While fundraising is serious business, the 4th Annual Dream Makers Gala promises that those who attend will have an evening of fun, cocktails, entertainment, live and silent auctions, dinner, dancing, and surprises. 

Cirque Dreams is the evening’s theme which begins at 7:00 pm on Saturday, April 20th. About 500 friends and supporters of Can’t Stomach Cancer: The Foundation of Debbie’s Dream (CSC) will descend on The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, located at 3555 South Ocean Drive in Hollywood. This year’s Co-Chairs are David Kubiliun and Melissa Morris and the evening’s Master of Ceremonies is Willard Shepard of NBC 6.

CSC will honor some very dedicated individuals including Alan and Marsha Levy; Melanie Geronemus Smit of Lifestyle Publications; Cindy Krischer Goodman, Journalist/Miami Herald Columnist; Jordan D. Berlin, MD of Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center; and young philanthropists Sydney Lieberman, Lauren Shatanof, and Rachel Shatanof.

The exciting live auction features a Snowmass, Colorado ski vacation; a trip to Atlantis, Paradise Island Bahamas and Dolphin experience; magnificent jewelry from Daoud’s Fine Jewelry; and more!

Founder Debbie Zelman, a wife and mother of three young children, was diagnosed with advanced, incurable stomach cancer in 2008 at the age of 40. “I was told that there were very few effective treatment options and that my chances of being alive in five years were four percent,” she recalled.

In the course of searching for treatment options, Debbie quickly learned how difficult stomach cancer is to detect and treat and that the outcome is often grim. Working closely with her doctors in academic and community settings, Debbie began responding to treatment. She then decided to use her experience, skills, and tenacity as an attorney, as well as her broad network of friends and supporters, to start a movement to raise awareness about the disease, fund research, and help other patients.

In April 2009 Debbie started Debbie’s Dream Foundation which quickly became a strong voice for stomach cancer advocacy in South Florida. Realizing that the fight against stomach cancer needed a broader stage, CSC initiated a call to action, a rallying cry, a declaration once and for all, that as a world we will stand up to this disease. Thus, Can’t Stomach Cancer: The Foundation of Debbie’s Dream was born and has emerged as an international leader for this under-recognized and under-funded disease.

In reflecting back to the time when she first heard the words, “You have stomach cancer,” Debbie recounted some of the milestones CSC has reached.  CSC holds events across the country and has nine chapters, a world renowned Medical Advisory Board, a prestigious Honorary Board, a talented Corporate Advisory Board, a dedicated Board of Directors, and helps patients all over the world.

Each year CSC holds a free Stomach Cancer Education Symposium featuring lectures by renowned doctors from leading cancer centers that are viewed internationally via webcast. “These lectures are available on our website along with numerous resources, related links, and other information,” notes Board Member and Symposium Co-Chair Libia Scheller, PhD. The 3rd Annual Stomach Cancer Symposium will be held at the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa on Saturday, April 20, 2013 from 10am to 3pm. The Symposium is open to the public and free of charge with advance registration required.

CSC launched its Patient Resource Education Program (PREP) to provide education, resources, and support internationally to stomach cancer patients, families, and caregivers on its toll-free hotline at (855) 475-1200. Patients speak to each other to share knowledge and learn from each other’s experiences.  “For the person diagnosed with stomach cancer, there is an urgency to get the best treatment immediately. There are few sources of dependable information but we are changing that,” explains Board Vice President Robin Moselle, Esq.

This is quite a list of significant accomplishments, particularly since it all started in 2009 with a deadly cancer diagnosis!

Some startling facts include that stomach cancer is a leading cause of cancer death worldwide – second in men and fourth in women; each year nearly 930,000 people worldwide are diagnosed with stomach cancer and approximately 700,000 die.  Approximately 22,000 Americans are diagnosed with stomach cancer each year, and more than 10,000 will die within the first year. Most people know very little about this disease and there are currently few resources and support services for stomach cancer patients which is something that Can’t Stomach Cancer is changing on a daily basis.

Tickets are $175 per person and sponsorships range from $600 to $25,000. For sponsorship information or tickets, call (954) 475-1200 or email Events@CantStomachCancer.org.


Lifestyle Publications Salutes Melanie Geronemus-Smit

While all of the individuals and organizations being honored at Debbie’s Dream Makers Gala are special… The “Lifestyle Magazine Family” is especially proud of our own Melanie Geronemus-Smit for achieving the Can’t Stomach Cancer Humanitarian of the Year Award.  

As the Creative Director for six publications, she is a vital part of our team, so we wanted to shine a spotlight on Melanie! 

As if producing and directing six monthly magazines wasn’t enough she still finds time to give back to her community in numerous ways. 

We will be attending The Dream Makers Gala to support Debbie in her absolutely remarkable work… and to applaud our own Melanie as she receives her award.