Mr. Dravecky was first thrust into the public spotlight in the late 1980s when his career as a major league baseball pitcher, a “southpaw” for the San Francisco Giants, took off. Shortly after realizing his lifelong dream, he was diagnosed with a soft tissue cancer in the deltoid muscle of his pitching arm. The next years were a whirlwind of surgery, radiation, pain and depression, all in the public eye. Eventually, his arm was amputated to stop the spread of the cancer and save his life. Through it all, his faith was a great source of strength. In 1991, he and wife Jan founded Endurance, a ministry offering comfort, encouragement and hope to those going through difficult journeys.
A self-described “kitchen boy,” Mr. Rueffert grew up in the family business — the Woodbridge Inn in Jasper, Georgia. In July 2005, the day before his 33rd birthday and just two weeks after taping the finale of the “Next Food Network Star,” in which he placed third, he was diagnosed with stage III gastric (stomach) cancer. Half his stomach and half his esophagus were removed. Though he remains cancer-free, health complications recently necessitated the removal of the remaining portion of his stomach in a procedure called a gastrectomy.
He has written a cookbook, “Eat Like There’s No Tomorrow,” and continues to run the Woodbridge Inn with his wife Amy, host culinary tours and teach wellness classes at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta.
Ms. Padilla was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, where she studied music, acting and dance. While in college, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and underwent several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. Told she might never sing again because the radiation could harm her vocal chords, she refused to give up her dreams. After traveling to MD Anderson for a consultation with doctors, she auditioned for the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston. Awarded a full scholarship, she completed the master's program while battling cancer. She was in treatment for several years, but her faith, family and friends helped her through those difficult times. Now in remission, she lives in Texas with her husband and young daughter.
A two-time cancer survivor, Mr. Swarner overcame his stage IV Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis at 13 years old and Askin’s sarcoma three years later. He has used his experiences to help others touched by cancer. In 2002, he became the first cancer survivor to reach the summit of Mount Everest — the world’s tallest mountain. He then established the CancerClimber Association, which brings mobile camps to cancer survivors in hospitals around the world. He and his association show people diagnosed with cancer that it’s possible to defy the odds. When he’s not training for his next big adventure, he continues to inspire people around the world through his personal accounts in his book, “Keep Climbing: How I Beat Cancer and Reached the Top of the World,” and through charitable speaking engagements.
Banu Arun, M.D.
Dr. Arun is an associate professor in the departments of Breast Medical Oncology and Clinical Care Prevention at MD Anderson, where she is also co-medical director of the Clinical Care Genetics Program. Her research interests include identifying risk markers for breast cancer in breast tissue and serum/blood, evaluating potential breast cancer prevention agents and characterizing breast cancers in individuals with or without the BRCA mutation.
Gildy Babiera, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Dr. Babiera is an associate professor in the Department of Surgical Oncology at MD Anderson. Her clinical interest involves the surgical treatment of breast cancer patients. She is a principal and co-principal investigator on multiple nationwide Phase II and III studies. In addition, she has collaborated on several National Institutes of Health- and MD Anderson-funded studies.
Dave Balachandran, M.D.
Dr. Balachandran is an associate professor in the Department of Pulmonary Medicine and director of the Sleep Center at MD Anderson. His clinical and research work focuses on the treatment of pulmonary and sleep disorders in cancer patients. In 2006, he established MD Anderson’s Sleep Center, the first sleep center in a comprehensive cancer center.
Robert Bast Jr., M.D.
Dr. Bast is the vice president for translational research at MD Anderson. He and his team guide the translation of new strategies, drugs and devices from the laboratory to the clinic, as well as the results of clinical practice from the clinic to the laboratory. Best known for developing the OC125 monoclonal antibody that led to the production of the CA-125 radioimmunoassay, Dr. Bast has led MD Anderson’s SPORE in ovarian cancer since 1999.
Elizabeth Bloom, M.D.
Dr. Bloom is an associate professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology and practices at the MD Anderson Regional Care Center in Katy. She leads the development of the accelerated partial breast brachytherapy program at the institution’s main campus and its regional care centers.
Maureen Brunetti, R.N., B.S.N.
For more than 20 years, Ms. Brunetti has taught ballroom, swing and Latin dance styles at SSQQ Dance Studio in Houston.
Candi Caporal was in graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin and had been married just a week when she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. During treatment, Candi was frustrated by the lack of community resources for young adults with cancer. She founded the Caporal Assistance Network (CAN), an organization that provides emotional and financial assistance to young adults living with cancer.
Alejandro Chaoul, Ph.D.
Alejandro Chaoul es profesor adjunto en el Programa de Medicina Integrativa en MD Anderson, y docente en el McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics en la Escuela de Medicina de la Universidad de Texas en Houston. Desde 1999 ha enseñado Meditación Tibetana en MD Anderson y también conduce investigaciones científicas sobre las técnicas meditativas Tibetanas y su beneficio para personas con cáncer.
El Dr. Chaoul tambien es director del Ligmincha Texas Institute for the Tibetan Meditative & Healing Arts.
Lorenzo Cohen, Ph.D.
Dr. Cohen is a professor and director of the Integrative Medicine Program at MD Anderson. He is conducting a number of NIH-funded randomized controlled clinical trials examining integrative therapies (meditation, stress management, emotional writing, yoga, tai chi/qigong and acupuncture) aimed at reducing the negative aspects of cancer treatment and improving quality of life.
Ms. Cosgrove received a bachelor’s degree in art history from The University of Texas at Austin and owned and operated Texas’ first paint-your-own-pottery store in Austin. She paints pottery for MD Anderson’s Children’s Art Project and Sprint for Life, as well as other corporate and nonprofit organizations. Since 2004, she’s taught expressive arts classes for the Integrative Medicine Program at MD Anderson.
James D. Cox, M.D.
Dr. Cox is a professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at MD Anderson. His clinical interests and expertise focus on lung cancer, esophageal cancer, thymoma, integration of radiation therapy and chemotherapy. He received his medical degree from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.
Melissa Ann Crosby, M.D.
Dr. Crosby is an associate professor in the Department of Plastic Surgery at MD Anderson. She specializes in complex microsurgical reconstructive surgery in cancer patients, with a directed focus in breast reconstruction. Her research interests are directed at improving outcomes in reconstructive surgery for breast cancer patients, including surgical treatments for lymphedema. She has authored numerous abstracts, book chapters and articles in peer-reviewed journals and is actively involved in educating the public on breast reconstructive options.
Larry Driver, M.D.
Dr. Driver is a professor in the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine and ad interim chair of the Cancer Pain Service. He received his medical degree from and performed his internship at The University of Texas Medical School in San Antonio. His clinical interests and expertise include cancer pain and symptom management, palliative care and clinical bioethical issues of pain treatment and palliative care.
Raymond DuBois, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. DuBois is provost and executive vice president of MD Anderson. He is also a professor of cancer biology and cancer medicine at the institution. He obtained his medical degree from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. His research goals are to advance the understanding, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of colorectal cancer. His lab was among the first to recognize that cyclooxygenase (COX) plays a key role in the formation of adenomatous polyps and colorectal cancer and to appreciate that prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) exhibits most of the cancer-promoting activity of the PGs. These exciting discoveries led to successful clinical translational studies applying the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in the treatment of high-risk colorectal cancer patients.
Jacqueline Garza, M.S.W., L.M.S.W.
Jacqueline Garza es una consejera de trabajo social en MD Anderson. Ella suministra servicios clínicos a los pacientes diagnosticados con cáncer de los senos y sus familias. Ella obtuvo su maestría en la Universidad de Texas en Austin en la Escuela de Trabajo Social en el 2009. Su experiencia adicional incluye el reasentamiento de los refugiados, los cuidados paliativos y servicios sociales para personas con VIH/ SIDA.
Marsha Hakim, M.S., R.D., L.D.
Ms. Hakim earned a bachelor’s degree in Nutritional Sciences from Texas Christian University and a master’s degree in Nutritional Sciences from Florida International University. A licensed and registered dietitian, she works in the Nellie B. Connally Breast Center.
María Hernández-Valero, Ph.D., M.A., Dr.P.H.
La Dra. Hernández-Valero es miembro de la facultad de Investigación de Disparidades de la Salud, en la División de Prevención de Cáncer y Ciencias de Población, de La Universidad de Texas MD Anderson Centro de Cáncer. Su carrera de investigación ha sido dedicada al conducto de disparidades de la salud concentrándose en poblaciones minoritarias que están en peligro de contraer enfermedades crónicas debido a predisposiciones genéticas o a factores causados por del medio ambiente (exposiciones químicas, obesidad).
Mary Hughes, M.S., B.S.
Ms. Hughes earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas Woman’s University. She is on the clinical faculty at Texas Woman’s University Houston Center and The University of Texas Houston School of Nursing. She has been a clinical nurse specialist in the Department of Psychiatry at MD Anderson since 1990. She lectures nationally and internationally about quality-of-life issues for cancer patients and has published articles on these subjects.
Ruth Katz, M.D.
Dr. Katz has been a professor in MD Anderson’s Department of Pathology for 33 years. She is a cytopathologist in the Breast Diagnostic Center. Her clinical interests and expertise include fine-needle aspiration of all body sites. She received her medical degree from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Kevin Kim, M.D.
Dr. Kim is an associate professor in MD Anderson’s Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology and co-director of the Melanoma and Skin Center. He also serves as co-director of the Melanoma Fellowship Program. His research interest is personalized cancer therapy for patients with advanced melanoma.
Ritsuko Komaki, M.D.
Dr. Komaki is a professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at MD Anderson. She is associate clinical medical director of the Thoracic Center and medical director of the Medical Dosimetry Program at The University of Texas School of Health Sciences. Her clinical interests and expertise include lung cancer, endobronchial brachytherapy, prophylactic cranial irradiation, thymoma, esophageal cancer, combined treatment and prognostic factors. She received her medical degree from Hiroshima University School of Medicine in Hiroshima, Japan.
Richard T. Lee, M.D.
Dr. Lee is an assistant professor and the medical director of the Integrative Medicine Program at MD Anderson. A graduate of George Washington University School of Medicine, he completed his internal medicine residency at Stanford University School of Medicine. He completed fellowships in clinical medical ethics, hematology/oncology and palliative medicine at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University. Then, through a Fulbright Scholarship, he obtained further training in traditional Chinese medicine, with an emphasis on acupuncture, in Taiwan. His clinical practice and research focus on improving integrative oncology approaches for cancer patients.
Ellen Manzullo, M.D.
Dr. Manzullo is a professor in the Department of General Internal Medicine. She is also the deputy department chair and chief of the section of General Internal Medicine. She regularly evaluates and treats patients with cancer-related fatigue in MD Anderson’s Cancer-Related Fatigue Clinic.
Funda Meric-Bernstam, M.D.
Dr. Meric-Bernstam is an associate professor in the Department of Surgical Oncology at MD Anderson. In the Breast Center, her clinical interests and expertise are breast conservation surgery, lymphatic mapping, skin-sparing mastectomy with immediate reconstruction and prophylactic mastectomy. She received her medical degree from Yale University School of Medicine.
Marisa Mir, B.A.
Marisa Mir received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin and is a program coordinator for the Anderson Network, a program of the Department of Volunteer Services at MD Anderson. An eight-year colon cancer survivor, she coordinates the Cancer180 program: a social networking support group for young adults in their 20s and 30s who have been affected by cancer.
P.K. Morrow, M.D.
A medical oncologist specializing in the treatment of breast cancer patients, Dr. Morrow is particularly interested in survivorship issues and supportive care in this population. She is the co-director of the Breast Cancer Survivorship Program in the Department of Breast Medical Oncology. She completed medical school at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, performed an internal medicine residency at Baylor College of Medicine and then a fellowship in hematology/medical oncology at MD Anderson.
Guadalupe Palos, Dr.P.H., L.M.S.W.
Dr. Palos is the clinical research manager in the Office of Cancer Survivorship at MD Anderson. Her research interests include the integration of longitudinal analysis into survivorship research and cancer survivorship issues as they relate to the patient (e.g., symptom clusters of severity and interference), long-term survivors and family caregivers (caregiver burden and effect of symptoms on physical and psychological health). As clinical research manager, she links clinicians/researchers with cancer survivors and their families to facilitate cancer survivorship care and research.
Kathie Rickman, Dr.P.H., M.S., R.N., C.N.S., L.C.D.C.
Ms. Rickman is a psychotherapist and addiction specialist in the Department of Psychiatry at MD Anderson. Her areas of interest include mental health, stress management, chemical coping and spirituality. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Boston College, a master’s degree in psychiatric/mental health nursing from The University of Texas School of Nursing in Houston and a doctorate in public health from The University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston. Before that, she was the director of a substance abuse treatment facility for adults with mental illness diagnoses and alcohol and drug problems. She was also a faculty member at The University of Texas School of Nursing in Houston for six years.
Ginasenda E. Rodriguez, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.
La señora Rodríguez se graduó con un máster en trabajo social en la Universidad de New York en 1997. Ella se mudó de New Jersey a Texas en el año 2005. Desde entonces se viene desempeñando como una de las consejeras del departamento de trabajo social en el MD Anderson. Ella provee terapia psicológica, servicios de apoyo y referidos comunitarios para los pacientes y sus familias. Ella ha trabajado con niños y adultos en los servicios internos o ambulatorios. Actualmente, ella esta asignada al departamento de servicios para pacientes internos de Medicina Interna General y Gastroenterología/Cirugía.
Sunil K. Sahai, M.D., F.A.A.P., F.A.C.P.
Dr. Sahai is an associate professor of medicine in the Department of General Internal Medicine. He attended medical school at The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and completed a combined residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at The University of Texas Medical School in Houston. After joining the faculty of emergency medicine there, he worked at the Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital and Memorial Hermann emergency centers. He is the medical director of the Internal Medicine PeriOperative Assessment Center.
Welela Tereffe, M.D.
Dr. Tereffe is a board-certified radiation oncologist specializing in the treatment of women with breast cancer. She received her medical degree from New York University and a master’s degree in public health from the Harvard School of Public Health. She completed a residency at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and has been a faculty member at MD Anderson since 2005.
Vicente Valero, M.D.
Mr. Valero es el director clínico del Morgan Welch Cáncer de Mama Inflamatorio Programa de Investigación y Clínica, vicepresidente del Departamento de Oncología Médica de Mama, el profesor en los departamentos de Oncología Médica de Mama y Oncología General, y profesor en el Universidad de Texas Medical School en Houston. Recibió su título de médico de la Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Facultad de Medicina en Monterrey, México, en 1980. El Dr. Valero cree que la educación de todos los aspectos del cáncer de mama y oncología médica con los médicos y otros profesionales de la salud, e informar al público acerca de esta enfermedad se puede traducir en una mejora de los resultados del paciente, incluyendo la calidad de vida, la supervivencia libre de enfermedad y supervivencia global de las mujeres con cáncer de mama inicial y avanzado, así como la prevención, detección temprana, y la mejora del tratamiento del cáncer de mama.
Lynn Waldmann, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.
Ms. Waldmann is a senior social work counselor at MD Anderson. Since 2000, she has provided clinical counseling services to patients and families in the Gastrointestinal Cancer Center, the Endocrine Center and the Thyroid Cancer Survivorship Clinic. She earned a master’s degree from the Hunter College School of Social Work in New York City. Her practice focuses on fostering patient independence and helping them embrace survivorship, and cope with life changes.
Matthew Zachary was a 21-year-old college senior when he was diagnosed with brain cancer and given a grim prognosis. Fifteen years later, he is the founder/CEO of the I'm Too Young For This! Cancer Foundation, the nation's largest support community for young adults affected by all cancers. Find out more at www.stupidcancer.com.
Fran Zandstra, B.S.N., M.B.A., R.N., O.C.N., C.N.A.A.-B.C.
A nursing leader with more than 30 years of diverse oncology experience in health care organizations, Ms. Zandstra is the director of the Cancer Survivorship Program at MD Anderson. She leads the institution-wide initiative to address the long-term clinical, psychological and social consequences of cancer and its treatment through integrated programming in patient care, education, research, prevention and education.
Donna S. Zhukovsky, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.A.H.P.M.
A graduate of McGill University School of Medicine, Dr. Zhukovsky is board-certified in internal medicine, medical oncology and hospice and palliative medicine. She is also a fellow of the American College of Physicians and American Academy of
Hospice and Palliative Medicine. A professor in the Department of Palliative Care and Rehabilitation Medicine at MD Anderson, she holds a joint appointment in the Department of Pediatrics. She maintains a strong focus on the provision of adult and pediatric clinical care, conducts research and promotes education in the field of palliative medicine, particularly as it pertains to pediatric palliative care and advance care planning.
2014 Anderson Network Cancer Survivorship Conference
More details to come!