There wasn’t a sound in the auditorium as Sarina Morrison shared the story of her sarcoma journey with 70+ first-year medical students at the University of Minnesota. In her eloquent presentation, Sarina opened by reading the message she wrote on her CaringBridge site after her last dose of chemotherapy. “It has been a long hard road, and it is a great relief to finally be able to see a light at the end of the tunnel. I would not say cancer was a blessing but I can say that I have experienced many blessings since being diagnosed with cancer.”
Sarina said her feelings about those blessings have changed from the time she wrote the entry. She now believes the accurate diagnosis of sarcoma itself was a blessing and the reason she’s alive today. She was blessed with a physician who recognized the urgency and seriousness of her signs and symptoms, an early diagnosis and successful treatment.
Sarina shared what her life was like before, during and after the diagnosis of sarcoma. While the months of treatment and recovery were extremely difficult, Sarina said she is thankful for what she has learned and for those who were there for her along the way.
During the 20 minutes of questioning that followed, attendees asked her to explain further. Sarina said she has learned to appreciate the simple things in life. She is very grateful to physicians who gave her time to absorb and understand new information, to her employer who supported her throughout her treatment, and to family and friends for “just being there” with unconditional love and caring.
We need your help in making this year’s Party in the Park Silent Auction the best ever. Connect with your colleagues, friends, favorite restaurants, sports venues and ask them to provide a silent auction item. Here are some ideas:
- Vikings tickets
- Gift certificate to the hottest new indoor mini golf, game arcade and cocktail bar in town- “Can Can Wonderland” in St. Paul
- Do you know a professional gardener who would donate some time to provide landscape help, ideas and labor?
- New baby gift basket
- Local craft brewery tour, tasting and beer donation.
- Host a happy hour at your house if you have a great home or garden OR bring the party to the highest bidder and you do all the work!
- The next time you dine out, ask your server to bring the manager over and request a gift card. It is hard for him/her to say no when you have just supported the restaurant. We especially need some high end dining spots and larger amounts $100-$150 for the fall gathering.
- Sonos is the new electronic MUST HAVE gadget.
- Offer dog walking/sitting, baby sitting or piano lessons.
- We always need items that appeal to teenagers and their parents and grandparents.
Learn more and get all the info you need. Its really great fun!
We would like to recognize Rein in Sarcoma volunteer Sarina McNamara Morrison this month. Diagnosed with sarcoma cancer at the end of 2014, Sarina came to know about RIS through the Patient Starter Notebook she received at the University of Minnesota. She gave a moving speech at the 2015 Party in the Park and has been involved in putting on the Party in the Park ever since, taking on the Raffle Chair position in 2017 and again this year. Don't forget to get your 2018 raffle tickets - very cool prizes! Sarina's employer, Ergodyne, has also shown their generosity through annual sponsorship of the Party in Park in honor of Sarina; this year, Ergodyne is sponsoring the raffle.
Sarina has also been an on-going member of the Patient and Family Support committee, which matches mentors to newly diagnosed patients, plans supportive events for those affected by sarcoma, and collects donations and assembles care packages and patient notebooks, which are distributed at local hospitals to newly diagnosed sarcoma patients. She was a member of the survivor panel for our 2017 Winter Gathering.
We appreciate your generous giving of your time and talents, Sarina. Thank you for inspiring and helping others.
Know an incredible RIS volunteer? Please email Chelsey Olafson at firstname.lastname@example.org