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TGen helps promote cancer awareness for vast Navajo Nation
Date:4/7/2009

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Barbara Kavanagh, founder and chief executive officer of the Arizona Myeloma Network, which provides outreach and education focused on this blood-plasma cancer that attacks the bone marrow, also said the first conference succeeded beyond her dreams. She described presentations in October as moving and significant.

"The enthusiasm was inspirational for all of the people who attended,'' Kavanagh said, "from the faculty, to the cancer patients and their families, the Navajo Nation community and tribal government officials, Fort Defiance hospital staff and their families, the family of Navajo dancers who's grandmother had cancer, the students from Dine College, and even the woman who catered our event, who between serving food all day, visited every cancer resource booth to pick up booklets to take home to friends and family in Tuba City.''

Kavanagh praised as top-notch the presentation by Dr. Bodour Salhia, a TGen post-doctorate fellow who is investigating breast cancer and multiple myeloma in TGen's Integrated Cancer Genomics Division. Dr. Salhia, who has helped organize both conferences, made a presentation called: Basic Facts of Cancer and the New Science.

"This conference, this entire mission, was really about empowering people with knowledge; to enable them to become aware of their bodies in a proactive way, and gain new insights about what modern medicine has to offer,'' Dr. Salhia said. "It was a giant leap of outreach from those of us who have become so passionate about helping Navajo people suffering with cancer. I am thrilled to be part of something that I believe will one day be of huge impact.''

The John Wayne Cancer Foundation, which helped sponsor the first conference in October, has pledged $10,000 to fund the upcoming conference in July. The foundation is named for the Academy Award-winning actor who is famous for such movie classics as Stagecoach and The Searchers, both filmed in the Navajo Nation's Monu
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Contact: Steve Yozwiak
syozwiak@tgen.org
602-343-8704
The Translational Genomics Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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