill the game room. There is a framed photo of the 2002, 12-inning state championship score card. There are championship celebration pictures from three seasons. When the cancer spread to his liver, all they could do was bring Lio back to Phoenix and keep him comfortable in the final days of his 14-month battle.

“He never stopped, always going, ‘Just throw me one more, dad, one more,’ ” Mario said. “He was a fierce competitor. He was a lucky kid. He was never sick in his life. And just like that. . . . “

Comedian puts her best foot forward …

Team Sarcoma / Australia – CanberraJuly 26, 2010: Canberra Times

Kath Day-Knight of Fountain Lakes would have loved the location, but it was her alter ego, actress Jane Turner of Kath & Kim fame, who proved it’s easy to be foxy and a sarcoma warrior.

Grace Moshi and Turner met in Canberra and have been friends for 22 years. When Dr Moshi was diagnosed with sarcoma in 2008 Turner was one of many people who supported her through the fight to save her leg and her life.

Raising awareness about the devastating cancer after Dr Moshi’s recovery was a no-brainer.

”When she was going through her cancer I was hearing how hideous it all was. I couldn’t believe what a horrible situation it ended up for her,” Turner said.

”And when she asked me to help with the Sarah Grace Sarcoma Foundation, I was more than happy to lend a helping hand and maybe raise the profile or do whatever I could to get the foundation some publicity or support the foundation,” Turner said.

The foundation’s first event was a success. More than 100 people came to raise awareness about sarcoma at the inaugural Sarah Grace Sarcoma Foundation walk at Lake Burley Griffin.

Dr Moshi said the prognosis for people diagnosed with the cancer was not good, with 50 per cent dying within five years.

”With leukaemia we have made a lot of progress … whereas with sarcoma they have not made that much progress,” Dr Moshi said.

The Sarah Grace Sarcoma Foundation walk will become an annual event raising funds and awareness about the deadly group of cancers.