In Memory: Angela Mora

Angela Mora SelfieIt is with great sadness that we announce the passing of sarcoma warrior, Angela Mora.

 

Angela was an outspoken advocate for cancer causes, donating her brilliant culinary talents to help raise money for the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, and most recently at the Northwest Sarcoma Foundation.  

 

Angela first contacted the foundation in late summer of last year. Although she was currently undergoing treatment, and working full time at a local restaurant, Angela was full of energy and radiated positivity. She spoke about her desire to use her passion and talent as a chef to give back. At the time she was planning a private dinner event and was inquiring about donating a portion of the proceeds to the Northwest Sarcoma Foundation.

 

Anglea Mora at GalaAngela continued her advocacy work as a honored guest at the 2016 Stories From the Vineyard gala, where she donated a private dinner that was well received by the gala attendees. The money raised from her donations helped the foundation exceed their fundraising goal, and will in turn help directly impact the lives of hundreds of people in the sarcoma community.

Her courage and attitude toward her diagnosis was truly inspiring. It was an honor having Angela as an active supporter of the foundation. She will be deeply missed by many.

 

We are honored to have known Angela and feel privileged to have been a benefactor of her advocacy.  She shared a common vision we hold: end sarcoma as we know it.  

 

In lieu of flowers, Angela’s family has asked donations to be made in Angela’s memory to the Northwest Sarcoma Foundation.

Remembering Sig Kohl

 

Remembering Siegfried Kohl
A couple of years ago we got a call from a guy named Siegfried. He had been diagnosed with a rare sarcoma and had heard about our foundation from his doctor at SCCA. First he just wanted to talk...it was still sinking in that he had cancer because he was so active and healthy and young and strong...he wasn't really sure how things were going to go for him, but he was determined to beat his sarcoma. 
He called again because he decided he wanted to bring attention to the cancer that was "pissing him off" and to the foundation that was in his backyard helping people with sarcoma.
He called again because he was going to be participating in an iron man event in Hawaii and he wanted to put our logo on his shirt or whatever we would allow him to do to bring attention to the plight of folks stricken with sarcoma
He called again because he had put together a BINGO night and needed our help pulling it off so he could raise money for the foundation.
 
Fighting Sarcoma AND Helping Others
We heard a lot from Sig over the years. Whenever he got big news--good or bad--about his condition, he would call us and share a revelation. Once he called becyase he felt so lucky to have such an amazing support group of friends and family, and it had occurred to him that not everybody has that.  He wanted to raise some money for those folks to help them get the assistance they needed through the foundation. Another time it was that he was experiencing the luxury of getting to celebrate another birthday, so he wanted to help do something for the folks that weren't so lucky. The Sig we knew was always gathering his amazing friends and family to rally behind him for others. The Sig we knew always had another idea for how he could help others affected by sarcoma, even when the doctors had nothing left to help him beat his.
 
The Sig we knew was ticked that his sarcoma wouldn't get lost, but told us he was glad it was he who was dealing with it and not someone less fortunate...someone with less means...someone without an amazing family...someone without a huge community of friends who joke with him, work out with him, support him, carry him, love him, and ask themselves "What Would Sig Do?" 
 
The Sig we knew is kicking a rugby ball around in Heaven, sucking on a beer, flipping off cancer, and trying to figure out what he can do to help someone less fortunate, because that's what Sig would do.
 
We love you Sig and we will miss you. Thank you for honoring us with your friendship, and for sharing your amazing self with us. You have touched us and this world in a way that will leave us all forever changed for the better and from time to time asking ourselves what would Sig do?

 

Team "Siggy Wiggies" will be walking in Sig's honor at the 2016 Dragonslayer community walk taking place on April 23, 2016.  Honorarium gifts can be made on thier team fundraising page, located here.

On behalf of the staff, board, and members of the Northwest Sarcoma Foundation, we'll miss you Sig.

 

Written by Tammy Boysen Wilhoite, former director of the Northwest Sarcoma Foundation, and friend to Sig.

Sig was an athlete and an inspiration to many, long before he bravely faced a deadly, rare cancer.  He will be remembered by many.

Sig and his friend Dave at a bingo and silent auction event put on to benefit the Northwest Sarcoma Foundation in 2015.

Sig getting ready for the 2014 Iron Man Hawaii which he ran after completing three months of chemotherapy.

 

Katie's Story

Katie was diagnosed with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in her left tibia just three days after her 15th birthday and the start of high school. In just the first two months, Katie endured intense chemotherapy, limb salvage surgery to remove the tumor that required she have her entire left knee removed and replaced with titanium and stainless steel. In the ensuing 12 months, she continued with chemotherapy and experienced continuous infections, nausea, vomiting, frustration, disappointment, and immense pain. She missed school, carefree teenage years, and special times with family and friends.

In July 2012 her end of treatment scans were clear of disease, however she still had a dangerous persistent infection in her leg. By the time her three-month post treatment scans were performed, the cancer had returned and metastasized to both of her lungs.

She had four thoracotomies and one lobectomy to remove the cancer that kept coming back again and again. Her scans in March 2014, revealed more tumors in her lung ... again. Katie had run out of treatment options.

Katie succumbed to the cancer on January 28, 2015. She packed so much life and love into her short 18 years and it was her wish to continue to help others wherever we could.

Jeffery Mortimer

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 In Memory of Jeffery Mortimer

It is hard to write a tribute about Jeff, not because he wasn't a man who changed the lives of everyone he met and not because he wasn't an inspiration to those people also, but...because he is gone.  My hand to hold...Jeff passed away July 1st, 2012, after years of fighting like a soldier against Sarcoma cancer.
 
We found out 3 weeks before we were supposed to be married, that his cancer had come back. We were devastated, but we knew we were going to fight no matter what!! Giving up was definitely not his motto nor was it mine!!  We then formed Jeff's Warriors with family and friends to join us in our journey to fight this deadly disease!  Jeff was an inspiration to everyone he knew even people who just met him.  He had a heart bigger then he was and was the type of friend we all should be. You never got a wishy, washy Jeff.  He told you how it was and how he felt! 
 
Jeff wanted to give back and find a cure for Sarcoma cancer.  Really, cancer of any kind. He was all about research and wanted to be the person they went to for help, and they did come to him.  Jeff you could say, always paid it forward even before it was popular.  Ask his friends and they will tell you what kind of man Jeff was.  I know because I was married and with him for 5 years.  Your life changes when you get a diagnosis of that nature. We held on tight to each other and our friends and family and fought like hell to get thru the cancer.  Jeff never gave up...We never gave up...
 
Jeff's legacy is in the doctors that worked with him.  Many of the things Jeff went thru and the things he participated in, have helped other cancer patients immensley. Also  because of Jeff, the doctors know how to take better care of the cancer patients they treat.
 
Jeff was not afraid to die, he just did not want to die now.
 
Jeff's Warriors will continue to fight and NEVER EVER give up!!!...he didn't
 
You will be in our hearts forever..the man with the cap on backwards and the DC tennis shoes to match!!!
 
The end
 
      Karen Mortimer
      
   jk         nwsf-jeffmortimer2 

Joshua Isaac

In Memory of Joshua Isaac

Joshua Isaac first discovered epithelioid sarcoma in his hand in 1998. Over the course of ten years he's tried multiple chemos, radiations and surgeries including amputation of his left hand to eradicate the disease. Unfortunately he continues to battle the cancer today. A corporate communications writer for 12 years, currently at Microsoft Corporation, Joshua uses creativity to help deal with the situation. In 2007 he completed a documentary about his experience called, "My Left Hand" and continues to share his struggles on his blog. This Seattle native is married to wife Kim and has two young sons, Jacob and Sam and a baby daughter Sophie.

To view the video trailer for the documentary "My Left Hand", click here.

Gage D.

In Memory of Gage D.

Gage was 3 when he was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma in June of 2005, then treatment related AML Oct. 2006, had a bone marrow transplant Feb. 2007, then was diagnosed with Ewings recurrance Feb. 2008. He completed his treatment on June 20, 2008. The following is his story.

It began on Tuesday, May 24, 2005 with a bike accident where Gage split open his chin and was rushed to the ER for plastic surgery. The next day, he slipped on our wet concert patio and landed hard on his bottom. We began to notice that he was walking as if his back hurt and was bending down with a straight back. On Thursday and into that evening he complained of acute stomach pain. It was so bad that he was crying in pain and could not sleep at all. We went to the pediatrician, but our regular doctor was not available. We discussed that Gage had similar pain a few month earlier that went away after 3 days. At that time our pediatrician thought it was a virus or constipation.

The acute pain continued over the weekend and none of us were sleeping. We went back to the pediatrician on May 31, 2005. Gage had an abdominal x-ray and later that week an ultrasound. Nothing abnormal was found. We went through another rough weekend of pain and no sleep and went back to the pediatrician on June 6, 2005 and decided Gage should have a CT Scan.

On June 8, 2005, we had the CT Scan and Trux insisted the technician check the spine. We thought the bike accident might have caused some damage. The order was just for the stomach area and it was against protocol to scan outside the order. But, luckily the technician heard our concerns and found the tumor next to Gage's spine, pushing on the spinal cord.

June 9th we had the MRI and the doctors thought it was Neuroblastoma, then June 10th was the operation to remove the part of the tumor pressing on Gage's spinal cord and causing the pain. On June 17th, after all the pathology came in, it was determined the cancer was actually Ewings Sarcoma.

The cancer had not spread, it was under 5cm, Gage is young, and the LDH tests were low ... all good. The negative is the location and they could not operate to get it all. The plan was Chemo to reduce the tumor, Proton Therapy radiation (Mass General Hospital, Boston) as an alternative to an operation. Our protocol was a 6 week treatment.

April 2006 was Gage's final chemo treatment and after post scans they found the tumor was gone. Gage was in remission. On Oct. 5th, Gage had his 6 month scans. The scans were clear, but his platelet counts were low. After many tests, we found out Gage has secondary leukemia (AML). Gage endured a bone marrow transplant on Feb. 21, 2007 and was in remission for 8 months. Then, during a routine Ewings Sarcoma follow-up MRI, a mass was found in the original location on Gage's rib. Surgery was done to resect the mass and as a result sections of 3 ribs were taken as well. The pathology confirmed it was Ewings Sarcoma again. It was a painful recovery but Gage was determined not to stop him.

Gage again endured chemotherapy. This time the treatment was Cytoxin/Topotecan regime. Because of Gage's new bone marrow the doctors were not sure how he will handle the treatment or if he would complete it. The goals was 6 treatments and my husband and I started investigating ways to keep his body strong through treatment. We consulted with a Naturapath specializing in cancer and a Chinese Medicine doctor, also a cancer specialists. We came up with a suppliment plan: accupuncture, Omega-3 suppliment, Probiotics and juicing. Gage completed his treatment with no infections, complications, need for blood products or hospitalizations. We completed treatment on July 20, 2008. Gage continues to stay on the supportive supplemental plan and will be starting preventative herbs, from our TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) doctor for AML and Sarcomas. We have been consulting with our Oncologists and we delayed starting herbs until Gage was off chemo and immunosuppressants for 3 months.

Gage started school again and has been active, happy, busy, energetic and just getting stronger every day.

Ty W

In Memory Of Ty W

Born and raised in Lewiston, Idaho, he left to conquer the world. Working for many politicians and pizza joints, he found the world a cold and unforgiving place. He moved back home where he lives with his pride of women, Angie, his wife, and 3 beautiful daughters, Tyler Marie (9), Makayla Rose (6), and Alexandria Rene (4).

In the spring of 2007 he was diagnosed with osteo-sarcoma..."bone cancer". He was not going down without a fight, and began a year and a 1/2 of chemotherapy and a bone replacement (femur). He decided that waiting around, doing nothing, and waiting to die was not the way to live life, so he started a comic book company, Alternate Reality Comics. Realizing he had a talent, A.R. comics became a reality and are now sold in Seattle, Olympia, Pullman, and his hometown of Lewiston. But, as entertaining as all this was, he had a purpose!

That was when Captain Cure entered the scene! Bone cancer affects a lot of children, and he knew that he had to help them, but how? He started writing and doodling and came up with Captain Cure. This revolutionary comic to explain cancer, chemotherapy, and its effects was born with an image. This comic also helps parents, loved ones and other children better understand the process, and its evil toll on mankind.

Though recently re-diagnosed with the cancer spreading into his lungs he continues to write and draw Captain Cure and wants to hit the streets in October!

Brian Dean Reynolds

Brian Dean Reynolds

d. December 20, 2007

Brian Dean Reynolds, 46, died on December 20, 2007 after an inspiring and courageous 15 year battle with cancer. He will be dearly missed by his many friends, family members and co-workers. Brian lived his life as a true example of spirit, tenacity and of overcoming incredible odds. He never lost his humble and unassuming nature, nor his love of life and unbeatable belief in what life had to offer. Even as a young man growing up playing football in Bend Oregon in high school, he was voted "most inspirational" by his teammates.

Brian was born in Bend, Oregon on November 4, 1961 to Paul and Ann Reynolds. He was raised in Bend and graduated from high school there. Brian graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in business and he remained a die hard Beavers fan to the very end.

Brian recently resigned his job as CFO at Rejuvenation Houseparts. He loved his work there, as well as his co workers. He was employed there for 12 years and developed very deep friendships during that time. Brian was recently selected as one of three finalists for CFO of the Year, by the Portland Business Journal. In addition, Brian and Gail are owners of Vestiges Storefront in Portland. Brian was instrumental in helping Gail set up her dream, even when his health was failing.

Brian was married to Gail Shepard in 1981. They have a wonderful daughter, Valerie, who graduated from USC with a degree in Architecture. She was the light of his life. Gail and Brian were able to join her in Italy, where she was doing a study abroad - truly a trip of a lifetime.

Brian was an avid and determined bicyclist - completing several organized cycling events, including the Livestrong ride, Cycle Oregon, as well as the Reach the Beach ride, in which he was the top fund raiser for 5 years. Cycling became his passion and his "treatment" for his cancer and overall health. He was active with the Bicycle Transportation Alliance and had served on the Board of Directors for that organization.

Brian's journey and struggle has been so inspiring that a documentary has been made about his journey with cancer, cycling and the power of realizing love and compassion in life. His desire was that the documentary would help other people in their lives.

In addition to his wife Gail and daughter Valerie, Brian is survived by his parents Paul and Ann Reynolds of Lake Tahoe, Nevada; two brothers, Mark of Bend, Oregon, Bruce Reynolds of Baltimore, Maryland, and his beloved nieces and nephews who adored him.

The family wishes to acknowledge the ongoing love and support from friends and the community who learned of his story and made it a point to pass the story along, through a variety of media sources.

To learn more about Brian please view the short video trailer for his documentary in our video section.

Angela Andrews

Angela Andrews

May 10, 1955 (Belvedere, CA)- November 30, 2008 ( Tigard, OR)

Our Journey

Our journey began when we first set our eyes on each other
It took our many pathways crossing before we started dating
As I struggled with commitment you put my mind at ease
We got married after we knew we were meant to be
As our travels took us near and afar
It was always good times no matter where we were
Now any destination was perfect since we were together
Life just kept getting better and better
Our journey changed when illness struck
An illness that took you head-on with determination and prayer
We spent more time with each other and learning what was important to us
Every moment of every day was more and more precious
Time spent with each other was always cherished
True family and friends surrounded us to support our mission
Everything else was now secondary in life as we learned to listen
Now that you lay here before me you look so peaceful
A reminder of all of our special moments we spent on our journey
Two hearts eternally melded together, you and me
A cure would have been perfect but, it was not to be
Our journey here is now coming to an end
But have no fear my sweet princess we will meet again

Written by Steve Andrews-November 21, 2008

Angela Andrews
May 10, 1955 (Belvedere, CA)- November 30, 2008 ( Tigard, OR)
The Light of God surrounds us
The Love of God enfolds us
The Power of God protects us

Russell Sawicki

Russell Sawicki

 

I would like to share with you the life of a very wonderful young man, my son Russell Sawicki. He was diagnosed with Epitheloid Sarcoma 5 years ago. After a very brave and hard struggle, he lost his life last July 8th surrounded by his dad, brother, mother, fiancé', her family and a very dear friend. He lived his life to the fullest even when he felt awful.

He was a very kind and gentle young man and was always able to put people at ease with his amazing smile and wit. We don't know why he was taken from us at such a young age. He had so much to live for and so much ahead of him, but I do know that while he was here and even now that he is gone, he is not forgotten.

He is not forgotten by his many fraternity brothers and friends from High School. He's not forgotten by the people at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, not by the radiation group in Bellingham, UW Medical Center, nor last but not least by St. Josephs Hospital in Bellingham. Everyone was so wonderful with him and to him. We will never forget the wonderful people we had the privilege to work side by side with during his treatments. His death has left a pretty big hole in our lives, but we know that he wants us to fill it love, thankfulness and gratefulness, so that's what we'll do.

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If you would like to share your story or make a tribute, please send us your personal sarcoma experience (max. ~500 words), 2 photos (high quality) or link to a YouTube video. Please submit materials to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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