Whether it was driving me to and from treatment, offering advice, being a sounding board, sending your prayers, providing meals or supporting and loving unconditionally, it took several villages to get me to where I am today, and for that I say THANK YOU. Every day I DYP and do what I do to honor all the remarkable people in my life and pay it forward the best I can.
To the Medical Specialists
Thank you to all doctors who invested their time, energy, resources and expertise to a stranger. You gave me a space on the operating table, you gave me time in your offices and squeezed me in when there was an emergency. You tirelessly answered every question and addressed every concern, even the ridiculous ones. When I was scared, emotional, and uncertain, you treated me with compassion and kindness.
I am eternally grateful.
Thank you to my dentist and good friend Dr. Sacks.
Thank you Dr. Abeymayor, Dr. Blackwell, and Dr. Nabili at the UCLA Head and Neck Department and Dr Freymiller at the UCLA School of Dentistry.
Thank you to my oncologist Dr. Ashouri, my ENT Dr. Bellack, my prosthodontic Dr. Copps, my acupuncturist Dr. Gindi, my endocrinologist Dr. Gofnung, my periodontist Dr. Green, Dr. Levine, and my radiologist Dr. Miller.
Thank you to the countless nurses, residents and staff who worked tirelessly on my behalf and so many others.
Thank you to my speech therapist, Dina, for me helping me find a phone number I can pronounce.
Thank you to my therapist, Margo, for helping me find my new normal.
Thank you to the Westlake Cancer Support Community and our support group’s fearless leader, Kayo, as well as all the Cancer Support Communities for doing the hardest work there is.
Thank you to weSpark for believing in me when I presented my first “Mind Mapping” workshop.
Thank you, Deborah and Larry, for your friendship and making sure our family was well fed.
Thank you, Cammy, Avi and family, for going above and beyond. You are not just friends, you are family.
Thank you, Larry and Shirley, for being there more times than I can count. If you ever need a good power nap, Shirley, I’m your gal.
Thank you to Chabad of Westlake Village and the Ilan Ramon Day School staff and community for rallying behind our family when we needed it the most.
Thank you to Kristine and Angela at the Reflections boutique of The Simms/Mann-UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology for believing in me. You treat every person who walks in the door like family.
Thank you, Robb at Cancer Fit, for helping me find strength when I was weak. Your commitment to helping children leaves me speechless.
Thank you to Tom at Ventura County Star, Tim at Costco Connection Magazine, Ariel at Spectrum News, KTTV Channel 11, The Acorn, DentalProductsReport, John at TroDent Magazine, ADA’s MouthHealthy, and DentalProductsReport for seeing the value of spreading the word about oral cancer screenings.
Thank you, Melissa, for creating a brilliant logo and website. You gave DYP a heart and soul.
Thank you, David, for your exceptional talent as a videographer. You made me feel like a VIP.
Thank you to the Kiwanis, Rotary, Optimist, and Soroptomist clubs for inviting me into your homes. Your commitment to improving the world gives me hope.
Sending a big shout out to Adina, Aileen, Aliza, Amy, Andi, Andrea, Anne, *Anne, Ari, Rabbi Aryeh, Rebbetzin Brocha, Rebbetzin Chana, Claudine, Dara, David, Dawnn, Rebbetzin Debbie, Diane, Dina, Eva, Gail, Rabbi Green, *Haewon, Hilary, Janet, Jason, Jenni, Jeremy, Jessica, Johnny, Julie, Karen, Katie, Kayse Kelli, Kim, Lexy, Lois, Lori, Marissa, Mark, Marla, Melissa, Michal, Michele, Nina, *Patti, Rachel, Rabbi Sapo, Ros, Shelly, Suzanne, Ted, Vatche and Zena. For the many, many others who have helped me get to where I am today, forgive me if I have forgotten to include you, and I hope I thanked you somewhere along the way.
Thank you, Jayne, for being there for your brother and for our family. I wish you lived closer so we could go to Vegas.
Audrey, OBM, I hit the jackpot when it comes to a mother-in-law. You always treated me like a daughter. You raised a really, good man.
My sisters Melissa and Carrie and their families. I sleep better knowing you are by my side. Melissa, thank you, for covering for me at the Brownie’s meeting and making candy with the girls when I couldn’t.
Mom and Dad, I love you both so much. You picked up so many pieces I don’t know what I would have done without the both of you. Mom, as a two-time breast cancer survivor, you motivated me every day.
Sarah and Talia, you were both so young when everything happened. I’m not sure what you remember, but there’s no doubt it had an impact on the remarkable people you have become. You are the breath in my lungs. You make the world a better place. You are the reason I believe in miracles.
Joe, this experience did not come with an instruction manual but, somehow, we got through it. You are an extraordinary human being, and I am honored to call you my husband. I love you with all my heart. You will always be my number one DYP!
Finally, I’m so lucky to have had the best grandparents. I miss you all every day. Your love surrounded me and protected me. I know you are with me all the time.
Last, but not least, thank you G-d. I’m doing my best to keep all the promises I made to you when I was ill. Everything I do is for you.