Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Twas the season for giving...

Because it is the season to give, and to give is better than to receive UCF collected


for the children of our young adult clients at UMMC. We owe endless Thank-yous to our supporters who contributed gifts. Here is our UCF holiday story...

We wish you all an incredibly happy, healthy and peaceful New Year!

Twas the holiday season and all the Ulman Cancer Fund elves
Were busy buying presents, not thinking about themselves
The presents were wrapped in the office with care,
With hope that bright smiles the children soon would wear.

Each family was resting at home in their beds,
While visions of blessed holidays danced in their heads.
The children were dreaming of gifts, games, and toys
And the parents were wishing for children full of joy.

So Ulman Cancer Fund called out to our supporters
For presents, and wrappers and one or two sorters.
And after one day presents overflowed the place
Waiting to be received by a child’s warm embrace.

There were bicycles, stuffed animals, leapfrogs and books.
There was an easy bake oven for the tiniest of cooks.
A light bright, Legos and an abundance of movies
We all thought the gifts were pretty darn groovy.

Next step was delivery to the hospital and home
From Baltimore to PG County to Bowie we roamed,
Delivering presents wrapped with cheer
To wonderful strong, brave people who shed a few tears.

The true gift was in the giving for all of the staff
We were reminded what the holidays are all about.
We resolve to make next year even better
For giving, taking action, and our holiday sweaters!

So our team will be working even harder next year
We thank you for all YOUR help in getting us here.
The staff at UCF wishes with all of our might,
“Happy holidays to all, and to all a good night!”

Friday, December 11, 2009

In the spirit of giving...

Last night, I was reminded of the true meaning of the holidays. The holiday season is one of my very favorites. Kicking off with my birthday in November, the changing of the leaves to red then brown then gold always stirs this sentimental, bittersweet feeling in me. The end of the year inspires reflection, giving, and gratitude: some of the best qualities of people.

When Brock visited UMGCC last week and asked one of our patients what we could do to help her she said she needed,

"A Christmas present for my 5 yr old."

I know this touched Brock deeply and when he retold the story, we all stepped back to think about just how blessed we are.

UCF put out a call to action by word of mouth to see if anyone would be willing to help buy presents for some of our families at the hospital who needed help this holiday.

Last night, one of our supporters took her 3 boys to shop for a family in need. The boys are 6, 4, & 1 and she had them each buy a gift for a boy their age. She reported it was a, "blessed experience to take them shopping and teach them true meaning of Christmas."

Whether you are celebrating Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanza, or no holiday at all- please consider donating to a family who could use your help to brighten their holiday.

Visit our website for more details.

Sarah Wainio
Volunteer Coordinator

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

UCF's Cancer Fightin' Mix

Here are a list of cancer fighting songs composed by our @ulmancancerfnd Twitter followers...

@jonfilbert and @miket355
>Maybe Tonight, Maybe Tomorrow, Wideawake

Blip: TripsOnFeet

>Beautiful World, Colin Hay

>The Remedy, Jason Mraz

>I Run for Life, Melissa Etheridge

>Green Light, Punchline

>Come Clean, Hilary Duff

>Phantom Limb, The Shins

>Casimir Pulaski Day

>Momma Said Knock You Out, LL Cool

>I Didn't Know My Own Strength, Whitney Houston

Jennifer Owen via Facebook
>It's Not My Time, 3 Doors Down

Sarah Combs via Facebook
>Monument, Mirah

This is a great start! Please comment with your own cancer fighting song, or e-mail

Monday, December 7, 2009

Cancer Experience Expressions

Last week I sent out a Twitter and Facebook blast asking our followers and supporters how they expressed their cancer experience. Being a creative person myself,I wondered how the artsy and not so artsy deal with their cancer stories.

I've seen tattoos, books, poetry, songs, blogs, and more. I wanted to hear how YOU express yourself.

I got some feedback, and I'd love for this to be an ongoing opportunity for anyone to contribute their personal expression. Maybe some of the shared work will even inspire someone to create a way to share their store?

Nate e-mailed me that he had a cancer related blog:
There are a variety of topics I talk about, but I address my cancer diagnosis and treatment. I was unable to write about it for a very long time (I had to relearn MANY physical things as I spent almost a month in a coma and lost a great deal of strength and coordination), but I have a summary post covering that time and I occasionally make updates related to my recovery.

Jeff shared a truly touching poem about his friend Carlos who was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Mutiforme at the age of 39 and passed away at the age of 41. Carlos was a marathon runner who participated in marathons all over the world including Moscow, Helsinki, Cuba and most of the major ones here in the states. From the point of his diagnosis all the way to the end he fought his cancer and was determined to race again. Carlos was a Gradate of Penn. St and Notre Dame with a degree in Business Law.

An Ode to a Friend
By: Jeff Houston 12/2/2001

My friend died today
And yet I hide behind my mask pretending that I’m strong
Smiling as if nothing’s wrong
When all the while I’m crying inside.

I never got the chance to say goodbye
To express all that I kept inside
Always keeping up the fa├žade
Of being strong on the outside

I look to the sky and I ask God ‘why?’
Wondering how he could let us hurt so much inside
How he could let someone so young die
When there was so much more life to live.

I miss my friend and the life he lived
I will do all I can to keep his memory alive
And live the life he had wished for me
As I hold the memory of him close to my heart.

Goodbye my friend, you are missed.

Finally, a Twitter follower @cathycookhome recommended @justaride's book Rodeo in Joliet.

If you would like to share your cancer experience, please e-mail

Sarah Wainio, Volunteer Coordinator

LUNGS- (Learning, Understanding, Navigating, Growing, and Survivorship)

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of spending a day with Jonny Imerman of Imerman Angels . Jonny, who is a partner with UCF, is a complete inspiration for anyone fighting cancer or not. Jonny embraces and loves life and is a true motivator to do what you feel passionately about.

The day I got to spend with Jonny, we made a visit to The Cancer Institute at St. Joseph Medical Center to see Pamela Trombero a lung cancer survivor. Pamela had read Jonny's story and connected with his experience. The day of the visit they even realized they had the same chemo! The take away message of both Pam and Jonny's experience, as someone witnessing them connect, is that no one should ever be alone in a diagnosis. Both Jonny and Pamela felt alone. Now, like UCF, both Pamela and Jonny have devoted their lives to preventing anyone else from feeling the isolated during diagnosis, treatment, or as a survivor.

Here is, as Pam calls it, the short version of her story:

I was diagnosed with small-cell lung cancer in March of 2006; three weeks before my 50th birthday. It is very unusual to be diagnosed with lung cancer at 49; most of the population is in their 60’s and 70’s when diagnosed. I wanted so badly to be able to talk with someone in my shoes who had been through chemotherapy and surgery to know what I was up against, but I found no one. Lung cancer survivors are hard to find.

Once I came back to work, I talked to Dr. Krasna about starting a support program for newly diagnosed or recurring lung and esophageal cancer patients. I think it took me 5 seconds to think up LUNGS (Learning, Understanding, Navigating, Growing, and Survivorship). The program is similar to Johnny’s program in that we match mentors with patients who have had a similar diagnosis. We also offer educational lectures throughout the year which have been well attended and are a great success.

I may have had to go through my treatments and surgery alone, but if I have anything to do with it, no patient will feel alone during his or her diagnosis and/or treatment. The program is a success and we are slowly but surely growing.

If you would like more information on the LUNGS support program you can can go to and click on the LUNGS program under calendar of events. You can also contact Pam directly at 410-337-4543.

It was a true honor to spend the day in the presence of two people so passionate and so full of life! I encourage you to at least further educate yourself about Jonny and Pamela's initiatives, spread the word, and continue to grow the cancer community!

Sarah Wainio, Volunteer Coordinator

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


With Brock, Kelly and Brian out of the office today Lindsay and I lit a "cinnamon coffee cake" candle, played Michael Buble on iTunes and prepared some holiday fun to welcome them back to the office...

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

And once Katrina returned from her meeting, the three of us did a little do-si-do in the barn behind the office...

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