lazarex new logo 03-09
               It's About Life


  August - September 2011 Newsletter 

Current Stories
Supporting Lazarex - Our Sponor Series. Dean Howard Gilman of The USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences talks about supporting Lazarex's mission.
Meet Very Important Patient Kevin Herring
2011 Team for Life Endurance Events - Two new races in 2011: Malibu International Full and Half Marathon; Inaugural Rock n Roll Miami Beach Half Marathon
Meet Lazarex Summer Intern Shiyulli Suriyakumar
Donate Your Vehicle and Support Lazarex; Team for Life - Create Your Own Event

Dear Friend,

Nearly a month has gone by and I am still feeling the glow from our spectacular Gala for Hope held on July 16th at the Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga. It's always fun to get dressed up and see, all in one place, 230 of our closest friends and supporters who help make possible the work Lazarex does. It is especially rewarding to celebrate with our Very Important Patients and their families. The stories they share inspire all of us in the office to keep working hard, and hopefully they will inspire you to continue supporting our work. We cleared more than $200,000, which made this event one of the most successful in our history!  A big Thank You to all who supported, attended, worked and celebrated with us. You added the key elements for success and for a most enchanted evening. Our surprise entertainer, George Komsky, created  timeless moments with his vocals. Go to to purchase tickets for his November concert. Photos of the gala, for viewing and for sale, are at The proceeds go to Lazarex. 


I also want to take this opportunity to extend a special thank you to our institutional sponsors who generously provided financial support to make our gala the success it was. You will read more about USC, Union Bank, Herrick Steel and Gillig in our newsletters. I also want to thank Mechanics Bank, Young and Burton, Cooley LLP, Morrison Foerster, and Nucor-Yamato Steel for their contribution to our success.


Joining the ranks of Lazarex fans, Lenny Williams (of Tower of Power) is speaking up on behalf of Lazarex Cancer Foundation and helping to raise awareness about clinical trials as a resource for cancer patients. Both Lenny and I will be interviewed by Akilah Bolden-Monifa on Bay Sunday. The interview will air this Sunday, August 14th, on CBS 5 (KPIX) "Bay Sunday" at 5:30 am.   


As always, we have a full slate of endurance events to look forward to including the inaugural Rock 'n Roll Miami half marathon in December! Your support of all our activities is greatly appreciated. If you know anyone who would be interested in our mission please forward this newsletter to them. After all, It's About Life.




Dana's sig

Dana Dornsife
President, Lazarex Cancer Foundation

 Our Sponsors


Dean Howard Gillman of The USC Dana & David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences Talks About Supporting Lazarex's Mission 


Walking Together on a Path to Hope

USC Dornsife College logo


The USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences supports the Lazarex Cancer Foundation's commitment to advancing hope for cancer patients and their families by helping to provide access to groundbreaking research and clinical trials.


"We support Lazarex because we're all at our best when we're paying attention to people who are facing life's most serious challenges, especially those who are sick and suffering," said Howard Gillman, dean of USC Dornsife. "For many end-stage cancer patients the only choice presented to them is hospice care and that's a perfectly legitimate and understandable choice for many people, but for it to be a real choice there needs to be an alternative and Lazarex provides that alternative."


Lazarex not only infuses end-stage diagnoses with optimism but also with dignity. The foundation's tireless work ensures cancer patients and their families are empowered to understand all of their treatments options and how they can benefit from medical breakthroughs today. Through community education and outreach, Lazarex allows those in need to receive the care and guidance they deserve regardless of their financial situations.


"People don't always get the right information and they're not always in the position to find the path to hope," Gillman said. "So, Lazarex says, "We'll help you find that path. There will be no barriers because you don't have the right information and there will be no barriers because you don't have the resources. If you want to walk down that hard path we will walk together with you and support you.'"


View the USC sponsor video on YouTube with this link: USC Sponsor Video    


In our next newsletter we will feature Lazarex sponsor Union Bank. 

Meet Very Important Patient (VIP) Kevin Herring  


Kevin's Story:  Kevin Herring 2

My name is Kevin Herring. I was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia five days after my 23rd birthday and was originally given a thirty percent chance of survival. This news was devastating and I had to find a way to understand what was happening to me and why.


I was a college student one semester away from graduation whenthey told me that I was going to San Francisco and there I would spend the next year of my life. I was angry. I had been looking forward to graduation and a great summer with my friends but this would not be my fate. I then realizedthat there comes a point in which cancer patients must decide how they are going to cope with  their disease. Some choose to talk about it and express their feelings, but anyone that has ever met me knows that's not me; some decide to try meditation or relaxation techniques, but again, not me. Instead I chose to take my diagnoses as a challenge and my challenge was to prove that I was good enough, strong enough and had the perseverance needed to deserve a life - but I knew I couldn't do it alone.


I went through months of chemotherapy and total body radiation including numerous spinal taps, bone marrow biopsies and eventually a bone marrow transplant. I held hope and faith that this would make me stronger and would mold me into someone that, if chosen to survive, would be better than I ever was. It's amazing what you can learn when you are stretched to your absolute extremes both mentally and physically. You learn the importance of family and love. You learn that people who have never met you will reach out their hand and ask "How can we help?" Lazarex Cancer Foundation was there for me, in an e-mail they sent me they said, "That source is what makes one brave, fosters perseverance and renews faith." My source in rehabilitation was Lazarex Cancer Foundation. They gave me the financial resources to have a home where I could recover and I thank them from the bottom of my heart. My fight is not over but I am comforted in the notion that when there is good to be done good people are there to help.


I would like to thank those in the National Marrow Donor Program: the UCSF staff, especially Dr. Andreadis and Lindsay; the foundation of my support, my Mother, and Lazarex. All of them have given me and others like me the ultimate gift, a chance to fight! Lazarex Cancer Foundation cannot help those like me without your support. I trust that there is good and strength in all of us and my challenge to you is to help support life however you can. I wish all of you the best that life can bring.


Read about some of our other VIPs

Patients like this month's VIP, Kevin, are benefiting from support like this every day. Please help us by  who you think would be interested in Lazarex.
Team for Life Events - Join Us, Donate, Have Fun! 

 new TFl logo

Joining Team for Life gives you the chance to directly support Lazarex Cancer Foundation by participating in any endurance event where Lazarex has an official team OR by creating your own fundraising event.   


 To sign





Rock n Roll San Jose logo

Rock 'n' Roll San Jose Half Marathon 

When: October 2, 2011

Where: San Jose, CA 


Join the Lazarex staff and run to celebrate Lazarex patient Brittani Powell - "By donating to Lazarex Cancer Foundation you are saving lives and I thank you!!"


Contact Jenny Walls or go to: TFL Rock 'n' Roll San Jose 1/2 Marathon  


Marine Corps Marathon 

Bibs are available for the Marine Corps Marathon and 10k 

Already registered? Earn back your registration fee when you join Team for Life.

When: October 30, 2011                     

Where: Arlington, VA 

We have bibs available for this sold out race!


Run to celebrate Lazarex patient Michael Robbert - "Lazarex and patients like me rely on the generosity of individuals, corporations and foundations in order to succeed. We rely on people like YOU! Thank you for all that you are doing to help Lazarex! I cannot communicate how much Lazarex and patients like me appreciate it."


To register contact Jenny Walls or go to: TFL Marine Corps Marathon



Malibu International Full and Half Marathon Malibu International Marathon logo

Lazarex is an official charity for this event. Join us for our first race in Malibu!  

When: November 13, 2011                     

Where: Malibu, CA  


Run to celebrate Lazarex patient Chad Hickey - "I have spent 220 days in the hospital, had every chemo concoction there is; had withdrawals and setbacks, and am nowhere near feeling even good on a daily basis. And yet, I can sit down and know that without the help and support of You and Lazarex, that I did not have a chance at any of this. I am alive, and grateful, to know that the love and kindness of strangers has kept me that way."


To register contact Jenny Walls or go to: TFL Malibu Int'l Full & Half Marathon 



Rock 'n' Roll Miami Half MarathonRock n Roll Miami Beach logo

Lazarex is an official charity for this inaugural event.

Join us for our first race in Miami Beach! 

When: December 11, 2011

Where: Miami, FL


Run to celebrate Lazarex patient Brittany Shandell Hess  - "Finally a drug that is working! Although the doctors say this is not a total cure for me now it has kept me alive another 2 years and I believe it will another 20. But if it doesn't keep working, and I need to find something else, one thing I know is true; I will always have Lazarex on my side, ready and willing to help me win my battle!"


To register contact Jenny Walls or go to: TFL Rock 'n' Roll Miami Beach Half Marathon  


Meet Lazarex's Summer Intern Shiyulli Suriyakumar  

The cheerful powerhouse who entered our lives this summer and who will be sorely missed when she returns to college in a few weeks. Shiyulli Suriyakumar

I'm a sophomore at USC majoring in Philosophy, Politics, and Law (PPL) planning to minor in business. I hope to practice law representing non-profits, practice human rights law, or perhaps find a career in non-profit management (though being only in my second year, I'm sure things could change). Regardless of what I choose, this summer has only equipped me with more tools to better make my decision.


Now for a little bit about where I come from. Emigrating from Sri Lanka, my parents always stressed to my brother and me the importance of helping those around you unable to help themselves. My dad would often tell us success is measured not by how much you can afford to buy, but rather how much you can afford to give. Growing up with this type of mindset, it's no surprise I ended up at a non-profit for my freshman summer internship.


I had the good fortune of having the opportunity to intern at Lazarex Cancer Foundation for about 12 weeks, and have not only learned more than I expected, but met some amazing women. Working at a small non-profit still getting off its feet generates an exciting (though at time stressful) atmosphere, laced with tenacity you can feel as you walk in the office; there are so many opportunities to grow and avenues for development that each day the organization only gets better. Had I stayed and worked in LA as originally planned (before I interviewed here), I would not have been able to do half the things I did. Most importantly, I wouldn't have been able to work so closely with the minds behind the vision, and learn so much from them. Instead of being stuck in a corner like most interns, I had the chance to engage directly with all of the Lazarexas. By being given the chance to interact with every gear that keeps this machine turning, I have a much deeper understanding of what it takes to run a non-profit successfully--information I could only have gained through immersing myself in the process.


Needless to say, working at Lazarex this past summer has been an absolutely wonderful experience, and unlike any job I've had before. I am so grateful to Lazarex for allowing me to be part of the heart-warming, vital work they do to build a bridge to hope for their cancer patients. Honestly when I first started I thought to myself, how emotionally devastating and depressing must it be to work with terminally ill cancer patients who have been told this is the end? And then slowly, through reading patient stories and just being in the office, I figured it out. It's not about an impending death, it's about fighting for something more -- it's about life.


Other Ways To Support Lazarex Cancer Foundation 

Car Donation Services Heart 

 Donate your car, truck, RV or boat! Please help Lazarex Cancer Foundation build a bridge to hope, dignity and life for cancer patients and their families by donating that unneeded vehicle. We are partnering with Car Donation Services to handle our vehicle donations. They will take very good care of you and they take very good care of us! They use a variety of methods to sell vehicles so vehicles, on average, sell for more, which means more money for us and a larger tax deduction for you.

To donate, please call 1-888-686-4483 and tell them you want to donate your vehicle to Lazarex Cancer Foundation, or complete our donation form. Thank you for your generosity!



Joining Team for New Team for Life logoLife gives you the chance to directly support Lazarex Cancer Foundation by participating in any endurance event where Lazarex has an official team OR by creating your own fundraising event.  


Can't make it to one of our endurance events? Not an athlete? Participate in any event of your choice OR create you own. Whatever you like to do - run, cycle, walk, bake, dance or knit!

We'll help you organize your fundraising efforts with a personalized web page, training,fundraising tips, and most of all, moral support! Plus there are great incentives to help you reach your goals.
Best of all, your fundraising efforts directly benefit the patients of Lazarex Cancer Foundation! To sign up:

About Lazarex Cancer Foundation 
Lazarex Cancer Foundation builds a bridge to hope, dignity and life for cancer patients and their families. We provide financial assistance to defray the costs associated with patient participation in FDA clinical trials. Additionally, we help patients navigate their clinical trial options and provide community education and outreach services. We believe that together we can build a bridge to hope. To learn more, please contact us at 925.820.4517, toll-free at 877.866.9523, or visit us at
Please help us spread the word by  (or many!) who you think would be interested in Lazarex Cancer Foundation or one of our many events. Thanks!