Power Of Us 2023
“POWER OF US”
2023 Annual Celebration of The Seena Magowitz Foundation
The Foundation Recently Completed Its Annual “Power of Us”
Set of Events During August 18-20, 2023, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
This year, an amazing 80 pancreatic cancer patients joined the events.
(Milwaukee WI) August 28, 2023 – The Seena Magowitz Foundation’s Annual “Power of Us” is a series of events that harnesses the collective synergy among pancreatic cancer patients, caregivers, medical researchers, surgeons, oncologists, advocates, donors, and sponsors. The annual “Power of Us” is comprised of multiple events over a period of three days each year.
Via the Collective Power of Us, the initial goal is enhancing patient outcomes. To inspire patients with renewed hope. The aggressive pursuit of innovative treatments that will save and extend enhanced quality of patient lives until the ultimate goal is eventually reached….. “The eradication of pancreatic cancer.” This brutal disease is the worst of all tumor-type cancers with the lowest relative 5-year survival of about 12%. It accounts for one-third of all cancer related deaths trailing only lung and colorectal cancers.
SUMMARY OF EVENTS
- Tour of The Harley Davidson Motorcycle Museum: August 18
Held in honor of Ron Brefka motorcycle enthusiast and pancreatic cancer patient who died in a motorcycle race last year in Sturgis. Besides the thrill of visiting this incredible museum, over 150 attendees enjoyed the Meet and Greet atmosphere and were treated to the entertainment of Ira Dean, country singer and song writer. Ira was well-known as a member of the country group trio of “Trick Pony” which won Artists of The Year by the CMA in 2001. Ira has attended several SMF events over the years. He has never hesitated to bring enjoyment to pancreatic cancer patients and their advocates.
- Breakfast Meeting Among Patients and Doctors: August 19 Saturday Morning
A uniquely brilliant idea of bringing about 80 patients and their caregivers together with elite medical professionals specializing in pancreatic cancer. The open forum discussed new innovative treatments, upcoming clinical trials, and Q&A sessions where patients could ask important questions. The Founder of the Seena Magowitz Foundation, Roger E. Magowitz, deemed bringing patients and medical experts together as an urgently needed event at all SMF Annual Power Of Us Celebrations.
According to Dr. Douglas B. Evans….”this was likely the largest exclusive gathering of pancreatic cancer patients with medical experts.”
The meeting among patients and medical experts was hosted by the Medical College of Wisconsin. It also provided an escorted tour of related lab facilities at the Medical College of Wisconsin.
The world-renowned pancreatic cancer experts included the following:
Keynote. Douglas B. Evans MD, FACS.
Chair of Department of Surgery. Medical College of Wisconsin
Presiding. Daniel Von Hoff MD, FACP, FASCO, FAACR.
Distinguished Professor of TGEN and Virginia G. Piper Chair for Innovative Research.
Consortium Leader. Erkut Borazanci MD, MS.
Deputy Director of Oncology at HonorHealth Research Institute.
Consortium Leader. Susan Tsai MD, MHS, FACS.
Director of LaBahn Pancreatic Cancer Program. Medical College of Wisconsin.
Professor in the Department of Surgery and Pharmacology at the University of North Carolina. She is Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Surgery. Co-Director of Clinical Research at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Jen Jen Yeh identified molecular subtypes of pancreatic cancer tumors with treatment significance.
Colin Weekes, MD, PhD. Director, Medical Oncology Research for Pancreatic Cancer,
Cancer Center Ground Rounds Program.
- Dinner On The Diamond: Saturday Evening August 19, 2023
This was the Grand Finale. Over 320 attendees gathered on the diamond at American Family Field, home of the Milwaukee Brewers. Among the attendees were patients, caregivers, advocates, donors, sponsors, and renowned medical professionals including research oncologists, elite surgeons, and clinical trial investigators. Bud Selig and Bob Uecker attended the Dinner on the Diamond.
Our sincere thanks to Roger Caplinger the Honorary Chair of the 2023 Power Of Us series of events held in Milwaukee. Roger is the Former Medical Director of the Milwaukee Brewers and is currently a pancreatic cancer patient.
Special awards were given to the following attendees:
Family Legacy Award: The Pollack Family
The Pollack Family lost their patriarch, Ken Pollack to pancreatic cancer in December 2022. The family owns Babbo Italian Eatery which has eight restaurants in the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale area. In memory of Ken and in honor of his love of baseball, the family continued his “Day of Giving” but renamed it to “Baseball For Babbo.”
This year they raised over $150,000 by donating one day’s receipts and sales of autographed baseball memorabilia. To date they have raised more than $250,000 towards pancreatic cancer research. JP of Memory Lane and Derrick Hall, President of the Arizona Diamondbacks helped by donating some memorabilia. Roger E. Magowitz also helped by matching portions of Babbo restaurant receipts.
A great thank you to Charlotte Pollack, her family, and the Babbo staff.
Survivor’s Spirit Award: Kay Kays
It gives the Foundation great pleasure to honor Kay with this award. Kay is a 29-year pancreatic cancer survivor. She is a spouse, mother, grandmother, family member, and friend. Kay Kays is dedicated to her responsibility as a research grant reviewer and research patient consultant. Recently, Kay was selected to serve as a patient advocate for the NCI Pancreas Task Force representing the Seena Magowitz Foundation.
Although a long-term survivor, her road has not been easy. Diagnosed in 1994 and despite having the Whipple Procedure she had her pancreas and spleen completely removed. Three years later, doctors discovered her cancer had metastasized to lymph nodes. Her doctors told her there was nothing more they could do for her.
Undeterred, Kay found an article written by Dr. Daniel Von Hoff. She reached out to him, becoming one of his first targeted therapy patients. Three years later the cancer spread to her lung resulting in part of her lung being removed. In spite of the rough road, today she is healthy without any sign of active cancer. She continues to counsel other patients and is a Co-Moderator of the Foundation’s Patient Support Group.
Philanthropic Impact Honoree: Stan Vitikas
Stan is a 15-year pancreatic cancer survivor who poses the same question every year. “If not me, then who?” As a survivor, Stan Vitikas has become an advocate and a grassroots fundraiser by asking more than 100 people from his community, work partners, and family members to help fund pancreatic cancer research.
Stan himself has matched raised funds and even volunteered time at his employers in return for contributions. In the last year Stan has raised over $115,000 and in the last eight years since his grassroot style, he has raised over $500,000 to help fund pancreatic research and is setting even high aspirations.
All net proceeds derived from the Power of Us Annual Event are targeted for a clinical trial administered by the Medical College of Wisconsin.
- Farewell Breakfast With Roger E. Magowitz: Sunday Morning August 20
An informal gathering of guests who stayed at the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino.
Our Major Power Of Us Sponsors
| Leggett & Platt | Customatic Technologies | The Moran Family
| Smash It Sports | Babbo Italian Eatery | Francis Roses |
About The Seena Magowitz Foundation Power of Us Event
The Seena Magowitz Foundation’s Annual “Power of Us” is a series of events that harnesses the collective synergy among pancreatic cancer patients, caregivers, medical researchers, surgeons, oncologists, advocates, donors, and sponsors. The annual “Power of Us” comprises multiple events over a period of three days each year.
The initial goal is to enhance patient outcomes and inspire patients with renewed hope. The aggressive pursuit of innovative treatments that will save and extend enhanced quality of patient lives until the ultimate goal of eradicating pancreatic cancer is reached. This brutal disease is the worst of all tumor-type cancers with the lowest relative 5-year survival of about 12%. It accounts for one-third of all cancer related deaths trailing only lung and colorectal cancers. For more information, visit seenamagowitzfoundation.org.