As we enjoy the holiday season and prepare for the New Year, it is also a time to reflect upon the past year and to recognize those individuals who go above and beyond on a daily basis to improve the lives of carcinoid cancer/neuroendocrine tumor patients and their families. The Carcinoid Cancer Foundation salutes the Carcinoid Cancer Awareness Network (CCAN), and its founders, Maryann and Robert Wahmann, whose contributions to the carcinoid/NET community have been extraordinary. Maryann, a carcinoid patient, spent 7 years trying to get a diagnosis for her cancer. She understands what it is to be misdiagnosed. And Robert, also known as Bob, knows what it is to be a caregiver. This incredible couple, plus their children Tricia and Michael, have dedicated literally thousands of hours to serving the carcinoid/NET community.
During an amazingly productive year, Maryann and Robert worked with the Ochsner Medical Center-Kenner to produce the 2009 National Carcinoid/ NET Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, attended by 500 patients and their families; held their first Strides for Stripes Zebra Walk, raising money for carcinoid/NET awareness activities; hosted their 6th Annual Carcinoid Cancer/NET conference in Long Island, NY; hosted their 6th annual “Celebration of Life” gala; contributed more than $85,000 to carcinoid research, other carcinoid foundations, and support groups; exhibited at the June 2009 ASCO (American Society of Clinical Oncology) Annual Meeting; participated in the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons conference; Maryann was elected to the Board of NANETS (the North American NeuroEndocrine Tumor Society); and she was recently interviewed by Dr. DeSilva on Healthradio.net.
But that’s not all – Maryann and Robert answer questions from the carcinoid/NET community 12 hours a day, 7 days a week through their toll-free support line. They distribute awareness items such as zebra bracelets, stuffed zebras, pins, and even zebra-striped band-aids! They attend and participate in conferences throughout the country and internationally and they lend a hand wherever and whenever it is needed. During the 6 years since they began their work as a nonprofit organization (Maryann and Bob have led the metro NY carcinoid support group for 8 years), they have provided much-needed information about carcinoid/NETs by phone, mailings, webinars, CD ROMS and conferences they have produced.
Their mission is to increase awareness about carcinoid cancer and neuroendocrine tumors, and, “Our hope is to help save lives!” Maryann and Robert pledge to continue all of their activities “until carcinoid cancer is CURED!” To read more about what CCAN does visit the Carcinoid Cancer Awareness Network’s website, www.carcinoidawareness.org.
Thank you, Maryann and Robert Wahmann, for all you do, everyday, for the carcinoid cancer/neuroendocrine tumor community.