Personal Stories

A snapshot of a special volunteer

Meet TargetCancer volunteer Gleb Budilovsky! Gleb grew up in Topsfield, MA, and moved to Boston in 2005, where he lives with his wife Lindsey and adorable dog Luna. Gleb is a wedding and commercial photographer, who generously donates his time and skill from behind the camera to TargetCancer Foundation in order to capture beautiful images and special moments from the Gala.  At this year’s event, Gleb is looking forward to enjoying the beautiful State Room, and reconnecting with all of the people he met at TCF’s 2019 Gala. Thank you, Gleb!

Meet Jenna Hart!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet TargetCancer Foundation volunteer Jenna Hart. Originally from Connecticut, Jenna now lives on Boston’s North Shore and is the Senior Visual Designer on Mintz Levin’s Creative team. Jenna got involved with TCF in 2019 through her work at Mintz. Jenna is happy to be able to donate her graphic design expertise to TCF, and sees this as a way to give back to an organization that is doing incredible research and work. At this year’s gala, Jenna is looking forward to meeting the TCF staff with whom she has been working virtually since the start of the pandemic, and learning more about TCF’s work in raising awareness for rare cancers. We are very grateful for all of the time and hard work Jenna is contributing to the Gala- thank you, Jenna!

A reflection of purpose after 13 years: Remembering our founder

Written by Kristen Palma, TargetCancer Foundation President

 

Each year, as I sit down to write this note, I wonder what more I can say. It has been 13 years since my husband and our founder, Paul Poth, died after facing cholangiocarcinoma. I am grateful that as time goes by, I think less about the time that Paul was sick, and see how little this particular day matters in comparison to the whole person that he was and the life he lived.

Thanks to Paul’s founding vision, each of us at TargetCancer Foundation is given the opportunity to work with patients, families and caregivers, and to witness the incredible resiliency, creativity, and strength that they find in their most challenging moments. We see patients and caregivers become advocates and medical and scientific experts as they lobby for the best care. They transform themselves into philanthropists, writers, and public speakers, and create powerful support systems, all while finding the unimaginable energy to face a relentless foe.

I watched Paul do all of this when he started TargetCancer Foundation. He was committed to helping other patients with rare cancers be seen, empowered and treated as the whole people that they are, and to be given the best chance to live. All of these years later, with the support of so many of you, we have funded research leading to new treatments, and created the TRACK clinical trial that is fulfilling this mission for rare cancer patients across the country. They are being seen and treated with the dignity that each patient deserves. It is an appropriate legacy for the person that Paul was.

 

Introducing Giselle Mota, our newest volunteer!

We are pleased to introduce you to TargetCancer Foundation‘s newest volunteer, Giselle Mota. Originally from Los Angeles, CA, Giselle currently resides in Boston, MA. Giselle became involved with TCF through her work as a Project Analyst at Mintz. This is Giselle’s first year on the gala planning committee, and she is helping to coordinate the silent auction. Drawn to TCF because of its engagement with research and deep ties to the community, Giselle is excited to participate in meaningful conversations with members of the rare cancer community at this year’s Gala. Welcome, Giselle!

Meet TCF Volunteer Cami Harris

Originally from Greensboro, NC, Cami Herring currently lives in Cambridge, MA with her chihuahua, Coco. Cami is a Project Analyst at Mintz working with the Pro Bono and Immigration sections. Cami got involved with TargetCancer Foundation last year after hearing about the exciting work of the organization from previous Project Analysts (PAs). She will be coordinating the silent auction as well as managing the other Mintz PAs who volunteer at the Gala. Cami is so glad to be able to work with the amazing volunteers and staff at TCF and to continue to learn about rare cancers. Thank you Cami for all of your hard work-we are lucky to have you in the TCF community!

Introducing TCF Volunteer Catherine May

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Originally from Dalton, MA, Catherine moved to the Boston area in 2020 after graduating from Williams College. She is a Senior Practice Coordinator at Mintz. Catherine heard about TCF through Mintz, and became a volunteer after her father passed away from cholangiocarcinoma in November of 2021. Catherine joined the TCF community to honor her dad’s memory, and to contribute to efforts to find treatments for cholangiocarcinoma. This is Catherine’s first year as part of the gala planning committee, and she volunteered her time to help coordinate communications. She looks forward to meeting members of the rare cancer community at this year’s 2022 Gala- be sure to say hello on September 21!

 

2022 Gala Volunteer Spotlight

As the 2022 TargetCancer Foundation Gala approaches, we are pleased to feature some of our wonderful volunteers, whose efforts are integral to the Gala’s success. 

Meet TargetCancer Foundation volunteer Tracy Holt. Originally from Boston, Tracy currently resides in Hingham, MA and is a Litigation Practice Manager at Mintz Levin. Tracy was inspired to get involved with TCF after she lost her mom to uterine carcinosarcoma in 2019. Tracy firmly believes that awareness and advocacy are vital to changing outcomes for those facing rare cancer. She is inspired by TCF, which not only supports and brings awareness to the rare cancer space, but also focuses its fundraising in order to make a real impact on research and treatment advancement for rare cancers. This is Tracy’s second year on the Gala planning committee. We are very grateful to have Tracy as part of the TCF community!

Grief- You’re Back Again?

Written by Kristen Palma, TargetCancer Foundation President.

Here is what I have learned about grief after having to cope with it for eleven years.  It is like that old t-shirt in the back of your drawer that pops up every year when you are doing your spring cleaning. You forgot it was there but it shows up each season and for some reason you decide to keep it- never ready to let it go. But you never wear it either. Continue reading

My Story of Grief: Experiencing the loss of a loved one during COVID-19

By Kimberley Balkus, TCF volunteer and advocate

2,403 days.

The number of days that my mom, Geri Keegan, lived with cholangiocarcinoma. She was given one year to live and every additional day we had with her was an absolute blessing. Continue reading

In Julienne’s Footsteps: Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro to Honor a Life

By guest writer Karen Dempsey

The bonds that Julienne Morriss Callaway forged and the values she embraced in life have been instrumental in sustaining her family in the aftermath of her death from cholangiocarcinoma. Continue reading