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   NEWS and UPDATES

ECAN announces new campaign to raise awareness that
Reflux Disease is No Laughing Matter
Jeff Foxworthy Headlines Main Event

No Laughing Matter logoIn the coming weeks, watch as ECAN unveils an innovative, nationwide campaign to raise awareness about the link between Reflux Disease and Esophageal Cancer including:

  • a 16-week Public Awareness Campaign,
  • a Competition for up-and-coming standup comedians,
  • an "armchair" competition for other funny folks, and
  • an evening of laughter featuring one of  America's 
                                             favorite comedians, Jeff Foxworthy!

It’s a 16 week multi-media Public Awareness Campaign

This multi-media effort is based on the No Laughing Matter theme (Reflux Disease is No Laughing Matter – Heartburn can cause Cancer) and will be launched in mid-January and run through April for EC Awareness Month. The campaign will include email, social media messaging, videos, downloadable materials and other features.

It’s a Comedy Club Competition in cities from coast to coast

These Competitions for the chance to open for Jeff Foxworthy at the April 12th event will be held at 10 – 12 Comedy Clubs in major cities coast to coast6 in March. The winners of the competition at each club will go on to compete for support of voters nationwide who will view the video of their winning performances on the ECAN YouTube site where they will have the opportunity to vote online for their favorite performer. The top vote-getter will be the opening act for our evening of comedy and will win a free trip to DC, accommodations and tickets for two to our VIP reception and comedy event.

It's an online fundraiser and comedy competition for the folks at home

Everyone can get involved in No Laughing Matter! If you have a knack for jokes (or even a funny tune), send us your video.  We'll give you your own fundraising page to support the fight against Esophageal Cancer and help you spread the word that Reflux Disease is No Laughing Matter and post your video on our YouTube page.  The armchair comic who raises the most money to support ECAN's life-saving mission and the armchair comic who gets the most votes for their video performance will each win transportation, accomodations and tickets for two to our VIP reception and comedy event.

It all culminates in a fantastic evening of laughter featuring
Jeff Foxworthy
one of America’s favorite comedians
Sunday evening, April 12, 2015
Crystal Gateway Marriott Arlington, Virginia

This evening will begin with a VIP reception in advance of the Foxworthy performance where guests will enjoy plentiful hors d’oeuvres, an open bar and the opportunity to meet Mr. Foxworthy in person. A limited number of guests will have the opportunity for photos and autographs with and by our headliner.

Guests attending the main event at No Laughing Matter ~ an Evening with Jeff Foxworthy will enjoy an open bar featuring beer, wine and soft drinks and light fare served tableside. The Cabaret-style program will begin with a short video, recognition of special guests, a live celebrity auction and a short opening comedy act by our Comedy Club Competition winner. After a brief intermission, Mr. Foxworthy will take the stage to present his side-splitting brand of comedy.

Tickets for the Evening with Jeff Foxworthy as well as details of the comedy competitions will be available in the next few weeks.  Stay tuned!
                                              

ECAN works to make President's reflux diagnosis in wake of sore throat a "teachable moment"
Public learns more about symptoms & risks of reflux through media

obama coverage graphic 2News of President Obama’s recent reflux disease diagnosis could help save the lives of thousands of Americans living with the same condition. After complaining of a sore throat for weeks, the President was diagnosed with reflux disease. 

ECAN hopes this announcement will be a teachable moment for those living with a persistent sore throat and other symptoms that few associate with reflux disease.  Most of us don’t think of a sore throat, hoarse voice, persistent cough or choking when we lie down as symptoms of reflux disease, which mostly, we think of as heartburn.

ECAN reached out to the media to make them aware of this important opportunity and several major news outlets ran reports on this subject (and more stories are to come!) Check out the Opinion piece written by ECAN's President and CEO published by the Detroit News, and news stories run by the St. Louis Examiner and the North Dallas Gazette.

“The focus of the national media on the fact that President Obama discovered his reflux disease because of a persistent sore throat elevates the understanding of the important link between reflux and symptoms that aren’t usually associated with the condition,” said gastroenterologist ECAN Chairman Dr. Bruce D. Greenwald, professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center.

In reflux disease, also called GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), stomach contents, including stomach acid, backs up into the esophagus and sometimes all the way up to the throat. This can burn the lining of the esophagus and throat, causing inflammation. 

Increased understanding of the various – but often misunderstood – symptoms of reflux disease could save lives because reflux disease is the cause of one of the deadliest and fastest increasing cancers in the United States.

                                             

ECAN's Founder Selected for  NCI Task Force
Representing Patients' Interests in Research Funding Decisions

Mindy Mintz Mordecai headshotThe Esophageal Cancer Action Network is proud to announce that ECAN President & CEO Mindy Mintz Mordecai has been named to the National Cancer Institute's Esophagogastric Task Force of the Gastrointestinal Steering Committee and the NCI Patient Advocate Steering Committee.

Ms. Mordecai serves as a Patient Advocate Representative on the Task Force that is focused on improving the clinical research that impacts Esophageal and Gastric cancer patients.

"It's a great honor and priviledge to be selected as one of two advocates representing patients on this important Task Force," said Ms. Mordecai.  "Because research dollars are so scarce, especially for Esophageal and Gastric cancers, the decisions made by this group can make a real difference in what can be accomplished in medical research in the future."

The NCI Patient Advocate Steering Committee works to make the voice of patients heard as important research decisions are made at the National Cancer Institute.

                                                

They Ran to Save Lives  & Heal the Pain of Loss Daughters ran Marathons to support ECAN in Memory of their Dads
Melissa Maguire ran the New York City Marathon

melissa maguire runs with dad
Melissa Maguire runs in 2013 NYC Marathon;
with her father James Maguire at her wedding

Melissa Maguire of Jersey City, New Jersey joined more than 50,000 runners in the 2014 New York City Marathon. Along with fellow marathoners, Melissa had an unseen running buddy.

“He may not be by my side anymore, but he is not lost to me,” said Maguire, speaking of her dad, James Maguire of Matawan, N.J., Her father was healthy and active throughout his life. But in 2008 at the age of 60, he started experiencing pain in his abdomen and was diagnosed with Stage IV Esophageal Cancer.

“My father was my hero and life preserver,” Maguire said.  “I had been a daddy’s girl my whole life and the thought of losing him was crushing. I needed an outlet for my stress and it turned out to be running.” 

An Executive Producer with NY1, New York City's 24-hour local TV news station, Melissa ran her first half-marathon in 2009 with her father cheering from the sidelines. Sadly, the cancer eventually spread to his brain and James Maguire died on Jan. 7, 2011.

With two marathons under her belt, Melissa decided to partner with ECAN for this year’s New York City Marathon.  You can still support Melissa's Marathon at www.crowdrise.com/milesformaguire/fundraiser/melissamaguire.

“I decided this time around to raise money for ECAN because no one should have to say goodbye to their daddy when he’s only 63,” Maguire said.  “Heartburn should not be ignored because, as ECAN’s slogan says, it can cause cancer.”  

                                                                        

Jessica Sargent ran the Marine Corps Marathon

jessica marathon dad at wedding
Jessica Sargent with Marathon medal (L);
runs in shirt back in memory of her dad;
bride & father Thomas Burns at wedding

Among the more than 30,000 runners who participated in the 2014 Marine Corps Marathon  through Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. on October 26th, one 25-year-old woman was running to save lives.  That’s because Jessica Sargent wore the message that Heartburn can cause Cancer on her back in the hope that other families won’t have to suffer as hers did. 

The week before her May 2013 wedding, her father, Thomas “Burnzy” Burns was diagnosed with stage III esophageal cancer.  Despite aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatments, a 14-hour surgery and “his unwavering spirit,” her father passed away, Oct. 25, 2013.  He was 48 years old.

“Running has always been an outlet for me and it took on a new role in my life as I coped with the loss of my father,” said Sargent, an ER nurse at St Luke’s University Hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

“When I realized that the 2014 Marine Corps Marathon would take place on the weekend that marks the one-year anniversary of Daddy's death, I immediately knew that I needed to run it for him and all the other esophageal cancer patients that leave us too soon,” she added. “While training for this marathon, I felt very close to my dad – as though he is right there with me cheering me along with each step.”

Sargent has partnered with ECAN and created a fundraising campaign in conjunction with her participation in the marathon.  Gifts can be donated online at http://tinyurl.com/Jessica-ECAN-run.

“Together with ECAN, I can help make people aware that heartburn can cause cancer.”

                                               

Congressional Caucus on Deadliest Cancers
ECAN active member of coalition backing the effort 

deadliest cancers caucus briefing 6-19-14.jpgA bipartisan caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives has been formed to focus attention on cancers with a survival rate of less than 50%, including Esophageal Cancer.  The caucus was formed with the support of the Deadliest Cancers Coalition which is a collaboration of organizations, including ECAN, that are focused on these deadly cancers.

A briefing was organized by the Congressional Caucus on the Deadlist Cancers drew a standing-room only crowd and featured remarks from co-chairs of the Caucus, including Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-CA, pictured here.

ECAN is working to increase membership in the caucus and will launch a campaign to raise awareness among members of Congress about the need for more resources and public awareness about Esophageal Cancer and other of the deadliest cancers.  You can participate in our advocacy effort by signing up here.

                                                                                     

1st HEARING about CANCER on the HILL IN 6 YRS!
SEE and HEAR it HERE
including Testimony from Actor Valerie Harper
and NCI Director Harold Varmus

http://www.aging.senate.gov/

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Save the Date Jeff Foxworthy No Laughing Matter

Can Stories
Save Lives?
  
YES, they can
and they WILL

Stories to Save Lives

Join ECAN in
Los Angeles, CA
in 2015

On May 1st & 2nd
when we make it HAPPEN!

We will go
Over the Edge
at the
Hilton Los Angeles/ Universal City Hotel

 rappelling down
24 Stories
to support the
fight against
Esophageal Cancer.

We will have
Other Stories
Important Stories
of brave battles with

Esophageal Cancer.

Find out more,
sign up to stay
informed
and
get involved at  www.StoriesToSaveLives.org

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