I would like to start off this document by telling you about an amazing young girl who is in 7th grade at Chaminade Middle School in Chatsworth. Actually, it is about a whole family who believe in giving back their time to help make a difference in the community. They are a shining example of how we should live our lives.
Akshaya Venkatesh attended our Inaugural Walk in 2012 and decided that she liked our mission so much, she wanted to do something nice for us. She took it upon herself to put together a bake sale at her school and had no problem convincing the other 5 members of the National Junior Honor society to go along with her idea. They sold a variety of goods including cake pops, cupcakes, pink lemonade, candy, cookies etc. Altogether, they raised a total of $100.00 towards the Pacific Meso Center.
Her mother and father volunteered at our walk and took care of the donations. They had never heard of mesothelioma prior to that and knew nothing about us, but embraced our cause and their contribution was a huge part of the success of our first walk. Anu has now joined the board as our treasurer. Thank you to the Venkatesh family. If only we could clone you!
Can you Volunteer for PMC?
And lastly, if you have anytime at all, can you help us at the Institute? We are looking for volunteers to help in the office to help make phone calls to secure raffle prizes, sell booth space and ad space, and dispense fliers for both the walk and the motorcycle rally. And if you can’t come into the office, this is something that you can volunteer to do from home! If you are good on the phone, like a challenge, and have some time, please call me! I would love to hear from you.
Clare Cameron, Executive Director
Our Common Bond
Each day, we are reminded that our research—and what we stand for—is first and foremost about touching lives in need. From the remarkable patients, their families and friends we are honored to meet and to help, we never forget that our common bond is the human touch that gives hope and heals.
That’s why we’re excited to have Savannah Cline, RN, BSN join us as our Medical Liaison. Savannah is that human touch to call for help and resources, from diagnosis to treatment to someone to listen when times are tough. Savannah’s hospital bedside experience, which includes chest diseases, surgery and critical care as well as her strong belief in our mission, is the cornerstone of all that we are. Whether someone is looking for a better understanding of mesothelioma as a disease as well as current treatment options, social issues and support, she is here to lend that much needed knowledge and understanding we all deserve in our time of need.
Savannah is also developing a comprehensive Internet-based educational system including webinars, blogs and website content that will keep you current on the latest research, diagnostic testing, clinical trials and future therapies and advances.
Most importantly, Savannah is a warm, sensitive; well-versed and dedicated medical professional who reflects what Pacific Meso Center is all about: to make a genuine difference in the lives who turn to us for help.
What Progress Looks Like
This past year has seen so many positive and hopeful milestones at Pacific Meso Center! Because of the generosity of our donors and volunteers, we’ve been able to grow our research efforts and enhanced our patient outreach. Here’s a recap:
- We’ve added two amazing researchers: Dr. Raymond Wong, PhD and Dr. Irina Ianculescu, PhD.
- We’ve launched a major research project: A 3-dimensional in vitro (cultures in petri dishes) tumor model program for better assessment of potential mesothelioma therapies.
- We are moving forward with a mesothelioma-screening project that will evaluate a variety of tests designed to identify individuals who have been exposed to asbestos and specifically those who are at risk for developing mesothelioma. Identification of people likely to develop this fatal disease would allow prophylactic pleural-ablative interventions to be used to prevent the disease altogether.
- Our fundraisers continue to be more successful as donors and the general public become keenly aware that Pacific Meso Center is on the cutting edge of providing vital research and treatment options that improve mesothelioma victims lives and longevity.
- We recently completed our 1st Annual 5K Walk & BBQ at the Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills. The week following the walk, over 700 people visited our website. It was a perfect day and we look forward to our 2nd Annual 5K Walk in October, 2013 to be held once again, at the Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills. I hope that you will join us.
A Message of Thanks from Clare, Executive Director
After more than a year as executive director of Pacific Meso Center, I want to express my sincere thanks to all those who have touched our lives and remind us what we are here to do.
- Thank you to our brave meso warriors, David, Terry, Naseem, Martha, Nick, Wally, Abe, Pat and so many other patients who have shown me the true meaning of courage and hope. Your stories are legion and so indelibly etched in my being as I come to work every day to make PMC the standard bearer for defeating this dreaded disease.
- Thank you Dr. Cameron for your tireless dedication in seeking better treatment and a cure for mesothelioma. I am always amazed at your energy to do more for sufferers of malignant pleural mesothelioma and their families, even after several long days of back- to-back surgeries and other demands. Sometimes I see that there are truly not enough hours in a day.
- Thank you to our volunteers for all the little and big things you do to make our efforts at PMC a success… from my friend Victoria who is a dynamo full of ideas and with a gusto for life that astounds me, to the interns who come to contribute their time and youthful enthusiasm: you all show me how wonderful life can be in spite of its challenges.
- Thank you for the incredible families that bring their loved ones to see Dr. Cameron, time and time again, who donate their own funds to our efforts, who organize special events to honor their family members, who share their stories, who help each other, who are a part of our community and our souls. We can’t say thank you enough.
- Thank you to The Roger G. Worthington PC Law firm that always comes through with vital funds for special projects at our research lab just when we need it. To have such a dedicated firm which clearly understands that giving back is important, gives new meaning to what it means to be a good corporate citizen working for the greater good.
- Thank you to Michael J. Mandelbrot and the Mandelbrot Law firm for their continued commitment to help fund research. They have jumped in where other law firms have been reticent, because finding better treatments that will lead to a cure is important to them. They care about making a difference.
- Thank you to our researchers who are committed to exploring cutting-edge treatments that our patients rely upon. Your knowledge and inquisitive minds truly light a candle in a dark room.
- And finally, thank you to my husband, Bill, who listens to me, comforts me in dark times and whose support sustains me.
- I am honored to walk beside you and to be a part of you. Together, I look forward to continuing this fight.
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