On March 1, The Flatiron Firm hosted a successful gala for the Lymphoma Research Foundation in the Chancellor’s Hall of the CASE building at the University of Colorado Boulder.
The Flatiron Firm is a team representing CU Boulder in the 2022 Public Relations Student Society of America Bateman Competition and finished their undergraduate careers strongly with this event. The gala attendees enjoyed catered food and a virtual panel of four accomplished speakers as well as hearing from the Wardenburg Student Health Board, who works to advocate for personal health on campus.
Dr. Manali Kamdar was the first speaker on the board. Early in her career she worked as a bone marrow transplant fellow and is now the Director of Lymphoma Services at the University of Colorado Cancer Center. Kamdar has worked on many clinical trials.
“I’m very happy to say, that what I used to do in 2014 is radically different than what I am doing in 2022,” Kamdar said.
Touching on the importance of clinical trials and research in cancer, Kamdar emphasized that the patients in the community who put their trust in researchers are vitally important for the science being discovered.
Following Kamdar was Dr. Anna Franklin, a pediatric oncologist at the Anschutz Medical Campus who spoke about the changes being made to the world of oncology. As radiation is being used less and less, more targeted therapies are coming into the picture. As there is nothing to prevent lymphoma, Franklin told the audience that having the ability to recognize when you are sick is a really important awareness to have, and if anything feels off, medical attention should be sought after.
“It’s been very fulfilling to see how the field of oncology, and particularly in pediatric oncology has changed in the last couple of decades,” said Franklin.
The most common symptom of Lymphoma is fatigue, which is extremely common in college students juggling classes, jobs and other extracurricular activities. This is why Charles Hoeffer, an associate professor in integrative physiology and behavioral genetics at CU Boulder and the third panelist at the gala, discussed his own diagnosis of lymphoma.
“College kids need to disavowal themselves from the idea that they are immune,” said Hoeffer.
He had no symptoms at all when he was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer, and the only reason he went to see his physician was for fatigue he was feeling, assuming it was regarding something else. Hoeffer left the audience with one critical message: don’t ignore symptoms even if they seem minor.
Joanne Henritze, the fourth and final panelist at the event, is a clinical exercise physiologist who has worked with numerous cancer patients during their treatment and recovery. Through her work as a clinical physiologist, Henritze has gotten to know some of her patients quite well, some of whom are students at CU Boulder.
“What I try to tell young people is no matter what your age is, don’t ignore your body,” said Henritze.
The gala was a huge success, with a large turnout from students and faculty, staying true to The Flatiron Firm’s campaign of educating the CU Boulder community on an important and relevant topic.
The most common age demographic for lymphoma is ages 15-39.
Learn more at the resources below.
LRF Helpline: 800-500-9976
Instagram: @flatironfirm @lymphomacommunity
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly spelled two speaker’s names incorrectly. Joanne Hennessy has been corrected to Joanna Henritze and Charles Hoffer has been corrected to Charles Hoeffer.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Juliana Czar at firstname.lastname@example.org.