mAss Kickers Foundation: 2016 recap

Tuesday, December 20, 2016
By, masskickers

2016 was another exciting year for mAss Kickers Foundation.

Many doors have opened for further growth! So many exciting things have happened in the past 12 months! We continue to be inspired by the new individuals and organizations we meet and interact with. This year we added 32 Featured mAss Kickers and highlighted 2 new mAss Kicking organizations to our website. We also created a collection of Tumors Suck videos.  Check them out here!  We are becoming more involved in the promotion of physical activity/exercise for tumor/cancer patients through physical therapy education and public health promotion.

In the beginning of the year, mAss Kickers Foundation Executive Director, Dr. Eric Anthony Galvez, spoke at Loma Linda University Doctor of Physical Therapy program and assisted students in a neurology rehabilitation lab. Dr. Galvez later attended oncology rehabilitation programing at the American Physical Therapy Association, Combined Sections meeting in Anaheim CA. He also had the opportunity to speak about his experiences as a healthcare professional turned neuro-rehab patient at Concorde College PTA program in San Diego. The students always enjoy the “real” question and answer sessions.

In the early spring, mAss Kickers Foundation assisted in moderating 2 sessions at CancerCon for young adult survivors in Denver, CO:

  1. Sweat Equity: How Investing in Exercise Improves Cancer Survivorship with The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adult Cancer Survivors
  2. Survivorship in Communities of Color: You are Not Alone with Tamika Felder, Christabel Chung, Jay Carter, and Steven Lee.

In April, Dr. Galvez lectured at San Diego State University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy about his experiences as a young doctor turned brain tumor patient with severe physical impairments and how physical therapy can play a role in “post-oncology treatment thrivership.” He also assisted in lab sessions so students could practice their neurology assessments.

Throughout the year we have been promoting our social media presence with the hashtags: #TUMORSSUCKTUESDAY and #MASSKICKERSWEDNESDAY. The hastag has gained traction from the United States to Europe to Asia to South Africa. The message of “Post-Oncology Treatment Thrivership” is uniting people around the globe!

In early June, students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at San Diego State University helped to organize the 4th 4th Annual Charity Kickball Tournament. The event brought together many local physical therapy education programs. The event is highlighted by “male and female mAss Hole trophy costumes” and individual Championship “P.I.M.P. (Pugilistic Individual Mass-kickin’ with Pride) Chalices”

We also had the opportunity to visit the San Diego based cancer drug company Ignyta. We were honored to visit their facility and learn about their commitment to patient focused clinical trials. We both agreed that there needs to be a stronger push for increased patient participation in clinical trials.

In August, we held the 8th TUMORS SUCK Paintball Benefit led by Angel Bureau and Andy Wlodyga.  This year more kids attended the event.  Despite the rain and thunder, everyone left with HUGE smiles on their faces!

In September, we traveled to Houston, Texas to visit the rehabilitation facilities at the world renowned cancer system MD Anderson. We were very impressed with the size of MD Anderson and their commitment to “Making Cancer History.” We were able to visit the physical therapy department and met with exercise physiology staff to learn about their role in post-cancer life for survivors.

October was a very busy month! Dr. Galvez did online lectures at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill Doctor of Physical Therapy program, the University of New England Doctor of Physical Therapy program, and the University of Michigan Flint Doctor of Physical Therapy program. Near the end of the month, we hosted the 2016 Celebration of Life at 3rd Space in San Diego. The evening highlighted by toasts by Peri Silverman, Maania Hopper, and Landy Franck to honor the people who were there for us in our darkest hour.

We were able to go to Africa for the first time in November for the “How to Kick mAss: South Africa Education Series.”  4 American tumor/cancer survivors:  Geena Heaton, Gerri Clayton, Kenya Wheeler, and Eric Galvez went to Cape Town, South Africa to show the world that people can thrive after a tumor/cancer diagnosis! The highlight of the trip was meeting other survivors through CHOC SA and People Living with Cancer.  Check out the South Africa video!  

We are very excited at the all the potential 2017 brings! Please consider a tax deductible donation to help fund unique activities and events in 2017!