Our New Partnership with Grammy Award winner Pat Monahan

We are proud to announce that Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter Pat Monahan as the National Spokesperson of the Foundation’s 40th Anniversary. Monahan is best known as the lead vocalist for the band Train.

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From 1994 to 2006, Monahan released four studio albums with Train, In 2002, the band earned Grammy Awards, one of them for the song “Drops of Jupiter(Tell Me),” which was written by Monahan and inspired by his late mother who had died of cancer. Monahan’s close relationship with his mother and experiences with treatments provided by the T.J. Martell Foundation’s aggressive research and patient therapy programs allows him a very personal perspective and opportunity serving as the 40th Anniversary representative.

As the face of the 40th Anniversary of The T.J. Martell Foundation, Monahan will appear at the foundation’s 40th Anniversary Honors Gala in New York to be held October 15th, appear in select media programs on behalf of the foundation and lend his face and voice to help raise funds for continued research in the hope to find a cure for Leukemia, Cancer and AIDS in our lifetime.

“I’ve seen firsthand the good that the T.J. Martell Foundation can do, and I want to stand beside them as they celebrate four decades of life-saving research,” said Monahan. “The work they’re doing is invaluable to anyone that suffers from these devastating diseases as well as their families. I hope to spread more awareness to the importance of their fight.”

“We are delighted that Pat Monahan will join us this year as the National Spokesperson of our important 40th Anniversary,” said Tony Martell, Founder & Chairman of the T.J. Martell Foundation. “Pat brings a very personal story about his mother’s fight with cancer to our organization and because of that has a deep understanding of the research we have funded. His artistry as a gifted musician and personal perspective on our organization makes him the perfect choice to help us launch the next 40 years of medical innovation for these horrible diseases.”

Monahan’s career also includes collaborations with Richie Sambora, Martina McBride, INXS, Cyndi Lauper and many others. He performed with The Hollies at their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony and contributed a cover of Buddy Holly’s “Maybe Baby” for their tribute album “Listen to Me: Buddy Holly (2011). He also appeared on the hit show The Voice and in 2013 started a podcast called Patcast where he interviews different people in the music industry and talks about his work with Train.

 

Hats Off to Dad!

originalThis Sunday is Father’s Day, and we’re proud to be partnering with the team at Listia to raise funds for prostate cancer research through an exclusive online auction featuring hats and albums autographed by beloved celebrities like Thompson Square, Jason Aldean, Kellie Pickler, Kelsea Ballerini, Joe Nichols, and many more. Click here for more details and place your bid today!

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T.J. Martell Foundation on Today!


On Friday we celebrated our third annual Women of Influence New York. To kick off this exciting day, our host Robin Quivers, a cancer survivor herself, sat down with the team at the Today Show to tell them all about the event, which raised vital funds for breast cancer and ovarian cancer research. Here is the clip. Enjoy!

 

Women of Influence!

We’re excited to congratulate Randi Rahm, one of our esteemed honorees for the Women of Influence Awards coming up on May 1st, 2014. The one and only Beyonce wore one of Randi’s gorgeous dresses to the White House this weekend for Michelle Obama’s birthday!

For more information on the Women of Influence Awards and to buy your tickets, please click here.

A World Without Cancer – Guest Post

Dr. Margaret Cuomo is the author of “A World Without Cancer: The Making of a New Cure and the Real Promise of Prevention;” she is a board-certified radiologist who served as an attending physician in diagnostic radiology at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y. for many years. She was the keynote speaker at the T.J. Martell Foundation’s inaugural Women of Influence Awards at Riverpark in New York City.

We are honored to share her perspective here on Angelina Jolie’s courageous decision regarding the discovery of her BRCA1 genetic mutation and subsequent bilateral (aka “double”) mastectomy, as well as the implications for the cancer community.

Dr. Margaret Cuomo is the author of “A World Without Cancer: The Making of a New Cure and the Real Promise of Prevention.”

Angelina Jolie has my admiration for her courage in publicly describing her decision to undergo a bilateral (aka “double”) mastectomy. Her BRCA1 genetic mutation significantly increases her risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

According to Jolie’s New York Times op-ed piece, her doctors estimated that she has an 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer. Women who have inherited BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations account for 5 to 10 percent of breast cancers and 10 to 15 percent of ovarian cancers (for white women) in the United States, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Knowing that her own mother died at the age of 56 following her battle with cancer, Angelina Jolie, the mother of six children, decided to be pro-active, and decided to sharply reduce her risk of breast cancer by undergoing the mastectomy.

The question that I hope many women are asking is: “Is this the best that we can do in the 21st century?” After 41 years and more than 90 billion dollars spent since the War on Cancer was declared, we should expect more effective and less invasive solutions to reducing breast cancer, and all cancers.

Are the National Cancer Institute and the pharmaceutical industry committing enough of their intellectual and financial resources to the discovery of safe, new ways of detecting breast cancer and ovarian cancer in their earliest stages?  If a patient has a BRCA1 or BRACA2 mutation, are there techniques available to “turn-off” the faulty genes?

Is there a sense of urgency about finding new tests to detect breast cancer and ovarian cancer, and other cancers, that do not involve radiation – a known carcinogen?

The prevention of cancer should be our ultimate goal and it should have the full benefit of the National Cancer Institute’s and industry’s vast resources.

Our children are our future, and we should expect that their generation will prevent cancer without the traumatic solution that Angelina Jolie felt obliged to accept.

Genetic Evaluation and Testing for Cancer – Guest Post

Many thanks to Georgia L. Wiesner, M.D., Director, Vanderbilt Hereditary Cancer Program, for this informative guest blog post.

Recent headlines about Angelina Jolie, a well-known actress and movie producer, and her decision to have a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy to reduce risk for breast cancer have taken the world by surprise. In a recent article, Ms. Jolie outlined her genetic evaluation in which she was found to be the carrier of a mutation in a gene called BRCA1. Because of her gene status, she decided to reduce risk for breast cancer by removing her normal breast tissue.

Why would someone choose to have such a “radical” response to cancer risk? In order to understand the dilemma that many people face, it is important to know that Ms. Jolie’s situation is relatively unusual. In fact, mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 only account for 5 percent to 10 percent of breast cancers and 10 percent to 15 percent of all ovarian cancers every year. If a person is found to have a high-risk mutation, then prophylactic surgeries are one of several high-risk management options.  In addition to surgery, there are certain medications as well as enhanced screening and surveillance available for these patients. An important point is that anyone considering this option should be evaluated by a specialist prior to making such an important decision.

The next question might be “how does someone know whether they are at high-risk for cancer?” Fortunately, there are genetic specialists and other health professionals who can help patients understand whether they are at high risk for cancer and then guide patients through the process of genetic testing. The process of genetic evaluation risk assessment and counseling is a new area of medicine called cancer genetics. Genetic professionals will use details from the family history to determine whether testing is a reasonable option.

The Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, a recognized leader in genetic medicine for cancer, has recently established the Clinical and Translational Hereditary Cancer Program with the primary mission to care for patients and families at high risk for cancer. Importantly, after patients are seen in the Hereditary Cancer Clinic, they can be referred to other caregivers, such as surgeons or high-risk nurse practitioners for further care.

Main Points

  • A small number of people will have an inherited risk for cancer
  • It is important to know your family history of cancer
  • Genetic evaluation and counseling is the first step in understanding cancer risk
  • The VICC Hereditary Cancer Clinic at Vanderbilt University Medical Center is open to all patients for full evaluation and counseling
  • Appointments can be made by calling (615) 343-7400

Georgia L. Wiesner, M.D.
Director, Vanderbilt Hereditary Cancer Program
Ingram Professor of Cancer Research and Professor of Medicine

Women of Influence

 

GRAMMY nominated musician Elle Varner (l), honoree Joanne Camuti, Director American Airlines, honoree Lori Stokes, Eyewitness News anchor for WABC, honoree, famed columnist and founder of wowowow.com, Liz Smith, honoree Marcie Allen, President of MAC Presents and Director/Beach 119, honoree Dr. Margaret I. Cuomo, the event’s host and Weekend TODAY personality Jenna Wolfe and Laura Heatherly, CEO of the T.J. Martell Foundation. Photo Credit Nick King NY

This week the T.J. Martell Foundation launched the Women of Influence Awards at Riverpark in New York.  The Foundation honored five incredible women from various business backgrounds: Marcie Allen, President of MAC Presents; Joann Camuti, Director, Sales Promotions and Community Relations, with American Airlines; Dr. Margaret I Cuomo, Author of A World Without Cancer: The Making of a New Cure and the Real Promise of Prevention; Liz Smith, famed Journalist, Columnist and Co-Founder of wowOwow.com; and Lori Stokes, ABC Eyewitness News Anchor.  Jenna Wolfe of NBC’s Today Show was the Mistress of Ceremonies and Grammy-Nominated recording artist Elle Varner performed a special song called “So Fly” for the women in the audience.

The event brought men and women from around the country together to support the honorees, have a great time, but most importantly, to raise awareness and funds for women’s cancer research programs through the great work of Dr. James Holland, Distinguished Professor of Neoplastic Diseases of Mt. Sinai Medical Center, and Dr.Jimmie Holland, Wayne E. Chapman Chair in Psychiatric Oncology of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Dr. Margaret I. Cuomo who recently published “A World Without Cancer” gave remarks to the audience highlighting key tips for early detection and cancer prevention.  Her address to the audience was heartfelt and made all of us feel strongly about taking better care of ourselves!

I have to say that as I reflect on the wonderful day at the T.J. Martell event, it made me realize that we ALL can be Women and Men of Influence.  We are the best advocates for encouraging our family, friends and colleagues to take better care of themselves by exercising, eating healthier, limiting alcohol intake, getting rest, don’t smoke and getting yearly medical exams.   It is the best medicine one can take to live a longer, healthier life.

What a fun night!

Back Row (L to R) Chef Sam Tucker, Chef Bob Waggoner, Sheryl Crow, Gary Allan, Laura Heatherly (CEO, T.J. Martell Foundation), Luke Bryan, Chef Sean Brock
Front Row (L to R) Co-chair Bill Hearn (President, EMI Christian Group), Co-chair Tom Black, Co-chair John Esposito(President & CEO, Warner Music Nashville), Founder Billy Ray Hearn (Founder, EMI Christian Music Group)

Attendees of the 14th Annual Nashville Best Cellars Dinner hosted by the T.J. Martell Foundation celebrated a night of exclusive wine and food pairings Monday night, April 29th that benefitted life-saving cancer research at the Frances Williams Preston Labs at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. The event has raised significant funds over the past 14 years pairing “Best Sellers” (popular chart-topping artists) with “Best Cellars” (some of the top wine collectors in the United States) who shared rare wines from their collections with guests at their tables.

Since the inaugural dinner was created by Nashville wine enthusiast and music executive Billy Ray Hearn in 1999, the Best Cellars Dinner has raised more than $1.65 million to support the foundation’s mission of funding ground-breaking leukemia, cancer and AIDS research.

Guests enjoyed a gourmet four-course dinner created by Bob Waggoner, Executive Chef of Watermark and Sean Brock, Executive Chef of McCrady’s and Husk in Charleston and Husk in Nashville while featuring the world-class wines from the private collectors.  The Tom Black After Party featured performances by Warner Music Nashville Recording Artists Charlie Worsham and Brett Eldredge.