Winter Gathering, “Come in Out the the Cold” a Success

2018 Winter Gathering Survivors

2018 Winter Gathering

On the afternoon of Sunday, January 28th, Bachman’s Garden Center in Minneapolis was filled with laughter and hope. The Rein in Sarcoma Winter Gathering, Come in Out of the Cold,” was a place for those affected by sarcoma to laugh, learn and connect.
The afternoon began with an introduction by Kraig Kuusinen, the Chair of the Patient and Family Support Committee.  Kuusinen greeted the guests, introduced himself and then gave everyone an overview of the event’s agenda.

Next, newly elected Rein in Sarcoma President Debra Cossette introduced herself and explained how after seventeen years of leading the foundation Pete and Sue Wyckoff are stepping down from their leadership roles but will continue to volunteer with Rein in Sarcoma. Cossette gave an overview of what Rein in Sarcoma does and how it serves patients and their families.

Cossette concluded with introducing volunteer Frank Miske as the 2018 Party in the Park Chairperson.

After formal introductions were made it was time to laugh. Two comedians from ComedySportz led five improvisational skits with audience participation. Three volunteers, Kraig, Adam and Chastity all graciously and humorously made their way on stage and aided the comedians in various skits.

Erin and her young assistant tell a wild story.

Enjoying ComedySportz Story Telling

Survivor Elizabeth Kiihbauch

The Cutting Edge Research,” talk was the concluding segment of the afternoon. Rein in Sarcoma Scholar Allison Martin volunteered as the discussion moderator for Dr. Mark Truty and Dr. Jaime Modiano.
Dr. Mark Truty, a surgeon and researcher at the Mayo Clinic described breakthroughs in PDX (Patient-Derived Xenografts) for individualized care in advanced sarcoma and the hope that it will lead to new and effective therapies for many sarcoma cancers. According to Truty, Cancers are difficult to treat because no two tumors or cancer are identical. That’s why individualized approaches are so important.” Dr. Truty showed several images of sarcoma tumors and explained how in his research human sarcoma tumors are being grown in mice. He said the treatment responses in mice are similar to the treatment response in humans. This is helpful because if a treatment isn’t effective on the mouse tumor the doctors can move on to another treatment option for the human patient.
Dr Mark Truty - Mayo Clinic

Dr Mark Truty - Mayo Clinic

Dr. Jaime Modiano - UMN Veterinary School of Medicine

Dr. Jaime Modiano - UMN Veterinary School of Medicine

Then Dr. Jaime Modiano, of the University of Minnesota Veterinary School of Medicine talked about cutting edge research in treating sarcoma in large dogs, specifically Golden Retrievers, Portuguese Water Dogs and Boxers. Modiano explained how a new drug called eBAT has made these large canines six times more likely to be long-term sarcoma survivors. An additional benefit to eBAT is that it targets tumors while causing minimal damage to the immune system. The hope for this new research is that eBAT will also be highly effective in treating certain human sarcomas.

Attendees of the Rein in Sarcoma Winter Gathering seemed content with the mix of socialization, humor and education. Elizabeth Kiihbauch attended the Winter Gathering with her two young children. Elizabeth is a sarcoma survivor and her six year old son has osteosarcoma. She commented that the event means the world to me as it gives them (her children) the picture that we will get through this because we see survivors.”
The Rein in Sarcoma Winter Gathering was a great place to laugh, learn, and be encouraged by others affected by sarcoma. 

Enjoy the images from the gathering: (thanks to photographer Val Lopez)

Get Involved

Please join us next at the Rein in Sarcoma 2018 Party in the Park Kickoff Meeting and Celebration on Tuesday, March 13th from 6-9 pm at Summit Brewery in St. Paul!