Congratulations to cancer survivor, IRONMAN Jan Swenson!

Jan

Our heartfelt congratulations and gratitude to Jan Swenson, who competed in the IRONMAN Lake Placid this past weekend just one year after beating cancer. Jan used his months of training as a platform to raise funds for our leukemia, cancer and AIDS research, and our foundation is grateful for the almost $7,000 raised by family, friends, coworkers and strangers in honor of this inspirational athlete.

We love the hashtag created to commemorate this incredible accomplishment on social media (#CancerHasGotNothingOnIronJan) and feel his wife says it best when she commends the way he “consciously chose not to be a victim of cancer. To fight, to conquer that chemo process, and come back stronger than ever.” Way to go, Jan!

Jan Swenson Competes This Weekend in IRONMAN Syracuse!

20160613_122638_1465835963034Despite a shoulder injury that took him away from training for about a week, cancer survivor Jan Swenson was able to get back to his routine last week and successfully competed a 100-mile bike ride through Morris and Hunterdon County in New Jersey.

This weekend he will be racing in the IRONMAN Syracuse 70.3 and we’ll be sure to post photos when he’s done. Jan is excited to debut his new custom T.J. Martell race kit created by Peal Izumi.

The IRONMAN Lake Placid is less than six weeks away. Don’t forget to donate here to Jan’s fundraising efforts so we can continue to support life-saving leukemia, cancer and AIDS research.

Ramble finish

Guest Blog Post: Nashville Best Cellars Dinner by Carly Browning

image001The T.J. Martell Foundation’s 17th Annual Nashville Best Cellars Dinner took place at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel in an event space of true beauty. A collaboration of food, wine, and music all to support the T.J. Martell Foundation creates an incredible atmosphere. Projections of watercolor dancers adorned the walls while the tables were dropped in red and black fabrics.

In previous years, the dinner has been conceived and prepared by a single chef. While the past prowess and execution by these chefs has been impeccable, it was time to freshen things up. Guests enjoyed five courses from five different James Beard Award winning chefs. As per years past, each table was paired with a wine host who carefully selected pairings for each course. The dinner proved to be a sensory experience that left each guest full to the brim yet somehow wanting more.

First Course: Danfuskie Crab Rise

The first course, prepared by Sean Brock of Nashville’s Husk, certainly wowed taste buds. Danfuskie crab was pulled and sat atop a bed of rice. It was rustic and authentic with clean flavors reminiscent of sea water and down home cooking. Was it expected? No. Accepted? Happily and wishing there was more. Brock was received his James Beard Award in 2010 for Best Southeast Chef. He has also been nominated for Outstanding Chef and Rising Star Chef, as well as receiving awards for his first cookbook Heritage.

Second Course: Fonduta Egg Tart

Where the first course was light and sent whispers from the ocean, the second course covered you with a blanket on the forest floor — conceived and executed by Ashley Christensen of AC Restaurants, Raleigh NC. Yet this fonduta egg tart with asparagus, confit’d mushrooms, and charred ramp vinaigrette shown far beyond the asparagus. Playing on the rustic themes of Chef Brock’s dish, Chef Christensen encompassed cold, warm, and wonderful all in one. Christensen was awarded the James Beard Award in 2014 for Best Southeast Chef.

Third Course: Sorpresine

Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman of Memphis staples Hog & Hominy, Porcellino’s, Andrew Michael delivered above and beyond with this third dish. This perfectly al dente pasta blended elements of South America with the memory of Italy. Green garlic, guanciale (cured pork cheek), noce condimenta (nut ragu), and ricotta salata rounded out this bold, giving dish. It boasted simple yet humble flavors, a subtle reminder that good food and big flavors don’t have to be complicated. Between the crumbling meat and texture of the nuts, this dish struck all chords. Ticer and Hudman were nominated for the James Beard Award Best Chef Southeast in 2012, 2013, 2014 and are currently nominated in 2016.

Fourth Course: Brisket & Grits

By far the largest and most filling portion, large slabs of brisket sat atop a bed of sour grits conceived by Tandy Wilson of Nashville’s City House. Slow, low, and wonderful, the spice in this dish creeped around never pushing to hard. The brisket was dry aged with a black pepper and fennel rub. Paired perfectly with the gremolata and lettuces, I wish I could’ve finished every bite of this dish. Too bad they don’t do to go boxes…. Chef Wilson was nominated for the James Beard Award for Best Chef Southeast in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

Fifth Course: Pavlova

Straight out of childhood dreams, a baseball sized strawberry and basil meringue sat atop a bed of strawberry puree, black pepper, and pine nut. Chefs Ticer and Hudman tackled this dish as well, bringing just as much flair as they did the first. Bold, to choose a fruit dessert instead of chocolate when pairing with wine; though the gusto of this delicious doubt washed away any doubt. Perfectly crumbly, melt in your mouth, and nothing but sweet. My table was lucky enough to enjoy this with a 1966 Dow Vintage Port to knock the socks off anyone. A lovely end to a meal I wish didn’t have to end.

At the end of the event, the room came together to raise even more money for a wonderful cause. A celebration of life and the great pleasures it can bring, made even more special by the T.J. Martell Foundation — an organization that truly cares about cancer patients and their families. Until next year, there’s still so much more to be done.

By Carly Browning

Guest Blog Post: Update from our IronMan!

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Our friend Jan Swenson, a courageous cancer survivor, is training for this year’s IronMan and donating all proceeds to our foundation. Read on for an exciting update from Jan! 

Wooo-Hoo!! I just received the 6-month “All Clear!” from my Oncologist. It made me rethink where I am in my Journey to Ironman in July and the frustration I feel that I am not faster/ stronger at this point.

20150703_114059It was just about 6 months ago that I had chemicals designed to kill me coursing through by body, the steroids and anti-nausea medications that all have side effects. From the hair loss to weight gain, this was a very stressful time for my body.

 

 

But 6 months out from this and where am I?

12509180_10207967913811985_8773905894292326708_nI am a Disney Dopey Challenge finisher (48.6 miles of running over 4 days).

I am training 10-12 hours a week on top of maintaining my work schedule.

I am eating healthier than I ever have.

It is easy to let the frustrations of the moment cloud your mind with fear and impatience for a body that just went through chemotherapy. I have an ambitious personality and I have set some goals that I would like to hit for July. Finishing Ironman (hopefully faster than I did in 2013, but would be satisfied to finish strong) and raising at least $5,000 for The TJ Martell Foundation (if you don’t know who they are check them out, they are moving some big mountains in researching treatments and cures).

I posted one time on this and with your help we raised about $2,500, and currently at $2,715!!! I want to thank all of the people who have generously donated so far and look forward to thanking everyone who will follow this link to donate. No amount is to big or small. And everything helps.https://donate.tjmartell.org/fundraise?fcid=570733

Need some fitspiration?

134710-067-022Our #FitnessFriday inspiration comes from Stephanie Rubin and Laura Feidelson. They ran the Pinehurst, North Carolina Turkey Trot Half Marathon in 2 hours and 7 minutes, and ended up raising almost $12,500 for our research programs in honor of a loved one!

“When my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer, he was lucky enough to end up in the very competent hands of Dr. Mitchell Benson who got the situation under control.  I was so inspired by Dr. Benson and so grateful that I decided to run this half marathon and donate to the T.J. Martell Foundation prostate cancer research to hopefully help him continue to save lives.  I am just so honored to have contributed to such an incredible foundation and I hope to run many more races for T.J. Martell in the future,” says Stephanie.

Please join us in congratulating and thanking these inspiring young women!

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Jan Swenson is going back to IronMan Lake Placid with a Purpose!

Jan Swenson TreatmentWe are thrilled to have cancer survivor Jan Swenson using the 2016 IronMan Lake Placid as a fundraising platform to raise vital funds for our leukemia, cancer and AIDS program.

“As a cancer survivor myself, I’m proud to support the T.J. Martell Foundation’s outstanding research on ‪#‎GivingTuesday‬ and every day. I’m competing in the 2016 IronMan Lake Placid and hope you’ll check out my fundraising page. Together we can help fund a cure.” – Jan Swenson

IM finisherOnly one week after the launch of his campaign, he’s already more than halfway to reaching his goal of raising $5,000 for our outstanding research hospitals across the country! What an inspiration to cancer patients, survivors and their families everywhere. Please click here to visit his fundraising page today and help him surpass his goal. Don’t forget to check back soon for updates on his training and fundraising!

Congratulations are in Order!

Every year Billboard releases its prestigious list of Women In Music: The Most Powerful Executives in the Industry, and every year several of our board members are included for being “ground-breakers and game changers.” This year our board members Jody Gerson, Julie Swidler, Jennifer Breithaupt and Sharon Dastur as well as our New York Honors Gala honoree Marsha Vlasik were all listed. We are so honored to work with these incredibly hard-working women to continue our vital leukemia, cancer and AIDS research.

To read the full list, please visit billboard.com.