Voices of Hope
September, 2014
Thanks for subscribing to the monthly newsletter for Voices of Hope!  We appreciate your interest in our organization and our mission; to help fund the ongoing research to find a cure for cancer. Look here every month for our most recent news, our upcoming events, and ways that you can help.  As long as there is research to be done, our voices of hope will sing out for the cure!
Sixth Annual Fall Gala--Unfinished 2!

With a sold out crowd and a fiercely competitive silent auction, Unfinished 2 was a huge success.

It was amazingly hot, there were tornado warnings, and the power in the theater went out for a few minutes that afternoon, but the show went on! North Shore Music Theater was full to the brim with energy and enthusiasm, both from the performers on stage and the wonderful audience. Over a thousand people came together that night to share the hope that we will find a permanent cure for cancer, and to bring us one step closer through their phenomenal efforts.

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved with the show: all our technicians, our performers, and the wonderful staff at North Shore Music Theater who made the event possible. We're also phenomenally grateful to our corporate sponsors, whose patronage allows us to perform in such an amazing venue. We want to send a special shout out to the Andover High Show Choir and Charlie Scopoletti, who joined us on stage, and last but not least thanks to all of you who braved the heat and storms to come share such a great evening with us! Your continued support is what makes this all possible.

A visit from Erika Rosato
During our tech for Unfinished, we had a very special guest stop by.

Tech is a crazy, busy time for any production. Folks get tired, stress levels are high, and sometimes it seems like adrenaline is the only thing keeping us upright.

That's why it was so special to have Erika Rosato--the head of the nursing staff at the Termeer Center for Targeted Therapies--stop by for a visit during our tech week. She took the time out of her extremely busy schedule to come watch us rehearse. While she was there she shared messages from the nursing staff--words of thanks and encouragement--as well as reading us a letter that had come in from one of the Termeer Center's patients. The letter was one of gratitude for the staff and all that they do--the hope that they bring--and she wanted to share it with us to give us a glimpse of the work we are privileged to help fund.

Sometimes when life gets busy there is no greater gift than being reminded why you choose to do the crazy things you do. Thank you so much Erika, for coming and reminding us of the hope that is central to your work and our mission.
Recent Events
The Consoli's Annual Bounce for a Cure Kid's Party was an amazingly good time. Kid's flew through the air and across the grass with shrieks of delight, parents ambled behind laden with snow cones and cotton candy, and the donation jar grew full as the afternoon wore on. Thanks to Mike, Beth, Nick, and Anna for hosting such a lovely family day!

If you were listening to WERS
on Saturday, August 30th you heard the group of VOH members who squeezed into the Emerson sound booth and performed live for Standing Room Only

Then we were off to the Conquer Cancer Coalition's Garden of Hope
event! The group at Emerson trooped over to join up with the larger number who could fit in the gazebo at the Garden of Hope in Boston's City Hall Plaza. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and it was wonderful to spend it with folks who share the cause.

Our Real People, Real Stories segment aired
both on the evening news and the morning talk show for Fox 25. We simply can't thank Maria Stephanos enough for her wonderful story on us. If you haven't seen it, follow this link to Fox 25 and check it out!


In a few days it will be October, a month we associate with changing leaves, football games, and Halloween. It's also National Breast Cancer Awareness month, and with pink ribbon season almost upon us we thought we'd dedicate this spotlight to taking a look at breast cancer.

Four women--Maria, Cara, Elise, and Sara--agreed to share stories of their friends and family for this article. Between them they knew thirteen women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer, ranging in age from their late 30's to their 80's. It sounds like a huge number of diagnoses, but perhaps it makes sense when you consider that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, and by far the highest risk factor for breast cancer is if you've had a relative who was also diagnosed. That means that breast cancer can become a lingering presence in the lives of families where it strikes person after person. Like Maria's family-where her aunt, cousin, and cousin's daughter were all diagnosed-or Cara's family, where her grandmother and three of her grandmother's four sisters all had the disease.

Breast cancer is currently the second leading cause of death for women in the US. It's estimated that each year over 220,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and more than 40,000 will die. Men also contract breast cancer, but at about 1% the rate that women do, making diagnosed male cases rare, and male breast cancer deaths rarer still. That being said, because breast cancer is so rare in men it is frequently not diagnosed until a much later stage. 

Elise's sister-in-law was diagnosed when she went in to the doctor to have a rash on her chest examined. Sara's sister found a lump herself, and went in for an MRI and subsequent biopsy. These are common stories, because-like many cancers-breast cancer can have very minor symptoms. It's one of the reasons why doctors encourage regular self exams for women. The person best able to tell if something has changed in your body is you, provided that you're paying attention.

Unfortunately, as Elise pointed out, even when women are careful and have regular check-ups something can go unnoticed. While there are different types of breast cancer-and some are undeniably easier to treat-no matter the type they all have a greater survival rate the sooner they are diagnosed and treated. Early detection and prompt treatment was a theme repeated by all four women.  

For all its deadly impact on women, both Sara and Maria pointed out that breast cancer is survivable. Too many times, as Maria said, we hear the word cancer and automatically think it's a death sentence. The truth is that the survival rates for breast cancer are very high; at stage I the five-year survival rate is 100%.  

Great strides have been made in the treatment available for breast cancer. Today women can have simple lumpectomies where before they had mastectomies. They can often use targeted therapies that directly affect their cancer, rather than traditional chemotherapy with its more severe side effects. The past ten years of research and development have offered hope to the roughly quarter of a million women who are diagnosed every year.

We sing for our mothers and sisters, our fathers and brothers. We sing for our daughters and wives, our sons and our husbands. We sing with hope in our hearts, knowing that every day brings us closer to a cure.

In This Issue
Calendar of Upcoming Events

Thursday, October 2nd: VOH Membership Meeting: 7:30 in the Nest.

Sunday, October 5th: Making Strides Boston Breast Cancer Walk 

Saturday, October 18th:  Friends of Mel Conference

Saturday, November 1st: LUNGevity's Breathe Deep Boston 5K Walk

Sunday, December 7th: Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Holiday Concert

We appreciate your support as we aim for our fundraising goals.  Every year we strive to give more to the Termeer Center, and it's all thanks to you!

Raise Your Voice With Ours
Want to sing along side us? Want to organize a fundraiser for us? Want to ask us to come sing at your fundraiser?

Let us know!  We believe that each new voice brings us closer to the cure.

You can contact us here.

Voices of Hope, 171 Park St, Stoneham, MA 02180 | Voices of Hope

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