MRM Lecture Series

In Memory of Michael S. Ratner

December 30, 2015
by CancerSupport

December 17 Meeting Notes

Gala Holiday Event at Bink’s Midtown

Our December 17th gala event at Bink’s Midtown included a ‘family style’ sit-down dinner which featured red bean vegetable soup, a mixed green salad with julienne apples, walnuts, endive, goat cheese, and cranberries served with apple cider vinaigrette. For the main entre, a hearty dish of meatballs cooked with blue cheese, celery, and dipped in a mouthwatering house-made buffalo sauce dazzled our taste buds along with fresh brioche rolls. But it wasn’t only the array of delicious culinary sides that were dished out. Our guest speaker, Colleen Forgus, Nutritional Consultant & Chef, brought in homemade sauerkraut, beet Kvass, and delicate rolls filled with cranberry and a variety of nuts and answered questions from our attendees concerning their diet needs.

Our raffle giveaways for complimentary dinners at local hotspots, as well as spa days including manicures, pedicures, facials, and hairstyling were handed out to the lucky winners. Our silent auction produced some friendly bidding wars between attendees, but in the end, everyone was happy, which was our goal. All attendees were winners!

Our December gala event has been deemed a fun time for all. We hope to see all of you in January. Happy New Year!!

November 21, 2015
by CancerSupport

November 19 Meeting Notes

Thank you Dr. Joshua LaBaer, director of the Virginia Piper Center for Personalized Medicine, for an exciting presentation on the immune system and how it relates to cancer. Dr. LaBaer was both knowledgeable and comfortable with his topic and provided ample time to respond to all questions and concerns. Attendees shared a relaxed and informative evening complete with great food and service provided by Donovan’s Steakhouse. My thanks to all of you who attended the November 19 lecture (we had a full house). A special thanks to Donovan’s for their generous sponsorship for the MRM Cancer Lecture Series.

October 19, 2015
by CancerSupport
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October 15 Meeting Notes

Our October presenter, Jeffrey D. Esko, Ph.D, distinguished professor of cellular and molecular medicine at the University of California, San Diego, talked about MHE AND ME: Developing a pharmacological approach for multiple hereditary exostoses. Wow! What a fabulous presentation. Dr. Esko, a scientist, showed us how scientists work to develop pharmaceutical cures for diseases. A refreshing change of pace for our cancer lecture series, which prides itself on unleashing knowledge, science, and humor to the community.

The buffet was wonderful at Bluewater Grill, as was the service. We are varying our menu each month so that our attendees can try new innovated, eclectic dishes. Our thanks to all of you for a great turnout and a wonderful presentation.

For more information the MHE Coalition, go to

September 20, 2015
by CancerSupport

September 17 Meeting Notes

Sept17KuoWhat a great turnout—35 people attended September’s lecture at Bluewater Grill. We had an excellent presenter, Dr. Kuo, talking about THE CHANGING FACE OF HOW WE TREAT LUNG CANCER, which included screening, complete overview, and the newest scientific advances.  A question/answer session followed, which included all cancer-related topics. Thanks to Dr. Kuo and all of you who attended our fall debut. And thank you Bluewater Grill, for providing excellent food and service for the event. See you all in October!


Michael Ratner Memorial volunteers, Maria Christy, left, and Casey Smith-Forrest, presents the Michael Ratner Memorial a generous sponsorship check on September 15, 2015 on behalf of AMTrust Bank (2200 East Camelback Road in Phoenix, Arizona). Thanks to everyone at AM Trust for their continuing support and assistance.

June 20, 2015
by CancerSupport

June 18 Meeting Notes

Our June 18 presentation with world-renown homeopathic medical doctor and chief physician of Oasis of Healing in Mesa, AZ, Dr. Thomas Lodi, brought in 87 attendees with 25 additional people on the waiting list. The MRM support lecture series promoted this event to numerous media outlets throughout the state of Arizona. Our marketing paid off—with an even stronger audience for our lecture series.

Lodi2Most of the attendees were unaware of Dr. Lodi’s practice, but enjoyed hearing his humorous and insightful presentation. Our mission is to bring awareness of the latest traditional and non-traditional medical modalities offered and let you decide which path to take.

Donovan’s catered a delicious vegetarian dinner and drinks. We sat at two long 40+ people tables draped in white linen table cloths reminiscent of a Bar Mitzvah or wedding reception. Some people were mesmerized and Dr. Lodi received a hardy applause at the end of the presentation.

FYI: My diet, which I thought was basically healthy, will change dramatically after hearing Lodi’s nutritional philosophy.

We’ll be on hiatus until September 17, when we hope to present another ‘standing room only’ presentation.

May 23, 2015
by CancerSupport

May 21 Meeting Notes

MeetingDr. Panos Fidias, Associate Professor of Medicine, U of A, and Section Leader of the Thoracic Oncology at St. Joseph’s Hospital, presented at our May 21 meeting and talked about how close we are to personalized cancer care. It isn’t easy to present scientific information to lay people, but Dr. Fidias made the technical interesting and easy to understand. The most recent genetic mutations of different cancers were discussed. He mesmerized the audience with his knowledge and great sense of humor. What I love most about our presentations is learning about the latest cancer treatments and the rationale behind them. Thank you Dr. Fidias for sharing your expertise with our group!



April 21, 2015
by CancerSupport
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April 16 Meeting Notes

EatingOur April 16 meeting with Landon Inge, PhD, Norton Thoracic Institute, was not only informative, but a gala affair with our new sponsor, Bluewater Grill. We had a large, comfortable room set up with tables and cushioned chairs and a fabulous waitress, Kat, who took our drink orders and assisted us with the buffet dinner. The presentation on BENDING THE CURVE: IMPROVING PATIENT OUTCOMES FOR LUNG and ESOPHAGUS CANCER, focused on the newest research taking place at TGen.

I want to thank all of you for attending. I’ve posted photos to view from the April event. What a joy to see so many familiar faces, lots of new people joining our group, along with a few nurses who I hadn’t seen for a while.

WatchingIt’s all of you that make the MRM Cancer Support Group a successful endeavor. See you on May 21!

Terry Ratner, RN, MFA

March 21, 2015
by CancerSupport
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March 19 Meeting Notes

Group2We had ‘standing room’ only at last night’s presentation, THE LINK BETWEEN NUTRITION AND CANCER. Our speaker, Dr. Colleen Huber, author of CHOOSE YOUR FOODS LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON THEM, talked about the results of her study and published research on sugar intake in cancer patients (2014). We had an overflow of guests on the patio, but with our comfortable seating, easy to hear speaker set-up, perfect weather, and nutritional, tasty food buffet, no one seemed to mind the crowd.

The interaction between attendees and our speaker covered a variety of general nutritional concerns, not all specific to cancer patients. We had several doctors in the audience, along with nutritional experts, and cancer patients. The intriguing discussion lasted for more than an hour, covering all aspects of nutrition as it relates to cancer and the human body.

Group1What I loved about last night’s discussion was the spirited repartee between speaker and attendees and the variety of topics it covered. It seems that alternative medicine is on our minds, especially how it partners with traditional cancer methods of treatment.

Thanks to all of you who attended. Sorry we weren’t able to seat everyone. Stay tuned for our April presentation—guaranteed to be exciting and challenging.

Terry Ratner, RN, MFA
MRM Community Cancer Support Association

February 22, 2015
by CancerSupport
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February 19th Meeting Notes

Feb19MeetPicSmWhat a wonderful presentation by Dr. Huang, Director of Education and Program Development at the Norton Thoracic Institute, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center. Positive Pathways for Esophageal and Lung Cancer covered the spectrum of preventative care, early diagnosis, and the latest developments for both cancers. The difference between a ‘typical lecture’ and an ‘exchange of ideas forum’ is the amount of audience participation. Our attendees felt comfortable sharing their stories and questions with our presenter.

The food and beverages were amazing. Bink’s local produce farm-to-table philosophy is reflected in their cuisine—beautifully composed arrangements bursting with right out of the garden flavor. Special dietary dishes are available upon request. Thank you Bink’s for your continued hospitality!

We welcomed our new attendees who were made to feel at home as they shared their experiences with our established core members. Looking forward to seeing all of you at our Thursday, March 19 presentation with Colleen Huber, NMD, (Naturopathic Oncology Research Institute) talking about the link between nutrition and cancer. Author of CHOOSE YOUR FOODS LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT. See you then!

January 27, 2015
by CancerSupport
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January 15 Meeting Notes

group2Our restaurant sponsor, Bink’s Midtown in central Phoenix, offered attendees tortilla soup meatballs in a scrumptious sauce, house-made potato chips light and perfectly seasoned, and a vegetable and cheese platter with varied dips. They had plenty of drinks available, from iced tea, to coffee, and lemon infused water.The room’s comfort came from the layout, including the cushioned chairs and optimal stretching area. Twenty-six people mingled with hors d’oeuvres until Dr. Kuske began his presentation at 6:45 PM. He brought his service dog, Beignet (doughnut), a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, who seemed to sleep during most of the informative presentation—she had heard it all before.

KuskeEveryone shared their personal experiences, both formally and informally, and assisted each other with their concerns. Attendees had lots of questions and Dr. Kuske supplied all the answers with humility and knowledge. His topic, brachytherapy, seemed to be interesting to everyone. Thank you again, Dr. Kuske for your contributions to medicine and your excellent bedside manner.