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An Activist and Survivor Shares Her Story

Lisa Eidelberg has been integral in raising funds for Nikki Mitchell Foundation’s “Country Boots Cancer” show, which is donating 100% of the proceeds to the future Pancreatic Cancer Precision Medicine Program at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

The pancreatic cancer activist and survivor shares her story: 

Lisa and her sons

“Peace Out Johns Hopkins”

Rhonda Miles, Jamey Johnson, Lisa Eidelberg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am a very lucky four-year pancreatic cancer survivor!!

This journey began on Saturday June 7, 2014 when I woke up, looked in the mirror and thought, “Mmm, I look a little yellow!”  A friend had stopped by, looked at me and confirmed what I didn’t want to believe; I was indeed yellow!  My husband Marc and I went to the emergency room of a local hospital where I was told I would simply need my gall bladder out, even as I was becoming increasingly yellow! Fortunately, the doctors in my family had me moved to another hospital where I would have an ERCP the next day.  Coming out of anesthesia, Marc had the most difficult task of delivering the bad news……I had pancreatic cancer.  We were all shocked!  I was 54 at the time, healthy, had no family history of it, was active and had two 19-year-old sons who still needed me!  In the four months prior to diagnosis, I had an endoscopy, colonoscopy, two ultrasounds and blood work (just six weeks before diagnosis) which were all normal!

Luckily for me, I got an appointment with Dr. Wolfgang and team at Johns Hopkins Hospital, which I was told was the premiere pancreatic cancer team. Boy is that true!  On Saturday June 14, 2014, I had a successful Whipple surgery.  Recovery was so much more pleasant because of the caring staff at JHH!  Aftercare with this surgery is almost as important as the surgery itself!   Following recovery, I had 10 rounds of Folfirinox and radiation at Overlook Hospital in Summit, NJ where again, I was fortunate to receive compassionate, quality care.

At a post-surgical visit with Dr. Wolfgang and Lindsey Manos, they urged me to reach out to the Nikki Mitchell Foundation founder Rhonda Miles.  Somehow, they got a vibe that I resembled Nikki in spirit and attitude, although we were completely different people in the way we lived our lives.  My attitude was always positive, but I made it my business NOT to read the sad stories of this dreaded disease, so why would I reach out to Rhonda? Nikki had sadly and bravely lost her battle with this demon.  However, I’m so glad I did!  It’s enlightened me to the fact that this disease does not discriminate.  There is no “stereotypical” person who is affected by this many time fatal disease.  It’s brought about a renewed outlook on life and others.  Just as pancreatic cancer doesn’t judge, I don’t either.

It is my privilege to work with both the Nikki Mitchell Foundation and Johns Hopkins Hospital to raise funds for the new Pancreatic Cancer Precision Medicine program which will enhance the patient’s experience.  This will be THE place, for competent, caring, compassionate and cohesive treatment for those afflicted by this ugly disease!

I personally look forward to celebrating many more survival anniversaries but look forward to having a lot more company in the future!!

Donations for this event can be made HERE and select the campaign “Country Boots Cancer.”

Jamey Johnson’s 5th Annual Golf Tournament and Benefit Concert Raises $72,000

randy-edited-webNikki Mitchell Foundation (NMF) hosted Jamey Johnson’s fifth annual homecoming golf tournament and concert at the Cottonwood Golf Course in Montgomery, Ala., Oct. 9. Bringing some levity to an otherwise serious sport, the tournament featured activities such as shooting off a mattress, archery drives, shot carts and a ball launcher. The all-day event featured celebrity guests and ended with heartfelt performances by Grammy-nominated country star Jamey Johnson, Alison Krauss, LeeAnn Womack, Randy Houser, Jerrod Neimann and other friends. Country legend Randy Travis made an appearance on stage and stood beside Jamey as the latter sang Randy’s songs.

“I’m so grateful to my friends for donating their time to fight pancreatic cancer,” Jamey Johnson said. “This is important to me because I’ve lost so many friends to pancreatic cancer in the last few years.”

“Nikki Mitchell was one of the most incredible women to walk this earth, and anyone who knew her would say the same thing,” said Joanna Ott of Carter’s Chord, who has performed at NMF events. “She touched so many lives. Pancreatic cancer took hers too soon, as it does so many people. The foundation donates money to research for early detection and the cure of pancreatic cancer. It’s a great cause and her legacy lives on through it.”

Nikki Mitchell Foundation is dedicated to seeking and supporting the most breakthrough data available for the early detection and cure of pancreatic cancer. Not tied to any one hospital, NMF supports the most promising research while maintaining a focus on awareness and patient support. NMF actively promotes a special emphasis on prevention and the patient’s’ preferences in determining their care.

For more information about NMF or Jamey Johnson’s Homecoming Golf Tournament:

Contact: Ariane Watkins

Phone: 615.982.6802

Email: ariane@nikkimitchellfoundation.org

Website: www.facebook.com/JameyJohnsonGolf

Photo by Kerri Horne.

Jamey Johnson, Bobby Bare and Tony Joe White Raise $42,000 at “Whiskey Bread Pudding” Benefit Concert

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Nikki’s friends, Jamey Johnson, Bobby Bare, and Tony Joe White came together in a rare intimate setting, Sept. 21 at the Franklin Theatre, for a night of music, song, and stories.

Nikki Mitchell Foundation (NMF) president Rhonda Miles said, “NMF recently celebrated our three-year anniversary and we are excited about our growth.”

“Nikki’s musician friends have graciously and unselfishly given of their time and financial support to help propel this organization forward. Without our artists and their generosity, we couldn’t do this,” Miles said. “This year, we are donating funds to research and our direct patient services program Bridge of Wings, where we provide patients with gas cards or Uber rides to treatment, monthly Blue Apron meals, house cleanings, and even prescription co-pays. All these things seem small and simple, but when you are battling pancreatic cancer, they are huge. We know Nikki would be proud of our progress and the way we are bridging her giving spirit with the patient’s road to a cure.”

Nikki Mitchell Foundation is dedicated to seeking and supporting the most breakthrough data available for the early detection and cure of pancreatic cancer. Not tied to any one hospital, NMF supports the most promising research while maintaining a focus on awareness and patient support. NMF actively promotes a special emphasis on prevention and the patient’s’ preferences in determining their care.

For more information about NMF or Whiskey Bread Pudding:

Contact: Ariane Watkins

Phone: 615.982.6802

Email: ariane@nikkimitchellfoundation.org

Photo by Tom Thompson