COVID & Cancer Online Video Series

We are excited to announce our web series featuring a diverse group of people experienced in cancer talking about how COVID-19 has transformed our lives and oncology departments. All donations from this series up to August 15th will be donated to the Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund

Watch Now!

Episode 1: Brandon Hertzendorf

Episode 2: Dr. Girija Anand

Guest Speakers Part 2

We want our speakers to answer YOUR questions! In the Part 2 reveal of our video series speakers, we have a recent cancer survivor speaking with her mother and an award winning nurse navigator. Send in anything you want to know about their experience with cancer and how COVID is changing oncology in various different aspects. Read about them below!

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. 

Erica G. Espirit, RN, BA, CN-BN, CHW

Erica joined Houston Methodist West Hospital in 2011. She holds a bachelor’s degree in social work and has been a registered nurse for more than 10 years. She has spent her career serving patients and empowering diverse populations through nursing, case management and advocacy, making her ideal for guiding patients at Houston Methodist Cancer Center at West through the often complex cancer care process. Erica is also a certified community health worker and has received The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses and recognition as one of the top 150 Houston nurses in the Houston Chronicle’s Salute to Nurses.

Guest Speakers Part 1

Brandon Hertzendorf

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

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. 

Episode 3: Jonny Imerman

Students for Oncological Aid and Relief

We are a national 501(c)3 nonprofit organization striving to bring comfort and joy to cancer patients around the world.

Email: info.soarabove@gmail.com

Phone: 832-729-6063

Address: 12406 Old Oaks Dr.

Houston TX, 77024

Registered Charity: 82-2421603

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