The WINGS OF HOPE 6th Annual “Evening of Hope & Inspiration” was held November 17th with the largest crowd to date in attendance. The event was held at the Anschutz Medical Campus and included a silent auction, food and drinks and live auction.
Pancreatic cancer survivor Pam Hafemann opened the evening with her inspiring words of hope as she relayed her incredible journey of being diagnosed, subsequent surgery, treatments and now cancer free.
Nancy Spillane, K-12 Educator, introduced WINGS OF HOPE founder Maureen Shul, who shared the reasons behind her starting the nonprofit foundation in 2012, and the new grant process implemented by WINGS OF HOPE. A video followed highlighting the three teams of researchers and physicians who earlier this year were each awarded a $50,000.00 WINGS OF HOPE grant specifically for pancreatic cancer research.
Dr. Karyn Goodman introduced the three grant recipient teams, who gave a brief synopsis of their projects that WINGS OF HOPE selected to support and help fund.
Auctioneer Gary Corbett conducted the live auction portion, with Dr. Tom Purcell adding a few words on the critical need and importance of philanthropic organizations such as WINGS OF HOPE when it comes to keeping the research moving forward.
Featured speaker of the evening was Sean Swarner, who shared his amazing story of twice being diagnosed with near fatal cancers while in his teens, only to amaze everyone by not only surviving, but going on years later to be the first cancer survivor to summit Mt. Everest – with one functioning lung! His breathtaking photos of his journey to the top of the world’s highest peak was surpassed only by his message of hope and never giving up.
Special thanks to the WINGS OF HOPE volunteers, the special friends who generously donated items to the auction, and to everyone attending whose kind generosity made this such a special and successful evening. All proceeds from the event go directly to pancreatic cancer research at the University of Colorado Cancer Center – Anschutz Medical Campus.
“As inspiring as all the speakers were,” stated WINGS OF HOPE founder Maureen Shul, “what made this evening something very special were the people who attended, all with their own reasons for being there and all with such a genuine support for this effort and a generosity that surpassed all expectations. We are grateful beyond words.”
Special thanks to the event sponsors:
The Buffington Family, Aircraft Performance Group, The Comerford Family, Centennial Airport, David Yurman of Cherry Creek, Imhoff Ohlson Family Fund, The Canyons and The Shul Family.
Judy Kleiner, Maureen Shul, Rick Kleiner, Connie and Joe Via
Dan Theodorescu (CU Cancer Center Director),Maureen Shul (founder, WINGS OF HOPE), Linda Michow (Michow, Cox & McAskin), and Dan LaBarbera (WINGS OF HOPE grant recipient)
Painting by pancreatic cancer survivor Arturo Garcia on
display in the silent auction
Stacy Ohlsson, Maureen Shul and Kim Hoffman
Maureen Shul, Sean Swarner, Jerry Sinning (CU Foundation) and Allison Krebs (CU Foundation)
Maureen Shul, three fantastic WINGS OF HOPE volunteers, and Chip Coppola
Dr. Wells Messersmith, WINGS OF HOPE grant recipient
Dr. Dan LaBarbera, WINGS OF HOPE grant recipient
Artist Arturo Garcia
Nancy Spillane and Maureen Shul
Jack Baker, Maureen Shul and Gayle Baker
Debbie Coppola and Carol Ciluffo
Maureen Shul, Sherri Sturm and Brenda Butler
Former Littleton mayor Phil Cernanec viewing Eyvind Earle artwork
Featured speaker Sean Swarner bids on an auction item
Maureen Shul, Dr. Tom Purcell and Sean Swarner
Event guests from California, Connie Via, Maureen Shul
and Joe Via
Sean Swarner and Maureen Shul
Dr. Karyn Goodman
Dr. Joaquin Espinosa, WINGS OF HOPE grant recipient
Featured speaker Sean Swarner
WINGS OF HOPE was proud to be recognized at the official unveiling of the Benefactor Wall on the campus of the University of Colorado Cancer Center with a plaque signifying the foundation’s contribution to pancreatic cancer research. Hosted by Chancellor Donald Elliman, the special evening event celebrated the generosity of many benefactors to the ongoing work and research at the CU Cancer Center.
“This special plaque represents and is entirely due to every single person that has supported, donated and given to the efforts of WINGS OF HOPE, and with all my heart I thank each and every one of you,” stated WINGS OF HOPE founder Maureen Shul.
WINGS OF HOPE is proud to be a partner and participant in the annual Shane Lee Memorial Golf Tournament played at Marianna Butte Golf Course in Loveland, Colorado. Held in memory of Shane Lee, an employee and beloved friend to many at Noble Energy, this year's tournament was another sold out event on what turned out to be a gorgeous, sunny Colorado morning. All proceeds from the event go to WINGS OF HOPE to raise awareness and funding for pancreatic cancer research at the University of Colorado Cancer Center. This was the 6th year the event has been held.
Under the most beautiful, cloudless Colorado sky, 100 golfers set out early at Golf Club at Bear Dance in Larkspur for the 3rd Annual Kingsbury Open, all to raise awareness and funding for pancreatic cancer research. Hosted by Washington Park Chiropractic and founded by Lisa Kingsbury Goodman in memory of her father, Thomas Kingsbury, whom she lost to pancreatic cancer, the Kingsbury Open has grown each year as more people become aware of the event, the cause and the purpose. In partnership with WINGS OF HOPE FOR PANCREATIC CANCER RESEARCH, all proceeds raised from the golf tournament go directly toward raising awareness and funding for pancreatic cancer research at the University of Colorado Cancer Center at Anschutz Medical Campus. To our wonderful friends at Washington Park Chiropractic, all those who played in the tournament, the generous sponsors and those who could not participate yet gave a donation, WINGS OF HOPE thanks you heart fully for your significant and generous support of this effort to fund pancreatic cancer research at the CU Cancer Center.
CU Advocates were invited to hear a special presentation from three of the top physicians involved in cancer treatment and care at the University of Colorado Cancer Center – Anschutz Medical Campus:
Dr. Karyn A. Goodman, Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, Associate Director of Clinical Research, UC Cancer Center, Anschutz Medical Campus
Dr. Lia Gore, Pediatric Cancer Therapeutics, Pediatric Oncology, Section Head-Pediatric Hematology/Oncology/BMT, Children’s Hospital, Colorado; faculty member of the School of Medicine, University of Colorado – Anschutz Medical Campus
Dr. Richard Schulick, Professor and Chair of Surgery, CU Department of Medicine, UC Cancer Center, Anschutz Medical Campus
Some of the highlights of the presentation:
Dr. Goodman provided a history of the evolution of radiotherapy, from when x-rays were first discovered in 1895, to the first cure by radiation therapy in 1899 to the present, showing steady advances in the ability to target treatment. Approximately 2/3 of all cancer patients receive radiation therapy, and in some cases that is all that is needed. Treatments are becoming more focused, resulting in less impact on healthy cells. Immunotherapy is sometimes used in combination with radiation, though not every patient responds favorably to immunotherapy.
Dr. Gore informed the attendees that childhood leukemia is the most common type of cancer in children. Forty years ago, the survival rate was very low for this type of cancer, but today, there is a 99% chance of being cured when caught early. The risk factors for this disease need to be better defined. There has been significant advancement in molecular technology. The challenge is being able to tell if a specific drug is helping a new patient (it is easier to tell if it is having an impact on an existing patient). There is a strong effort to move away from using the most damaging drugs in treatment.
Dr. Schulick, an oncology surgeon specializing in pancreas cancer, explained that cancer, simply put, occurs when cells do not divide properly and grow in areas where they shouldn’t. The causes of cancer can be broken into three categories:
In 2017, there will be 1,688,000 new cases of cancer diagnosed. Of this number, 600,000 will die (1,646 per day). One in four Americans die from cancer. Fifteen million Americans are alive today after being treated for cancer. When it comes to pancreas cancer, the survival rates are the lowest of all the major cancers, showing little improvement over the last 45 years, as this table shows:
|Type of Cancer||1975-1977||1987-1989||2005-2011|
The purpose of the pancreas is to secrete insulin into the blood to regulate glucose (sugar levels) and to make digestive enzymes. In 2017, 54,000 Americans will develop pancreatic cancer, and 43,000 will not survive beyond five years. By 2020, pancreatic cancer will be the 2nd cause of cancer deaths. The urgent need is for better understanding of genetic alterations, early detection blood test and more effective therapies.
The World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition, a global alliance formed to aggressively raise awareness and have an impact in the fight against pancreatic cancer, met in Montreal to continue raising global visibility of this disease with the ultimate goal being to improve outcomes for patients. More than 40 pancreatic cancer organizations representing over 20 countries attended the conference, where attendees were given the latest updates from members of the scientific and medical communities as well as pancreatic cancer survivors.
The World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition (WPCC) oversees World Pancreatic Cancer Day, observed around the globe each November during Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.
WINGS OF HOPE founder and CEO Maureen Shul, a member of the WPCC, stated, "To be able to meet with researchers, physicians and member organizations from around the world on the latest discoveries and efforts being made that will drive transformational change for those impacted by pancreatic cancer is an extraordinary opportunity."
Pancreatic cancer is the 7th most common cause of cancer-related deaths in men and women combined worldwide. Only 2 to 10 percent of those diagnosed survive 5 years. The goal of the WPCC is to have a unified effort on a global level in the fight against pancreatic cancer.
WINGS OF HOPE was honored to be part of the 10th Annual Donor Recognition Dinner for the University of Colorado - Anschutz Medical Campus held at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. The Seawell Grand Ballroom was the site for University of Colorado supporters gathered to celebrate the impact and advancements made through the generous investments and donations by so many. Every donation received by WINGS OF HOPE is part of this grand investment, specifically to fund pancreatic cancer research at the CU Cancer Center. "Every dollar received by WINGS OF HOPE goes directly to the pancreatic cancer research taking place at the CU Cancer Center - Anschutz Medical Campus, and we are grateful to each and every supporter of this effort," stated WINGS OF HOPE founder and CEO Maureen Shul.
On Sunday, March 5th, a sold out crowd at CycleBar in Littleton, Colorado gathered and cycled their hearts out to raise awareness and funding for pancreatic cancer research. The event was held in memory of Paul Ludwig, whose fight with pancreatic cancer ended in December 2016.
On what would have been Paul's 58th birthday, a crowd of family, friends, neighbors and cyclists put their energy in action to make a difference in the fight against pancreatic cancer. As WINGS OF HOPE founder Maureen Shul shared with the crowd, every dollar raised from the event matters greatly and goes directly to pancreatic cancer research at the University of Colorado Cancer Center.
WINGS OF HOPE is grateful for the partnership with PEDALING FOR PAUL, a non profit organization supporting pancreatic cancer research through an annual bike ride in Paul Ludwig's memory, and thanks everyone who participated in this special event.
My husband, Paul Ludwig, age 57, died December 22, 2016 after a 4 month battle with pancreatic cancer. Paul had an extensive physical every year and had a glowing bill of health, yet his pancreatic cancer was not detected until it had spread aggressively to his liver. Paul was told that his cancer could have been growing for as long as ten years. As soon as Paul was diagnosed, he eagerly started a clinical trial at the University of Colorado Cancer Center and responded very positively for the first two months.
Paul was my devoted husband, father to our son Kristopher, friend to many and adventurer extraordinaire. His enthusiastic love of life was contagious to all who met him.
Paul was a career professional in the energy industry and through the years worked for Conoco, Suncor, Linc Energy, and Carter Energy/World Fuel Services. He was a member of numerous industry organizations and was a dedicated volunteer for many groups, most notably Special Olympics Colorado and was inducted into their Hall of Fame. He earned several honors and awards, including the Martin Luther King Jr. Business Social Responsibility Award and the Urban League of Metropolitan Denver Chairman's Award.
Paul was a strong athlete who loved physical challenges. Over his life he climbed 28 of Colorado’s 14er's and rode Ride the Rockies, Triple Bypass and the Courage Classic multiple times. Paul went sky-diving in Hawaii while our son Kris videotaped the jump. Paul and I ran 6 marathons, hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and travelled the world.
Paul touched so many people with his magnetic personality, passion and love of life. He was kind, compassionate and was the consummate host. Paul loved a good party, and our house was often THE gathering place for the neighborhood, a holiday party, or just a small BBQ. Paul had an iron will that rarely failed him - he overcame many a challenge through sheer determination. His positive attitude and strong will to fight cancer continued until the day of his death.
The first Pedaling for Paul, an annual pancreatic cancer research fundraising bicycle ride, is planned for the spring/summer of 2017. Information can be found at www.pedalingforpaul.wordpress.com
- Stephanie Ludwig
To make a donation to WINGS OF HOPE FOR PANCREATIC CANCER RESEARCH in Paul's memory, click the donate button:
WINGS OF HOPE thanks Washington Park Chiropractic for their donation of $29,000 raised at last year's Kingsbury Open, an annual golf tournament held to raise awareness and funding for pancreatic cancer research at the University of Colorado Cancer Center. WINGS OF HOPE is proud to partner with Washington Park Chiropractic on the Kingsbury Open, a wildly successful event that sells out quickly.
Check presentation ceremony; from left: Dr. Colin Weekes, Dr. Wells Messersmith, Mark Kochevar, Maureen Shul, Kelsey Schwab, Dr. Jace Buzek, Dr. Lisa Goodman and Joe Goodman.
Dr. Colin Weekes giving Washington Park Chiropractic staff tour of research lab.
WINGS OF HOPE thanks David Yurman in Cherry Creek for their partnership in helping raise awareness and funding for pancreatic cancer research at the University of Colorado Cancer Center. David Yurman was one of the main sponsors of last June's WINGS OF HOPE event featuring teenage cancer researcher Jack Andraka, and in October held a private special event at their store in Cherry Creek to benefit WINGS OF HOPE. Special thanks to General Manager Tori Sailor, Josh Miller and the exemplary associates at David Yurman in Cherry Creek for their partnership and support of this effort.
WINGS OF HOPE is proud to offer these two books for sale by WINGS OF HOPE participants JACK ANDRAKA and ARTURO GARCIA
SUPPORT WINGS OF HOPE WITH PURCHASE OF
Arturo Garcia's Animal World - $10.00
Jack Andraka's Breakthrough - $15.00
Or both books for $20.00.
ARTURO GARCIA, local author, artist and pancreatic cancer survivor, brings his art to life in the most interactive form - a coloring book for adults and kids! $10.00
JACK ANDRAKA, speaker at WINGS OF HOPE 2016 event and teenage cancer researcher, describes his incredible journey to discovering the first early diagnostic test for pancreatic cancer! $15.00
Order both books. $20
To view October 22, 2011 WINGS OF HOPE event click here....
To view April 25th, 2013 WINGS OF HOPE event click here....
To view October 30th, 2014 WINGS OF HOPE event click here....
To view our many other past events click here....
JOIN THE EFFORT…BE A PART OF THE POSSIBLE, BE THE HOPE.