In January 2009, sarcoma cancer claimed the life of our beautiful Chas.  It seems like yesterday we were preparing for the arrival of our first grandbaby when we learned that our daughter Chas had cancer...even worse, an aggressive sarcoma cancer.  Chas just beginning a life with Jacob, being pregnant and learning of the diagnosis of sarcoma, the family went into high gear seeking treatment options from a team of doctors who not only had experience in treating sarcoma but with very pregnant patients.  While doing research, Dusty (Chas' brother) coordinated with Missy from the Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation and before we knew it, we were in Houston staying in an apartment provided by the charity at no cost to us.

After Chas delivered Caleb, that apartment would be the first place the new family would call home (even if only temporarily). It would be where Caleb would spend his first Thanksgiving and Christmas and his only Thanksgiving and Christmas with his Mom. Those months were difficult but not without blessings.  The Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation provided us with a home away from home at the most vulnerable time in our lives.  Their volunteers brought holiday meals to our family and even gifts for Christmas.  We remain forever grateful to the Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation for the priceless gift to our family.  For this reason, in celebration of what would be Chas' 30th birthday, we are establishing a memorial fund in her name.  We ask that each of you consider making a gift to this amazing organization so that they may continue their work of serving families affected by sarcoma cancer and ultimately finding a cure.

Neil and Becky Russell

Chas Russell Memorial Fund


 

 

Thank you for letting us stay in this apartment. It has been perfect.  I am here as part of a phase one clinical trial.  3 1/2 years ago I was diagnosed with osteosarcoma of the jaw.  Talk about life changing event. I went from running ultra marathons to hobbling around on crutches.  (They took out one of my leg bones to build me a new jaw.) Anyway, they have tried just about everything on me to cure my cancer but nothing has worked.  Anyway, we are so grateful for this study. They have genetically modified my T-cells to target my cancer.  It is a bold new approach.  Anyway, so far, so good. Within three days of the transfusion my tumors started to swell.  This is usually a good sign.  It means a war is being waged.  We are very hopeful.

 

I have little children at home still that I would like to raise if possible. We are so grateful for anything that offers us hope.  We believe that God has led us here.

 

Thanks for everything Missy,

 

Eric and JoLynne Vogel

 

 

This was such an incredible blessing for us during our stay in Houston. It's conveniently close to MD Anderson and many yummy restaurants. The decor was pleasant and calming. The courtyards, pool, and work out room were great too! I loved the idea of having a grill close by. It was just so great to not have to worry about paying for a hotel but still staying somewhere incredibly nice. Thank you for providing this service for us. God bless you all.

 

Andrea & Brian Kenney

Indianapolis, Indiana

 

It is hard for me to put into words how thankful I am for the housing provided by The Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation. When my 21 year old son was diagnosed with his 2nd sarcoma in his calf, I knew we would be traveling to MDAnderson from Washington state for his treatment due to the complicated surgery it would take to get clean margins and due our genetic predisposition to cancer (Li Fraumeni Syndrome). Another patient with Li Fraumeni told me about the housing provided by the Amschwand Sarcoma Foundation. We were in Houston a little over 3 weeks. Having a child with cancer is tough enough, but dealing with travel costs, loss of time from work and then possible hotel costs can be so overwhelming. To have some of the financial burden erased was HUGE. Not to mention the sense of 'home' that the apartment brought. Having a separate bedroom for my son to sleep in, a kitchen to be able to cook for him in, the shuttle to and from the hospital during the week, and the gorgeous property and friendly staff were so very appreciated. Missy was so kind and helpful with whatever questions I had. Thank you so much for providing this much needed service! We will be forever grateful to your Foundation for all of the help you provided to our family!

 

Trishia Shelly-Stephens

Washington

 

I am most grateful to Missy and the love and support she has shown our family during this most difficult time of our lives! My husband Curtis was diagnosed with Fibrosarcoma after a tumor broke his L5 and he had surgery to relieve the pain. After much research we determined MD Anderson was who we wanted to treat his cancer. So we began the new patient process and came for our first visit to Houston from Ft Worth. We were here just a few days but the trip was quite costly. I began to search the internet and found the Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation and could not stop reading. I read up on the housing program they provided and sent in the application. I heard back from Missy in no time at all and she said she could accommodate us when we came to Houston for the first treatment. Missy emailed me to say she had an apartment ready for us to use during our stay and it is such a nice apartment! No words can ever express how very very grateful we are for this. Just to have the apartment is a tremendous blessing. We have a road ahead and the cancer diagnosis was changed to multicentric osteosarcoma once MDACC did their own biopsy. I will always be grateful for the love and compassion poured into our lives by this tremendous blessing. I have expressed to Missy I want to help in any way I can to tell others about this amazing foundation.  God bless you all.

 

Shannon Roten

Fort Worth, Texas

 

Just wanted to thank you and the Amschwand Foundation for the use of the beautiful apartment while my husband was admitted into the hospital for treatment associated with Epithelioid Sarcoma. Having access to complimentary lodging really allowed our family to focus on more important things. One never knows how cancer, especially Sarcoma will affect the entire family, finances, etc. Thank you for being a tangible resource. I do have the packet of information from the apartment. As soon as we are able, I would like to give back.

With the deepest gratitude,

 

Jennifer & Michael Pedraza

Nederland, Texas

 

The Amschwand Foundation has aided me and my family in ways you do not know. I live in Birmingham, AL and was diagnosed with a soft-tissue sarcoma, Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumor, in December of 2010. I was referred to MD Anderson, Dr. Peter Anderson, and began treatment immediately. I had my 2nd surgery at MDA by Dr. Hayes-Jordan (one of your grant recipients). Then I received a month of full abdominal radiation and chemotherapy at MDA. After 11 rounds of chemo, 2 surgeries, and a month of radiation, I am cancer free! I travel to Houston every 4 months for scans to confirm that there continues to be no evidence of disease. My scans have been clear since June 2011.

 

I was required to stay in Houston to recover from my second surgery and for the month of radiation. My wife is an RN and she took leave from her job. We initially searched for a furnished apartment, but it was going to cost at least $3,000.00 a month. That is when a neighbor, who also had sarcoma but unfortunately lost her battle, told me about the Amschwand Foundation. One of the apartments was available at the Equinox and we were able to stay in it for two months, rent free. I can not begin to explain the relief that provided. It was just another stress that we did not have to worry about, and we could focus on my recovery all the more.

 

Now that I am healthy and back to 'normal', I really desire to join in the cause. Sarcoma is not understood and not known. The more attention it receives, the more research and advancement we will see. DSRCT is labeled as incurable. I want to see the advancement of sarcoma research as much as anybody because there is a good chance I will need it one day.

 

Thanks!

Brad and Stacey Booth

Birmingham, Alabama

 

Wonderful! What a relief to be able to stay in your apartment to recuperate after my surgery and for my follow-up visits! The drive to and from Tennessee takes so much out of me. As always, I am so grateful to have a place to stay while I am in Houston. Your organization has played a major part in my recovery. Thank you again and again.

 

Peggy Mc Daniel

Knoxville, Tennessee

 

Greetings from West Texas.  Thank you very much for your help and for the Foundation’s generosity. You have to know how very much these programs and accommodations are needed and appreciated.

 

Irma and Adolfo Ramirez

Alpine, Texas

 

I just wanted to send you a thank you note for allowing us to use your apartment. The place was wonderful and so helpful. Having it took a lot off an already stressful situation. I don’t know what we would have done without it. We are so thankful for your help. ASCF is amazing. Thank you.

 

Kelly (and Scott) Harper

Mesquite, Texas

 

Please know how grateful we will be to the Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation for giving Abby and Sam a very nice, close by apartment while he was in treatment.  I don’t know that we could ever repay Amschwand because there will never be a dollar amount to equal a mother’s peace of mind.  As I wrote thank yous to those who gave to Amschwand in Sam’s memory, I described the housing for Abby and Sam as…steroid Ronald McDonald just for young adults! Thank you.  If ever I can do anything, please let me know.  The honor would be mine. God bless you and yours forever.

 

Fondly.

 

Sam Haygood Family (Cindy, Daniel, Cait and Abby)

Athens, Georgia

 

 

We greatly appreciate the Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation for the hospitality suite and your moral support during cancer treatments at MD Anderson.  You have been a great blessing to our family.

 

Louis R. Blanchard Family (Louis, Lorraine, Carolyn, Farrell, Quentin, Bonita, Darla & Bob)

Cameron, Louisiana

 

I just wanted to thank you again for your incredible kindness.  My husband’s condition has been stressful to all of us, but being able to care for him without having to worry about housing while he was in treatment at MDACC certainly lightens our load. God bless all of you.

 

Christine Chiang

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

 

I would like to thank you for everything you have done for my family.  I greatly appreciate what you have done by providing us with an apartment, furniture, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.  It is a wonderful thing that you do.  We are so lucky that you are willing to help.  Once again, thank you so much.

 

Chrystal Chiang

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

 

I wish to thank the Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation for sitting with me and being my “family” during my surgical procedure.  Without your presence, my procedure would not have been possible.

 

The Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation says it offers “love, hope and tangible support.” Please know that you gave me all of these in the time you spent at my side.  God really sent His angels when He connected me with your foundation.

 

I have also taken away a lesson from that day.  You have inspired me to advocate or at least help to get the word out about sarcoma instead of reserving it for myself.  Thank you.

 

Janice C. Connor

San Antonio, Texas

 

Thank you for the support you have extended towards our family.  We are deeply grateful to you for being there for us during this difficult time.

 

With our love,

Tim, Stinelli and Johnny O’Leary

Dallas, Texas

 

I would like to thank you for all of the love and generosity you have given to me and my family.  I can’t imagine how much more difficult it would be for us without your help this past year. I know there will come a day that I can pass this forward and I will let them know why.  May God continue to bless you and your family. Love lots.

 

Elizabeth Stephens

Austin, Texas

 

 

Thank you so very much for this beautiful apartment.  Our family is truly grateful.  We appreciate this blessing and are just so thankful.  On behalf of our family and our son Spencer (who was 17 years and battled sarcoma with grace, beauty and courage), thank you.

 

Spencer Page Family (Laurie, Jim, Hailey and Marcie)

Denver, Colorado

 

 

As the year draws to a close, Kirsten and I wanted to take the time to thank you and the foundation for everything that you do for sarcoma patients and their families.  We have been truly fortunate to have received help from so many friends, family and the Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation over the last couple of years. Thank you.

 

Steve, Kirsten, Noah and Eli Reed

Maryland

 

We just wanted to thank you for taking such good care of us and keeping us in your prayers. We appreciate everything that you and the foundation have done for our family.

 

Chas Russell Family (including Caleb shown here)

New Mexico