2013 was another exciting year for mAss Kickers Foundation! We got our first office space at the prestigious San Diego Foundation. This was the first step in attaining credibility as a startup nonprofit. In the San Diego Foundation, we would be neighbors with CoTA (Collaborations: Teachers and Artists), Voice of San Diego, Pacific Arts Movement , and other San Diego based nonprofit organizations. We made some great connections and look forward to future collaborations. 2013 was also the year that we created mAss Kickers Sports. This was the first year we had athletes pushing themselves through competition to honor the people who are in an epic “battle” for their lives and well-being. People ran, biked, swam, played soccer, and played basketball to honor the brave people combating these horrible diseases! mAss Kickers Foundation attained new video equipment and created a bunch of new videos here: We were very excited to start 2013! In January, mAss Kickers Foundation was well represented at the American Physical Therapy Association’s Annual Combined Section Meeting in San Diego. We are looking forward to getting more involved with the APTA Oncology Section to address physical rehabilitation for post-treatment impairments in tumor/cancer patients. mAss Kickers Foundation had our first table at the C4YW(Cancer 4 Young Women) conference in Seattle, Washington in February. It was very interesting gaining insight on the unique issues of survivorship after breast cancer treatment. We met many new friends there and we look forward to returning in 2014!
In March, mAss Kickers Foundation had the opportunity to travel to Hawaii and speak about young adult survivorship at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, School of Social Work. Hannah Hansen, Marc Rodriguez, and Eric Galvez shared their personal stories as young adult survivors with future Social Workers and addressed questions from the students. One of the first high school mAss Kickers, Catherine Blotner, attended Cancer Treatment Center of America Blogger Summit again in Arizona. So many great connections were made there. Later in March, we were introduced to the concept of “Integrative Medicine.” To learn more about Integrative Medicine to fight cancer, Arilda Surridge, Monika Allen, and Eric Galvez attended the UCSD Integrative Oncology conference. In April, we had a table at the Stupid Cancer, OMG Conference for young adult cancer survivors in Las Vegas, NV. It was great reconnecting with old friends and meeting new friends who are just starting their survivorship journey. OMG is the premier gathering for education and networking for young adult survivors. Collaboration is the KEY to winning the war on tumors/cancer. Realistically, no single person or organization will defeat these diseases. In May, we brought together scientists, patients, healthcare professionals, and advocates together to talk about how, TOGETHER, WE CAN FIGHT THESE DISEASES
In July we continued our international travel. We visited Tokyo, Japan and met up with a few survivors in Tokyo. We then went to Manila, Philippines and gave a talk at Ateneo De Manila to future healthcare professionals and met some cancer survivors. We made many new international friends and look forward to returning some day. Japan Day 1 Japan Day 2 Japan Day 3 Japan Day 4Japan Day 5Japan Day 6 Philippines Day 1Philippines Day 2Philippines Day 3 Philippines Day 4Philippines Day 5Philippines Day 6Philippines Day 7, 8 We returned to the USA in August and spent a few days in Michigan for one of our signature events. Angel Bureau and Andrew Wlodyga organized the 4th Annual TUMORS SUCK PAINTBALL BENEFIT at Hell’s Survivors Paintball field in Pinckney, MI USA . The event has gotten more popular every year! We are always honored to meet new survivors at this event! It is also great seeing the die-hard paint ballers every year because their enthusiasm in the event embodies the assistance from friends and family that a “post-treatment survivor” needs to become a “post-treatment thriver.” In October, we did a minority bone marrow registry drive for A3M at the FilAmFest cultural festival in San Diego, CA USA. We believe that it is imperative for ethnic minorities to be on the registry because life saving bone marrow matches are based on the similarities in the genetic codes of people of similar ethnic backgrounds. Later in the month we held our annual International Tumors Suck Day: Celebration of Life in San Diego California. At this event we honored the people that stuck by us through the difficult times with toasts for family, friends, and fellow survivors. Check out the video
In November, we teamed up with A3M again to host a minority bone marrow registry drive at the Pacific Art Movement’s 2013 San Diego Asian Film Festival. Many new connections were made there, opening the door for future collaborations. Of course we had to participate in Movember/”No-shave November”… always funny seeing the pictures and the nicknames for the facial hair! In December, we are moving offices again because we do too much travel to necessitate a formal office. We decided to look into renting desk space at 3rd Space in San Diego. There are many start-ups and creative organizations there. We are looking forward to the new collaborations we create there! We have big plans in 2014. We want to do more international travel next year to educate people about post-treatment “thrivership”… We potentially have the University of Singapore and hospitals in Vancouver Canada on the agenda. We also may return to the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Please consider a tax-deductible donation so that we can fund our ambitious 2014 plans! THE WORLD NEEDS TO LEARN THAT A TUMOR/CANCER DIAGNOSIS IS NOT A DEATH SENTENCE. THEY MUST LEARN HOW TO KICK MASS!