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Foundation Board

Raul E. Storey, MD – Co-Chair

Raul Storey MD – Board Member

As a board-certified Medical Oncologist, Raul E. Storey, MD provides cancer care to patients at the Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS) clinical locations in Vero Beach/Sebastian.  He is beloved by his patients for his tireless dedication to enhancing the quality of life for those with cancer. Since joining FCS, he has actively supported the Foundation’s mission to assist adult cancer patients across Florida in need of financial support for essential, non-medical expenses. Due to the generosity of the FCS physicians in covering all overhead expenses for the Foundation, 100% of donations received go directly toward patient grants.

 

Dr. Storey received his medical degree from Universidad De Carabobo (UC) in Valencia, Venezuela and completed his Residency in Internal Medicine at Texas Tech University. During his residency and fellowship training in Oncology/Hematology at the University of Louisville, James G. Brown Cancer Center in Louisville, KY, he gained experience with the MD Anderson Cancer Center Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Department.  At the start of his career, he served as the research project coordinator for an oncology group in Houston, TX. He has been published in numerous prestigious publications including the Journal of Oncology and Medical Oncology, and he has presented at conferences in the United States and internationally.

 

Dr. Storey is driven by his personal mission to enhance the experience of cancer treatment. While being focused on creating an impact on the world, he is equally energized by connecting deeply with humans. He feels strongly that the cancer journey experience can be massively improved by connecting mind, body, and soul – what he refers to as “beautiful healing”.  To that goal, he has created the “Healing Arts Medicine” program (https://www.healingartsmedicine.com/our-story-1), that integrates with cancer treatment for expression through liberal arts. Creating a safe space for patients to express their emotions, learn new coping strategies, manage anxiety/depression, decrease pain, and positively change the overall Cancer experience. In parallel, the creation of “Healing Arts Hub” https://healingartshub.com, a platform for a series of over 100 virtual arts programs and experiences of interest to patients, caregivers, staff, and the public.

 

Cancer has seen significant transformative changes in terms of treatment approach and outcomes in the last decade. Raul is dedicated to advancing the search for a cure by facilitating and overseeing participation in research clinical trials. His impact is again realized through community organizations such as FCS Foundation, We Care Program, Men Wear Pink and Music Angels. He was nominated for Man of The Year 2019 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Dr. Storey-Rojas is a sports enthusiast and enjoys running, paddle surfing and polo, as well as traveling and playing guitar.

Michael Diaz, MD – Co-Chair

Michael Diaz, MD – Board Chair

Dr. Michael Diaz joined Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS) in 2011. Dr. Diaz is a current member and Co-Chair of the Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation Board of Directors, which provides non-medical financial assistance to qualified cancer patients in Florida. In addition, he serves on the Board of Directors and as the Immediate Past President for the Florida Society of Clinical Oncology (FLASCO) as well as the FLASCO Director of Patient Advocacy. Dr. Diaz provides leadership on the Board of Directors for Community Oncology Alliance (COA) as Past President, serving on the Government Affairs and Policy Committee working to champion Medical Oncology Health Care Reform and on the Biosimilars Committee. Dr. Diaz has participated in numerous medical missions to Kingston, Jamaica.

Cory J. Person, Esq. – Secretary

Cory J. Person, Esq. – Board Member

Cory J. Person is a Partner at Freeman Mathis & Gary’s Tampa law office.  His practice focuses on the defense of claims in the areas of tort and catastrophic loss, and labor & employment throughout Florida. A “big picture” thinker, he works diligently to obtain the best possible resolution for his clients, as well as addressing potential issues that could arise in the future. He has represented clients in healthcare, retail, hospitality, construction and transportation sectors, as well as non-profits, religious and charitable organizations.

 

Mr. Person is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law, where he served as president of the UNC Trial Team and UNC Trial Law Academy.  He also served as Managing Editor for the UNC School of Law First Amendment Law Review, and was awarded the Gressman-Pollittt award for Oral Advocacy.

 

He is the immediate past president of the Hillsborough County Bar Association and is a past president of the George Edgecomb Bar Association, the largest African-American voluntary Bar Association in the Tampa Bay area.  He is also a member of the Defense Research Institute and the International Association of Defense Counsel, a select invitation- only organization.

 

Prior to law school, Mr. Person served as a Non-Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps.  Among the awards Mr. Person received for his service are the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Achievement Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.

J. Thomas Uhler – Treasurer

J. Thomas Uhler – TreasurerJ. Thomas Uhler is a founding principal of Uhler and Vertich Financial Planners, an independent firm specializing in comprehensive estate, financial, retirement and investment planning for successful families, and a forty-year veteran of the financial services profession. Uhler is a survivor of both cancer and heart disease. Tom and his wife Linda chaired the 2004 American Heart Association Lee County Heart Ball and co-chaired the 2005 Heart Ball. Uhler was chosen as Hero of the Year 2013 by the Fort Myers News-Press and was nominated in 2014 as a national finalist for the Community Leadership Awards by the Invest in Others Charitable Foundation. 

 

He has served the United Way of Lee County as board chair, 2011-2012 campaign chair, and 2016-17 campaign co-chair. Uhler serves as Treasurer on the Board of Directors for Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation and serves as board chair of the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra. He is an Eagle Scout and a life member of the National Eagle Scout Association. Uhler is proud to have been chosen as a Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida Lee County Business Hall of Fame Laureate in 2010. A resident of Sanibel Island since 1977, Uhler is a member and past president of the Kiwanis Club of Sanibel-Captiva Islands. He was chosen as the Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year in 2011. Uhler is a graduate of Susquehanna University in his native Pennsylvania, with a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences.

Lynn Cowdright – Volunteer Liaison

Lynn Cowdright - Volunteer Liaison

Retired after 43 years as a physical therapist, Lynn worked in a variety of physical therapy disciplines starting with the VA Hospital System for wounded service members and veterans during the Vietnam conflict. She provided home health in Wisconsin, California and Illinois before moving to Delaware, where she worked in Pediatric and Newborn Intensive Care Units and was the physical therapy coordinator for 30 physical therapists providing school-based therapy from pre-K through high school. Prior to moving to Florida in 2004, Lynn worked at an oncology home health company where she developed a company-wide Cancer Related Fatigue program. For the last six years, Lynn has enjoyed being a patient support volunteer with the FCS Foundation. She knows the important role that volunteers play and, as our Volunteer Liaison Board Member, Lynn will be able to provide insight into the strategic growth of our volunteer program.

Jill M. DeSimone – Board Member

As a senior pharmaceutical executive, Jill DeSimone has built a reputation for leading large-scale global business transformations. Jill is also known for her commitment to developing talent, which has been a focus throughout her career. She has leveraged her 40 years of expertise as a transformational leader to drive organizations forward by establishing excellence in patient-centric operations, igniting profitable, scalable growth and enabling agility in complex regulatory environments and dynamic, competitive markets. In her most recent role as President, U.S. Oncology at Merck, Jill led the launch of the U.S. Oncology business.

 

With considerable experience in the non-profit sector, Jill is passionate about building innovative, high-performing organizations that drive patient and customer impact. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from Northeastern University and completed a fellowship with The Wharton School. Prior to joining the FCS Foundation Board, she sat on the boards of the American Lung Association – New Jersey Chapter and Dress for Success; she also served as Board Advisor for the Children’s Health Fund.

 

In addition to the FCS Foundation board, Jill is now serving on the following boards:

 

Praxis Precision Medicine

  • a clinical stage company focused on development of therapies for the central nervous system

 

Affini-T Therapeutics

  • an immune oncology cell therapy company

 

Oncternal Therapeutics

  • a clinical stage oncology company

 

Kinnate Biopharm

  • a clinical stage precision oncology company focused on targeted therapies

Cherylle Hayes, MD – Board Member

Dr. Cherylle Hayes – Board Member​A Board-certified radiation oncologist with over 20 years’ experience, Dr. Cherylle Hayes is the medical director at North Florida Regional Medical Center, where she was instrumental in the development of a cancer program. She established the first Cyberknife radiosurgery program in North Central Florida and built a physician team with a wide range of oncologic expertise. She has also served as assistant professor at the University of Florida. Dr. Hayes holds undergraduate degrees in nuclear medicine technology and health physics. She went on to earn her medical degree at Medical College of Georgia, where she completed her residency in radiation oncology. She has specialized interest in breast and gynecologic cancer treatment, cancer survivorship and quality-of-life issues. As a member of the radiation oncology executive committee at Sarah Cannon Research Institute, she worked with physicians around the country to develop clinical pathways for the delivery of radiation oncology. Dr. Hayes has served on the boards of many community organizations in Central Florida, including the American Cancer Society, the Advisory Board of Gainesville Health and Fitness and the University of Florida Performing Arts. She is active in numerous local and national professional societies.

Maen Hussein, MD – Immediate Past Chair

Maen Hussein, MD – Board Chair

Board-certified in Medical Oncology/Hematology, Maen Hussein, MD practices at the Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS) clinical locations in the Villages Cancer Center/Brownwood. Dr. Hussein currently serves as a board member of the Florida Cancer Specialists (FCS) Foundation Board and is Immediate Past Chair of the Foundation. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Florida Association of Clinical Oncology (FLASCO).

 

After completing his Residency at Brown University at Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, Dr. Hussein was awarded his Fellowship in Medical Oncology at St. Louis University. In addition to his medical practice, he has participated in numerous clinical trials and was named the Principal Investigator on a recent lung cancer trial conducted through Florida Cancer Specialists and Sarah Cannon, one of the leading community-based clinical trial organizations in the US.

 

In 2010, he was the recipient of the Leesburg Regional Medical Center Outstanding Achievement Award, Leesburg Regional Medical Center Foundation Hope in Healing Humanitarian Award in 2014 and was named Physician of the Quarter Award at Florida Hospital Waterman. In his spare time, Dr. Hussein enjoys playing recreational soccer, traveling, and spending quality time with family and friends.

Tim O’Donohue – Board Member

odonohueTim is the owner of Castle Gate Farm, LLC, the Ocala region’s premiere equine center featuring a thoroughbred and equestrian show jumping facility. The O’Donohue family were the gracious hosts for the FCS Foundation’s second annual Farm to Table event held in January 2020, which raised over $200,000 to support adult cancer patients in need of financial assistance. The New England natives made their first move for sunshine and warmer days to Florida in 2012.

Tim is president of New Age Software Services Corp., based in Hampstead, NH, which provides a range of information technology and software engineering services. After receiving his undergraduate degree in business administration and marketing from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, Tim worked as an account manager supporting financial services clients in New England. Tim previously served on the Landmark Benefits INC Board of Directors that ran the largest fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Hampshire.

Rekha Rajan-Wilson – Board Member

Rajan-WilsonPatient care and advocacy were central to Rekha Rajan-Wilson’s upbringing in Bradenton, Florida, even before she developed an interest in health care compliance and risk management. Rekha’s mother, Dr. Padmini Rajan, an internal medicine physician, showed her why taking care of others would be the best measure of success in life, while her father taught her the business side of the industry as a leader in a Managed Services Organization (MSO). Rekha is a graduate of the University of South Florida and Florida Coastal School of Law. With more than 15 years of experience in all aspects of Health Care Compliance, Risk Management and Operations, she works today as the Chief Operating Officer of Business Integrity Services in Tampa, Florida. She is certified in Health Care Compliance and is a Licensed Health Care Risk Manager in the state of Florida. Rekha and her husband, Brandon, live in South Tampa with their two children, Meela and Rowin.

Patsy Sanchez – Board Member

Patsy Sanchez FCSF board member

Patsy Sanchez served the University of South Florida for over 20 years as Director of Diversity and Inclusion and Director for the USF Latino Scholarship Program.  Throughout her career she has provided life-changing opportunities to uplift students and their families through higher education. While working for the USF Foundation, she built strong community partnerships, raising funds for scholarships to support and mentor first generation in-college Latino students with financial need. Patsy has published numerous articles on Latino student success and is a frequent speaker at leadership conferences and community events.  She has received widespread recognition for her work throughout the Tampa Bay community and beyond. Most recently, in Spring 2021, Tampa City Council awarded her a City Council Commendation. In 2020, Governor Ron DeSantis appointed her to the CareerSource Florida Board of Directors. Patsy arrived in the U.S. from Cuba at the age of 13 through the 1980 Mariel Exodus and settled in Tampa, where she and her family began their lives from scratch. She went on to earn a master’s degree in Spanish Literature and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology at USF.

John Sodeika – Patient Liaison

John Sodeika - Patient Liaison

Originally from Chicago, John moved to St. Petersburg after receiving his Masters in Engineering Management from the University of South Florida in 1996. He moved to Naples in 2005, where he now works as a Senior Director for Arthrex, the world leader in instruments and implants for Sports Medicine. In 2019, John was diagnosed with Stage 4 adenocarcinoma, stomach cancer that had spread to the liver and lymph system. Thanks to the outstanding care of Florida Cancer Specialists physicians Dr. Mark Rubin and Dr. Judy Wang, John’s cancer is now under control and he was able to stop treatment in November of 2020. John became aware of the Foundation while undergoing treatment and he says he was particularly impressed by the compassionate support from the FCS Foundation volunteers. As Patient Liaison Board Member, John will provide an important perspective to guide the Foundation.

Marjan Zaun – Board Member

Marjan Zaun – Board Member Bringing over 25 years of experience in the medical industry as a Respiratory Therapist, Marjan Zaun previously served as an Associate Director of Ancillary Services for Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute. She began her medical career at Massachusetts General Hospital and Massachusetts Eye and Ear, after graduating from Northeastern University in Boston.

Marjan has a long-held desire to help people stay fit and live a healthy lifestyle that started years ago when she ran the Boston Marathon in 2001 and 2002 with the Dana Farber Marathon Challenge team, raising over $10,000 for cancer research. Serving on the Board of the FCS Foundation, aligns with her purpose and passion to helping others.

Along with her husband Ed and their two sons, Eddie and Brady, Marjan relocated to Florida in 2013 from Massachusetts.  The family enjoys the outdoors, the Florida sunshine and the boys’ travel baseball activities.

Meet Antonio Azzato, the visionary behind the Las Meninas Sculpture Project. To continue the successful and positive spirit of the Las Meninas project in Madrid, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS) and Healing Arts in Medicine are bringing Antonio Azzato’s vision to the United States for the first time.

Azzato was born and raised in Venezuela and has Italian and Spanish roots. He has raised more than 550K euros for different charitable foundations. His experience in the engineering, business, marketing, and interior design fields has given him the technical and artistic training to develop his Meninas Gallery project, which has positioned the silhouette of the Menina as the new icon of the city of Madrid, where he currently resides. Learn more about Antonio here.

The History of "Las Meninas"

Painted by Diego Velázquez in 1656,“Las Meninas” translates to Ladies in Waiting.  Considered a masterpiece depicting life in the court of King Philip IV of Spain, the painting represents a turning point in art history for the way in which Velázquez broke from the stiff formal portraits that typically defined royal subjects.

What is the Las Meninas Sculpture Project?

Inspired by the iconic painting “Las Meninas,” which translates to “Ladies in Waiting,” Spanish artist and sculptor Antonio Azzato created larger than life-size statues, fashioned in the shape of the Ladies in Waiting in the famous painting, that have been displayed in the streets of Madrid every fall since 2018.  The statues are painted by various Spanish artists and celebrities and used to raise money for different charities.  For the project with Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS), smaller statues that are white, like a blank canvas, will be distributed to 12 designated FCS clinics. Together with local artists, patients will bring their Las Meninas vision to life, giving each statue its own unique theme and color palette.

One World to Heal

Once complete, the Las Meninas sculptures will be on display in local communities, raising awareness of the extreme healing power of art in medicine. After a months-long tour of the state, each will be placed on auction. Proceeds from the auction will benefit the Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation. The Foundation assists cancer patients in need in Florida with essential everyday living expenses.

Contacte a FCSF

"(Requerido)" indicates required fields

¿Qué tipo de tratamiento contra el cáncer está recibiendo?(Requerido)
¿Cuál es el ingreso MENSUAL combinado de su hogar?(Requerido)

After Your Event

Don’t Forget to Thank Everyone for Their Support

 

  • Thank your sponsors, committee members and other special supporters immediately after the event. A hand-written note, phone call or personal email will be greatly appreciated and will encourage supporters to come back next time!

  • Post ‘Thank You’ messages and photos on social media.

  • Mail a check to:
    Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation
    5985 Silver Falls Run, Suite 210
    Bradenton, FL 34211

  • Once we receive your donation, an acknowledgement letter will be sent to you for tax purposes.

 

Thank you for hosting a successful event that helps cancer patients in need!

Use Various Media to Maximize Publicity for Your Event

These publicity tips and tools will help increase exposure for your event through various media, at very little cost. (Media outlets could include local radio, TV and newspapers, community calendars, social media, such as Facebook, Instagram, etc.).

Create a Timeline to Maximize Publicity

A realistic timeline is important in planning a publicity strategy for your event. Keep this timeline in mind as you put together a publicity plan:

3-4 months before the event:
Identify your target audience based on demographics, interests, and location; develop a targeted media list.

4-6 weeks before the event:
Distribute media materials (i.e., media alert, listing on a community calendar, Facebook posts, Instagram, etc.). Be creative in developing the media materials – what makes your fundraiser different? Media outlets receive hundreds of requests to publicize non-profit events; they can’t publicize everyone – so make sure that YOUR EVENT is so special, different and appealing that it will be hard for the media outlet to resist!

2 weeks before the event:
Make follow-up calls and send e-mails to local media who received the information. Re-send information if they have not received it.

1-2 days before the event:
Email and/or fax a media alert with the basic information about your event (who, what, when, where and why) to the TV news assignment desks and photo desks at the daily or weekly newspapers.

Take Lots of Photos

Photos are a great way to document your event, whether for publicity or simply to share with family and friends. Here are some tips on capturing special moments at your fundraiser:
  • Write out a targeted shot list in advance to make sure you get photos of everything and everyone
  • Take candid and close-up shots that capture the different aspects of your fundraiser
  • Capture images of your sponsors
  • Include three to four people in a photo for the best publicity shot
  • If taking photos on your phone, turn your phone in the horizontal position
  • Send photos to Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation for approved use on social media and website (Please make sure you have permission from the individuals in the photo and include their names)

Ideas for Your Fundraiser Event

The following are just a few ideas for your community fundraiser.  We suggest thinking of something you enjoy doing (e.g., book club, cooking, golf, tennis, bingo, music) and working to add a fundraising component into that. This way, you are not starting from scratch and, in addition to giving back to a great cause, you are doing something you love!

FACEBOOK
You can easily raise money on your Facebook page by clicking on “Raise Money” on your post, including a special message of inspiration or in celebration of your birthday or notable anniversary.

BIRTHDAY/ANNIVERSARY PARTY
Do you have an upcoming birthday, anniversary, shower, or bar/bat mitzvah? Consider contributing to FCS Foundation, in lieu of personal gifts – and ask your friends and family to do the same. This is a great way to get the kids involved!

COCKTAIL PARTY
Throw a cocktail party in your home or at a local restaurant or bar. Many venues provide great deals for non-profit events. For example, ask your friends to donate $50 per person to attend — if you spend no more than $20 per person on the food, you will have a good amount left over after expenses to donate. Include a chance drawing or auction to increase revenue.

GARAGE SALE
Ask friends and neighbors to clean out their basement or garage for a good cause. Organize a garage sale, and you’ll clean out your house while supporting cancer patients in need in our community at the same time!

GOLF OUTING OR TOURNAMENT
Whether planning a small golf outing with friends and family or a larger tournament for your business, think about making every stroke really count by partnering with us to give back to the patients at FCS Foundation!

INDEPENDENT BUSINESS GIVES BACK
Are you a local independent business owner, restaurant or retail owner who is looking to align with a great cause? Whether donating a percentage of proceeds for a day, or a week, or simply collecting an ‘extra tip’ for the FCS Foundation, you can make a difference while you work.

SCHOOL FUNDRAISER
Kids love to help!  Have fun with your students teaching them about the meaning of philanthropy, with anything from a read-a-thon to a bake sale. Be creative! We’d love to hear about your school fundraiser ideas and stories.

SELL, SELL, SELL!
Many marketing/promotional item companies offer a lot of discounted items. Create T-shirts, bracelets, key chains, etc., and sell them at a price more than your cost to create revenue.

TRIVIA NIGHT
This is a fun way to raise funds while increasing awareness about pediatric illnesses. Host your trivia night at a restaurant or other local establishment and invite between 10 and 50 of your friends and family.

PURSE BINGO
Hold a bingo night and charge people to play ($20 for 4 cards, $40 for 8 cards, etc.) Instead of cash prizes, the prizes are designer or vintage purses that have been donated. One of the trendiest and easiest events to organize!

Getting Started

Deciding to host a community fundraiser for the FCS Foundation is a huge accomplishment in itself — thank you!


Here are 10 steps to help you get started:

1. Form a planning committee. Bring together a group of enthusiastic, dedicated people, who share a passion and interest in raising money for cancer patients and their families. This will increase the probability of a successful event.

2. Brainstorm. Members of your planning committee can brainstorm ideas for your fundraiser. Let your imagination guide you — and be sure to consider the special talents of committee members and their contacts in the community! The more people who participate in the planning phase, the more committed they’ll be later.

3. Choose the “right” event. The type of event you choose should fit the size, interests, talents, goals, and time availability of your planning committee.

4. Identify your target audience. Consider who is most likely to attend and support the type of event you have selected. Will the event appeal to everyone? families? adults only?

5. Develop a budget. Try to identify all the expenses involved with your event (invitations, postage, rental space, signage, food and catering, promotional materials, website, advertising, etc.) Then think about possible sources of funds, including people and companies you know that may be able to donate products (food, equipment) or services (graphic design, printing, photography) to reduce your costs. This will help keep your costs down, which is something everyone will appreciate.

6. Develop an event timeline. A timeline is important in planning a publicity strategy for your event. Work backwards from the event date – publicity should start four to six weeks prior to the event.

7. Schedule the event. Select a time that is appropriate and convenient for those who will be attending. Be sure to check local community calendars for conflicting events.

8. Open a bank account. You may find that you will need to establish a bank account to accommodate incoming revenue and expenses. This can be done by visiting a local bank and creating a business account under your event’s name.

9. Collect all funds. We ask that all event proceeds designated for the FCS Foundation be forwarded to the Foundation within 30 days following the conclusion of your event.

10. Say thank you! Sending thank-you letters, notes, or e-mails to everyone who participated in or supported your event shows your appreciation and reinforces their goodwill about the Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation.
Miguel