Saturday morning, May 6, was bright and sunny, outside and inside the McNamara Center at the University of Minnesota, as over 260 cancer survivors, family members and professionals gathered to share stories and educate themselves on ways to be successful survivors. The theme of the conference was “Life-long Health and Wellness” and breakout sessions included nutrition, guided imagery, sun protection, “the new normal” for survivors, and life after childhood cancer.
The morning speakers covered the importance of primary care for cancer survivors, noting there are far fewer oncologists than needed to continue on-going care for patients, and creating a Survivorship Care Plan. The lunch presentation by Haidong Dong MD PhD from the Mayo Clinic focused on the past, present and promising future of immunotherapy in cancer treatment.
Several resource tables were available for participants, including Rein in Sarcoma, with cancer survivors Kraig Kuusinen, Kevin O’Keefe and Allan Swartz sharing their stories with participants.
The RIS Talent and Resource Committee, with support from the Board, has been actively seeking a top quality candidate to become the organization’s next Executive Director. This individual will be instrumental in fulfilling the RIS mission and in strengthening our organization as we continue to grow and look to a bright future. The applicant response to our search yielded some terrific results; we hope to introduce you to our next Executive Director very soon!
Walser Subaru is returning as our 2017 Party in the Park Presenting Sponsor. Jeff Holmquist, general manager of Walser Subaru in Burnsville, said he is very pleased with the partnership between their dealership and Rein in Sarcoma.
“Rein in Sarcoma is a unique grassroots organization that brings together to sarcoma community throughout the Midwest” said Holmquist, “We are proud of the work of this incredible organization to educate, support and fund cures for this dreadful disease."
“Last year’s sponsorship using the proceeds from Subaru’s ‘Share the Love Event’ worked extraordinarily well for both our dealership and Rein in Sarcoma, so we again chose RIS to benefit from last December’s Subaru Share the Love Campaign”. Jeff recently notified RIS that this year’s support will be over 40% larger than 2016!
“We are very grateful for their continued support,” said Chelsey Olafson, chair of the 2107 Party, “and we are especially grateful to Jeff and his family for his commitment and support of our efforts to benefit our sarcoma cancer community”.
As a part of their support, Jeff and his family established the RIS Lora Holmquist Named Fund in 2016 to honor the memory of Jeff’s first wife who died from Epithelioid Sarcoma in 2006. You can read Lora's story.