COVID & Cancer Online Video Series
We are excited to present our web series featuring a diverse group of people experienced in cancer talking about how COVID-19 has transformed our lives and the oncology department. Our donations from this series were matched by SOAR for a total of $300 donated to the Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund
Episode 1: Brandon Hertzendorf
Episode 2: Dr. Girija Anand
Episode 3: Jonny Imerman
Episode 4: Taima Ronish & April Vashaw
Episode 5: Jake & Audrey McKim
Episode 6: Dana Dornsife
Guest Speakers Part 2
Taima Ronish & April Vashaw
Taima Ronish is a 17 year old cancer survivor living in Lancaster, New Hampshire who will attend Wheaton College this fall. She will be studying biology and following the pre-medical track as well as running on the track team. Taima was diagnosed and treated with Childhood Spitzoid Malignant Melanoma Skin Cancer at the age of 11 years old. Her mother, April Vashaw, was Taima's rock during this time. April pushed the doctors to check her spot no matter how many times they refused, which led to Taima being properly treated with a major surgery. Taima has been in remission for six years and is constantly receiving check-ups and care as her cancer could come back at any time. In the future, Taima wants to become a surgical oncologist and help those who struggle with cancer.
Jake & Audrey McKim
Jake is the founder of AmpUrRoom, a nonprofit organization that brings famous musicians into hospitals to perform for patients. In the past they’ve worked with Fifth Harmony, Pentatonix, Chloe x Halle, Maddie & Tae, and more. Jake's primary job is working as an artist development specialist at Birch Street Music. Jake has worked with celebrated artists, songwriters, and producers including Beyonce, Solange, Maddie & Tae, and Chloe & Halle among others.
Audrey is a Child Life Activity Coordinator at Texas Children’s Hospital Cancer and Hematology Centers in Houston. Her role there includes managing normalization and socialization programs for long-term and frequent admission pediatric cancer patients. She also serves as the hospital liaison for AmpUrRoom.
Dana Dornsife is CEO at Lazarex Cancer Foundation, a nationwide non-profit organization she founded in 2006. The unique mission of Lazarex is to improve the outcome of cancer care, giving hope, dignity and life to advanced stage cancer patients and the medically underserved by providing assistance with costs for FDA clinical trial participation, identification of clinical trial options, community outreach and engagement. Dana is a graduate of Drexel University in Philadelphia and launched several businesses prior to migrating to the non-profit sector. Additionally, Dana is a board member of the USC Brain and Creativity Institute, serves as Chair of the UCSF Cancer Leadership Council, and is a member of the MGH Presidents Council. She is Vice Chair of the governing board of the Yosemite Conservancy, in addition to being a council member.
Guest Speakers Part 1
Brandon Hertzendorf is an 18-year-old attending the University of Florida. He will be majoring in psychology on a pre-med track. Brandon was diagnosed with chondrosarcoma, a rare skull-cancer, on July 7th, 2017. After surgery and proton radiation, Brandon has been in remission for almost two years. Brandon plans to be a pediatric psychologist, helping patients with their mental health during treatment.
Dr. Girija Anand
Dr Girija (Gij) Anand was appointed as a consultant in clinical oncology at North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust in January 2011. She also works at the Royal Free London NHS Trust, Chase Farm site. Dr Anand has wide experience in the general oncological management of various tumour sites. Her expertise is in treating lung and breast cancers with novel therapies including molecular targeted treatments, immunotherapy as well as advanced radiotherapy techniques. She is actively involved in research, teaching and recruits into national and commercial clinical trials. Another key area of interest is service improvement in the modern NHS and over the years has she held a number of leadership roles.
Jonny Imerman is the founder of Imerman Angels, a non-profit which provides comfort and understanding for all cancer fighters through one-on-one connection with mentors who have experienced the same type of cancer, are the same age, or are the same gender. At 26 yesrs old Jonny faced a battle with testicular cancer and came out the other side punching, wanting to ensure no one felt alone through their journey, he founded Imerman Angels to inspire other fighters that they too can overcome their cancer.