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Uplifting and Successful Fall Fundraiser

2018 Fall Fundraiser
The Fall Fundraiser was held again at the beautiful Nicollet Island Pavilion. While the wind was blustering outside, inside we were enjoying a warm evening of storytelling to celebrate positive turning points. With the event theme, “Increase awareness. Increase survivors.”, it was fitting to hear stories from people living with a sarcoma diagnosis.

Emcee, Ruth Bachman opened the evening with remembrance of being in the Pavilion as a sarcoma patient and brand new amputee for her daughter’s wedding years ago. Today Ruth plays video games single-handed with her grandchildren. Drs. Denis Clohisy and Brenda Weigel gave an informative sarcoma cancer tutorial and reminded us of the impact and achievements of RIS.

Ruth Bachman

Ruth Bachman, Sarcoma Survivor, Emcee

Drs. Brenda Weigel and Denis Clohisy

Dr. Brenda Weigel and Dr. Denis Clohisy

Janelle Calhoun

Janelle Calhoun, Executive Director

While we dined, we viewed a new Rein in Sarcoma video. We listened to Janelle share examples of patients, family and friends serving our mission with their various skills. Each person does their part to advance the touch of our organization to impact our mission of education, patient and family support, and funding research.

The RIS “Excellence in Education” award from the Red Flags Committee was awarded to Dr. Randy Hurley who inspired our founder, Karen Wyckoff, and continues to be active in creating a world where sarcoma is no longer feared. Board President Deb Cossette announced the Mayo Clinic, Children’s Hospitals and SARC grants for sarcoma cancer research.

The most inspirational moments of the evening came when Blake and Carey Hastings described their sarcoma journey and ways others helped them navigate the medical world and the emotional trauma during a turbulent time for their family. They are thankful for all the people who touched their lives this past year as they focus their energy on the future. When Blake met Pete Wyckoff, their common passion to “pay it forward” drew Blake to Rein in Sarcoma. Together we make the world a better place for the next generation of patients tackling a sarcoma diagnosis. We want our loved ones with us for a happy ending to the sarcoma story.

Blake and Carey Hastings

Blake and Carey Hastings telling their sarcoma story

Fall Fundraiser

Listening to the Hastings

Blake Hastings family

Hastings family

With gratitude to our generous supporters we had a very successful event with total proceeds nearing $130,000. We especially want to thank our event sponsors, Ryan Companies US, Inc. and Oppidan Investment Co. as well as our in-kind sponsors, Evergreene Jewelers, Dr. Brenda Weigel and Ross Bartels, Ruth and Dale Bachman, and Stagetime Productions.

Thanks to Val Lopez and Ruth Hoban for their photography of the evening.

Dr. Randy Hurley Receives RIS Educational Excellence Award

The 2018 Rein in Sarcoma Excellence in Education Award was awarded to Dr. Randy Hurley at the recent Fall Fundraiser. Dr. Hurley is a dedicated and remarkable man who personifies Rein in Sarcoma and our education mission. He was unable to attend the Fall Fundraiser, but attendees watched his earlier acceptance of the award.

A compassionate leader who:

  • Inspired our founder Karen Wyckoff to start Rein in Sarcoma
  • Serves as a member of our Medical Advisory Board
  • Leads our sarcoma educational initiative at HealthPartners and Regions Hospital
  • Provides insightful mentoring for our Sarcoma Scholars

Dr. Randy Hurley, Medical Director of the HealthPartners and Regions Hospital Cancer Care Centers, was the Rein in Sarcoma Red Flags Committee’s unanimous choice to receive our second annual Excellence in Education Award. Dr. Hurley attended our first event in 2001 with his patient, Karen Wyckoff, who was the founder of Rein in Sarcoma. For the past seventeen years he has supported our mission of educating doctors who initially come into contact with patients presenting with symptoms that suggest sarcoma.

Since 2016 Dr. Hurley has led a pilot project at Regions Hospital and Health Partners to further medical professional’s awareness of sarcoma and the importance of early diagnosis. In leading this project he has not only educated doctors but taught our medical student scholars how to study a problem and work for solutions. He acts as an instructor at our Boot Camp for Sarcoma Scholars.

Dr. Hurley treats his patients with compassion and exceptional care. In his spare time he co-directs an interdisciplinary global health course, traveling to a hospital in Tanzania with a variety of medical personnel and students to work with and improve local health care. Dr. Hurley is constantly educating those around him and we are truly proud that he has served Rein in Sarcoma with such dedication, carrying on the dreams of a patient who asked him to help create a world where sarcoma is no longer to be feared.

New Research Grants Announced

Rein in Sarcoma announced significant new research grants totaling $$65,000 at our recent Fall Fundraiser. For the second year, RIS awarded grants to researchers at Mayo Clinic and Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. We also announced multi-year support for a SARC SPORE grant proposal. The evening included a new commitment to increase sarcoma research funding at the University of Minnesota to $150,000 in 2019.

Dr Brittany Siontis

Upon the review and recommendation of the Rein in Sarcoma Research Task Force, chaired by Dr. John L. Seymour, to the Board of Directors, RIS committed a $30,000 grant to Mayo Clinic for: “Pilot Study of Circulating Cell Free Tumor DNA as a Biomarker in Sarcoma” with Principal Investigator: Brittany L. Siontis, MD - Senior Associate Consultant, Department of Medical Oncology, and Co-investigator Steven Robinson, MBBS, Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Oncology.

Dr. Kris Ann Schultz

In addition, Rein in Sarcoma awarded Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota a $15,000 research grant for: “Identifying Gene Fusions in Pleuropulmonary Blastoma”, with Principal Investigator: Kris Ann Schultz, MD Pediatric Oncologist; Co- investigator D. Ashley Hill, MD.

SARC logo

RIS also committed $20,000 over four years, beginning in 2019, to SARC (Sarcoma Alliance for Research through Collaboration) in Ann Arbor, Michigan in support of a SPORE proposal. This support is contingent on approval by the National Institute of Health (NIH).

NIH SPORE (Specialized Programs of Research Excellence) grants are multi-million dollar grants designed to bring cutting edge cancer research to the bedside within five years. If approved by the NIH in 2019, the research will be conducted by several major medical research institutions across the country. Read information about the current Sarcoma SPORE project at SARC.

The RIS Research Task Force is working on plans to hold our first Rein in Sarcoma Research Collaborative Symposium in spring 2019. This event will bring together RIS research grantees to present and discuss their sarcoma research projects. More to come...

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