lazarex new logo 03-09
               It's About Life


 October - November 2011 Newsletter 

Current Stories
Meet Very Important Patient Ben Doherty
Supporting Lazarex - Our Sponor Series. Union Bank's Support of Lazarex Cancer Foundation's Mission and Building Sustainable Communities
TICKETS Fore CHARITY, 2011 Charles Schwab Cup Championship ... Vegas Baby! Dwight Yoakam Concerts Benefit Lazarex, December 6th & 7th
Our Volunteers: Meet the Ricciardi Sisters
Team for Life Endurance Events - Disneyland Recap, Races Not To Miss: the Dodge Latin Music Miami Beach 1/2 Marathon and the Big Sur International Marathon

Dear Friends,


One of our most important values at Lazarex is social responsibility. We were founded with the idea that the size of one's checkbook should not be the deciding factor regarding access to clinical trials and cancer treatments. Recently, it has come to our attention that some Americans have much lower participation in clinical trials by virtue of their ethnicity, and we have decided to work hard to change that. Here is a link that helps tell the story: Lazarex/Cancer Screenings/Clinical Trials


Research tells us that participation of minority populations in cancer screenings and clinical trials is extremely low. Studies show that African Americans have the highest mortality rate from cancer, followed by Latinos and Asians. Greater participation in screenings and clinical trials would help save lives and provide valuable data to help fight cancer in these communities. Breast cancer is the most common cancer with the highest death rate among African American women, while African American men have the highest incidence of, and death from, prostate cancer.  

Given the gross under representation of minorities in clinical trials, Lazarex Cancer Foundation is pleased to announce a new program to bridge this gap in cancer care. Our goal is to improve the percentage of minority enrollment in cancer screenings and clinical trials by addressing the barriers that prevent them from participating. In studies comparing cancer survival and mortality among various ethnic groups it is clear that a higher percentage of African Americans are diagnosed in advanced stages of cancer, resulting in lower rates of survival. Early detection of cancer generally improves the odds of recovery and survival.   


Cancer is color blind and needs to be addressed across all populations. To this end Lenny Williams (R&B vocalist) has joined forces with Lazarex as an ambassador to help us engage minority communities in this initiative.


Coming up we have a full schedule of endurance events and exciting fundraisers to look forward to, such as December's inaugural Latin Music Miami Beach 1/2 Marathon, Country Music legend Dwight Yoakam's concerts in Las Vegas and, in 2012, the Big Sur International Marathon! Your support of all our activities is greatly appreciated. If you know anyone who would be interested in our mission or events to them. After all, It's About Life.



Dana's sig





Dana Dornsife
President, Lazarex Cancer Foundation


Meet Very Important Patient (VIP) Ben Doherty   


Ben's Story:   

Ben, his wife Missy and their 3 children: Gavin (8), Elizabeth (6) and Cate (3), live on a 10 acre farm in rural eastern Oregon. They have temporarily moved to Seattle for Ben's clinical trial where he is receiving treatment for Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).


In 2007 Ben was diagnosed and treated for Osteosarcoma with several surgeries (that resulted in aDoherty Family partial femur replacement and an artificial hip) and 18 months of chemotherapy that successfully destroyed the tumor. In May 2011 Ben was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), a possible side effect of the intense treatment he received for the osteosarcoma.    


Ben has been participating in a clinical trial in Seattle, WA since June this year. By late July his levels of leukemia were undetectable and he is in remission, which paved the way for a bone marrow transplant on September 8th. His sister Lisa is the bone marrow donor. Since the transplant Ben has remained positive despite isolation, fevers, infections and headaches. The best news he has received of late is that the transplant is successfully growing bone marrow, producing new blood cells, and he is developing a new immune system!


Ben's words sum up his determination, "As I said when I first started the leukemia treatment, this is a triathlon.The cycling portion of my triathlon began with the bone marrow transplant. Cycling is the longest portion of the triathlon, both in distance and time and there is always a time of adjustment before you get into your cadence and become smooth on the bike. Over the past several weeks, I have had some difficulties getting into my rhythm. I will put my head down and keep pedaling until I get into my groove."


Missy (Ben's wife) adds, "Before Cancer, Ben was an athlete. He loves all sports, is passionate about soccer and loves to run. The treatment for osteosarcoma changed Ben's lifestyle. Now he enjoys spending more time with our family. Since he was four, Ben's favorite activity has been reading, something he shares with our children. Instead of playing sports, he coaches our children in soccer and baseball and gets his exercise taking care of our 10 acre farm, our cows and gardens."  


Missy continues, "No one knows how much time we have on this earth. When you have a cancer diagnosis, you start to look at mortality issues more closely. Lazarex has given us one of the most precious gifts, the ability to stay together as a family. This has given stability to the children and although they are scared and do not understand why their Dad has to have cancer, at least they can cuddle with him and tell Ben "I love you Daddy" every night. Every time Ben looks into their eyes, he is reminded of what he is fighting for."   


Read about some of our other VIPs

Patients like this month's VIP, Ben, are benefiting from support like this every day. Please help us by  who you think would be interested in Lazarex.

 Our Sponsors


Julius Robinson Speaks About Union Bank's Support of Lazarex Cancer Foundation's Mission and Building Sustainable Communities 

Union Bank

"Our support of the Lazarex Cancer Foundation is in small part our commitment in building sustainable communities. Cancer just doesn't afflict the individual, it afflicts the family and it afflicts the community. It is so emotionally and financially devastating that it's effect causes people to have to make decisions that they ordinarily wouldn't have to, or want to, make. What Lazarex Cancer Foundation does is to help take that out of the equation at a time when the family is suffering the most. Being free of the burden of some of these decisions around keeping the family together is one of the true gifts that the Lazarex Cancer Foundation gives to a family, not only in fighting the disease, but in giving patients a sense of dignity and helping them fight the good fight."


About Union Bank:
Headquartered in San Francisco, UnionBanCal Corporation is a financial holding company with assets of $80.6 billion at March 31, 2011.  Its primary subsidiary, Union Bank, N.A., is a full-service commercial bank providing an array of financial services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, and major corporations. The bank operated 401 banking offices in California, Oregon, Washington and Texas and two international offices, on March 31, 2011. As part of its 10-year community commitment, Union Bank has pledged two percent of its net profit annually to charitable contributions. 


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


In our next newsletter we will feature Lazarex sponsor Gillig Corporation. 

Other Ways To Support Lazarex Cancer Foundation 

TICKETS Fore CHARITY™ - 2011 Charles Schwab Cup Championship


Lazarex Cancer Foundation has been approved to participate in the TICKETS Fore CHARITY™ program for the 2011 Charles Schwab Cup Championship. If you are planning to attend this prestigious conclusion of the Champions Tour, PLEASE use the link below to purchase your tickets. 75% of the net proceeds will go to Lazarex. The remaining 25% go to First Tee of San Francisco, a 501(c)3 non profit.  


Any Day GroundsTicket is just $25.00  

Purchase tickets online:  

When you buy tickets via the TICKETS Fore CHARITY™ program, the majority of the ticket proceeds goes directly to a Bay Area charity chosen by you.
Grounds tickets are good any day of the tournament.
Children 18 and under are free.
Active, retired, and reserve military personnel, together with their dependents, are free.  


What: 2011 Charles Schwab Cup Championship, the final event on the Champions Tour in the season-long race for the Charles Schwab Cup, will conclude at TPC Harding Park, San Francisco. The winner of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship will receive $440,000 while the Charles Schwab Cup will dole out $2.1 million in prize money to the five top point earners. This ensures that the best players on the Champions Tour will be on hand when the Tour reaches the Bay Area. 

Where: TPC Harding Park, San Francisco, CA 

When: November 2-6, 2011


Call Susan Sappington at 510 757-5034.


Dwight Yoakam
What:  Two weekend performances by Dwight Yoakam at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel
When: December 6th & 7th, 2011
Why: A percentage of the proceeds benefit Lazarex Cancer Foundation

Contact Susan Sappington, 510 757- 5034 for more information and to purchase tickets. 

Our Volunteers: Meet the Ricciardi Sisters 

Meet two sisters who have been "giving back" to Lazarex by volunteering at many of our events and recruiting their friends to join them! Nanette Ricciardi and Elisia Ricciardi-Thomas are the daughters of former Lazarex VIP Florence Ricciardi who survived recurrent breast cancer with the help of a clinical trial and life saving surgery.   


Ricciardi Sisters and Friends
JoAnn Terry, Kelly Newman, Nanette Ricciardi, Florence (on the banner), Elisia Ricciardi Thomas, Michelle Hawthorne


"I support Lazarex as a volunteer because I believe in the goals of the Foundation with all of my heart, and, it is a way for me to say thank you!!! Without the assistance of Lazarex, I truly believe that my Mom would not have been able to receive life saving surgery that has kept her with us after having been diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer over 4 years ago."  

- Elisia Ricciardi Thomas       


"I volunteer for the Lazarex events because I want to give back to the Foundation who put my mother through free clinical trials in the late stages of metastatic breast cancer.  Not only do I enjoy attending these events, but I also like to see others that Lazarex has helped and is currently helping.  It warms my heart to know that there is a group of people that want to help others who are fighting the uphill battle of such a destructible disease. Thank you Lazarex for allowing me to give back."  - Nanette Ricciardi     


You can read Florence's Story here. 


Team for Life Events - Join Us, Donate, Have Fun!  
Last month we participated in the Disneyland Half Marathon in Anaheim and were excited to be with the the 80+ Team for Life members who raised $80,000 to help match more patients with clinical trials in North America. Take a look at our coming events, perhaps you will be inspired to participate or make a donation to support a team member. Your support is crucial to our mission!

 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



Big Sur - We have limited bibs available now for the SOLD OUT April 29, 2012 marathon.  
The Big Sur International Marathon is a non-profit organization providing a world-class marathon and related fun events that raise money to benefit local charities, while promoting health and fitness. Named "Best Marathon in North America" by The Ultimate Guide to Marathons, the Big Sur International Marathon continues to sell out earlier and earlier each year and, as a major destination marathon, draws entrants from all over the world. On their way from Big Sur to Carmel's Rio Road, runners wind through majestic redwoods and past Pacific Ocean views.

Related marathon-day events include a 21-mile power walk, 5K run, 9-mile walk, 10.6-mile walk, marathon relay, and Just Kids 3K. Lazarex is an official charity for this event. We have a limited number of bibs available now. If you are going to participate in one event, this would be the one. To register now or for more information use this link: Big Sur      

Dodge Latin Music Miami Beach 1/2 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 Latin Music Miami Beach 1/2 Marathon    



Tinker Bell 1/2 MarathonTinker Bell 1/2 Marathon

Lazarex is an official charity for this event. So far we have a team of 61 members for this SOLD OUT race! We still have a limited amount bibs available. 

When: January 29, 2012 

Where: Anaheim, CA 


Run to celebrate Lazarex patient Brittani Powell - "I cannot begin to tell you how important this organization (Lazarex) is for people like my daughter by offering new hope to people who believe that they have none and bringing new emerging technology and medication to patients who would otherwise have no access to them. By donating to Lazarex Cancer Foundation you are saving lives and I thank you!! Because of you, my daughter progressed from having this tumor almost totally take over her body and her life to becoming a walking, talking happy teenager."


To register contact Jenny Walls or go to: TFL Tinker Bell 1/2 Marathon    


Big Sur International MarathonBig Sur Int'l Marathon 2012 

Lazarex is an official charity for this event. We have bibs available for  this SOLD OUT race! Join Team for Life for our 1st race in Big Sur!

When: April 29, 2012

Where: Big Sur, CA 


Run to celebrate Lazarex patient Ben Doherty - "As I said when I first started the leukemia treatment, this is a triathlon. The cycling portion of my triathlon began with the bone marrow transplant. Cycling is the longest portion of the triathlon, both in distance and time and there is always a time of adjustment before you get into your cadence and become smooth on the bike. Over the past several weeks, I have had some difficulties getting into my rhythm. I will put my head down and keep pedaling until I get into my groove."


To register contact Jenny Walls  or go to: TFL Big Sur Int'l Marathon


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!