ZACH SOBIECH: His memory and mission to help find a cure for childhood cancer endures

 

Zach Sobiech was a remarkable young man who lost his battle with osteosarcoma just days after his 18th birthday last May.  In honor of the upcoming anniversary of his birth, we should all be reminded to truly live and love each day to the fullest, following Zach's example.

 

Zach's legacy and amazing spirit lives on through his story, the touching documentary "My Last Days: Meet Zach Sobiech", and the inspirational song he wrote and performed, "Clouds".

 

ASCF CO-FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR MELISSA AMSCHWAND BELLINGER IS PROFILED FOR ALEXANDRA KNIGHT'S STYLE FILE

 

Exotic handbag and accessories designer extraordinaire and sarcoma survivor Alexandra Knight shares information in her Style File about the Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation and its co-founder Melissa Amschwand Bellinger.

 

BENIGN FIBROIDS or LEIOMYOSARCOMA: Be Sure Before Saying "Yes" to Some Minimally Invasive Surgery Techniques

 

A word of warning to any woman or her doctor considering uterine morcellation for "fibroids". The attached editorial “Patient safety must be a priority in all aspects of care,” appears in February 2014 issue of The Lancet Oncology (V. 15, N. 2, p. 123). It discusses issues that can arise when employing uterine morcellation and the subsequent potential for the spreading of leiomyosarcoma.  ESUN also published an article by Sarah Salem-Robinson, PA-C on this very topic in the January 2014 issue of ESUN. Her article and Dr. Judson’s and Dr. Sugarbaker’s comments regarding it are reproduced here. 

 

www.thelancet.com/oncology - Patient safety must be a priority in all aspects of care | Vol 15 February 2014

Sarcomahelp.org – Are Routine, Minimally Invasive Surgeries for Fibroids Safe? | By Sarah Salem-Robinson, PA-C | January 2014

 

MEMORIALS FOR MELVIN "HANK" AUTRY

The Melvin "Hank" Autry family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation be considered in the name of their beloved husband, father, uncle and friend. After a prolonged battle against cancer fought bravely "away from home", the family has requested that funds support the organization's temporary short-term housing for out-of-town patients and families seeking cancer treatment in the Texas Medical Center. To contribute, please send your checks made out to the Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation to:

2726 Bissonnet Street Suite 240-314

Houston TX 77005

 

The memo line on the check should read "Melvin Hank Autry" to ensure the family receives notification of the contribution. Credit card donations may be made via PayPal. It is not necessary to have a PayPal account to complete your donation. Simply enter your donation amount and click on the link "Continue" at the bottom left of the PayPal screen.

 

 

MAXIE McFARLAND MEMORIAL FUND

 

At the request of the McFarland family, the Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation has established the Maxie McFarland Memorial Fund.  A retired Colonel in the U.S. Army, Maxie McFarland waged war against chrondosarcoma using the same determination and analytical precision he successfully employed in military operations.  Despite the Colonel having “received new orders” in November 2013, his commitment to Operation BMC (Beat Maxie’s Cancer) continues through the establishment of the Maxie McFarland Memorial Fund. Per the family’s request, funds raised will support both sarcoma research as well as temporary short-term housing for out-of-town patients and families seeking treatment in the Texas Medical Center.  To contribute, please send your checks made out to the Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation to:

2726 Bissonnet Street Suite 240-314

Houston TX 77005

 

Memo line should read Maxie McFarland to ensure the family receives notification of the contribution.  Credit card donations may be made via PayPal. It is not necessary to have a PayPal account to complete your donation. Simply enter your donation amount and click on the link "Continue" at the bottom left of the PayPal screen.

 

  

 

'TIS THE SEASON TO GIVE.....AND RECEIVE

 

GREAT NEWS! Attendees of the Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation's 2013 Catwalk for a Cure awareness event and gala received the favor of all party favors, compliments of brilliant and generous designer Elie Tahari.  Now, thanks to the munificent Mr. Tahari, ASCF supporters will have another opportunity to score the raved-about Savannah fold-over leather and/or suede clutch.  For a limited time only, ASCF will provide a Savannah clutch as a "thank you" with a minimum donation of $250. See the variety of colors currently available and make your donation today, while supplies last.

ASCF SUPPORTERS MAKE THE TENTH CATWALK FOR A CURE AN AMAZING EVENT

Attendees at the Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation’s tenth annual Catwalk for a Cure were treated to spectacular evening at Hotel Zaza Thursday, November 7th.  The fashion fete chaired by Laura & Mark Dalton and Aynsley & Palmer Letzerich is a favorite for Houston’s most philanthropic and fashion-forward.  While partners Saks Fifth Avenue, Elie Tahari and NINI Jewels contributed largely to the evening’s success, it was the evening’s honorees who inspired the sold-out crowd of Houston’s most charitable (and stylish).

Mr. Tahari did not disappoint, dazzling the audience with his Spring 2014 collection which also included special pieces from his capsule “Edition 1974” collection -- a nod to his 40 years in the business. “It is experiences like working with the Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation that truly stand out over my forty years in the industry,” Tahari said.  Guests were treated to the favor of all party favors generously provided by Mr. Tahari who donated leather Elie Tahari clutches to every attendee.   

ASCF co-founder Missy Bellinger presented the Commitment to the Cause award to the Johnny O’Leary Family.  Johnny’s mother Stinelli Castaneda O’Leary accepted the award on the family’s behalf which included a “memory quilt” made of t-shirts from Johnny’s friends which mirrored those previously worn by her son.  Presenting the inaugural Commitment to Care award to an emotional Dr. Rex Marco were patients Haag Sherman and Morgan LaRue.  Later, Dr. Marco would strut his stuff on the catwalk with encouragement from Mistress of Ceremonies Deborah Duncan much to the delight of his sarcoma patients, staff and colleagues. The Celebration of Survivorship award was presented to 30 year sarcoma survivor and native Houstonian (turned professional golfer) Stuart Hendley by his adoring daughter Kamryn Hendley.

 

The Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation announced MD Anderson’s recent move to make sarcoma a priority program at the institution to an elated crowd and pledged it’s commitment to helping the prestigious cancer center who sees more sarcoma patients than anywhere in the world to raise $5 million to fund a ground breaking project that will lay the foundation for eventually funding a cure.  All donations for the evening were made in memory of eight-year-old Johnny O’Leary who unfortunately lost his battle to sarcoma in February 2013. The O’Leary family will assist ASCF and MDACC over the next year to bring the project to fruition. 

See the full program for more information about this year's successful event.

NINI JEWELS AND ALEXANDRA KNIGHT JOINED TOGETHER TO RAISE SARCOMA AWARENESS AND FUNDS FOR RESEARCH

It doesn't get much better than a collaboration between Nini Jewels and Alexandra Knight Atelier.  Both known for their attention to fine detail and generous spirit, the two teamed in an effort to raise both sarcoma awareness and funds for sarcoma research…with exceptional style no doubt.  Supporters had an opporutnity to buy a raffle ticket for a chance to win the Nini Jewels violet sapphire and diamond orchid flower brooch. The piece is a favorite of designer Nini Hale who selected the orchid design for its symbolism of refinement, beauty, peace and strength. The brooch has 290 violet sapphires, 108 Sapphires and 15 Diamonds all set in 18k rose gold and is valued at $26,500. Emily Covey was stunned to hear her name announced as the winner of the spectacular brooch by Great Day Houston's Deborah Duncan the evening of the Catwalk for a Cure gala.   

 

A limited edition adjustable Alexandra Knight python cuff in teal was available to raffle ticket purchases. The beautiful python cuffs were commissioned exclusively for the Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation and generously donated by Alexandra Knight Atelier to promote sarcoma awareness. 

 

 

 

JOHNNY O'LEARY FAMILY, DR. REX MARCO AND STUART HENDLEY RECEIVE ASCF AWARDS

 

The Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2013 Commitment to the Cause, Commitment to Care and Sarcoma Survivor of the Year awards.

We are proud to reveal the Johnny O'Leary Family* as recipient of the 2013 Commitment to the Cause award as a grateful acknowledgement of the many contributions they have made to advance sarcoma research in memory of their beloved son Johnny. The Commitment to the Cause award is bestowed annually upon one extraordinary person, family or entity that has made great contributions to the sarcoma and/or cancer community.

We are also happy to share that Dr. Rex Marco has been selected as the first-ever recipient of the Commitment to Care award. Having started his career as a spine surgeon and musculoskeletal oncologist at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston in 2000, Dr. Rex Marco is one of the only surgeons in the world with training and expertise in the treatment of patients with complex spinal disorders as well as musculoskeletal tumors. Marco is a Professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, where he is also the Chief of Spine Surgery and Musculoskeletal Oncology. He has faculty appointments with Baylor College of Medicine, Rice University and the Weill Cornell Medical College/Methodist Hospital Orthopaedic Surgery Residency. Dr. Marco also serves as the Co-Director of the Spine Service at Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Houston. The Commitment to Care award will be presented annually to an outstanding clinician who has exhibited excellence in providing both care and compassion to patients and families affected by sarcoma cancers.

We are thrilled to celebrate thirty years of sarcoma survivorship with University of Houston alum, professional golfer, father and ASCF’S 2013 Sarcoma Survivor of the Year Stuart Hendley. In 1983, Hendley had been on top of the world having been named #1 junior golfer in the United States by Golf Digest magazine. Days later he would be diagnosed with osteosarcoma facing the possibility of never returning to the sport he loved, amputation of his leg and losing his life. In the end, Stuart Hendley would defy each of those odds and more serving as inspiration to other sarcoma patients and cancer survivors.

All awards were presented at the Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation's annual Catwalk for a Cure gala on November 7th at Hotel ZaZa.

(*Highland Park family keeps son's memory alive by Heather Noel of NeighborsGo, produced by the Dallas Morning News)

 

 

JOHNNY O'LEARY MEMORIAL FUND

In February 2013, the Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation established the Johnny O’Leary Memorial Fund at the request of Stinelli and Tim O’Leary.  Throughout their son Johnny’s 500 day journey battling sarcoma, he positively impacted the lives of thousands.  Through the Johnny O’Leary Memorial Fund, Stinelli and Tim hope to continue Johnny’s legacy of making a positive difference in the lives of others.  To contribute, please send your checks made out to the Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer to:

2726 Bissonnet Street Ste 240-314

Houston TX 77005

 

Memo line should read Johnny O’Leary.  Credit card donations may be made by phone by calling 713.256.4250.

COOKIES FOR CANCER 

Rachel is one smart cookie.  Faced with the annual challenge of selling Girl Scout Cookies for her local troop, this entrepreneurial scout got creative, and in the process, is not only honing her business skill set, but she is helping patients with cancer. When Rachel learned that Houston-based Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation (ASCF) provides more than 1000 nights of free short-term housing annually to families visiting her hometown in search of treatment for sarcoma (a rare cancer affecting both children and adults), she pledged to find a way to contribute.

Rachel reached out to ASCF (with mom Rebekah's support) offering to donate purchased cookies to the families affected by sarcoma cancers. "Often people want to support the scouts but for a variety of reasons, they are unable to indulge themselves", says Rebekah. "So that's when we thought those who want to offer support can donate their cookies to Amschwand."

Wasting no time, the eager scout went to work and now almost 50 boxes later, Rachel has ensured that each family participating in the ASCF's housing program will be welcomed to Houston with (among other things) a delicious box of Girl Scout Cookies.

No doubt, big things are in store for Rachel.  With a little ingenuity and a giving heart, her philanthropic future is bright...and ASCF and the families we serve are grateful to be on the receiving end of her generous spirit.

WITH INSPIRATION FROM SARCOMA SURVIVOR ALEXANDRA KNIGHT, CULTUREMAP'S SHELBY HODGE REMINDS US TO LIVE A LIFE OF THANKSGIVING ALL YEAR

Words of wisdom from the Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation’s 2012 Celebration of Survivorship Honoree Alexandra Knight generously shared by CultureMap’s Shelby Hodge. Don’t wait for the diagnosis, accept Alex’s challenge today. It will change your life.

 

Lessons learned: Cancer gave Alexandra Knight another chance to live life to fullest

 

 

SHOPPING WITH GOODSHOP.COM -- Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation can earn a donation every time you search the Internet and shop online with GoodSearch.com!!! Search the web with Yahoo-powered GoodSearch.com and they'll donate about a penny to ASCF each time you search! Shop at more than 2,400 GoodShop.com merchants including Best Buy, Toys R Us, and others, and a percentage of each purchase will go to our cause!

Request for Proposals -- Click here to download the research grant application. **Grant Applicants read this important note.

Important Message to Sarcoma Patients If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with a sarcoma, we urge you to consult an expert who sees many Sarcoma patients each month. Such doctors are found at specialist hospitals particularly NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers. For a list of such centers, click here. This is the single most important piece of advice or information we can offer.

Sarcoma Survivors Starter Notebook Click here to download.