Heather, the organizer of this event, writes: Before Sarcoma, I loved to run and to work out. In fact, I had done a yoga class early in the morning the day I entered the hospital with mysterious bleeding that would end up being synovial sarcoma of my right kidney.
During chemo, as I lost more weight and became weaker, I would dream of running in the mountains, and would distract myself from nausea by “taking” yoga classes in my head. I soon returned to the gym in an attempt to rebuild bone density lost during treatment. Lifestyle Family Fitness, Hunter’s Creek in South Orlando area proved to be a true “no judgment” zone as I slowly grew stronger. I fell in love with the Les Mills Body Pump classes–and recently became an instructor. During my training, we were encouraged to share a bit about why we were training. I told my story, which became an incredible opportunity to educate people about sarcoma…there were more than a few tears shed that day!
We currently don’t have an event in Orlando for Team Sarcoma, but I didn’t want to let Awareness Week pass me by. I decided to participate in the Facebook event and asked my early morning “regulars” if they would stand with my in my photo, just like they stood with me in encouragement throughout my training journey. Fittingly, I picked the song, “Invincible” to start the class out that morning–it was just the way I felt as I looked out on my friends wearing their best blue workout shirts to match my “Sarcoma Knows No Borders” bracelet!
We had 15 people show up for the (very) early morning class, where I shared bits of my story and Sarcoma Facts throughout. Next year, with more time to dream and plan, I’m hoping for a bigger event.
What is a Sarcoma? A Team Approach to Care
July 8th at 4:30pm
There were 112 patients & family members as well as 25 volunteers at this event! Refreshments were served, and there were tables set up from the nutrition, rehabilitation, and patient & family care departments. A panel of five sarcoma experts gave presentations and answered questions, and pamphlets about diagnosing and treating sarcomas were distributed. The event was praised by many of the patients and their families.
[Due to scheduling issues, this Team Sarcoma event was held outside of International Sarcoma Awareness Week.]
Seminar: “Sarcoma: The Forgotten Cancer”
July 22, 2009 in Miami, Florida
To boost education and awareness of bone and soft tissue cancers, Sylvester partnered with the Team Sarcoma Initiative during Sarcoma Awareness Week. John Goldberg, M.D., assistant professor of clinical pediatrics, led a group of physician-scientists presenting a seminar on treating sarcomas. Thirty people attended the presentation, which was open to community physicians and the public and increased awareness of sarcomas, which are present in up to 20 percent of childhood cancers. Physicians discussed early detection, diagnosis and treatment options including clinical trials for this rare group of diseases.
Dr. Goldberg was joined on the panel by Aaron Wolfson, M.D., professor and vice chair of radiation oncology, and Jonathan Cohen, Ph.D., voluntary assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.
The Team Sarcoma Initiative is an internationally coordinated set of events to raise awareness of sarcoma and raise funds to support sarcoma research, clinical trials and patient and family services. The annual effort consists of a Team Sarcoma Bike Tour and local Team Sarcoma events that are held worldwide during the same week. The Team Sarcoma Initiative has become Sarcoma Awareness Week, an international event in which more than 8,000 people participated worldwide in 2008.
July 18 from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Terrace Sports Bowling Alley, 5311 E. Busch Blvd., Tampa, FL
Enjoy a family-friendly day out of the hot summer sun, while learning more about sarcoma! There will be bowling fun for all ages, in addition to patient education and support information about sarcoma. There is a $10 donation per person for the first game, and $6 for each additional game. All proceeds benefit Moffitt’s Sarcoma Program.
What: Let’s Walk for a Great Cause!
When: Sunday, July 20, 8:00 AM
Where: Coconut Creek, Florida
Report from Amy: Our walk was a tremendous success! We had about 110 participants and raised nearly $11,000! Both our participation and funds were increased from last year’s inaugural event. This year was different than last in that two other patients were part of the event. Debbie and Nancy are pictured with me in the photos. We were honored to have Ron and Bebe (parents of Terri who passed away from sarcoma in April this year) attend the event, and I dedicated the walk to Terri. The story was in 3 newspapers, the Sun Sentinel, Deerfield Beach Observer and the Forum in Coconut Creek. There was also a great follow-up story after the event.
California, Connecticut, Florida, Texas
UPDATE: 18 people represented Team Sarcoma in these events!
Veterans for Sarcoma is an organization of Armed Services Veterans (and a few civilian friends) dedicated to increasing awareness of sarcoma and raising funds for research assistance. They competed in five events during the International Sarcoma Awareness Week: