When Donaldson Run resident Liz Lord learned that she had breast cancer in late 2016 and needed to receive chemotherapy, she had lots to worry about.
One thing that might not be a matter of life and death, but is a common concern: her hair.
“At the time, because I had a seven and a nine-year-old, I was really concerned about how [losing my hair] would affect their state of minds, knowing that I was now seriously ill,” Lord told ARLnow.
She reached out to one of her son’s teachers, who had gone through a similar experience and had managed to retain a lot of their hair. That teacher told her about cold caps.
Cold caps are freezing-cold, helmet-like gel caps worn on the head. They narrow blood vessels in the scalp, which helps reduce the amount of chemotherapy medicine that can reach the hair follicles.
While it’s proven to work and is FDA-approved, there are logistical challenges associated with the treatment. This includes needing help to put it on the patient’s head and the relatively high cost. If worn for every round of chemo, prices can soar to thousands of dollars.
While Lord was able to afford the treatment and her husband (communications professional and ARLnow cartoonist Mike Mount) was able to assist, not everyone has those privileges. Plus, cold caps are often not covered by health insurance.
That’s why, in 2018, Lord help start Cold Capital Fund, a local non-profit that helps patients secure and afford cold caps.
Losing one’s hair from chemo can be a traumatic experience, not just physically but mentally as well.
“The primary driver for most patients… is privacy, normalcy, and dignity,” said Lord.”There’s some research… that when you look like yourself and feel like yourself, you have better outcomes relative to treatment.”
The way Cold Capital Fund works is that patients apply for either $500 or $1,000 of assistance. Lord encourages everyone in need to apply. Cancer and treatments are very expensive, she said, plus adding in a number of ancillary costs can make patients think they can’t afford cold cap treatment.
While $500 or $1,000 doesn’t always cover the entire cost of the treatment, it can put a significant dent in it. Plus, Cold Capital Fund has a relationship with two cold cap manufacturers and notifies the companies when a patient is approved for assistance. In turn, the companies apply a 25% discount.
When all is said and done, many patients end up getting about half of their cold cap treatments paid for.
Over the last four years, Cold Capital Fund has provided approximately $105,000 of financial assistance to about 125 patients across the region. Mostly, they are breast cancer patients like Lord was.
Recently, the organization has seen a marked rise in applications.
Love Notes in Rosslyn — “In honor of Valentine’s Day, we created Rosslyn Love, a community-wide free activity where anyone in the DMV could submit a message to be displayed across four temporary murals outside of 1550 Wilson Boulevard in Rosslyn. Whether it was for a partner, a friend, coworker, family member, healthcare professional or even just a favorite spot around the neighborhood, we received over 400 messages of love and gratitude.” [Rosslyn BID]
Dems Keep Focus on Equity — “The Arlington County Democratic Committee in early March is expected to make its ad-hoc Inclusion and Equity Committee a permanent standing committee. The goal, deputy party chair Maggie Davis said, was to ‘do better including more people that look like the population of Arlington’ in Democratic Party activities.” [InsideNova]
Local GOP Surveying Members — “The Arlington County Republican Committee is in the midst of surveying its membership in hopes of making the party and its meetings more relevant to the rank-and-file and broader community. ‘Dozens of Arlington Republicans have already taken the time to complete this survey, and their responses are thoughtful and thorough,’ said Matthew Hurtt, the Arlington GOP’s communications director.” [InsideNova]
Police Investigate Sexual Battery in Arlington Mill — “The victim was walking in the area when she noticed the male suspect walking behind her. The suspect approached the victim, grabbed her waist and thrusted himself against her multiple times while making sexual comments. The victim continued walking and, as she approached her residence, the suspect re-approached her and brushed his hands against her breast. The victim was able to enter her residential building and close the door, preventing the suspect from following her inside.” [ACPD]
Air Force Vet Still Standing Up to Cancer — “‘Pat’ Malone, a seven-year cancer survivor, and 20-year Air Force veteran will ‘stand up to cancer’ for 24-hours straight, during his Seventh Annual Stand Up To Cancer® (SU2C) 24-Hour Fundraiser, beginning at 4:26 p.m. on Wednesday, February 10, and ending at 4:26 p.m. on Thursday, February 11, 2021, at Fire Works American Pizzeria & Bar, 2350 Clarendon Blvd.” [The Zebra]
A grieving mother in Arlington turned her pain into a passion of raising awareness for pediatric cancer while contributing to a fundraiser for research.
Michele Fleming lost her son, Nathan, to cancer a week after his 18th birthday last September.
“Nathan was unbelievably strong, never wanting to reveal his pain or be defined by his cancer. He remained positive and a joy to be around throughout his struggle,” Fleming said about her son’s battle with cancer. “Nathan’s resilience, compassion and fierce determination to fight and overcome, motivates me everyday to do what I can to help other kids and their families win their battle with Nathan by my side.”
Since losing Nathan, Fleming has partnered with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and 1,641 other fundraising teams to host the foundation’s “Million Mile” event that raises awareness and provides funds to researchers for pediatric cancer cures.
The collective goal for this month-long event is to log one-million miles from virtual races and raise $1 million for the organization’s childhood cancer research fund.al
“Turn awareness into action, by joining The Million Mile, the largest childhood cancer awareness challenge that funds researchers so they can find better treatments and more cures for kids battling cancer,” the website said.
“Nathan’s Cancer Slayers” is ranked #3 out of 1,641 teams, with a goal of contributing $50,000 to the foundation’s research fund, according to Fleming.
“We’ve recruited 169 members from Arlington to Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Illinois, California, North Dakota, and London to participate in ALSF’s Million Mile event,” said Fleming.
Although they have not quite hit their goal yet, Fleming said she is thrilled with the amount of support the team is receiving.
“So far, we’ve raised an amazing $44,789, which will fund 896 hours of critical research! We’re blown away by all the support and I know that Nathan is cheering us on” said Fleming.
Numerous local businesses have contributed to the fundraiser, despite the pandemic hurting the finances of many.
“Arlington’s Arrowine, Harris Teeter, Pastries by Randolph, Lyon Hall, Massage Envy, Pupatella, Cook Architecture, Andre Chreky Salon Spa, and Taqueria El Poblano,” have all donated gift certificates or directly to the fundraiser, Fleming said. The Starbucks at the Lee Heights Shopping Center and Capital Laser & Skin Care in Bethesda also donated, and Pie-Tanza is donating 10% of its sales every Tuesday during the month, she added.
“We’re overwhelmed by all the support from the community,” said Fleming.
Additional donations can be made all month long by joining Nathan’s team. The donations are being matched by Volvo from Sept. 24-27, according to Fleming.
Photos courtesy Michele Fleming, Michael Fleming and Lyle Kimms
Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. Monday Properties remains firmly committed to the health, safety and well-being of its employees, tenants and community. This week, Monday Properties is proudly featuring 1000 and 1100 Wilson (The Rosslyn Towers).
Elise Yanker Hasenei used to jog to her radiation treatment at the Virginia Hospital Center and back home. It became something of a community event, with friends and supporters taking to the street with her to encourage her. Now, Hasenei is making the trip to the Virginia Hospital Center to encourage others.
With the Virginia Hospital Center (VHC) seeing an increasing uptick in coronavirus patients, Hasenei’s startup GoLisey recently donated over a hundred brightly colored hospital gowns with brightly colored masks to help out.
Hasenei runs GoLisey, a “glam gown” company she started in 2015 after surviving breast cancer. The hospital gowns are brightly colored and aim to boost spirits, but are no less medically functional than the usual drab coverings.
The gowns can be worn in either direction, with access to the front or the back depending on the specific medical needs.
“Elise wanted to do something to help during this trying time in the healthcare industry, so she reached out to VHC to donate all of the gowns she currently had in stock, for men and women alike,” Hansenei’s niece, Megan Wrobel, said in an email. “She dropped four boxes of Glam Gowns to the donation center on Tuesday afternoon, which serendipitously ended up being located in the Oncology wing; an area she was, of course, familiar with.”
Hasenei said when she was going through cancer treatment, she always hated the gowns.
“I never felt depressed about cancer until radiation and I just had to put those ugly things on,” Hasenei said. “I can sow a little bit, so I started playing with the pattern and people started saying ‘that’s fabulous.’
After making a few, Hasenei started to get serious about the idea of making them on a larger scale. Hasenei put together a design with a pattern maker and started working with a factory in Brooklyn to produce the designs while she handled the business from her Arlington home. Since then, Hasenei has moved production to a facility in Fairfax County.
The gown business is a second job — her main career is coaching and consulting businesses — and Hasenei said the gown line was never intended to make her rich.
“Didn’t start the business to be a big moneymaker,” Hasenei said.”It’s really been about — one gown at a time — making a difference.”
When COVID-19 hit, Hasenei said her brother-in-law sent her a message about people in New York seeking gowns and masks. When it became apparent that hospitals nationwide were starting to run low on supplies, Hasenei decided to donate to the hospital where she’d received treatments.
Other local organizations, like Marymount Nursing School, have also donated items like gowns and masks to VHC.
“I reached out to contacts who put me in touch with the hospital,” Hasenei said. “I gave them everything I had. I was able to deliver those, and we’re waiting to see how they’re distributed.”
Now, Hasenei said the factory is “full tilt” making masks, which will be included in the next round of donations to VHC.
Photo courtesy GoLisey
A charity fund raising money for local cancer patients’ medical needs is hosting its 20th annual fundraising night in Arlington next month.
The Sharon McGowan Breast Health Fund is throwing their 20th annual benefit in Ballston on Sunday, April 7 from 5-7 p.m., at the Mercedes-Benz dealership on 585 N. Glebe Road. The event is is being hosted together with the Arlington County Medical Society Foundation.
The benefit will serve drinks and hors d’oeuvres and will feature music and door prizes. Attendees are encouraged to wear business casual — and show up wearing the color pink.
General Admission tickets for April’s charity night cost $85, with a $35 discount for people younger than 40. Those interested in attending can RSVP online.
Proceeds will go towards covering the cost of preventative breast cancer screening for uninsured Arlingtonians.
Event co-organizers include the Virginia Hospital Center, the Arlington Department of Human Services and Arlington Free Clinic.
The Sharon McGowan fund was created by the family of Sharon McGown, an Arlington mother of seven who died in 1997 of breast cancer. The fund organizes activities year-round from T-shirt sales to networking happy hours raising money for breast cancer prevention and treatments, including mammograms, sonograms, biopsies, medical devices and medications for people without insurance.
The donations have provided “1,500 mammograms, 200 comprehensive sonograms, and over 140 biopsies” over the last decade, per the fund’s website.
Photo via Flickr user Faye Mozingo
A group of Arlington high school seniors are now working to raise $50,000 to support blood cancer patients, in a bid to honor a friend who died from a rare form of leukemia a few years ago.
In all, nine students at the newly renamed Washington-Liberty High School are participating in the “Students of the Year” fundraising campaign run by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The girls are competing with other students across the region to see who can raise the most money to support the nonprofit’s mission, and the program includes leadership and professional development opportunities as well.
The students named their team after Juliana Clarkson, a 14-year-old student at Swanson Middle School who passed away due to complications from mixed-phenotype acute leukemia. Two of her best friends, Julia Elman and Grace Barnes, say they were inspired to start a “Cancer Education and Action Club” at W-L as freshmen in her memory, and they’re now leading the “Students of the Year” effort as well.
“This spring, Julia and Grace will be graduating… a momentous milestone that would have included Juliana,” the students wrote as part of their fundraising efforts. “Team Juliana fights to give child cancer patients the possibility to grow up and follow their dreams, something Juliana will never get to do.”
Elman and Barnes also helped organize fundraisers through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s “Light the Night Walks,” raising “tens of thousands of dollars for LLS while providing an avenue for friends and family to come together and honor Juliana each year,” they wrote.
Elman added that she’s also working to honor her grandmother, who passed away from chronic lymphocytic leukemia years ago. Elman’s mother, Janet, says her daughter is planning to attend Princeton University this fall — she added that Julia was also recently diagnosed with primary lymphedema, a disease affecting the lymphatic system which is treatable, but has no known cure.
The students have until March 2 to raise money for the cause. The Shirlington restaurant Palette 22 is holding a fundraiser to support the group on Monday (Jan. 28), and full details about how to contribute are available online.
Photo courtesy of Julia Elman and Grace Barnes courtesy of Janet Elman
Police Investigate Stabbing Near Alexandria Border — Updated at 2:45 p.m. — Arlington County Police are investigating a stabbing that happened last night at S. Arlington Ridge Road and S. Glebe Road. The incident, which started when the victim asked for help finding a ride, was initially believed to be a shooting, but was later determined to be “the result of a sharp weapon.” The victim was found with non-life threatening wounds just across the border in Alexandria. [Twitter, ACPD]
Major Redevelopment in Rosslyn — The Dittmar Co. has filed a preliminary site plan to redevelop the Holiday Inn hotel in Rosslyn, building 26- and 38-story towers housing 490 apartments and 327 hotel rooms. The proposal includes a 6,000 square foot event space on the top floor of the taller tower and the demolition of a skybridge crossing Fort Myer Drive. [Washington Business Journal]
Leonsis Says Build the Gondola — In a joint WaPo op-ed, Caps and Wizards owner Ted Leonsis, JBG Smith CEO Matt Kelly and former GOP Congressman Tom Davis say the proposed Georgetown-Rosslyn gondola would be a “forward-looking and innovative” investment in our transportation infrastructure. [Washington Post]
Local CEO Buys Rosslyn Buildings — “Affiliates belonging to Cogent Communications Holdings Inc. CEO Dave Schaeffer, one of the region’s highest-paid chief executives, have acquired a pair of Rosslyn office buildings (1550 and 1560 Wilson Blvd) recently renovated to include upgraded common-area space and a new boutique boxing-oriented fitness facility.” [Washington Business Journal]
Sheriff’s Office Raises Money for Prostate Cancer — The Arlington County Sheriff’s Office helped to raise money for prostate cancer treatment at Virginia Hospital Center during the month of November via its “Beards with a Badge initiative.” [Virginia Hospital Center, WJLA]
November Sets Weather Record — Last month was the wettest November on record for the Washington area. It was also the second-wettest meteorological fall on record for the area, according to the National Weather Service. [Twitter]
Police Searching for Missing Man Last Seen in Georgetown — Police are still looking for David Stern, a D.C. accountant last seen at Dixie Liquor on M Street in Georgetown. The 29-year-old, who is engaged to be married, hasn’t been seen since buying a bottle of Crown Royal at the store this past Tuesday. [Fox 5]
Photo courtesy @wwwchris
Arlington Losing Big Office Tenant — “BAE Systems Inc. is moving its headquarters to Falls Church as part of a consolidation of its Northern Virginia office space… The move will also further ding Arlington County’s office vacancy rate, which at the end of 2017 was 20.6 percent.” [Washington Business Journal]
Hazmat Situation at Kaiser Permanente — Arlington County firefighters responded to a hazardous materials incident at Kaiser Permanente in Falls Church yesterday. Five people were evaluated by medics and, of them, two were transported to the hospital. [WJLA, Twitter, Twitter]
Red Top Development Groundbreaking Nears — “The Shooshan Co. has teamed up with Trammell Crow Residential on the first phase of its planned Red Top Cab site redevelopment in Clarendon, with groundbreaking slated for early next year. The partners closed Sept. 29 on their acquisition from The Red Top Cab Co. founder Neal Nichols of several parcels along Irving and Hudson streets for a listed consideration amount of nearly $28.2 million, according to Arlington County’s Recorder of Deeds.” [Washington Business Journal]
RIP Lance Newman and Tim Wise — Two notable Arlingtonians have died: “Tim Wise, the longtime president of the Arlington County Taxpayers Association, died Friday in Fredericksburg after a 10-month battle with cancer and heart trouble… Lance Newman, one of four black students who in February 1959 began attending a previously all-white middle school in Arlington… had died after a short illness.” [InsideNova]
ACSO Launches Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign — “Breast cancer hits close to home for the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office, which has launched a campaign to raise awareness about early detection and preventative care. Over the last six years, two employees at the county’s sheriff’s office have been diagnosed with breast cancer.” [WUSA 9]
Forum Planned to Discuss Accessory Dwellings — “A forum looking at current regulations related to accessory-dwelling units in Arlington will be held on Monday, Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. at Central Library. Speakers will discuss how changes made to the county’s housing ordinances in 2017 impact the regulatory process, and will look at whether further changes are needed.” [InsideNova]
A yarn bomb will be hitting the Clarendon Metro Plaza this week to raise awareness about metastatic breast cancer.
More than 30 trees in the plaza will be covered in colorful yarn from April 20-30, according to Arlington native Ann McLean, the project’s organizer. McLean has been collecting both knitted pieces and monetary donations through her organization called Stitch 4 Stage IV, which was created in November.
More than 200 knitted pieces were donated for the yarn bomb.
“I was really worried that we weren’t going to get enough and it turned out we got more than enough,” she said. “We actually may turn out doing more trees than we thought we were going to do.”
McLean is also using the yarn bomb as a way to celebrate the six-year anniversary of her own diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer. This type of cancer has no cure and the survival rates are grim — around 70 percent of people with it don’t live past 3 years, she said.
“I’m considering this quite an anniversary,” McLean added.
It also sends cancer cells to other parts of the body, and in McLean’s case, it’s in her liver. The cancer is treatable, but not curable, she noted. The yarn bomb is symbolic of the cancer, she said.
“Metastatic breast cancer is like a bomb going off, sending breast cancer debris to other parts of your body — bones, lungs, liver and brain,” McLean wrote in an email.
McLean also got 40 people to sponsor a tree for $100 each and also received other donations, totaling $10,000 raised for the Karen Ribeiro Drug Discovery Research fund at the Inova Schar Cancer Institute.
Knitting was a hobby for McLean when she was a child and she picked it back up when she got her diagnosis. She said it helps her feel “zen,” keeps her busy, and calms any anxiety.
She also got the idea for a yarn bomb when she took a trip to New Zealand and thought the knitting community would support a similar project in Arlington. But the donations have come from all over, including Encinitas, Calif., Palm Harbor, Fla., Rehoboth Beach, Del. and even the United Kingdom.
This will not be Arlington’s first yarn bombing — a group called the Guerrilla Stitch brigade covered Rosslyn in yarn back in 2013.
ACPD Sending Supplies to Houston — The Arlington County Police Department is sending relief supplies to Houston Police, “who have been tirelessly serving those affected by Hurricane Harvey,” the department announced yesterday in a tweet. [Twitter]
More on County Board Debate — At Tuesday night’s Arlington Civic Federation debate, the two independent candidates blasted the County Board for supposedly being too pro cozy with business interests. Charles McCullough “several times ripped the county government for extending millions of dollars in ‘payola and corporate welfare’ in an effort to win economic-development successes,” while Audrey Clement “portrayed Arlington leaders as sharing a matrimonial bed with the development community, rubber-stamping new projects to reap the tax revenue they generate.” [InsideNova]
Arlington Encouraging Vanpools — Arlington County, via its Arlington Transportation Partners program, is encouraging commuters to join a vanpool, touting savings of up to $10,000 a year compared to solo commuting. [Arlington Transportation Partners]
Arlington Free Clinic Women’s Health Program — Grants from the Susan G. Komen foundation are funding a women’s health program at the Arlington Free Clinic and in turn saving the lives of breast cancer patients who otherwise could not afford their healthcare costs. Among those who beat breast cancer with the clinic’s help is one of its employees, a mother of three who found a lump while attending a breast health event in 2003. [WJLA]
Nearby: Rabid Raccoon Found — A raccoon found in an Alexandria park has tested positive for rabies. [Patch]
Flickr pool photo by Vandiik
An organization that’s working to end prostate cancer will hold a charity fun run and walk on Father’s Day in Pentagon Row.
Participants can take part in a 5K run/walk, a one-mile walk or a “Kid’s Superhero Dash for Dad” on Sunday, June 18 at 8:15 a.m. Snooze for Dudes is for those who cannot attend the race but still would like to contribute.
Funds raised from the races benefit ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer, a national nonprofit that works to stamp out prostate cancer.
There is no fundraising minimum, but participants are advised to consider making a self-donation or to raise at least $100. All registered participants and volunteers receive a personal fundraising page and coaching on how to raise money.
Money raised will go towards providing research for new treatments, free prostate cancer testing and education for men and families about prostate cancer.
This year alone, 7,730 men in D.C., Maryland and Virginia will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, according to ZERO.
“Our Capital Area Run/Walk gives members of the community a voice in the fight to end a disease that affects 1 in 8 American men, as well as the opportunity to connect with others who have been impacted,” said Shawn Supers, Mid-Atlantic chapter director for ZERO. “We’re raising awareness and funds to ensure that each man knows he is not fighting prostate cancer alone.”
Participants can park in the mall lot on the corner of Army Navy Drive and S. Joyce Street or in the Pentagon Row garage. Dogs are permitted to race as long as they are kept on five-foot, non-retractable leashes.
Photo via ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer