BENEFITING: Children's Hospital Los Angeles
EVENT DATE: Jan 21, 2017
Life works in funny ways.
Four years ago, I had an opportunity to participate in a competitive fundraising campaign for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in honor of my friend Michelle’s battle with Leukemia. In just 10 short weeks, and with the support of my family, friends, and community, I was able to raise enough money to award a research grant to Dr. Steven Mittelman at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Our funding helped him understand how body fat and vitamin D change during therapy for leukemia. More importantly, it set the stage for them to design a diet/exercise intervention for kids during leukemia therapy. They hope it will improve health, prevent complications, and even improve survival rates.
Fast forward three years to 2015, I work at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center doing clinical research in the division of Endocrinology (fancy terminology for a branch of medicine that deals with hormones). I am on my way to our weekly Endocrine Clinical Conference, and am really excited for today’s talk, titled, “The Childhood Obesity Epidemic: It’s Not Just the Fast Food”. Sounds interesting- right? I’m a few minutes late, so I miss the introduction, but make it just in time for details of the talk. It was riveting. I remember a few things distinctly. My first thought- Wow! This guy is awesome! He’s brilliant, passionately committed to his research, patients, and the community and he has this fundamental ability to connect with others at a human level. (The lattermost quality is harder to find in the world of Medicine than you may think). And my second thought- I need to meet with him! So I ask a colleague in the room for the speaker’s name. “Mittelman”, she replies. I thought to myself…gosh that name sounds awfully familiar. So of course I do what any eager student would do…. I stalk him on the internet and learn everything I could about him before reaching out. At that time I realized this was the very same man I awarded a research grant to 3 years prior. I was ecstatic. Naturally, I sent him an email thanking him for his work within our community and, of course, introduced myself as the aspiring physician-scientist who funded the research he presented that day. I wasn’t necessarily expecting a reply, but I knew I had nothing to lose by reaching out. Within a few hours, I received a lovely thank you message and a personal invite to his lab. (EEEEK!)
After visiting his lab and learning about his Diabetes and Obesity program, it became apparent that I needed to get involved. Hence, this letter. I committed to assisting with a fundraiser to benefit the CHLA Diabetes and Obesity program, which I will be fundraising for throughout the next few months. The campaign will culminate with the Super Hero Run in Long Beach, CA on Jan 21st, 2017. My goal is to raise $5,000 to help support their research, clinical, community and hospital environment programs. If you are interested in learning more about their program, you can visit their site at:
For all my running friends out there, If you would like to partake in the Super Hero 5k, a portion of the registration cost will benefit CHLA D&O program. See link below:
NOTE: ** You must find the “Fundraising For” tab and select Children’s Hospital Los Angeles- Diabetes and Obesity Program for proceeds to benefit the program.
Donations of any amount can be made directly on this page. Thank you for the love and support!