MSTI Partners with Betting On A Cure

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Vicky Jekich has worked for over five years for St. Luke’s MSTI managing MSTI community cancer prevention education. She enjoys teaching students and adults how to reduce cancer risks and live an active, healthy lifestyle.

Vicky has had several family members affected by cancer, so raising awareness is more than a job – it’s a passion.

Vicky has been at the beside to support a loved one following the cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment. Last year, a close family member passed away from cancer, and it was her sons and their entire baseball team who showed support by honoring all those touched by cancer during the 2015 Idaho American Legion state baseball tournament. It illustrates how family, friends and community events like Betting on a Cure, Night in Monte Carlo can make a huge difference in the healing journey and support of patients, their loved ones and caregivers.

MSTI will be teaming up with Betting on a Cure for our first Cancer Awareness symposium on May 20, 2017. Keynote speaker Dr. Dan S Zuckerman.

Please join us tomorrow for Betting on a Cure, A Night in Monte Carlo at the Boise Centre from 7pm to midnight! Get your tickets today!

Survivor Stories: Making Someday, Today

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The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is making great strides in cancer research, enabling patients to come home – but there is still more work to do.

Please join us on Saturday, May 21 at the Boise Centre for Betting on a Cure, A Night in Monte Carlo as we celebrate those who have won their fight against cancer, and remember those we’ve lost.

All proceeds after the event will go to funding cancer research through the LLS. Thanks to donations people like you, we can be one step closer to a cure and making ‘someday’ today.

For more information on the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, please visit their website.

Survivor Story: Janet Swickard

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By. Erika Heeren

This week’s survivor story is Janet Swickard. Janet is a survivor of 4th stage lymphoma in her lungs.

“I am a walking miracle.”

It started at church on Valentine’s Day 2012 when Janet could not project her voice when singing. A simple chest x-ray showed that she had something in both lungs.

After a CT scan, lung biopsy and PET scan, it was determined that she had several tumors in her lungs.

“It was a scary time,” Janet explained.

“I was sent to Dr. Karl Schultheiss at St. Alphonsis Oncology Department. He developed a plan to get me well. My first chemotherapy went well but because there were so many tumors, he admitted me to the hospital. There was so much debris that had to go through my kidneys. He explained that in these cases, the kidneys could shut down for a while. That would require dialysis. We were trying to not put me through that. So, he pushed fluids and it worked.”

Janet was given six rounds of chemo from early March until July 5, 2012.

Since then, her CT scans have shown something in each lung, but not growing.

“I believe my ‘cocktail’ was the right one and I will be fine. I have to admit that each time I have trouble breathing, my thoughts return to cancer.”

Janet continues to go to support group because she says it’s a source of comfort to meet with people who can relate to her story

“I live each day to the fullest, because cancer has made me live more in the present. Each day is a gift and I am so thankful to still be here!”

Stories like Janet’s will affect more than 8500 new patients in this year alone. Survival rates have improved, but additional research is vital to winning the battle against lymphoma.

Join us on May 21 at the Boise Centre as we celebrate our survivors, remember those who we’ve lost, and raise funding for cancer research at Betting on a Cure, A Night in Monte Carlo. Tickets are still available! Get yours today!

Survivor Stories: Melanie Forbis

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By. Erika Heeren

Today’s survivor story is about Melanie Floris.

Melanie is a leukemia and bone marrow transplant survivor. In November of 2010, Melanie suffered a seizure while driving.

While at the emergency room, doctors found a tumor on the right side of her brain. After undergoing a multitude of other tests, her doctors also discovered that her myeloblasts (or a certain type of white blood cells) were high, and had to perform a bone marrow biopsy.

Her results returned with the diagnosis of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). AML is a form of Leukemia that can progress more quickly than other forms leukemia.

Nearly 20,000 new patients will be affected by AML in 2016.

In February of 2011, Melanie was in full remission and her brain tumor is gone. Shortly thereafter, she received a bone marrow transplant from an unrelated donor.

After a few complications, setbacks, and struggles – Melanie is celebrating her 5th year of survivorship.

Not only is Melanie a survivor, she’s also a volunteer. Melanie offers hope to fellow patients and survivors through her work with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

On May 21, join us as we celebrate the life of Melanie Forbis and other local neighbors who have beat this cancer. Join us as we also remember those who lost their battle, and those still fighting to survive today.

All proceeds after the event will go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

You can purchase tickets on our website. We still have sponsorship opportunities available for local small businesses that want to show their support!

We’ll see you in May for a Night in Monte Carlo!

Survivor Stories – Wyatt

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By. Erika Heeren

Betting On A Cure is focused on supporting local leukemia patients and survivors. On May 21, 2016, the community will have an opportunity to give to life-saving research for our friends and neighbors right here in Idaho who have been impacted by this devastating cancer.

Today, and every week leading up to Betting On A Cure, we’re going to share one of their stories.

This week’s Survivor Story comes from one of our speakers for Betting On A Cure, 18-year old Wyatt.

In August of 2006, Wyatt was a normal, healthy 8-year-old boy at Optimist Football practice, preparing for the upcoming season.

Then, he wasn’t.

On September 1st that year, Wyatt was diagnosed with ALL, or Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

Wyatt’s battle with cancer began with a week in the hospital and a complete halt to all normal childhood activities. During the next year-and-a-half, Wyatt had numerous chemotherapy treatments and the required steroids.

These treatments, while beating the cancer, added to Wyatt’s discomfort, making him ill in new ways for periods of time.

A side effect of the steroids, Wyatt developed Avascular Necrosis in his legs, which is the death of bone tissue due to a lack of blood supply. He has titanium rods in both thigh bones to protect and strengthen his legs.

Wyatt’s wish is for new cancer treatments that might avoid such serious side effects.

“I would never wish anyone else to experience what I went through. It sucked.”

To hear more of Wyatt’s inspirational story, join us on May 21 at the Boise Centre from 7pm to midnight. Enjoy live music, a prime rib dinner, a live auction, and more to raise funds in support of cancer research.

Tickets are available online, and we have sponsorship opportunities available for local businesses.