The Life Raft Group (LRG) is at a turning point in its remarkable history as a patient advocacy organization for those who have been diagnosed with Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GIST).  We have reached a milestone, our 10-year anniversary, and it’s been a wonderful journey with a community of patients, medical professionals and scientists who year by year have grown in knowledge and shown amazing courage in their battle with this rare disease.  From our humble beginnings as a start-up nonprofit, the LRG has become an essential companion to those with GIST, and a leader among cancer patient organizations.

Our journey has been marked by innovations and achievements, including a comprehensive Patient Registry and GIST Collaborative Tissue Bank that provide valuable data for research, the formation of our own team of scientists working collaboratively on a cure for GIST, new educational and support programs , successful webcasts, a cutting-edge newsletter and the emergence of scores of local chapters.

The Life Raft Group celebrated Ten Years of Dedication at Life Fest 2012 on November 9-11, at the Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. On Friday night, November 9th Life Fest began with a gala event. The evening featured a look back at the LRG’s achievements over the last 10 years as well as provide a glimpse of where we are heading in the future.

We recognized those who contributed to the fight against GIST, honoring a select group from the patient, medical, scientific and pharmaceutical communities who have furthered the understanding and treatment of GIST and made a difference to the survival of patients. These honorees were spotlighted for their accomplishments at the gala and inducted into the GIST Hall of Fame. The celebration continued throughout the weekend with other key awards.

See 2012 Life Fest Agenda

As a part of the event, the LRG also published a 10-year anniversary commemorative program highlighting our achievements. If you are interested in receiving this Program, please contact

More than anything else, Life Fest 2012 offered an opportunity for the GIST community to come together to celebrate our progress and move toward finding a cure.