Our cover this month features the doctors of Vantage Oncology, Linda and Moe Hafizi and Judith Harris.
The Legacy of Hope Gala, Imagine…More Birthdays!, takes place August 14 at Robinson Ranch Golf Course. This year’s Gala again honors community business leaders who have been instrumental in fighting cancer and helping local cancer victims. It expresses the organization’s gratitude to those who have made significant effort in the fight against cancer.
2011 Imagine…More Birthdays! honorees are outstanding examples of these goals. The event will bestow Legacy of Hope honors to Linda and Moe Hafizi for Leadership in Community Awareness and Vantage Oncology for Leadership in Health Care. Judith Harris, M.A., MFT, will receive the Award of Distinction. All these community leaders have a direct connection to this dreaded disease, all have made a significant contribution to the fight against it, and all know the importance of the American Cancer Society’s work.
2011 Legacy of Hope Recipients
Receiving the Legacy of Hope award will be Linda and Moe Hafizi, publishers of the Magazine of Santa Clarita and élite Magazine. “We are very proud of our partnership with the Hafizis for two decades,” says Nancy Coulter, American Cancer Society Santa Clarita Unit President. “As publication owners, their media support brings valuable information to Santa Claritans, and as frequent sponsors of our fundraising events they help ensure our success.”
A five-year cancer survivor herself, Linda says, “Cancer is a devastating disease! It affects so many people and lately it seems to touch the lives of everyone. Moe and I are honored to be recognized by the American Cancer Society. The organization plays an integral role in finding a cure, and in giving moral and financial support to its victims.”
Partners in Hafizi’s recovery—as with so many others—and recipients of the Legacy of Hope award for Health Care are the doctors of Vantage Oncology. “We highly value our long association with Vantage,” says Coulter. “They refer a great many patients to us for our supportive services including our Road To Recovery program for getting patients to and from needed treatments, and we appreciate the integrity with which they help cancer patients.”
Vantage Oncology supplies accessibility to advanced radiation treatment therapies and compassionate care. Drs. Marc Botnick, Nancy Ellerbroek, Linas Kazlauskas, Bernard Lewinsky, Paul Song, and Robert Zimmerman and their Staff from the San Fernando and Santa Clarita offices are being recognized for their efforts to ensure patients have access to life-saving and life-enhancing services. To provide optimal local support, Vantage makes sure their patients are aware of the various, wonderful programs the American Cancer Society offers. They contribute financially, support multiple American Cancer Society events, and contribute expertise through involvement as speakers and members of the American Cancer Society’s Leadership Council.
2011 Award of Distinction
Judith Harris, M.A., MFT, a two-time cancer patient, is a faithful friend to the American Cancer Society. In 1987, Harris organized the first Santa Clarita Valley cancer support group. Of Harris’ support, Coulter says, “Her compassion, sense of humor, and positive outlook provide a safe place for cancer patients to gather strength on their cancer journey. She has given many lectures for us on the healing power of humor and the benefits of sustaining optimism in the face of adversity.”
As a psycho-therapist, Harris emphasizes humor for healing in her work and her website, SufferinginStyle.com. Her chapter, “Becoming Strong at the Broken Places,” appears in Dr. Gregory Senofsky’s book, A Patient’s Guide to Outstanding Breast Cancer Care.
Of counseling those touched by cancer, Harris says, “I’ve witnessed courage, grace, and compassion in the midst of fear and sadness. Survivors don’t think of themselves as heroes—that’s inspiring. Ordinary people accomplish extraordinary things. They describe gratitude for an eyelash growing back or the energy to wash clothes. They have taught me that happiness is a choice and without gratitude, you will never be on speaking terms with happiness.”
Harris was determined “not to come back from hell empty handed—not to go through pain without learning something.” And learn she did. She says, “Everything I need to know about life I learned from cancer:
• I learned to resign as general manager of the universe—we control nothing but our attitude so acceptance and letting go of fighting is vital.
•I can be happy without being pleased.
•Humor is the soul’s weapon against unfairness; it’s the most therapeutic form of courage.
•To measure time not in hours or years, but lessons learned and lives touched.
•We’re not physical beings on a spiritual journey—we’re spiritual beings on a physical journey. How else does one explain how we survive the most debilitating, devastating attacks on our body and still find joy?
•Loss and illness are as much a part of life as blessings. How happy we are depends on how we come to terms with losses.”
This year’s Gala is chaired by Janine Jones leading a crew of community volunteers. It will be a joyous celebration of birthdays! Individual ticket prices are $100.
For more information or sponsorships, please contact Janine at email@example.com, Tameka Payne, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.gala.ascevents.org/imagine
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Articles - This Issue
- Imagine…More Birthdays! American Cancer Society Gala Celebrates Life - Our Cover Story
- A Note from The Publishers - August 2011
- SIGSCV Proudly Presents the 4th Annual Wine Affair
- Artist Georgette Arison at the Canyon Theatre Guild
- Remember, Honor and Celebrate Arts Groups to Commemorate 9-11
- The 81 Series Continues at The REP with The Boys Next Door
- ‘Reggae Sunsplash’ Bringing Love to LARC Ranch September 18 Fundraiser Features Live Music from See Spot
- Nicholas Flores Receives the First Ian Gelig Memorial Scholarship
- Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center at College of the Canyons to Hold September 2011 Open House
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