Who’s Manju?

Who’s Manju?

Each year, SSO/ACT extends the Gabriella Graham Patient Advocacy Award “to an individual or patient advocacy organization that has provided support and hope to patients and families facing cancers that are often treated with a regional treatment approach.” Pals past-president Chris Piekarski and current president Adele Jasion received the honor in 2022 and 2018, respectively. Not only does this award recognize the important role of patient support, it reminds us of the decades of service by Gabriella and PMP Pals.

SSO/ACT recognized the work of Manju George, MVSc, PhD, and the patient advocacy community, COLONTOWN. Manju knows a thing or two about cancer as she’s a Stage 3b rectal cancer survivor. After her diagnosis in 2017, she joined COLONTOWN and applied her post-doctoral training and research experience in Cell and Cancer Biology to develop “CRC 101,” an introductory educational primer for patients new to the colorectal cancer journey. Much like PMP Pals, COLONTOWN offers patient-centered resources, a vibrant Facebook community, “Doc Talks” with expert & physician presentations, and support through peer exchange. Take a look at their website for interesting information and resources you might find helpful.

Congratulations Manju for emboding the spirit and persistence of our founder and helping patients worldwide live well beyond their diagnosis.

Why We Go to SSO

Why We Go to SSO

Pals President Adele Jasion and Secretary-Treasurer Charmain Skillman attended the Society of Surgical Oncology’s Advanced Cancer Therapies (SSO/ACT) symposium in February 2024. Charmaine shares her perspective here.

PMP Pals recently attended the meeting of the Society of Surgical Oncology Advanced Cancer Therapies (SSO/ACT) in San Juan, Puerto Rico.This gathering of 200 surgeons and associated professionals is the most concentrated annual educational event in the U.S. for those treating peritoneal surface malignancies (PSMs).

Why do we go to SSO? Adele and I attended and tabled in the exhibit hall to increase exposure of PMP Pals and our programs for individuals affected by PMP and appendix cancer. We spent three days renewing connections with long-time friends of Pals and meeting new physicians just starting their careers. These interactions bring many benefits, such as identifying new speakers and new topics for our HOPE ZOOM meetings and other events. Also, we learn of new research and new treatments in development. And, we continuously rely on these connections for advice, answers, and involvement in new projects, such as our newly-formed Medical Advisory Board (The MAB – more on that in our next enews). We even met three of our MAB Pals – Doctors Dineen, Onchin, and Wiatrek – over breakfast.

Plus, we were very proud to be in the room when SSO/ACT presented the Gabriella Graham Patient Advocacy Award, inspired by the work of our founder. This year, Manju George, Scientific Director for Paltown Development Foundation and COLONTOWN, accepted the award for her nonprofit’s work supporting and educating the colorectal cancer (CRC) patient community. We met with and congratulated Manju, too, and learned more about this large patient organization. We invited her to a future HOPE Zoom to talk about COLONTOWN and medical advancements in the CRC space.

PMP Pals is grateful to participate in SSO/ACT as a sponsoring exhibitor. Your donations allowed Adele and I to represent PMP Pals among the medical professionals who serve our community — your financial support is crucial to our ability to attend this essential event.

Hope Wrapped Up: Barad’s Blankets

Hope Wrapped Up: Barad’s Blankets

In March 2022, when Lindsay Barad packed for her CRS/HIPEC hospital stay, she thought she over-packed.

The one item that she didn’t bring along was a blanket and her first night in the hospital was freezing! The next morning, her father, Jim, stopped at a local department store and purchased two blankets for his daughter. He found this highly ironic as his business, Barad & Co, is a textile manufacturing company that produces plush blankets.

For the next week, Lindsay recovered in the hospital, wrapped up in those cozy blankets. They boosted her spirits, kept her warm, and helped make the sterile hospital room feel more like home. She found similar comfort with PMP Pals. Both have proven invaluable in establishing emotional resilience for living beyond a rare disease diagnosis like appendix cancer.

PMP Pals is partnering with Barad & Co to send Pals worldwide a gesture of comfort. Jim’s gift is his way of giving back to the community which has helped his daughter, Lindsay, as a patient, and him as a caregiver. Similar to our Bare Bottom Bears Program, Pals will send you a complimentary, cozy, plush blanket by mail, as you head into (or home from) surgery or other challenging treatment. This blanket symbolizes what we want every Pal to know: no matter what you are going through, you are not alone.

To request a blanket, email Lindsay at lindsay@pmppals.net. Include the name of the patient or caregiver recipient, mailing address with zip code, and phone number (if available). Out-of-country requests are accepted, however take a longer time to arrive. Limit one blanket per household..

After you receive your Barad’s Blanket in the mail, send us a photo and tell us how this Message of Hope lifted your spirits.

Pals in the Kitchen Cookbook 2022 Holiday Edition

Pals in the Kitchen Cookbook 2022 Holiday Edition

Welcome to our first cookbook ever — Pals in the Kitchen Holiday Edition 2022, A Compilation of our Favorite Holiday Recipes.

Pals from all over the globe shared grandma’s secret recipes, family traditional mainstays, and special occasion deliciousness in a gesture of solidarity. We share them here with you to bring you comfort and connection. After all, we have much to be grateful for this holiday season. And we want you to know that you are not alone when faced with an appendix cancer diagnosis…or in the KITCHEN, for that matter!

As Pals, we have each other, and we have HOPE for you! Try out a recipe, snap a photo and post it to our Facebook or Instagram pages with the hashtag #palsinthekitchen.

Click here for the full-color digital version. Be sure to bookmark this page for future reference!

Click here for the printable, black-and-white version with fewer photos.

If you found this cookbook helpful and enjoyable, make a donation to PMP Pals. Ninety percent of our finances support the Programs & Services which, in turn, support people diagnosed with appendix cancer, their caregivers and families, and the medical professional community. We really do a lot with a little, so give generously!