Life Fest 2020 New Orleans

The Life Raft Group is pleased to announce that Life Fest 2020 will be held in The Big Easy!

SAVE THE DATE! July 10 – 12, 2020

With the spirit of New Orleans flowing through the office, Senior Vice President Laura Occhiuzzi and
Senior Director of Outreach & Engagement Diana Nieves made the big announcement.

Celebrating The Big Easy with Chef Cardie at The LRG

Executive Director Norman Scherzer Presenting Chef Cardie with certificate naming him ‘Official Chef of the Life Raft Group’ (Left to right, Scherzer, Jim Fuller, Chef Cardie)

The announcement that Life Fest 2020 would be in New Orleans was made Wednesday during a special luncheon at The LRG offices, prepared by Chef Cardie Mortimer of Verona. Chef treated the staff to a sumptuous meal of authentic Chicken, Shrimp, & Andouille Jambalaya, New Orleans Garlic, Herbed & Parmesan Bread, and Bananas Foster Bread Pudding to celebrate.

Cardie, a graduate of the New Orleans French Culinary Institute, has a long history of working with non-profits. A professional with a colorful career as a chef, culinary consultant, and teacher, Cardie has performed ‘culinary therapy’ for hundreds in facilities across New Jersey, and recently began working with the Emeril Lagasse Foundation (donating time as a teaching chef), in addition to being the executive chef of his home church, Holy Spirit Episcopal Church in Verona.

What is Life Fest?

Life Fest landing page photo

Life Fest is a unique event where hundreds of patients and caregivers come together for a weekend to interact with each other and the medical and scientific communities that serve them. Faced with a rare form of cancer, GIST patients have a great need for information about this disease, particularly as the science evolves and our understanding reveals a complex set of subtypes of GIST, each responding differently to available treatments. Each year brings a wealth of new information, and patients are eager to learn about the latest treatments.

Life Fest workshops provide patients with emerging medical information, and they come away with a deeper knowledge of the disease, treatments and side effect management. They find hope in knowing the scientific community is working toward a cure, and hope is such a vital asset as they struggle day by day for survival.

Life Fest emerged in recognition of the tremendous need for support in the GIST community. Life Fest 2020 will provide patients and caregivers with that support. Coming together with fellow patients from all walks of life from around the world is a meaningful and powerful experience.

In addition to our traditional educational workshops, Life Fest 2020 will feature scientific presentations highlighting the newest research and the latest treatments. Additionally, other disease advocacy groups will be invited to present the work of their organizations, and share lessons learned.

Scholarship/financial assistance will be available. The intention of the scholarship/financial aid fund is to make Life Fest available to individual patients, family members and/or caregivers, regardless of their financial situation. Aid information will be available later in the year.

See presentations & galleries from past Life Fest events