Paralyzed Berkeley tragedy survivor says she will honor victims with happy life

One of the survivors of the Berkeley balcony collapse, Clodagh Cogley, took to Facebook yesterday to share an inspirational message of positivity, hope, and purpose. Her resilience in the face of this shocking tragedy is truly moving. Coverage of Clodagh’s remarks from irishcentral.com reads below.

http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Paralyzed-Berkeley-tragedy-survivor-says-she-will-honor-victims-with-happy-life.html

By Frances Mulraney, June 25,2015

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Clodagh Cogley, a survivor of the Berkeley balcony collapse that killed six young Irish people, has revealed she is paralyzed from the waist down.

“The fall from the balcony left me with 2 collapsed lungs, a broken shoulder, a broken knee, 5 broken ribs and a broken spinal cord… Meaning the chances of me using my legs again are pretty bleak,” she said.

She pledged to honor the victims of the tragedy by “living the happiest and most fulfilling life possible.” The brave Dubliner remains upbeat about her future despite receiving paralyzing injuries in the fall from the fourth-floor balcony.

Despite this, she maintains a positive outlook and aims to work hard throughout her rehabilitation therapy, showing good humor in the face of such extensive injuries.

“Not the best odds,” she continues, “but I’m moving to a great rehabilitation center here in San Francisco for 2 months (it has dog therapy) and intend to give it everything I’ve got.

“Who knows maybe legs have been holding me back all these years and I’ll realize my talent for wheelchair basketball.”

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Image: Clodagh Cogley/Facebook

 

Showing incredible maturity, Clodagh goes on to pledge her life to honoring the victims and making the most of her life.

“The thing I’m taking from this tragedy is that life is short,” she says, “and I intend to honor those who died by living the happiest and most fulfilling life possible.

“Enjoy a good dance and the feeling of grass beneath your feet like it’s the last time because in this crazy world you never know when it might be.”

Clodagh had previously thanked fellow survivor, GAA-star Jack Halpin, for helping to save her when the tragedy happened.

“[We] can’t believe how lucky she and the rest of the survivors were and Clodagh wanted to say particular thanks to Jack Halpin for grabbing her and breaking her fall,” her brother told the Irish Independent.

Granddaughter of legendary RTE rugby commentator Fred Cogley, Clodagh also received a message on Twitter from Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling wishing her a speedy recovery.

JK Rowling Tweet

Clodagh was among the seven Irish J-1 students injured in the balcony collapse along with Jack Halpin (21), Hannah Waters (21), Aoife Beary (21), Niall Murray (21), Sean Fahey (21) and Conor Flynn (22).

Niall Murray and Sean Fahey had previously taken to social media to give thanks to those who have supported them since the tragedy occurred over a week ago.

“Thanks everyone for the support in such a dark time,” wrote Seán, the first of the survivors to leave hospital this week, along with a photo of the six victims.

Niall also paid tribute to the victims writing, “Thank you to everyone across the world for all the support you have given us through this dark time. To Nick, Culli, Lorcan, Eimear, Olivia and Ashley, words can not describe how much we are going to miss you all. May you rest in peace forever xxx.”

Ashley Donohoe (22), Olivia Burke (21), Eoghan Culligan (21), Niccolai (Nick) Schuster (21), Lorcan Miller (21) and Eimear Walsh (21) were killed in the early hours of Tuesday morning, July 16, when the fourth-floor balcony of an apartment complex on Kittredge Street in Berkeley collapsed while they were celebrating a 21st birthday.

It has been confirmed that the supports holding the balcony were destroyed by dry rot, making the balcony unsafe.

Savage, Md. Boys and Girls Club Baseball Team Wins Fielding Lesson from the Orioles

U12 Team Enjoys Lesson and Oriole Park Tour from Third Base Coach Bobby Dickerson andShortstop J.J. Hardy in Honor of LUNGevity

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Baltimore, Md. (June 2015) —The Savage Boys and Girls Club’s U12 travel baseball team, the Savage Eagles, enjoyed the baseball practice of a lifetime when Baltimore Orioles’ third base coach Bobby Dickerson and shortstop J.J. Hardy led the team in a fielding lesson and behind-the-scenes tour of Oriole Park. Savage Eagles baseball coach Adam Leader told the U12 team that they would be entering an essay contest with the prompt “what it takes to be the best teammate” to win a special Oriole-led fielding lesson – though he had secretly already won the experience for the team through the Major League Baseball Winter Meetings Auction.

“It’s definitely an experience they will remember for the rest of their lives, which was our big reason for doing this,” U12 Savage Eagles Coach Adam Leader shared.

Proceeds from the fielding lesson benefitted LUNGevity Foundation and critical lung cancer research in honor of former Baltimore Orioles’ public relations director, Monica Barlow, who died of lung cancer in February of 2014 at 36 years old. The fielding lesson took place just days after what would have been her 38th birthday.

“Monica Barlow means a lot to us, and the LUNGevity Foundation is very important to this organization and to us as individuals,” Baltimore Orioles third base coach Bobby Dickerson said. “Anything we can do to help, we welcome it.”

“It was a no brainer for me,” Shortstop J.J. Hardy said when asked about his involvement. “It just shows you how important Monica was to us…we don’t want to forget her.”

The Savage Eagles, a Boys and Girls Club’s U12 baseball team, received a fielding lesson and behind-the-scenes tour at Oriole Park with third base coach Bobby Dickerson and shortstop J.J. Hardy. Photo Credit: The Baltimore Orioles

The Savage Eagles, a Boys and Girls Club’s U12 baseball team, received a fielding lesson and behind-the-scenes tour at Oriole Park with third base coach Bobby Dickerson and shortstop J.J. Hardy. Photo Credit: The Baltimore Orioles

“The Baltimore Orioles have been an extraordinary ally in the quest to raise awareness and funds for life-saving lung cancer research. The team was the impetus behind Major League Baseball designating LUNGevity the beneficiary of the 2014 Winter Meetings Auction. The team showed amazing support of the lung cancer community, raising funds for critical research and addressing a health concern that can affect anyone with lungs,” said Andrea Ferris, president and chairman of LUNGevity. “We are thrilled to continue working with the Orioles and to have the opportunity to honor Monica’s memory, provide young baseball fans a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and inspire hope amongst lung cancer survivors nationwide.”

The Baltimore Orioles will again host LUNGevity’s Breathe Deep Baltimore walk in memory of Monica Barlow on Saturday, October 3, 2015. To sign up or learn more, visit www.LUNGevity.org/Baltimore.

For interviews with LUNGevity spokespeople or additional photos from the fielding lesson and Oriole Park tour, please contact Aliza Bran at (202) 414-0798 or at abran@susandavis.com.

For more information on LUNGevity Foundation, please visit www.LUNGevity.org.

About Lung Cancer

  • 1 in 15 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime
  • More than 221,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year
  • About 60%-65% of all new lung cancer diagnoses are among people who have never smoked or are former smokers
  • Lung cancer takes more lives than the next three cancers (colorectal, breast, and prostate) combined
  • Only 17% of all people diagnosed with lung cancer will survive 5 years or more, BUT if it’s caught before it spreads, the chance for 5-year survival improves dramatically

About LUNGevity Foundation

LUNGevity Foundation is firmly committed to making an immediate impact on increasing quality of life and survivorship of people with lung cancer by accelerating research into early detection and more effective treatments, as well as by providing community, support, and education for all those affected by the disease. Our vision is a world where no one dies of lung cancer. For more information about LUNGevity Foundation, please visit www.LUNGevity.org.

Media Advisory: Interviews Available at the 28th Annual Sea Service Leadership Association’s Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium

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Professional and leadership development symposium is largest gathering of military women in the country.

Washington, D.C. – The Sea Service Leadership Association (SSLA) is hosting its 28th annual Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium, the largest gathering of military women worldwide. The two-day symposium will be held June 11-12, 2015 at the Wyndham San Diego Bayside in San Diego, CA and will feature some of the nation’s most prominent female military leaders, as well as various presentations, including:

  • Effective Leadership: The “Self Developed” Leader
  • Leadership Super Power
  • Inspiring Leaders: A model for inspiring yourself and others everyday
  • Mapping Your Financial Future

In addition to keynote speakers, spotlights, and professional development sessions, the two-day event will feature the highly anticipated Female Leaders Panel, which includes influential female service members from all service branches, as well as the Joint Leadership Awards Luncheon on Thursday, June 11.

What: 28th Annual Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium: Progress and Possibilities: Embrace our Future Now!

When: Thursday, June 11 at 8:30am- 7:30pm PST

Where: Wyndham San Diego Bayside

1355 North Harbor Drive

San Diego, CA 92101

Who:

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and Author of the New York Times best seller Ashley’s War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield and The Dressmaker of Khair Khana

Vice Admiral William Moran, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Manpower, Personnel, Training, and Education)                       

Vice Admiral Thomas S. Rowden, Commander, Naval Surface Forces/ Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet

Tanya Biank, Author behind Lifetime TV’s “Army Wives” and “Undaunted: The Real Story of America’s Servicewomen in Today’s Military.”

CAPT Jonathan S. Spaner, Sector Commander San Diego,

ADM Paul F. Zukunft, Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard

Why: The 28th Annual Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium: Progress and Possibilities: Embrace our Future Now will focus on opportunities for women in the military while exploring options for the future. The Symposium exemplifies SSLA’s proud tradition of providing exceptional professional and personal development resources for women in the military and remains an invaluable tool for networking, mentoring, education and leadership development.

On Friday, June 12, the Symposium continues with an early morning yoga session at the County of San Diego Recreational Park, followed by a keynote session hosted by AAFMAA on financial planning before participants are grouped by service branch for a day focused on specific issues facing individual military services, including: Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard.

What: 28th Annual Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium: Progress and Possibilities: Embrace our Future Now!

When: Friday, June 12 at 6:00am- 5:00pm PST

Where: 

Wyndham San Diego Bayside

1355 North Harbor Drive

San Diego, CA 92101

Who:

MG Gwendolyn Bingham, TACOM Commander

Mr. David Brinkley, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff G3/5/7, HQ TRADOC

LTG Mary Legere, DCS G2

SPAR, Ms. Vivian McRae

BG Michael J. Meese, USA, Ret., PhD, Chief Operating Officer and Secretary

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BG Tammy Smith, US Army Reserve Deputy Chief of Staff

CAPT Jonathan S. Spaner, Sector Commander San Diego

ADM Paul F. Zukunft, Commandant of the Coast Guard

Vice Admiral Nanette M. DeRenzi, 42nd Judge Advocate General of the Navy

Vice Admiral Jan Tighe, Commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/ U.S. 10th Fleet

Rear Admiral Elaine C. Wagner, Deputy Chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Wounded, Ill and Injured

To RSVP, receive more information, and place interview requests, please contact Nicole Tieman, 202-414-0799, ntieman@susandavis.com.

About SSLA:

Established in 1978, SSLA is the only non-profit, non-political organization recognized by the United States Sea Services dedicated to providing professional development through networking, education, and mentorship of women from the United States Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.

The 2015 Hidden Heroes Coalition Summit: Progress and Promise Produced Focused Initiatives and Overwhelming Support for Military and Veteran Caregivers

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First Lady Michelle Obama pledges her support to America’s military and veteran caregivers at the Elizabeth Dole Foundation’s Hidden Heroes Coalition Summit, May 20, Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Washington, DC. Photo credit: Lynn Dykstra, Focused Images.

Download high res: https://www.dropbox.com/s/pcxxryckapl9ffq/IMG_0438%20First%20Lady%20Michelle%20Obama.jpg?dl=0

Washington, D.C. — The Elizabeth Dole Foundation hosted the 2015 Hidden Heroes Coalition Summit: Progress and Promise on May 20 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, in Washington, DC. The event featured remarks from First Lady Michelle Obama and Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert A. McDonald, along with a special video message from Tom Hanks announcing his leadership of a national awareness campaign to call attention to the service provided by loved ones caring for wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans. The voices were different, but they all touched on a resounding theme: our nation has made real progress on behalf of military and veteran caregivers, but more must be done to provide these hidden heroes with the support they need and deserve.

The summit marked one year since Senator Elizabeth Dole launched the National Coalition for Military Caregivers. At the time of the coalition’s launch, Senator Dole promised to report on the progress made on behalf of caregivers one year later. The program opened with an impressive series of coalitions partners describing the initiatives their organizations had launched or grown in the last 12 months to support military and veteran caregivers. Speakers included leaders from USAA, lead sponsor of the Summit, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes, Capital One, Easter Seals, The Home Depot Foundation, Operation Homefront, TAPS, and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation.

In her own remarks, Senator Dole named dozens of private, public, nonprofit and faith organizations and leaders who have taken steps to directly address the gaps in support revealed by the Foundation’s 2014 RAND report on military and veteran caregivers. Senator Dole reflected on the significant shift in the nation’s caregiver support, stating, “We have seen allied groups working together; funders teaming with service providers; and ideas, resources, and best practices shared across the board without pride of ownership… The breadth of organizations doing their part is extraordinary, and when you bring them all together you see the powerful and effective relationships that have been formed to make it all possible.”

The most powerful moments of the event came from the caregivers themselves. Nine Dole Caregivers Fellows spoke from the stage, sharing their personal stories of struggle and resilience. More than 60 other fellows attended the event to represent the 5.5 million loved ones caring for America’s wounded warriors. American Airlines and Hilton Hotels, with additional support from Bank of America and Hope for the Warriors made it possible for these fellows to travel from across the nation to participate in this special event.

Acknowledging that the past year is just the start of what our nation must do to better support military and veteran caregivers, Senator Dole announced the Foundation’s Hidden Hero Impact Councils, launched earlier this year with the support of Booz Allen Hamilton. These seven councils, comprised of the leaders of the Foundation’s coalition, are focused on the most critical issues faced by caregivers: Community Support at Home; Education and Training, Employment and Workplace Support; Financial and Legal Planning; Interfaith Action and Ministry; and Respite Care. These councils, designed to bring increased strategic organization to the growing list of resources being established for caregivers, collaborated on a series of actions to take in the year ahead to support of military and veteran caregivers. (See appendix for list of council commitments)

One of the primary commitments made by the Impact Councils was a national awareness campaign to call attention to the contributions of military and veteran caregivers and the ways our nation could better offer them support. In a special recorded message, Tom Hanks pledged his support to military and veteran caregivers by leading this campaign. In his message, Hanks said, Senator Dole pointed out to me when we met, there are heroes, millions of them, who are every day caring for our wounded veterans. I join her in this defining national effort to make us all aware of these hidden heroes – to acknowledge the work they do. . . and assistance they are going to need.”

In the lead up to the Tom Hanks announcement, Dole Caregiver Fellow Brian Vines, a veteran who also cares for his veteran wife, spoke on the topic of national awareness. He remarked that the lack of American’s attention to the role of caregivers leaves those caregivers feeling isolated, hopeless and depressed. He added, “The public is aware that our veterans experience these issues, but most are unaware of the impact on caregivers. Public awareness of military and veteran caregivers is critical to empowering us to care for our loved ones.”

The Elizabeth Dole Foundation activities continued today with the Hidden Heroes: Focus on Faith, an interfaith and congressional leadership breakfast reception honoring military and veteran caregivers in the Kennedy Caucus Room of the Russell Senate Office Building. The event included Hidden Heroes Congressional Caucus co-chairs, Senators John McCain and Jack Reed, Leader Nancy Pelosi, Congressman Jeff Miller, and special guest Pastor Joel Osteen. The morning served as an example of the united, bipartisan support our military and veteran caregivers deserve, and an acknowledgement of the important role played by Congress and faith communities in ensuring them stronger support.

About The Elizabeth Dole Foundation

The mission of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation is to uplift American military and veteran caregivers by strengthening the services afforded to them through innovation, evidence-based research, and collaboration. Read more about the Foundation headquartered in Washington, DC at www.elizabethdolefoundation.org. For more information, to RSVP, and to request interviews, please contact Nicole Tieman, 202-414-0799, ntieman@susandavis.com.

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Appendix

The Elizabeth Dole Foundation’s Hidden Heroes Impact Councils will pursue the following actions in support of America’s military and veteran caregivers with the support and leadership of the named volunteer co-chairs:

Community Support at Home

Co-Chairs

  • Rachel O’Hern, Executive Director, Quality of Life, Inc.
  • Heather Prill Pritchard, Sr. Manager of National Partnerships and Atlanta Hometown Giving, The Home Depot Foundation

Commitments

  • Launch a national awareness campaign chaired by Tom Hanks to grow America’s understanding of the challenges faced by caregivers and how they can contribute to their solutions
  • Produce and disseminate a “Caregiver Credo” developed by active caregivers for their peers to use for explaining the needs, strengths, and responsibilities of America’s caregivers to employers, community organizations, or others unfamiliar with military caregiving
  • Support the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in direct engagement with caregivers across the country and establish an advisory board to ensure the VA’s leadership hears feedback and ideas directly from those caring for wounded warriors.

Education and Training

Co-Chairs

  • Lynda Davis, Executive Vice President, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS)
  • Marjorie Morrison, CEO and Founder, Psych Armor Institute

Commitments

  • Develop a comprehensive, one-stop online clearinghouse for existing training resources and materials to help military and veteran caregivers better inform and empower themselves
  • Collaborate with experts across the Foundation’s Impact Councils to develop original online training modules across the most critical caregiving issues to educate both caregivers and those who provide caregiver services
  • Provide counsel and feedback to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in coordinating education resources across the department based on the experiences of caregivers and service providers

Employment and Workplace Support

Co-Chairs

  • Eric Eversole, President, Hiring Our Heroes, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
  • Chris Giacchi, Manager of Military and Disability Recruiting, Capital One

Commitments

  • Convene employment advocates, corporations and caregivers to develop a resource guide for caregivers focusing on how to market their caregiving skills and identify caregiver-friendly employment opportunities as they plan to move within, or re-enter the workforce
  • Assemble a comprehensive guide for how employers can adapt their workplace to be more caregiver-friendly
  • Continue expansion of employment hiring and networking events for military and veteran caregivers
  • Distribute best practices for hiring and employing caregivers to human resource professionals and hiring managers nationwide

Financial and Legal Issues

Co-Chairs

  • Kenneth Goldsmith, Senior Legislative Counsel and Director of State Legislation, American Bar Association
  • Justin Schmitt, Assistant Vice President for Corporate Responsibility, USAA

Commitments

  • Continue to expand and actively market available pro-bono legal services for military and veteran caregivers who require assistance of legal counsel
  • Consolidate and update financial and legal best practices and resource guides for military and veteran caregivers
  • Expand pre-existing military and veteran programs, policies and services to include caregivers and their families; examples include one-on-one financial counseling, emergency funding/loans, and pro-bono legal services for a military spouse who is divorced or deceased

Interfaith Action and Ministry Council

Co-Chairs

  • Jack Lea, Executive Director, National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces
  • Dan Look, Chief Strategy Officer, National Lutheran Communities & Services

Commitments

  • Creating and will launch a strategic communications initiative to reach leaders of every faith  across the entire nation, in communities large and small, building their awareness and understanding of the needs of military caregivers in their communities
  • Preparing a guide for faith leaders outlining the many, varied ways they and their members can be of support to military caregivers in their communities
  • Aggregating existing materials and creating new ones to ensure that faith leaders are knowledgeable about available resources for military caregivers
  • Developing strategies for communicating to military caregivers , ensuring  that they are aware of houses of faith as resources, regardless of their personal beliefs

Mental and Physical Health

Co-Chairs

  • Catharine Grimes, Director, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation
  • Michelle Kees, Assistant Professor and Faculty Member of Military Support Programs and Networks (M-SPAN), University of Michigan

Commitments

  • Promote and increase visibility and access to effective, evidence-based mental and physical health programs and interventions for military caregivers
  • Pursue additional research, evaluation, and validation of existing programs and services to identify best practices and gaps in support
  • Encourage and support the expansion of effective pilot programs or new interventions in areas where there is an identified need for increased support
  • Promote and encourage military caregiver peer to peer support through new and existing programs
  • Work to increase cultural competency among mental and physical healthcare providers

Respite Care

Co-Chairs

  • Jed Johnson, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Easter Seals
  • Jill Kagan, Program Director, ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center

Commitments

  • Increase awareness of respite:
    • Target military and veteran caregivers through the creation of easy to understand, consumer-focused documents providing an overview of respite options, potential funding and other resources
    • Target the broad community, encouraging recognition of the importance of respite for military caregivers as essential services
    • Build meaningful bridges for military families to state Lifespan Respite programs
  • Create educational opportunities for respite providers to better understand military culture and address the unique needs of military caregivers
  • Work to ensure full funding for the Lifespan Respite program included in the bi-partisan Military and Veteran Caregiver Services Improvement Act
  • Expand the availability of evidence-based and other innovative respite care options

Washington Nationals Fan Wins Behind-the-Scenes Grounds Crew Experience

MLB Auction Winner Honors Family’s Connection to Lung Cancer through Nationals Opportunity Benefitting LUNGevity Foundation

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WASHINGTON (May 19, 2015) — The Washington Nationals Grounds Crew will have a new team member for the Washington Nationals vs. New York Yankees game on Tuesday, May 19. The winner of a prize through Major League Baseball’s Winter Meetings Auction will enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be on the field as a member of the grounds crew, getting a close up look at the field and the team.

Auction item proceeds benefit LUNGevity Foundation, the nation’s leading lung cancer nonprofit, raising funds for critical lung cancer research. LUNGevity was chosen as the beneficiary of the auction in special tribute to LUNGevity spokesperson and Major League Baseball family member, former Baltimore Orioles’ public relations director, Monica Barlow, who was only 36 when she died of lung cancer.

Auction item winner Lawrence Fung and his wife, Sarah Yuen, are no strangers to lung cancer.  The disease runs in her family.  Sarah’s uncle, aunt, and paternal grandmother, all nonsmokers, have passed away as a result of lung cancer. Sarah’s father was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer nearly four years ago and has been fighting it ever since.

“Monica Pence Barlow’s battle with lung cancer is certainly an inspiration to all who are affected by any deadly disease.  It’s also a very sad reminder that lung cancer affects both old and young, and no one is immune,” shared Lawrence Fung of Brooklyn, NY. “We hope that LUNGevity’s work to fund lung cancer research, to raise awareness, and to provide support continues in earnest. Combining my love for baseball and our family’s direct connection to the disease, donating to this cause is the very least we can do to help LUNGevity’s efforts to improve survival rates and ultimately find a cure for lung cancer.”

“We were pleased to offer this experience as a way to raise awareness and funds for LUNGevity, a cause in which our late colleague, Monica Barlow, was heavily involved,” said Jennifer Giglio, Vice President, Communications for the Nationals. “Monica and her family were enthusiastic supporters of LUNGevity and the work the organization does to help raise funds for the fight against lung cancer. Like the other 29 clubs around Major League Baseball, we are honored to provide experiences that will further that support in her name.”

“It has been amazing to see the once-in-a-lifetime experiences that the 30 teams came up with in support of LUNGevity and our late colleague, Monica Barlow,” Said Josh Rawitch, Senior Vice President, Communications for the Arizona Diamondbacks and organizer of the annual Major League Baseball Winter Meetings Auction. “She was an incredibly important part of the baseball community and the Baltimore – Washington Metropolitan community and we know that her legacy will live on in the memories created by these auction winners.”

“LUNGevity Foundation is honored to be the beneficiary of the MLB Winter Meetings Auction and to work with the Washington Nationals on this initiative,” said Andrea Ferris, president and chairman of LUNGevity, “We are grateful for their enthusiasm and support, and we hope to have future opportunities to work together.”

For media interested in photos from the Washington Nationals’ Grounds Crew Experience and/or interviews with LUNGevity spokespeople, please contact Aliza Bran at (202) 414-0798 or at abran@susandavis.com.

For more information on LUNGevity Foundation, please visit www.LUNGevity.org.

 

About Lung Cancer

  • 1 in 15 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime
  • More than 221,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year
  • About 60%-65% of all new lung cancer diagnoses are among people who have never smoked or are former smokers
  • Lung cancer takes more lives than the next three cancers (colorectal, breast, and prostate) combined
  • Only 17% of all people diagnosed with lung cancer will survive 5 years or more, BUT if it’s caught before it spreads, the chance for 5-year survival improves dramatically

 

About LUNGevity Foundation

LUNGevity Foundation is firmly committed to making an immediate impact on increasing quality of life and survivorship of people with lung cancer by accelerating research into early detection and more effective treatments, as well as by providing community, support, and education for all those affected by the disease. Our vision is a world where no one dies of lung cancer. For more information about LUNGevity Foundation, please visit www.LUNGevity.org.

UPDATE: First Lady Michelle Obama Joins the Elizabeth Dole Foundation at the 2015 Hidden Heroes Coalition Summit: Progress and Promise

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After helping launch the National Coalition one year ago, the First Lady will join the Foundation, along with leaders from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Congress, corporations, nonprofits, faith communities, and military and veteran caregivers to reflect on successes and look to the future

Washington, D.C., May 15, 2015   — First Lady Michelle Obama, Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert A. McDonald, Tom Hanks, and Pastor Joel Osteen will all play a part in a special week devoted to military and veteran caregivers, hosted by the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, May 19 – 21, in Washington, DC.

The Elizabeth Dole Foundation will welcome more than 70 of its military and veteran caregiver Fellows to the nation’s capital over these three days, along with senior leaders from across the public, private, nonprofit, labor and faith communities, to celebrate progress made over the past year on behalf of those caring for wounded, ill and injured warriors, and to announce upcoming initiatives to continue raising awareness and support for these Hidden Heroes.

First Lady Michelle Obama and Sen. Elizabeth Dole will be joined by National Coalition members and caregivers for the Hidden Heroes Coalition Summit: Progress and Promise on Wednesday, May 20, 2 p.m., at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Washington, DC. The program will feature remarks from Secretary Robert McDonald, Senator Elizabeth Dole, and a special recorded announcement from Tom Hanks. The event will also feature remarks by Harriet Dominique, Senior Vice President, Corporate Responsibility and Community Affairs, USAA, lead sponsor of the Summit. The following Coalition partners will also participate in the program: U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes, Capitol One, Easter Seals, The Home Depot Foundation, Operation Homefront, TAPS, and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation.

The following day, Thursday, May 21, Senator Dole will co-host Hidden Heroes: Focus on Faith, an interfaith and congressional leadership breakfast reception honoring military and veteran caregivers in the Russell Senate Office Building, Kennedy Caucus Room, 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. The event will include Hidden Heroes Congressional Caucus co-chairs, Senators John McCain and Jack Reed, Leader Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Jeff Miller, and special guest Pastor Joel Osteen. The breakfast will serve as an example of the united, bipartisan support for our military and veteran caregivers, and an acknowledgement of the important role played by Congress and faith communities in ensuring them stronger support. Following the event, Elizabeth Dole Fellows will meet with scores of Congressional Members to discuss the specific actions Congress can take to support military caregivers.

The Elizabeth Dole Foundation elevated the issue of military and veteran caregiving to a national level last April with the release of a Foundation commissioned study by the RAND Corporation that found military caregivers are struggling to shoulder the enormous responsibility they take on as they care for wounded service members. In response to these findings, the Foundation, alongside First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, launched a powerful coalition to address the gaps in resources identified in the study. Hidden Heroes: the National Coalition for Military Caregivers draws support from the public, private, nonprofit, labor and faith communities, which were all represented at the White House Joining Forces event and continue to be involved today.

May 20 program participants available for interview include:

  • Senator Elizabeth Dole
  • Harriet Dominique, Senior Vice President, Corporate Responsibility and Community Affairs, USAA
  • National Coalition members and program participants
  • Military and veteran caregivers from nearly every state across the country

Both events are open press. Members of the media who wish to cover Wednesdays event must RSVP to ntieman@susandavis.com by Monday, May 18, 2015 at 5 PM ET. Press who do not have a White House hard pass must include their social security number, date of birth, country of citizenship, current city/state of residence, and gender.

About The Elizabeth Dole Foundation

The mission of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation is to uplift American military and veteran caregivers by strengthening the services afforded to them through innovation, evidence-based research, and collaboration. Read more about the Foundation headquartered in Washington, DC at www.elizabethdolefoundation.org.

 

Contact: Nicole Tieman

202-414-0799

ntieman@susandavis.com

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Vital Voices Global Partnership and Plan International Host U.S. Premiere of India’s Daughter

Vital Voices - India's Daughter

Meryl Streep, Freida Pinto, and Film Director Leslee Udwin Join Film Premiere and Panel Discussion

NEW YORK, March 10, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Yesterday, Vital Voices Global Partnership and Plan International hosted the U.S. premiere of India’s Daughter, a feature-length documentary from the award-winning director and producer Leslee Udwin and distributed by Women Make Movies. The film details the aftermath of the 2012 Delhi gang rape that shook the Indian subcontinent and sparked heated dialogue on violence against women and girls around the world which has continued to spark more controversy since the Indian government has now banned the film from airing in that country.

India’s Daughter reveals the shocking, ingrained cultural norms and viewpoints on women that persist globally. The film features detailed interviews with the perpetrators of the crime, uncovering attitudes symptomatic of a culture of impunity in which violence against women goes unchecked. Exposing an understanding these points of view is critical to addressing the issue of violence against women openly in society. “The rapists are not the disease – they are symptoms”, said Leslee Udwin, “Gender-inequality is the primary tumor and rape, trafficking, child marriage, female foeticide, honor killings and so on, are the metastases. If we wish to tackle this issue effectively, we must address these attitudes and the mindset they inform.”

For over 17 years, Vital Voices has partnered with both women and men who are working to end violence against women. These leaders work to help advance the full implementation of laws, increase public awareness around this issue, and contribute to the creation of a world where women are free from violence. Plan International has been campaigning for girls’ rights across the globe since 2007. Their grassroots work empowers girls to realize their rights and supports them to stand up against violence and discrimination.

India’s Daughter shows the horror of gender-based violence.  But it also shows it is possible to bring about change starting at the community level, with basic things like ensuring that the education young people receive — and by extension their families — includes building an understanding of and respect for gender equality,” says Tessie San Martin, President & CEO of Plan International USA and Alyse Nelson, President & CEO of Vital Voices. “The film also demonstrates the importance of investing in and working with women and men who are the frontlines of change; it is critical to support these leaders who advocate for change, ensure that perpetrators are held accountable and that survivors receive the needed services and justice they deserve.”

Meryl Streep opened the evening’s program, leading a traditional candle-lighting ceremony in honor of the 2012 gang rape victim Jyoti Singh, a 23-year-old medical student, who died as a result of the attack. “This moving documentary is harrowing not only for its heartbreaking, unflinching look at a young woman’s life brutally ended, but for the intimate, clear eyed look at the young men who broke her, and their defenders,” said Streep, “It forces a look at the mindset that must be made to know it has no place in the civilized world.”

Freida Pinto closed the evening with a rallying call to action: “I’m calling on girls and women, boys and men everywhere to watch this incredible film and then take action: Where you see abuse – report it. Where you witness discrimination – speak out. Let’s make sure that Jyoti Singh’s ultimate legacy is a world free from violence against women and girls.”

About Plan International
Plan International is one of the oldest and largest children’s development organisations in the world. We work in 51 developing countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas to promote girls’ and boys’ rights and lift millions of children out of poverty. Our vision is of a world in which all children realise their full potential in societies that respect people’s rights and dignity.

About Vital Voices
Vital Voices invests in women leaders who improve our world. For more than 17 years, we have partnered with women in over 140 countries to increase economic opportunity, improve political and public leadership, and to end violence against women. Our programs are built upon a foundational belief – that women are essential to progress in their communities. Our world cannot move forward without their full participation.

 

MEDIA CONTACT:
Anna Rotrosen
Vital Voices Global Partnership
301.366.3670
annarotrosen@vitalvoices.org

 

Dr. Julie Brahmer, MD, Named March LUNGevity Hero for Research in Groundbreaking Field of Immunotherapy

Dr. BrahmerTo kick off Women in History month, LUNGevity Foundation announces Dr. Julie Brahmer, MD, as the March LUNGevity Hero for her work in the field of immunotherapy for lung cancer patients. Dr. Brahmer is a vocal advocate for lung cancer research, passionate doctor and professor of oncology, and innovative researcher.

Growing up in Nebraska, she watched her grandfather battle non-Hodgkin lymphoma.  As an eighteen-year-old, inspired by his struggle, she set the ambitious life goal of curing cancer. She earned a medical degree from the University of Nebraska, did her residency at the University of Utah, and completed oncology training at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Brahmer has become an international leader in the field of immunotherapy for patients with lung cancer. She is the author of more than 90 scholarly articles and has spoken on immunology at events nationwide, including LUNGevity’s HOPE Summit. She was recently named director of the Thoracic Oncology Program at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University in January, adding to her title of Associate Professor of Oncology.

Dr. Brahmer is best known for her research related to the phase one trial of the PD-1 inhibitor nivolumab, an immunotherapy drug that has shown remarkable promise for lung cancer patients.The trial was concluded early when it met its endpoint with positive results two years ahead of schedule. [Read more…]

Susan Davis International Launches Cyber Risk Communications Practice

Noted cyber security expert Frank Cilluffo to lead high profile team serving corporate boards and C Suite

Susan Davis International (SDI) announces noted cyber security expert Frank Cilluffo will lead SDI’s new Cyber Risk Communications Practice. He will be joined by former Goldman Sachs Director of Global Security Rob Dannenberg; former Commander of U.S. Army CyberCommand, General Rhett Hernandez (Ret); cyber expert and Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Risk and Resilience, Kirstjen Nielsen; SDI Chairman Susan Davis and SDI Vice President Tom Davis.

The practice will offer due diligence analysis and management consulting to assist corporate boards and senior management with potential reputational risk, loss of market share and/or customer and shareholder concerns that may arise from cyber security incidents. It will provide Boards with an understanding of why they may be targets of cyber malactors as well as what information and systems might be at risk and why. It will also help them better understand the changing policy and legal landscape around reporting, best practices and liability.

Through consulting and simulation exercises, SDI Cyber Risk Communications Practice will offer evaluation of:

  • The nature of cyber risks facing the company, including risks posed by state actors and insiders, as well as those associated with third-party vendors, suppliers and service providers
  • Roles and responsibilities of the Board, its various committees  and management in identifying, evaluating, responding to and recovering from cyber threats and incidents
  • Corporate policies, frameworks and governance processes related to cyber security and risk management
  • Incident response and crisis communications planning and evaluation to ensure all stakeholder concerns are addressed and aid business recovery
  • How various cyber scenarios could impact the business (financial losses, reputation, liability)

SDI also will offer a range of planning assistance as well as real time crisis management support during an incident.

Background on cyber risk communications team members

Frank Cilluffo, Managing Director, joins SDI from George Washington University where he leads a number of national security and cyber security policy and research initiatives. Cilluffo was the former Special Assistant to the President for Homeland Security under President George W. Bush immediately following the attacks of 9-11.  He has testified on cyber security issues before the U.S. Congress over 25 times and consulted with senior corporate management across a multitude of industries.  A frequent cyber and homeland security analyst on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNBC, CNN and Fox News, he has been published extensively in academic, law, business and policy journals, magazines and newspapers.

SDI Vice President Tom E. Davis, recognized for his expertise in crisis management and strategic communication, has developed, managed and evaluated comprehensive crisis simulations for and consulted with major corporations in the U.S., Kuwait, and Japan among others. Davis has worked with industries ranging from energy to infrastructure, telecommunications to defense, and finance to manufacturing.

Rob Dannenberg was Director of International Security Affairs for BP plc before joining Goldman Sachs where he became Director of Global Security.  He previously worked for the Central Intelligence Agency for 24 years, where he served in several senior leadership positions, including Chief of Operations for the Counter Terrorism Center, Chief of the Central Eurasia Division and Chief of the CIA’s Information Operations Center.

Susan Ann Davis is Chairman of Susan Davis International,  is expert in reputation management, strategic communications, stakeholder outreach and crisis counseling. Representing clients before the U.S. Congress and Executive Branch, she has provided counsel to government and industry leaders on four continents. Over her professional career, Davis has played a key strategic communications and government relations role in high profile cases ranging from product liability litigation to airline crashes, environmental threats and foreign government economic crises.

Lieutenant General Rhett Hernandez (Retired), the first commander of Army Cyber Command, is the West Point Cyber Chair to the Army Cyber Institute.  An expert on cyber strategy, threats, capabilities and operations including defense, training, leader development, incident response and risk management, Hernandez has testified before the HASC Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee.  He is a highly regarding cyber consultant and speaker and an advisory board member for a wide range of companies.

Kirstjen Nielsen, Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Risk and Resilience, is a global consultant on homeland and national security policy, strategy and assessment expertise with an emphasis on critical infrastructure security and resilience, including cyber security preparedness. She is the President of Sunesis Consulting and a former Special Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and served as Senior Director for Prevention, Preparedness and Response on the White House Homeland Security Council.

About SDI

Susan Davis International (SDI), a global strategic communications and public affiars firm based in Washington, DC, with 72 agency partners worldwide is known as one of the top public affairs agencies in the United States For over 35 years the agency has provided advice and counsel to multinationals, leading institutions, political figures, and U.S. and foreign governments and agencies.

 Visit our Cyber Risk Communications Practice page

‘What’s On Your Mind?’ Social Media Event Moves Psychology from Couch to Twitter

Got a question? Ask DCoE; click here to download the photoIn a new spin on the proverbial couch, SDI launched a social media event in May to encourage a dialogue on mental health in the military space. In a first, client Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) virtually opened the doors to its psychologists’ offices by making them available on social media platforms all month long.

The event, #Ask DCoE, invited service members, veterans, families and health care providers to ask questions about mental health issues via the ease of Facebook, Twitter and the DCoE Blog. Through a monitored and controlled internal communications process SDI conceived, questions were quickly threaded through one of DCoE’s three centers for responses: Deployment Health Clinical Center, Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, and National Center for Telehealth and Technology.

SDI named the event the “Living Blog” because each question and answer lived on through the month in one continuous flow of dialogue posted to the DCoE Blog on its website.

While DCoE has long been active in social media, SDI’s creative undertaking was the first time its client’s main social platforms combined synergies in pursuit of a singular goal. Timed to promote Mental Health Awareness Month, the Living Blog embraced concerns that ranged from posttraumatic stress disorder to moral injury.

Pairing the high-speed world of social media with the deliberative analytical process of psychology may seem cautionary. In effect, the two environments made for an intriguing relationship. What made it work — subject matter experts fully engaged in the process; commitment to a 24-hour turnaround for responses; tight coordination between the SDI on-site communications team and DCoE experts and facilitators; thorough and vetted strategic planning; and DCoE’s dedicated effort to encourage service members to reach out for help.

The stigma of seeking help for mental health keeps many from getting answers to their concerns, let alone asking questions. SDI created the opportunity for the military community to raise their hands in anonymity and find answers or a pathway to understanding of their personal struggles. The event lays the foundation for leveraging DCoE digital properties in more creative ways to advantage its military stakeholders.

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