Monday, December 23, 2019

NYCRA FEATURES A YEAR OF CANCER AWARENESS HIGHLIGHTS

As 2019 comes to a close, we reflect on an entire year of remarkable achievements, special events and new programs.  As publishers and a major info-sharing resource for cancer-related topics, NYCRA has been especially busy this year with countless interviews with clinical specialists and survivors alike.  In addition, our blessed friends in the fundraising, cancer advocacy and public outreach have also been most involved in driving the message of loving care.  We are honored to ally with some of the most remarkable individuals in our membership circle- comprised of "cancer crusaders" making up the Cancer Resource Alliance!

1) "THE FIRE STILL BURNS"- new film production series developed by the film partners of NYCRA - including all the first responders who joined us by sharing their stories. "The Fire Still Burns" is a mini-series of interviews about surviving first responders from historical events.  They share and describe their firsthand experiences and express their thoughts about safety, their health and  concerns about all first responders.  This episode highlights GARY STEMM's experiences at the 1975 NY Tel Exchange Fire, a disastrous event where 700+ responders tended to one of the largest fires in NYC history which affected most of the responders lives due to the toxic nature of this deadly fire.


2. FIGHT LIKE A GIRL 9th Annual Fundraising Event:  May 18, 2019 (East Wind in Wading River) - Jennifer Hunt and the entire group honored Kandise King at thus year's fundraiser gala "because she is a warrior in fighting cancer for two and a half years with multiple surgeries, chemo and radiation... as a single mom, this super-woman drove herself to and from work in the city each day while under treatment💕 she never gave up!" She’s what it means to fight like a girl!     This year, $54,000 was raised (highest in all years) for the LI2DAY Cancer Research Drive from the raffles, auctions and clothing drive- in total raised $315,000 since the group's inception.  (See Fight Like A Girl's main page)

August 8- Jennifer Hunt also contributed public awareness resources to support women with breast implants on a global scale. On July 24, The FDA (US Food & Drug Administration) identified a possible association between certain breast implants and the development of Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) to announce a formal recall of specific textured implants starting with the company, Allergan.  This recall raised a level of urgency about the public health risks behind BIA-ALCL with the hopes that other manufacturers would soon follow this lead.  "Whenever a company accepts responsibility to pull a risky product from the market, they usually aim to correct product flaws to eliminate public health risks. Recalls also set a great precedence for new research that can add to our scientific understanding about preventing the disorder and other paradigms like it", states implantscan.org. (see article from PinkSmart News)

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3) CANCER EDUCATION FOR FIRST RESPONDERS:  June 25-  NYCRA presented their First Responders Cancer Awareness & Resource program at one of the largest RMA (Retired Member’s Association/FDNY) meetings this year.  Earmarked by their giveaway button, “Get Checked Now!” has been educational mantra to promote the proactive self‐care message for all 9/11 survivors and career rescue personnel.  The visiting health speakers were well‐received by the almost 200 attendees. (see video) The focus and attention from the generation of retired rescuers reflects on their concerns for looming health issues as the new cancer cases and recent fatalities that continue to hit the news each week. "In all of our meetings, after the pledge of allegiance, they would read off the list of firefighters passing away and the list is getting longer all the time... we appreciate these speakers who are so dedicated to reminding usto get checked, especially the doctor (Stoff)‐‐ they called him the 'Cancer Encyclopedia'... he was so effective as a speaker with so much information for us. I haven't seen any doctors ever come out to speak to our groups like this ‐ not even with an appointment!" ‐ says retired Chief Bob Checco (FD archive photographer since 1958)

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4) HEALTH & FITNESS EXPO @ METLIFE STADIUM: June 22/23 - over 40,000 people from the tri-state area attended the 2-day health expo by NBC & Telemundo (presented by Quest Diagnostics).  This special public event promoted free health screenings, special New York Giants locker room tours and the chance for the public to meet NBC 4 New York and Telemundo 47 anchors and reporters. It was a family-friendly expo at the MetLife Stadium, showcasing their 7th year event with hundreds of vendors, fun athletic activities and health-related educational exhibitors including cancer awareness groups like the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, the Male Breast Cancer Coalition, Hackensack Hospital (Colorectal cancer care) and the American Cancer Society. This event had a major message of PREVENTION for the community at large, where exhibitors marveled at the entertaining way that the producers 'packaged' education for the many families who attended. "It's so great to get the community and corporate support for this stadium to promote a perfect weekend of health messaging", says Arnaldo Silva, senior ambassador of mbcscan.com. "It's the best way to reach so many people in one fun-filled day... while getting the point across about paying attention to longevity."
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5) CANCER AWARENESS AMBASSADOR GOES "TED"  - Cancer remains the most common cause of death due to disease in children.  Over the last decade, researchers have made great strides in understanding cancer but finding cures has still been difficult.  In an ever changing world sometimes a new approach to solving this problem is necessary.  GenZ is transforming the viewpoint in society by setting a local example through their teamwork approach in solving problems.  And it is this collaboration which will be needed to solve some of the world’s larger crisis, like cancer. (see video)

A renowned global platform for any educator is to appear as a speaker in TED TALKS!  NYCRA public speaker Dr. Noelle Cutter is recently broadcast on TEDx Farmingdale (a chapter of TedTalks) for her presentation "The GenZ Approach to Curing Cancer".  Dr. Cutter presents her tremendous insights as a clinician and an educator. As a molecular biologist by training and researcher focused on treatment options for pediatric patients with Medulloblastoma, (a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer) her advocacy is primarily primarily on education and raising public awareness for this disease and better choices patients/families can make.  She works with  undergraduate students to help them find their own voice in advocacy and disseminating science research to the public. "My drive is a personal one...I lost my 18 month nephew to this devastating disease.  I wanted to know why and how we can do better.  It has become a life mission of mine.  I recently gave a #TedX talk on this very topic and hope that is will touch the lives of other families going through similar circumstances."
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6) CANCER TREATMENT TECHNOLOGIES IN REVIEW:  From diagnostic imaging advancements to genetic testing programs to radiological innovations with AI integration, the medical community sees the  significant rise in cancer survivorship thanks to the advanced research and talented engineers devleoping new technologies for this specific field of care.  Take for example The CyberKnife® Robotic RadioSurgery System- representing the latest performance innovation in this modality for treating benign and malignant tumors as well as other chronic disorders.  Since the century-old invention of the X-ray, CyberKnife has become one of the most recognized 'weapons in killing tumors'- combining x-ray based or photon based radiation delivered by a linear accelerator (a device that generates high intensity energy x-rays) and the integration of a robotic arm, known as a manipulator.  According to Dr. Repka, CyberKnife and radiation therapy do not replace chemotherapy but are valued additions to the therapeutic arsenal for treating cancer patients. “When I think about oncology, I think of the traditional three pillars: surgeons or SURGICAL ONCOLOGY, chemotherapy doctors or MEDICAL ONCOLOGY, and then radiation doctors or RADIATION ONCOLOGY—each playing a separate but oftentimes complementary role. As every cancer is different, the cancer’s response to treatments—radiation or chemotherapy or surgery—also varies. . . . I think the most important thing is maximizing the number of tools available for each patient’s unique case, to not only treat their cancer, but minimize their side effects.” (See complete review on the CyberKnife System - part 1)

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PTSD AWARENESS (AND SERVICE DOGS) IN FIRE SERVICE!
Emotional traumas and stress influencers are scientifically aligned with anxiety, depression, behavioral disorders, drug/alcohol abuse and a wide list of physiological health issues. These symptoms are typically diagnosed by mental health professionals through observational science and behavioral analysis. This disorder is prevalent in occupations exposing the individual to high cases of emotional trauma (distress)- such as with rescue workers.  NYCRA has contributed countless hours supporting public awareness of the significant rise of PTSD cases in our community- and partnering with treatment specialists to publicly share solutions for this health crisis.  This includes the CRANIALSCAN project, a mission to promote the use of imaging technologies to support the diagnosis and tracking of mental health disorders. (see: www.cranialscan.com).  Also, NYCRA's own prevention ambassador, Darryl Vandermark (Firefighter and HAZMAT Chief) is also a prominent speaker about the many benefits of PTSD dogs and what it's like to live in the professional world with PTSD.

Also see Video: K9's at the Giants Game

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