Our Good News Holiday Campaign is the culmination of our year of “Time to Tell the Stories 2022.” In this series, we celebrate the connections, the celebrations, the events and milestones that we’ve been privileged to be a part of this year. Our 20th anniversary year is winding down and we are wrapping it up by spreading good news & gratitude throughout the season. Your financial donations and selfless volunteerism are what enable us to continue providing vital services to our GIST community.
Celebrating Our Events
This week’s theme is Events. Events are one of the ways that we share information & education about GIST, treatments, side effects and trials. One of our core values is to educate and empower patients to take a larger role in their care. Despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, The Life Raft Group has been able to provide both virtual and in-person opportunities to both learn and to be together as community. Our regional GIST Days of Learning (GDOLs) and the biennial Life Fest events inform and educate participants about GIST and its management, as well as about research updates from the top experts in the field. These events also provide opportunity for community to come together. Our LRG Webinar series provides virtual educational sessions for our community and for medical professionals on both research topics and GIST management issues.
In the past year, we produced 12 webinars including: The Value of Biomarker Testing: Case Studies, Be An Informed Patient: Navigating Survivorship Care, Be An Informed Patient: Navigating GIST NCCN Guidelines, The Effects of Nutrition and the Gut Microbiome in GIST Patients, Updates from ASCO 2022, Managing Medical Bills, GIST Awareness Day Webinar: SDH Updates & Stories, The Impact of Biomarker Testing, The Emerging Role of Circulating Tumor DNA in GIST, Surgical Considerations for GIST, LRG Conversations: Let’s Get to the GIST of It – Qinlock, and An Interactive Q&A with SDH Families. All of our presenters were GIST experts and researchers from leading cancer care centers. You can view the recordings of these webinars: https://liferaftgroup.org/webcasts/
A GIST Day of Learning (GDOL) is a free one day event to help patients and caregivers learn more about this rare cancer, find support, and enhance their knowledge base to help them navigate their cancer journey. The Life Raft Group has a simple focus: to cure a form of cancer — GIST – and to help those living with it until then. The GDOLs held in 2022 were Tennessee (Virtual), North Carolina (Virtual), Washington, DC, San Diego, and Miami. Learn more about GDOLs and view recording of select GDOLs here: https://liferaftgroup.org/gist-day-of-learning/
Our biennial Life Fest event, held in New Orleans this year, brought together 130 patients, caregivers, LRG staff, clinicians and other medical professionals. 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. You can view presentations and videos from 2022 and prior Life Fests here: https://liferaftgroup.org/life-fest/
These events also provide the opportunity for our community to come together. We want every patient and caregiver in our community to know they are not alone, and to be empowered through education. Patients and caregivers meet others just like them who want to share their support, experiences, and encouragement so that together this journey is more than about surviving, but also thriving.
Your donations help provide funding for the logistics of our events, educational materials and scholarships.
Would you please help us continue to produce these vital, high-quality programs?