Big beautiful bouquets to local cancer patient Lisa Craine, the subject of many prayers during her countless hospitalizations and treatments. She’s on her way to New York to model in the Plitzs NYC fashion show charity gala Thursday to benefit “YES! Beat Liver Tumors.”
Lisa, a 48-year-old wife and mother who’s active in a number of local organizations, is among two dozen designers and cancer patients who have united to show there is hope for a disease that once carried a certain death sentence. She was diagnosed in September 2010 and given a very poor prognosis, with a tumor the size of a cantaloupe. She credits Dr. John Fung, nationally known liver surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic, with saving her life.
“I feel blessed to be a cholangiocarcinoma survivor,” the Bath Township woman said.
“Fabulous fashion designer Dalia MacPhee is making sure I feel like a princess by donating one of her exquisite ball gowns for me to model. I like to call myself the princess of hope, since hope is the most important gift I can share with other cancer patients. To live we need peace and to have peace we need hope. I can’t wait to spread awareness of liver cancer with all of New York City.”
Plitzs spokeswoman and co-founder Suzanne Lindley said: “Each designer is giving a patient a chance to shine, to be pampered and to escape the routine of treatment while sharing time with others that have a similar diagnosis.”
Lisa, who credits her husband David with being “an amazing caregiver and showing our sons Jake and Noah what true love means,” said she thinks being the patient is sometimes easier than watching someone you love suffer.
To cheer Lisa on by attending the event, please visit http://BeatLiverTumors.org or call 1-877-937-7478.
Donation for family
Even in the most difficult of circumstances, hope still floats. So it’s come to pass for lifelong Suffield Township residents Dan and Bessie Zinz.
Dan, a geologist and father of four daughters under age 12, was diagnosed in October with sarcoma, a cancer of tissues like bone or muscle. He had his right arm amputated in early December.
One of his biggest worries at the time was having a vehicle to get to work. His truck had a manual shift, so he would need another truck with a crew cab to transport his girls.
After reading about his situation, representatives from ACRT, an Akron-based utility vegetation-management consulting firm, decided to help.
Sarah Lack, assistant account executive with Ahkia, the Hudson public-relations firm representing ACRT, said the company would make available an automatic 2008 Chevy Colorado 4WD with about 100,000 miles on it, and have it cleaned and tuned up for the Zinz family.
But there has been a change in plans. Instead, ACRT will be presenting a check for $2,800 to the family during a fundraiser in Suffield, from the proceeds of the sale of the truck. Zinz had already purchased an automatic truck.
Robert Chess, ACRT’s chief human resources officer, said: “We know today’s economy can make it tough to financially support your family, especially when you have unexpected medical bills. We hope this donation will help Dan and his wife focus on his recovery and spending time together rather than worrying about how to pay for his treatment.”
In memory of teacher
Teachers at Akron’s Jennings middle school have invited the community to join in honoring the good works of the late Catherine Koly, a longtime English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher at the school. Mrs. Koly, who died Dec. 10, was 56.
“The teachers at Jennings were looking for a way to honor her memory, and thought of establishing a scholarship in her name,” wrote school counselor Douglas Merideth. “The staff in the North cluster schools are making donations to get the scholarship started. So far, we have raised over $2,000.”
Interested in contributing? Make checks payable to North High School, with Catherine Koly on the memo line, and mail to 985 Gorge Blvd., Akron, OH 44310.
Catherine’s husband, Ron, is a retired ESL teacher who’s working part time as the ESL coordinator in the North cluster.
Happy 105th birthday!
Happy birthday to Rockynol Independent Living resident Thelma Hough who is celebrating her 105th birthday this weekend.
Mrs. Hough — featured in my column for her 103rd birthday, shortly after the style maven had given up wearing high heels — is also known for her peanut butter brownies.
Devoted daughter-in-law Nancy Hough said her mother-in-law broke her hip in April (nothing to do with high heels) and receives around-the-clock care. But she’s just as feisty as ever. “In fact, she’s worrying about what she’s going to wear to her party,” Nancy Hough said.
Students help camp kids
Major kudos to St. Sebastian Parish School fifth-graders who, after doing reports on charitable organizations, decided to marshal their efforts on behalf of Camp Quality Northeast Ohio, which seemed to have touched their hearts the most.
“This summer camp and year-round support program helps children who have been diagnosed with cancer,” school spokeswoman Michelle Huber wrote. “The students raised money by raking leaves, baby-sitting and doing extra chores around the house.
“Together they raised $200 and with this money their fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Sharon Kastelic, purchased enough fleece material so the students could make 13 blankets for the children of Camp Quality. What a wonderful way to give back to the community.”
Funds for Project RISE
Hats off to middle school students at Akron’s Miller South School for the Visual & Performing Arts, specifically the National Junior Art Honor Society members, who fashioned and sold jewelry, scribble crayons and mini crayons made out of recycled materials to raise $250 for Project RISE (Realizing Individual Strength through Education).
Project RISE is a collaborative effort by Akron Public Schools, local homeless shelters and the Akron community to provide supplemental education services to students who are experiencing homelessness.
Hope on the Slopes
The sixth annual “Hope on the Slopes” — snowboarding, skiing, wine tasting and auction — is planned for Feb. 22-23 at Boston Mills Ski Resort in Boston Township. All proceeds benefit the Kylie Jane Long Foundation.
Melissa Hennigin, director of Kids Country Fairlawn, wrote:
“Elizabeth and Jason Long faced the death (May 6, 2005) of their firstborn child, Kylie Jane, from liver cancer just three days after her first birthday. The Longs have turned their tragedy into a wonderful opportunity for all of us to brighten the lives of children in the hospital through the use of seasonal digital images to project natural settings and skylight into the hospital rooms. Additionally, the foundation provides Kylie Care Bags for families spending the majority of their time at the hospital, financial assistance for these families and items that the sick children wish for.”
For more information, please visit www.HopeontheSlopes.com.
The Spicer unit of Good Neighbors, desperate to get some younger volunteers, apparently is succeeding. Now they want prospective clients to know they are still open on Thursday mornings; doors open 9:30 for clients, with volunteers arriving some 30 to 45 minutes earlier to set up.
The unit inside Trinity Lutheran Church, 50 N. Prospect St., Akron, provides clothing for families in need.
Jewell Cardwell can be reached at 330-996-3567 or firstname.lastname@example.org