On Nov. 3, the Foundation for Women’s Cancer (FWC) will host its 10th National Race to End Women’s Cancer in Washington, DC. Meet the Host Committee responsible for the 5K or 1-mile run/walk that honors survivors, gynecologic oncologists, and advocates while supporting research in gynecologic cancer, and learn why they joined the Race.
*First-time Host Committee member in 2019
Street Covington, KY – While fighting her own battle against severe high grade (VIN3) vulvar cancer, Alisha joined the Host Committee with breaking stigmas, raising awareness, and “helping even just one woman diagnose early” in mind. Alisha, working mother and cancer fighter, continues to do so beyond the committee with her Get Invulva’d Facebook Group. Keep an eye out for her purple “Get Inulva’d” Awareness bracelets!
Kensington, MD – In addition to being on the Host Committee since 2013, Marla has been a member of the race group Seriously? The Team for Rachel since 2011, when her daughter Rachel Banov Gould was receiving treatment for advanced cervical cancer. Rachel died in March 2012, but her team of family, friends, and advocates still runs strong aside Marla.
Glen Echo, MD – A former magazine and fashion editor, Kate is now a White House East Wing reporter for CNN. This is Kate’s first year participating in the Race, honoring her close friend Susanna Quinn, who has recently been diagnosed with gynecological cancer. In raising funds for FWC, she hopes to increase research and awareness. Being the mother of a teenage girl, she is passionate about passing along the message of early detection to the next generation.
Unityville, PA – Krista is the CEO of American Board of Perianesthesia and the Chairman and Founder of the Paternostro Family Foundation; a charitable foundation that provides financial and emotional support to families facing cancer. She first ran in 2011, when her younger sister, Kass, was diagnosed with cervical cancer and passed eight months later. Having also lost her father to cancer in 2014, Krista now dedicates her life to helping others who face the obstacles posed by the disease. “I run this race for Kass, to remember her bright smile and her graceful kindness,” she said. ”I run for the promise of brighter tomorrows and a world without cancer.”
New York, NY – Janett, former long-time marketing professional, is a six-year uterine cancer survivor and a strong proponent of fundraising for FWC because of the essential role research and awareness play in saving the lives of women with gynecological cancers. She notes that early detection and treatment are critical, and it is important that both women and men pay attention to their bodies and take necessary action when anything seems wrong!
Wendy N. Ericsson (Chair)
Lansdale, PA – This will be Wendy’s third year serving as Race chair. Her devotion to women’s healthcare has not gone unnoticed, as her leadership in fundraising with her team Wendy’s Warriors for the Race earned her the title of “Super Survivor” two years in a row, for the 2017 and 2018 National Race to End Women’s Cancer. She has fought a long battle with ovarian/uterine cancer and is currently undergoing her fifth round of chemo. Ms. Ericsson’s mission is not only to raise awareness of need for funding, research, and clinical trials, but to let diagnosed women know there is a whole community of survivors to support them through their difficult moments as well.
Sanford, N.C. – Barbara is a retired elementary school librarian and Army Veteran with 30 years of service. She joins the Race every year to honor her sister and best friend, Mary Ann, who passed in April of 2011 after fighting uterine cancer for roughly 20 months. She also hopes to continue to spread awareness and information about the fight against women’s cancers. Barbara dons a “Middle Sister” charm on her running shoes so her sister can be with her whenever and wherever she runs!
Andrea Hagemann, MD
St. Louis, MO – Dr. Hagemann is a gynecologic oncologist at the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center and an associate professor in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at Washington University School of Medicine. She places emphasis on partnering with her patients to understand, confront, prevent, and cure gynecologic cancer. She says that “hope, perseverance, careful training and planning, all come together whenever someone sets out to run a race, and that’s what it takes to run the race against cancer, too.” She also highlights the sense of community and inspiration that is fostered from events like the National Race to End Women’s Cancer.
Chad Hamilton, MD
Bethesda, MD – Dr. Hamilton is a gynecologic oncologist at Mid Atlantic Gynecologic Oncology and Pelvic Surgery Associates and board examiner for the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He is a member of Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) and has served as a consultant to the National Cancer Institute and White House Medical Unit. He’s found that the Race provides a platform for him to “do more” in his field and shed a positive light on the work that he loves. The Race allows him to support progressive research and raise awareness of gynecologic cancers. “Most of all, it allows me to show my patients, and their families and friends, that I’m not just their doctor, but their advocate, friend, and teammate.”
Grayslake, IL – Formerly known as Professor Hegg at Oakton Community College as a programmer analyst and instructor of computer technologies and information systems, Pamela now continues to serve as a church music director in several local churches. In September 2017, Pamela was diagnosed with stage 4b UPSC (uterine papillary serous cancer). During surgery recovery, she searched for options and cures and now spends time looking for ways to make others aware of women’s cancers. Last year, she found that the National Race to End Women’s Cancer by FWC was the best way to make a difference.
Germantown, MD – Nurse and organization founder, Cherissa, joined the Race back in 2018 with her team Project Give Hope. Her Race team has the same name of the organization she founded that specializes in providing FDA approved hand-held medical devices that help tackle cervical cancer here and abroad. The organization launched in 2017 with a trip to Uganda and continues to prioritize access to the HPV vaccine for women everywhere. You can learn more about the organization here: ProjectGiveHope
Grand Junction, CO – Kristen was diagnosed with endometrial cancer back in 2015, also finding that she carries the MLH1 mutation. Joining the National Race to End Women’s Cancer last year was a form of giving thanks and paying it forward to an organization that was relevant to her experience as an endometrial cancer survivor. In reference to the Race, Kristen says, “It was a great experience and I was honored to wear the names of more than two dozen women impacted by gyn cancers on my back.”
Washington, D.C. – Erica is Managing Editor at the largest travel agency in North America and a longtime lifestyle writer. She is passionate about women of all economic backgrounds having access to quality healthcare and hopes to raise funds and awareness, with an emphasis on the importance of early detection, to find a cure.
Washington, D.C. – Event planner and president of the charitable society blog, Sip with Socialites, Eve is constantly mixing good people with great causes. She is passionate about assisting successful women give back to their communities and holds women-focused organizations in high regard. Eve hopes to honor her mother and many friends that have been touched by the disease while raising awareness through the Race.
Dr. Alex Mehrnaz Naini*
Potomac, MD – Dr. Naini is a nationally renowned cosmetic dentist and owner of Aesthetic Dental Spa, frequently getting involved in philanthropic projects to enrich her community. She extends her philanthropic values beyond her community and supports friends and family that have been affected by gynecologic cancer by joining the Host Committee and hopes to raise awareness and life-saving funds for future research.
King George, VA –Aside from being an early childhood special educator, Amy was a fitness instructor for 18 years, an ice cream parlor owner for 6+ years and the founder of Teal Tulips, an ovarian cancer education and awareness charity that operated for 13 years and awarded Foundation for Women’s Cancer with a grant and funds to the former Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (OCNA). Amy has remained active in the ovarian cancer world and has participated in the Race since its inception with Team OvaRy’nforced. She recently wrote a short story, Teal Tulips: Pain and Perseverance, Against the Odds Beating Ovarian Cancer. Amy celebrates her birthday at the Race while bringing awareness and support to women’s gyn cancers.
Waldorf, MD – Megan has worked in various roles in education for over a decade. In September 2009, she lost her mother to primary peritoneal carcinoma, a form of ovarian cancer. She is inspired to raise awareness to protect mothers, sisters, aunts, daughters, grandmothers, and friends from gynecological cancers. “It is an honor to be a host committee member so I have a platform to educate women about warning signs for early detection, support caregivers, advocate for those who so courageously fight each day for their lives, and honor the strong women who were taken too soon.”
Wendy Starman Papier
Potomac, MD – Wendy has served as the grassroots outreach coordinator for the 2017 and 2018 National Race to End Women’s Cancer. She is a communications and media producer with a special focus on non-profit leadership. She is looking forward to working on the Race with a passionate team of colleagues and believes that “through teamwork, and determination, we can raise more awareness, fund more research, and pave the way for a cure – to improve health for all women.”
New York, NY – Stephanie is a writer hailing from University of Michigan. Over the last several years, she has focused on covering a variety of international health issues that impact women and girls through media. Stephanie does the Race every year in honor of her mother, who passed three months after her 60th birthday.
Pittsburgh, PA – Michelle is an administrative assistant for Duquesne University’s School of Nursing. She joined the Host Committee to help give women a voice. Her mother was diagnosed with stage 4+ ovarian cancer and passed away in September of 2017. Michelle advocates for early detection and positive, effective communication between doctors and patients.
Washington, D.C. – Susanna is the CEO and founder of popular app for media influencers, Veluxe. She is currently being treated for the rare gynecologic cancer diagnosis she received this year. With a solid support system of friends and family, she is on a mission to raise awareness and funds for life-saving research. Susanna emphasizes the importance of passing the message of early detection onto her daughter’s generation. This is her first year participating in the Race and on the Host Committee!
Fairfax, VA – Ann is a Certified Public Accountant with 31 years of experience working for the federal government. She joined the Race as a means to raise awareness of gynecologic cancers and support research done in the field. “I know I am alive today as a result of the brave women who have faced this disease before me and the medical professionals that have made strides in developing effective treatments. There is still work to be done!”
Renee Lynn Scott
Eastport, NY – Renee is a retired special education teacher, as well as the founder and president of Stepping Stone Support – an all-volunteer organization supporting families affected by cancer since 2005. She joined the Race in 2011 to celebrate her survivorship from stage 1b cervical cancer; a diagnosis she received back in 1999. The Race has given the opportunity for Renee to remember and honor her survivor sisters who have been affected by gyn cancers while raising awareness and funds.
Arlington, VA – Lindsay is co-captain of a top fundraising team, Wendy’s Warriors. This team is led by her aunt, Wendy Ericsson, who was diagnosed with uterine cancer in 2012. Lindsay supports the Race because of the impact gynecologic cancer has had on her family, and to be there for those who need support, are embarrassed or afraid to talk about their cancer, and for families who have lost loved ones. She has met incredible women and their friends and families since joining the Host Committee in 2014.
Fayetteville, N.C. – Laura is a cardiology and vascular physician assistant and local volunteer. She races in honor of her mother, Mary Ann, whom she lost to uterine cancer in 2011. Laura and her aunt formed TEAM MARY ANN shortly after, and have joined the Race every year since to raise funds for research towards ending women’s cancer.
Dumfries, VA – Alegra and her husband, Bobby, are leaders of the National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC) Northern Virginia Chapter. She is passionate about helping others going through challenges brought on by a diagnosis. The Race has allowed Alegra to network with other survivors and build relationships with those who have shared experiences. “I am convinced that together we can end women’s cancer.”