The Manse on Marsh Street was the location of the first GIST gathering on January 10, 2010 in San Luis Obispo, California. Chris Skiff owner/developer of The Manse on Marsh Street, an up scale senior living center, co-sponsored the event with Mike Glenn. Chris is new to GIST and Mike has been challenging GIST for over five years. They made a great team. There were ten GIST patients, looking mighty fine we might add, and an additional 10 spouses and family members attending the gathering. The main purpose was to provide a forum for new GIST people to meet the warriors, talk and share their stories and consider some new ideas on handling GIST treatment. Rick Sword reminded us to pay attention to the amount of radiation GIST patients receive after years of treatment. This gathering was so successful and inspiring; a yearly meeting is already in the works.
San Luis Obispo is a great place to meet as it is centrally located to many of our west coast GIST patients. Our first gathering was all about meeting one another. In the future, there may be speakers on a variety of topics of interest. We found that our fight with cancer did not keep us from laughing and talking about common issues and putting faces to names we’d only met online so far. That was fun. Everyone complimented Chris and Mike’s effort to reach out and connect one on one with their fellow GIST partners.