I have been blessed to receive much in my life: good teachers, good healers, good mentors, a wonderful extended family and friends, a supportive husband, two sons, a daughter-in-law, and grandsons I adore. I would never have survived my childhood abuse or my illnesses without extraordinary help of many kinds.
Waldenstrum's macroglobulinemia (WM) is a rare form of non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. It is an incurable, albeit indolent, cancer. I was first diagnosed in 2003 and relapsed in 2011. To everyone who has helped me survive, I am deeply appreciative. This includes Drs. Alan Rauch, Peter Green, Steve Treon, and David Seldin and the many nurses and support personnel in their offices. In addition to traditional treatments, I have received wonderful care from Deirdre Fay, Terry Keenan, Judith England, Gunilla Norris, Wendy Ball, Pat Tschannen, and many others who have helped me heal in more integrative ways.
Donating the entire purchase price of my book, Bearing Fruit, is one small thing I can do to express my appreciation for all that I have received and let others know what organizations have helped me.
Organizations Providing Research and Patient Support
Amyloidosis Center at Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center is recognized internationally as a leader in research on amyloidosis, and is a rich resource for information on amyloidosis for scientists, physicians, patients, and their families. As a result of the WM, I developed amyloidosis, a rare condition that can develop when the body loses its ability to break down the excess protein caused by the cancer cells in WM. I receive treatment at the Amyloid Center at the Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center. In addition to treating patients with amyloidosis, they do ground breaking research. Some of the funds will be donated to support their research efforts.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: The Bing Center for Waldenström's Macroglobulinemia provides care and new therapies through clinical trials to patients with Waldenström's macroglobulinemia and related Immunoglobulin M (IgM) disorders. Some of the funds will also go to the Bing Center for Waldenström's Macroglobulinemia at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute where I have received care since 2005. Dr. Steven Treon was my doctor for many years before leaving patient care to dedicate himself full time to research.
Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem is known for its ground breaking research as well as outstanding care provided to everyone who lives in Israel, regardless of whether they are Jewish. Some of the funds will go to support the efforts at Hadassah Medical Center for its research efforts.
International Waldenström's Macroglobulinemia Foundation offers educational information and caring support to Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia (WM) patients as well as funds research toward better treatment therapies and search for a cure. I have been blessed to have wonderful support from the International Waldenstrum's Macroglobulinemia Foundation (IWMF) which provides research funds and patient support for those with WM. It is a terrific organization which provided me with access to the leading experts in the field, support and education.
New York Oncology Hematology (NYOH) in Latham, New York is where I have been treated by Dr. Alan Rauch since my diagnosis in 2003. He has overseen all my treatments and coordinates my care. NYOH has a foundation which assists patients who cannot afford their cancer care and some of the funds will go to support that mission.
Organizations Providing Expressive Arts Therapy
I could not survive on medicine alone. My spirit needed creative outlets, including writing and art, as well as the company of open hearted people who were going through their own challenges. Organizations such as the Institute for Poetic Medicine and Creative Healing Connections, which provide expressive arts therapy, will also receive funds.
Creative Healing Connections offers a unique blend of therapeutic arts and self-expression activities to adults and children to promote healing and growth.
The Institute for Poetic Medicine is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to healing body, mind and spirit through the creative and therapeutic process of hearing and writing poetry. It offers public workshops, retreats and professional programs for groups and individuals in therapeutic, healing, medical, teaching and pastoral professions, as well as for individuals living with life altering illnesses.
Organizations Addressing Issues Related to Childhood Abuse
I kept silent about the incest I experienced as a young girl. I never told my mother. Nor did I go to my rabbi or my teachers for help. While things have changed since I was a young girl, and we have become more open about incest and other forms of childhood sexual abuse, it is still rampant and not enough is being done to help children in need. Some of the funds will go to Stop the Silence as well as other organizations that assist children who have endured abuse.
ECPAT-USA (End Child Prostitution, Abuses and Trafficking) is the leading anti-trafficking policy organization in the United States. ECPAT-USA belongs to an international network of organizations in 73 countries, all working to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children.