Posts Tagged ‘cancer’

This Is Why We Ride

March 6, 2017

 

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Last weekend marked my eighth ride for Cycle for Survival. I have been a commited supporter, ever since the founder, Jennifer Goodman Linn encouraged me to get involved many years ago.

We met in my office at the company where she was newly employed, and making the rounds of meet and greets company executives. During her rotation with me, as we were getting to know one another, she mentioned her passion for cycling, that her hair was a wig, and that every Friday afternoon, she went for her weekly “spa treatments,” as she referred to her chemo regimen. I’m not sure of much else, but I think she had me at wig. I was impressed at how open and honest about her illness she was, and how she never let it hold her back. Jen was an inspiration to all that came in contact with her. During her long battle with a rare form of sarcoma, she never wavered in her enthusiasm for life, and helping others like herself find a cure for this deadly disease. Through that love of cycling, and immense gratitude to her doctors and staff at Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Center, she started a charity ride at Equinox, to raise money for her cause. Who ever would have imagined that years later, that spin class would turn into more than 31,000 people riding at Equinox locations all across the country and raising more than  $132,000,000 to date? I vowed to ride until I could no longer move my legs, or we found a cure and didn’t need to. I was committed, and passionate about the cause and that passion was contagious.

This year however, something changed. It became increasingly more difficult to fill my team roster. My team of 16 dwindled to 4. Solicating donations was tougher than prior years. As a result of all this, even the event itself left me feeling a little disconnected. The current political climate certainly affected things, and people are spread very thin right now when it comes to rallying for causes and shelling out money for support. I get that. But I think some of the longtime participants may have a little “event fatigue.” It occurred to me, after I got home and thought about it, that it was no longer about Jen. Even after she passed away, she was still a presence at the events. From sharing her 40th birthday dance video, to her parents running around in satin robes with boxing gloves, fighting cancer in their own way, to Sloane Kettering naming a research lab in her honor, Jen was always still there in spirit. But this year, she wasn’t.

Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled to see how big this event has become, and the goal was always to raise as much money as possible. But I missed the human factor that made it so special. I started to question if it was time to let the next wave take over.  That is, until an email came into my inbox. It was from a women named Heather Von St. James, and she was celebrating her 11th year of survival from a deadly form of cancer called mesothelioma that she discovered just 3 months after giving birth to her daughter.  Today, I finally had enough time to explore her blog and read her story, and it is an uplifting one.  Given just 15 months to live, Heather traveled to Boston to undergo what was then, a groundbreaking surgical proceedure, followed by subsequent rounds of chemo and radiation therapy that would hopefully increase her chances of living another 10 years. Defying all odds, she is still healthy 11 years later, and is using her experience to spread awareness and help others fighting this disease.

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She approached me to use this space to help her bring awareness to mesothelioma, and it’s treatment. Her blog tells her story in a way that I never could, outlining her struggles, her fear and her triumphant road to recovery. While I was reading, wiping away tears, it hit me. This is why we ride. Not for Jen, but for the many, many Jens out there, who fight the battle against cancer every day and win. For the Heathers, the family, friends and co-workers who get diagnosed every day and need the support and treatment that isn’t always readily available to them. We ride to find a cure, or at the very least a protocol that can extend one’s life. It’s not about any one person. It is about coming together to fight a demon that affects us all.

Unlike our political state right now, cancer does not discriminate. It doesn’t care about race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. It doesn’t care if  you are a Democrat, or a Republican. And it needs to be stopped. When you or a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, there are no alternative facts. It is a life or death issue that we need rally around.

If you would like to donate to Cycle for Survival or Heather Von St. James’ Lung Leavin’ Day Fundraiser please click on the links. If you’d like to learn more about mesothelioma and the dangers of asbestos exposure read here.

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A Magic Pill For Getting Your Greens

June 8, 2016

 

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We all know that we should be eating more vegetables. In fact, 75% of all Americans only eat one or two servings of vegetables per day, versus the recommended 5-13 servings. Of those one or two servings of vegetables  that are being eaten, almost half are in the form of chips or french fries.

Many health advocates hopped on the smoothie and juice wagon, drinking much of thier recommended amount for breakfast each day. However, many of those green juices contain four times the amount of sugar the World Health Organization recommends consuming in any given day. While drinking your vegetables is certainly an easier fix than chowing through bunches of kale, and stalks of broccoli, there is now an even more streamlined way to get your greens.

A new product called 8G is a fizzy tablet that you drop into water, which provides you with 8 different types of greens, all in one simple dose.

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The brain child of Dawn Russell, a former model, and current British royal, was developed after her battle with stage three cancer several years ago. Russell traveled the world seeking alternative cures when a bone infection prevented her from under going traditional chemotherapy. While many turned out to be more harm than good, she discovered that the more greens she consumed, the stronger she became.

Russell is not touting greens as a cure for cancer; she had several surgeries and other treatments as well. She does believe that eating healthy greens contributed to saving her life.

8G is comprised of 8 different greens, including spinach, wheat grass, blue green algae, kale, spirulina, aloe vera, chlorella and barley grass, which are purported to detoxify, oxygenate, and alkalize the body. It contains vitamins C, and B3, B5, B6 and B12, zinc and niacin. 8G is free of wheat, gluten, sugars, dairy, allergens, salt and preservatives. Each tablet contains only 9 calories, and is portable enough to keep in your handbag to drink anywhere that water is available.

After years of development, testing and tasting, not only has Russell hit on a formula that is palatable, she has also gotten the cost down from $100 to just $12.50 per vial of 10 tablets.

The Penninsula Hotel Group and Nordstrom are among those who have embraced the product, and expansion plans already underway.

You can try it yourself, by ordering through the 8G website.

Photos: Courtesy of 8G

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Give Back, Pay it Forward

December 2, 2015

This holiday season, and throughout the year, we like to participate in various charitable initiatives. Here a few ways we give back to our community and pay it forward, to help others:

This week, we are excited and honored ( did you take a look at that list of  sponsors.. meep!) to be baking for a pop up shop in the Union Square Holiday Market to benefit the High School of Food and Finance. Stop by to get a sweet treat from some of New York’s best bakers, (and moi!) to help the next wave of culinary entrepreneurs!

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We are riding in Cycle for Survival again, for the 7th consecutive year this March. Every dollar raised goes directly to Memorial Sloane Kettering Hospital’s research labs, and their work has already saved lives across the globe. We still have a few spots on our team available, if you would like to ride, and we would be most appreciative of your donations. You can make a gift in someone’s honor, which in our opinion is the ultimate holiday present. It is fun and memorable event that truly changes the lives of cancer patients and their families. Click the link to above to get to our team page, and message me if you would like to ride with us. 158883101.custom

Our family friend and former pediatrition Dr. Jane Aronson is doing amazing things for children internationally. Her charity, Worldwide Orphan’s Foundation, strives to transform the lives of orphaned children and help them become healthy, independent, productive members of their communities and the world. From building hospitals in remote areas, to providing them with exposure to the arts, to building a team of “orphan rangers ” to spend quality time with these childen, the work she does it priceless. Click the link to learn more and support her work.

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Lastly, we are thrilled to be a contributor to Mogul, an information sharing website that unites women across the world. In addition to interesting stories on a vast array of subjects, Mogul offers a series of online courses. For each one you enroll in, the entire set of courses goes to a girl in need. The subjects range from Entrepreneurship, Finance and Career Development, to Beauty, Fitness and Travel. Check out a course, and give the gift of education to a girl who might not have the opportunity otherwise.

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There are so many other worthy causes, we couldn’t begin to list here. Whatever you passion is, we encourage you to support it through your time, or your financial contributions.

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Everything Is NOT Better With Bacon

October 27, 2015

 

4093601285_compThe World Health Organization has officially classified processed meats, such bacon, ham and hot dogs as carcinogenic to humans. They also state that other forms of red meat probably are too. No sugar coating, no beating around the bush, just a clear, concise statement that the consumption of these products could, in fact be deadly.

The group cited sufficient evidence that consumption of processed meats can lead to colorectal and stomach cancers. Eating red meat in general has been associated with pancreatic and prostate cancers.

The average American consumes what is now known to be extremely dangerous quantities of meat, as do other cultures. The release of this information, if the warnings are heeded, could lead to a significant decrease in cancer cases annually.

I personally am not a meat eater, but I will certainly be cutting back the amount of meat my family eats, starting today. Will you?

Photo: Glasshouse Images

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A Spoonful of Honey Helps The Vinegar Go Down

July 28, 2015

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There has been a lot of buzz about apple cider vinegar and the health benefits associated with it. Studies have shown that consuming just a few tablespoons of the unfiltered, organic variety, can help regulate blood sugar, aid in weight loss, and promote better digestion.

In a Japanese study, subjects who drank water infused with apple cider vinegar lost 1 to 2 pounds more than their counterparts who consumed plain water. It is said to help stimulate the genes to break down fat. While one or two pounds aren’t exactly earth shattering, it is not a bad side effect.

Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial properties that can break down plaque, and fight bad breath, as well as sore throats.

ACV is a fermented food, which has been shown to encourage the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut, facilitating better digestion.

It is also shown to keep blood sugar levels in check, and contains polyphenols, which have been linked to possibly reducing cancer risk.

Drinking apple cider vinegar is not the most palatable, and taking it straight up may burn your esophagus, and damage tooth enamel. It is best to mix a tablespoon or two into a full glass of water, and add a little honey or a dash of fruit juice to sweeten it a bit. It can also be added to your morning smoothie.

It may not be a magic pill, but it can’t hurt to try it!

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Over Exposure

April 8, 2015

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We all know about the health risks associated with BPA ( Bisphenol A ) which is thought to potentially cause cancer, endocrine disorders and cardiovascular issues. Exposure to BPA during the second trimester of pregnancy could negatively impact brain development and hormone levels of fetuses.

The chemical is found in hard plastics, such as those used for water bottles, paper reciepts and the lining of many cans. Due to its toxicity, scientists have scrambled to find a replacement.
The new chemical, BPS, is currently being scrutinized and there is concern that it could be even more hazardous to our health than its predecessor. Not only is it thought to have similar negative effects on our bodies, it also stays around longer, due to its strengthened resistance to environmental degradation. Researchers currently estimate that 88% of the population has traces of BPS in their urine.

While we live in a chemically treated society and it is impossible to completely avoid exposure to these chemicals, there are some steps we can take to cut down the amount of exposure we incur.

Ditch the plastic containers. Opt for reusable glass versions for food storage, and metal or glass bottles for water.

If you must use plastic containers, never microwave food in them, or put them in the dishwasher. The change in temperature releases the harmful gasses. Never leave plastic water bottles in the sun. Transfer food to glass or ceramic dishes to reheat.

Wash your hands after handling register reciepts, or accept the paperless option where available.

Purchase milk, juice and other liquids in glass jars or paper cartons. Where possible, opt for tetra packed items, instead of cans. Tomatoes are especially acidic, and cause the chemicals in the lining of the cans to leach into the foods. If you must use cans, try to find those labeled BPA free.

While all of these options can be more costly, it is a small price to pay to lower your risk for deadly diseases.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Join Us!

February 25, 2015

Tonight, we are hosting a very special event on behalf of Cycle for Survival. Please join us to enjoy great performances, wonderful food and drinks, win amazing raffle prizes and more importantly, help us raise money for research and clinical trials to fight rare forms of cancer. Every dollar raised will be matched, and all funds go directly into global lifesaving research at Memorial Sloane Kettering Hospital. All of us have been touched by cancer in some way, and we all know how devastating this disease can be. Help us imagine a world where it can be cured, or even eradicated.

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If you can’t make it tonight, but would like to join the battle against rare cancers, please go the website:

http://mskcc.convio.net/site/TR/CycleforSurvival/AG_Cycle_Event?px=1218161&pg=personal&fr_id=2340

Obesity and Cancer

January 14, 2015

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Look out tobacco, there is a new risk in town. Yes, something else is running so rampant in our society, that it is about to replace tobacco use as the leading cause of cancer.

According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, obesity is poised to overtake tobacco as the number one modifiable factor in cancer risk.

While most everyone is aware of the link between smoking and lung cancer, very few know about the connection between cancer and being over wieght.

Tobacco use has dropped over the years, largely due to the restrictions on it’s use throughout the United States, and many other countries. The obesity rate, however continues to grow. According to Dr. Clifford Hudis, a physician at Memorial Sloane Kettering and a former president of the ASCO, current projections state that 60% of all  residents of southern states will be obese by 2030.

While more research needs to be done, cancer risk is just another reason to maintain a healthy weight. Adjusting one’s diet is a key factor in overall good health and may contribute to warding off cancer, in addition to hypertension, diabetes and arthritis.

To help support life saving research and clinical trials, please consider contributing to our Cycle for Survival team. Every dollar raised goes to help fund this valuable work. This week, every donation will be matched, doubling your impact.

http://mskcc.convio.net/site/TR/CycleforSurvival/AG_Cycle_Event?px=1218161&pg=personal&fr_id=2340

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Giving Tuesday

December 2, 2014

Black Friday, Cyber Monday. Stores open on Thanksgiving Day. Midnight Madness. We are bombarded with consumerism. Did you really need that *(insert random useless object here)?

Today, take a step back, and partake in another way to celebrate the season; Giving Tuesday.

Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving back to those in need. Channeling the spirit of generosity, please make a donation to the charity of your choice. Whether donating food, clothing, or money, this day is a chance to have a positive effect on the world we live in.

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We support Cycle for Survival, an organization which raises funds for Memorial Sloane Kettering Hospital. One hundred percent of all money raised goes directly into the research and development of life saving protocols, to help find a cure for rare cancers. Please consider supporting our team, as join the battle against this deadly disease.

You can donate here.

If you would like to join our team to support Cycle for Survival, please email us at indigojonesnyc@gmail.com

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Risky Business

October 10, 2014

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There is a new study out which shows the startling correlation between an increase in waist size, and breast cancer risk.
It’s pretty common for our waistlines to expand a bit as we age. Now there is a new, and very compelling reason to battle that bulge!

The British Medical Journal reports that going up just one skirt size every 10 years between the ages of 20-60, can result in a 33% increase in post-menopausal breast cancer risk. A two-size per decade growth spurt equated to a 77% increase in risk.

Research suggests that excess body weight, especially in the midsection, can spur cancer development. Midsection fat triggers estrogen development and inflammation, both of which could be factors in the elevated cancer rates. It is also thought that belly fat is more metabolically active than fat tissue in other parts of the body, therefore promoting the spread of cancer cells.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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