NASHVILLE, Tenn. (October 16, 2017) -- When Gil Schaenzle lost her only child, 21 year old daughter Anna Rose earlier this year to Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs), the same complicated disease that ended the life of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, she wanted to come up with an idea that would allow her to not only celebrate her daughter’s life, but also raise awareness, funding and hope for the rare disease.
With the guidance of NET survivor and music industry veteran, Cindy Lovelace, also the co-founder and Executive Director of the Healing NET Foundation, the run / walk expeditions will begin on NET Cancer Awareness Day, November 10, with a 5k at Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. Schaenzle plans to run in all lower 48 states national parks. She’ll end her year long quest in 2018 near Denver’s Rocky Mountain National Park where they used to take Anna as a child.
Schaenzle says, “I am happy to be sharing this experience with NET patients everywhere. I hope they will enjoy the commentary and the pictures of the parks. Through this endeavor I hope to bring awareness and educate people about NET cancer. Please join me in this wonderful experience of honoring my daughter Anna Rose and NET patients everywhere.” Follow Schaenzle on her socials to stay in touch with her along the way on Facebook, Instagram and blog, National Park Run for Anna Rose & NET Cancer.
Lovelace is a former radio news reporter turned marketing and promotions director for a radio group in Nashville. During her own personal battle with Neuroendrocrine tumors, she began treatments with Dr. Eric Liu, a surgeon who specializes in NET. Inspired by his knowledge of the disease and vision for patient care, she and Dr. Liu co-founded the Healing NET Foundation from the ground up. Their goal was to bridge the communication gap in the medical community that leaves many community physicians without information on the disease. The lack of education is currently causing the average patient to go 5-6 years without an accurate diagnosis of NET tumors. Lovelace shares, “When I got a call from Gil with her inspiring idea to run in national parks across the country to raise awareness and hope, I knew the Healing NET Foundation would proudly run along side her."
Note: The Zebra has a double meaning. In medical school students are taught “Think Horses” (common illnesses), not “Zebras” (uncommon diseases). NET patients are the Zebras, which is why the average time to diagnosis is 5-6 years. Physicians do not tend to “THINK Zebra.” Also no two Zebras have the same stripes, and no two NET cancer patients present the same. Some have symptoms, some do not. Some find the tumor incidentally, some find it because of a bowel blockage, respiratory issue, or other emergency medical condition. The tumors can be in multiple organs or in some cases, never found.
November 2017 National Park Run for Anna Rose and NET Cancer
10 Mammoth Cave Kentucky
11 Great Smoky Mountains Tennessee and North Carolina
12 Congaree National Park South Carolina
18 Everglades (am) and Biscayne (pm) Florida
20 Dry Tortuga Gulf of Mexico near Key West, Florida
ABOUT GIL SCHAENZLE
My name is Gilberta Schaenzle, but everyone calls me Gil. I grew up on a large cattle and sheep ranch in South Dakota. Aside from my first 17 years, most of my life has been spent in Colorado. It was in Boulder, CO where I met my wonderful husband, Fred. We just had our 26th anniversary. We live in a little mountain town in Colorado called Evergreen.
I was in Electrical Engineering until our beautiful daughter, Anna Rose was born in 1996. It was then that I took on the most wonderful job in the world…Anna’s mom. Anna was the whole package…intelligent, beautiful, and athletic. She had a big heart and was generous. I always felt humbled that God had chosen me to be her mom.
In addition to being Anna’s mom, I was also team mom to various volleyball teams. I love that many of the girls still call me Momma Gil. In addition to being a ‘momma’ I like to travel, cook, run, ski, hike, do photography and I make custom handmade books and social invitations.
ABOUT CINDY LOVELACE
Cindy Francis Lovelace began a radio news career in Nashville at WKDA-WKDF in 1979, serving as a Capitol Hill reporter, then Program Director/News Anchor.
In 1995, she became Director of Promotions at WKDF/WGFX radio, and was promoted to Director of Marketing and Promotions for WKDF/WGFX/Titans Radio when the company purchased the rights to Tennessee Titans Radio Network in 1998. During her radio career, Lovelace launched several large scale concert events involving national artists, and worked with the Nashville Convention and Visitor’s Bureau to help re-brand the Music City July 4 event. In 2010, after 32 years in the broadcast business, she launched a business as an event marketing consultant.
In 2011, shortly after a neuroendocrine cancer diagnosis, she accepted a position as Director of Development for the T. J. Martell Foundation office in Nashville, a national organization that raises monies for cancer research. She led the organization’s efforts in Nashville to raise $2 million over a two year period, chiefly through artist-related events. Initiated by Dr. Liu, she was one of the first patients to participate in the first Gallium 68 clinical trial in the U. S. Lovelace was inspired by the work of Dr. Liu to don an “entrepreneur hat” and together establish a non-profit to fill an un-met need for neuroendocrine awareness and education in the medial community. Cindy is the Co-Founder and Executive Director ofThe Healing NET Foundation lives in Old Hickory, TN with her husband Gene.
ABOUT THE HEALING NET FOUNDATION
The Healing NET Foundation is a non-profit organization focused on providing NET education and resources to the medical community. The organization serves as a catalyst in a global collaborative environment to fund programs that educate and inform medical professionals, patients and caregivers in order to advance access to optimal care for people with neuroendocrine cancer. To learn more, please visit www.thehealingnet.org