Some weeks it is hard to decide what to blog about BUT NOT THIS WEEK!

First: I am thrilled to call your attention to our new pages on We've added video that showcases "Powerful Patients," we've added stories and photos from these people and others, we've added "Voices from the Heart" inspiration, and started our "Hall of Fame" to recognize people who've made a difference to patients.

Please take a look, tell others, and share your story!

Second: You may know that I often attend the big medical meetings, mingle with the doctors, and bring patients news about what the latest science means to them. I will be doing that again this weekend at the American Society of Hematology meeting in San Francisco. I am excited we'll produce live and recorded webcasts on leukemia, hemophilia, sickle cell anemia, multiple myeloma, and lymphoma. Be sure to watch for how to hear these programs live or on-demand and how to ask questions of the experts.

Third: This is a personal story of how escorting an adult child to the hospital for a colonoscopy saved the life of the escort – my 86-year-old Aunt Helaine in Westchester County, NY. The story from just last week is incredible – Aunt Helaine, a still-working travel agent, mother of six children, and "grand dame" of our family was doing the right thing in taking her youngest son for this important screening exam. While sitting and waiting for him she suddenly blacked out. The medical staff found her on the floor, no pulse, no beating heart. This was a "code" in the truest sense. They had to use the paddles and a defibrillator not once, but twice. Helaine would have probably died had this happened at home or work. But, as she jokes now, her son's "rear end" saved hers.

Helaine was hospitalized, had a stent and a pacemaker implanted and is now resting well at home. We are so thankful!

Fourth: I ran into my friend Lee Shephard at the local Starbucks. He's a cancer survivor like me so we have our heart-to-heart talks from time-to-time. Lee had had surgery a couple of years ago and his entire esophagus was removed when early stage esophageal cancer was discovered. The great news in this normally fatal condition is that Lee had been followed closely for years because he had been living with Barrett's Esophagus, which can sometimes lead to cancer. By being followed closely as part of a research study, it may well have saved his life.

But there's more, Lee has been finding out he has other family members with the same condition. By urging them to be checked closely at least one of them has had their cancer discovered early too. Now Lee is signing up for a study of familial esophageal cancer and the knowledge that comes from his participation could save more lives.

You can bet we'll soon be doing a webcast with Lee and his fine doctors at the University of Washington!

So, all in all, quite a week! Let me know your thoughts about any of this and please tell others about our new and improved website.

Wishing you and your family the best of health,