Each month we will recognize those whose contributions inspire us and who demonstrate excellence in their service to others. This award was created to thank those outstanding individuals and to bring to light the immense efforts, time and resources that are generously given to the Foundation.
Heidi Rhea
Heidi and friends, in their lederhosen and dirndl, enjoy Oktoberfest 2019.
Heidi wears all green while supporting CCF during the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon.
Heidi Rhea is a long-term survivor. She was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma almost 9 years ago. Looking forward to a mission trip as soon as school was out for the summer, Heidi did not initially think much of her fatigue and nausea. A busy school year of teaching and traveling can do that to almost anyone. It was the incessant itching and scratching that finally sought her to seek medical attention. After deboarding her plane, she went immediately to seek medical care and was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma within 24 hours. Heidi credits her doctor and team for such a quick diagnosis. With Heidi’s known history of Lynch syndrome she was also encouraged to see a geneticist immediately.

Heidi underwent a liver resection surgery followed by 7 months of chemotherapy and 6 weeks of radiation. “Chemo was so tough,” shares Heidi, “I wish I would have had the [FB] Warrior Page to ask questions.” Heidi has always been a cancer advocate, especially with her family history of Lynch syndrome. Eleven of her 22 cousins have battled cancer. So when she discovered the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation (CCF) over 3 years ago, she knew immediately she would get involved. 

Heidi attended her first CCF Annual Conference in 2017, and was completely inspired by fellow patients, their presentations and advocacy work. Heidi is extremely passionate about her advocacy work. She talks about cholangiocarcinoma at every opportunity. Heidi has been a CCF ambassador at health fairs, Relay for Life , the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon and most recently walked the runway for YouNight - a program that empowers women to engage in sisterhood and fight cancer together. Heidi has worked as a CholangioConnect Patient Mentor, an Annual Conference Volunteer, and as a fundraiser. In 2019 she created and hosted her first annual Oktoberfest and raised $10,000. Feeling drawn to help other patients, she felt the Oktoberfest event was the perfect idea to spread awareness and fundraise all while having fun. Her first event far exceeded her expectations, and she has already begun planning next year’s event.  

Heidi’s mantra she lives by, “if you’re blessed, be a blessing” perfectly summarizes her extraordinary volunteer efforts. Heidi adds," I have lost so many friends in the last three years." She works tirelessly to prevent the loss of others. As she suffers from survivor's guilt, serving fellow patients helps her feel good. Heidi has blessed CCF’s volunteer program with over 700 hours of service in 2019 alone. It is a great honor and privilege to recognize Heidi Rhea as the Volunteer of the Month!
A very special thank you to all of our volunteers who participated in February's Awareness Month campaigns! CCF received numerous photos of your wristbands and CCF attire, your pets dressed in green, and offices, homes, towers and bridges lit green all over the nation. Thank you for engaging with CCF's social media platforms, donating, sharing and caring!
Jeannine Bria helps light the Liberty Place Buildings in Philadelphia, PA green for awareness month in honor of Mike Gureki.
Pedestrian bridge between Louisville, Kentucky and Jeffersonville, Indiana turns green for cholangiocarcinoma in memory of Shannon Holderfield.
Volunteer Rachel Houck's efforts lit both the Bethlehem, PA SteelStacks and St. Luke's Hospital in Quakertown, PA green for awareness month.
Want to run a marathon with TeamCCF?

We are recruiting runners for the Chicago Marathon, October 11, 2020; the New York City Marathon, November 1; and the Indianapolis Marathon, November 7. Don't miss the fun opportunity to virtually train with TeamCCF and raise money for CCF! Visit TeamCCF for more information. 

If attending the 2020 Annual Conference, make sure to sign up for our fun run Friday, April 3rd, at 6:00 am. Each participant will receive a shirt. All are welcome. Participation is free.  We will meet in the lobby of the Marriott Downtown at City Creek. A 5K route is planned. Email  meredith.mcguffage@cholangiocarcinoma.org  to register.
Cholangio what? Bloggers
CCF is currently seeking contributors to our 'cholangio what?' blog. Bloggers write, edit, post and promote the content of the blog. If you plan on attending the Annual Conference, share your experience. If interested, please email  cindy.thomas@cholangiocarcinoma.org .
Registration is still open for CCF's 7th Annual Conference 2020. See Annual Conference 2020 for details and registration.
Inaugural Quack Out Cholangio to Crush Bile Duct Cancer will be held on Saturday, March 28, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware at the HARE Pavilion. Registration is now open. See Quack Out Cholangio 5K Run/Walk for more details.
Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation | (888) 936-6731 | info@cholangiocarcinoma.org | cholangiocarcinoma.org