Those of you familiar with the Eric D. Davis Sarcoma Foundation know that we have many different initiatives working at once toward a common goal. And, of course, we can’t do any of this work alone. Over the past two years we’ve met so many amazing people working hard in the fight against sarcoma. While we would love to honor all of them, today we are just recognizing a few of the All Stars. There will be other opportunities where we will acknowledge the work of others not mentioned in this All Star piece.
This weekend is NBA All Star weekend. As basketball is one of the biggest themes of EDDF, we thought it would be appropriate to put together an All Star team of those raising awareness, research or fighting sarcoma in another way- that we’ve worked with in the past through awareness or other programs.
We’d like to honor:
The Sarcoma Iowa Doctors. Many of you have seen them on social or through our blog. They are Mohammed Milhem, MD (Mo) Medical Oncologist, Deputy Director for Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Iowa, and Ben Miller, MD, MS, Orthopaedic Surgeon, Musculoskeletal Oncology, Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, University of Iowa.
Ben: My work right now primarily involves the surgical treatment of sarcomas. Using modern diagnostics and surgical technique, we are able to treat patients with a limb salvaging surgery well over 90% of the time. I am the head of a multidisciplinary sarcoma team that meets on a weekly basis to discuss the treatment of sarcoma patients. I am both an active participant in sarcoma research, my most exciting project currently is the implementation of a sarcoma registry to measure functional outcomes after surgery, as well as a collaborator with basic scientists and other professionals involved in the treatment of sarcoma.
Mo: My work right now involves participation in a myriad of trials for sarcoma and I’m a part of larger groups (the SARC – Sarcoma Alliance for Research through Collaboration, the P2C – Phase 2 consortiuum, The Alliance and the Midwest Sarcoma Trials Partnership). I have tried to offer my patients options other that that available through the innovative science that is coming for this disease.
The founders of the Cynthia Solomon Holmes Foundation: (CSHF), based in Houston. This organization was founded in honor of Cynthia Diane Solomon Holmes, who was diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma (LMS) in April of 2010 and passed away just three months later in July of 2010. Cynthia was loved by everyone and she is remembered as someone who lit up a room with her smile and contagious laugh.
CSHF works very hard to generate awareness of LMS. Their objectives include educating the public on risk factors and treatments of LMS, along with raising support for research. Visit their website to learn more about LMS, including treatment and risk factor information.
Stephanie Zimmerman: One of our great friends and biggest supporters is Stephanie Zimmerman, BSN, MSN, Executive Director of myHeart, yourHands. Not only does she run myHeart, yourHands, an excellent organization dedicated to ” … cultivating HOPE, FUTURE among survivors of cancer by raising awareness about potential late effects of cancer therapy,” but, she shares a special bond with many of us because she is a sarcoma survivor.
Stephanie: myHeart, yourHands Inc. is a 501 c charitable organization borne out of a kindred friendship between myself and Judy Bode (in photo). We are both adult survivors of childhood cancer whose hearts have failed as a result of the radiation and/or chemotherapy necessary to save our lives as children. We are not unique in this experience. In fact, heart failure is emerging as one of the most significant and life-threatening late effects of treatment regimens that include chest radiation and/or the use of anthracyclines such as doxorubicin [and] cardio-oncology programs are rising up to address this potential late effect because no one should survive cancer only to succumb to heart failure later in life.
Dr. Rajiv Rajani: Dr. Rajani is Assistant Professor/Clinical Oncology at UT Health Science Center at San Antonio. His clinical interests include osteosarcoma, Ewing’s sarcoma, benign bone tumors, soft tissue sarcomas, benign soft tissue tumors and metastatic disease of the appendicular skeleton.
RR: Patients with sarcomas present unique opportunities and challenges from a surgical standpoint. I have a strong desire for safe, carefully planned surgery focused on limb salvage if possible. The coordination of medical oncology, radiation oncology, pathology, and radiology with my profession make this a unique field with fulfilling relationships.
Click here to learn more about the work he is doing.
And we thank everyone who is working hard in the fight against sarcoma! You are doing amazing work and we honor all of you.