Finding a Way

Cait Massone is a 37 year old neurologist who was born and raised in Blairstown, New Jersey, near the Delaware water gap. “It’s a very small town—more cows than the traffic lights.” She works at Jefferson Healthcare in Washington Township, New Jersey. Massone’s connection to Legacy came through her husband, Rich, who worked with Mike [Rowe] in the ER at Jefferson. “My husband and I like athletic endeavors; so that’s how we got involved. It was like, ‘Let’s run the Love Run for Legacy of Hope.’”

Massone has an impressive running résumé, including six marathons, multiple ultras and half marathons. She started running in her mid 20s, but it wasn’t just for fitness. “I struggled with an eating disorder for 14 years. Part of my way out was through running. I started with short distance runs and subsequently built my way up to half marathons, full marathons; and now I do trail ultra-marathons. For me, it’s very meditative and gives me a sense of inner peace. That’s helped me a lot on my journey towards being healthy. Being outside, in nature, breathing fresh air while I’m doing something good for my body. That inspires me.”

“I have two words that I’ll tell myself during races as a way to keep me going: powerful and perseverance. That’s just how I feel about my body and the journey I’ve been through with running. And whenever I think of those words, it helps keep me going.”

While Massone has had friends and family who have dealt with cancer diagnoses, Legacy of Hope’s mission resonates with her for a slightly different reason. “My family struggled with poverty when we were younger. My mom was a single mother with three kids and no income. That alone—without a cancer diagnosis—was so tough. Fortunately, she didn’t have a cancer diagnosis, but I can relate to the struggle, not having food in the cupboard; I empathize with what they’re going through. I’ve donated to Legacy of Hope on occasions where there’s one individual they highlight who needs a heater or something to help them get through the winter. To me that’s really somewhere I feel like I can help—something I wish I could have done for my mom when I was 16. But now I have the means to do it [for others].”

Massone gravitated to medicine after doing “a lot of undergraduate research in science. They always wanted people to become like bench scientists, but I wasn’t really cut out for that. I thought: How can I do this but actually help people more directly? And I think it was the combination of those things that brought me towards medicine. I didn’t have anyone in the family that was in medicine. I just kind of took the initiative.” She did, and Massone was the first in her nuclear family to get through college. “But they all turned out alright. After I finished med school, they all went back and got advanced degrees, including my mom who now has a master’s in psychology and does social work. We did alright.”

For Massone, medicine was a great choice. “What I do for my job—helping to treat stroke patients—definitely feeds my soul. But lately, I’ve also gotten really into artistic endeavors, doing more art—watercolor painting, reading. I find my brain is turning towards all of these artistic things, which I never did in all the time I was in training.”

Perhaps the most significant artistic endeavor Massone has undertaken is that she’s started writing a memoir, which she hopes to publish by the end of 2024. “It’s partly about my journey from having an eating disorder to becoming an endurance athlete. Thinking more about my journey because I am writing about it is pretty crazy. I think back on things that didn’t seem important at the time, and reality they’re really huge stepping stones.”

Cait will be running the Philadelphia Love Run Half Marathon as a Legacy of Sponsored Athlete this Sunday, Mar 26, 2023. Please support Cait’s fundraising as she crushes the 13.1 mile course. It’s too late to register for the Love Run, BUT if you’re already registered to run either the half marathon or the 7.6k, you can have your registration fee waived by completing this form. Here’s how it works. You fill out the form and will then receive a Legacy of Hope fundraising page. You have until April 30th to raise $250, at which point your registration fee will be refunded.

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Michele Redrow

Michele is a Director on the Legacy of Hope board and also serves on the Executive Committee.

Gina Mancuso

Gina’s experience as the very successful co-owner of CoreFitness, LLC coupled with her expertise in planning special events makes her the perfect Vice President for Legacy of Hope. With energy, passion, and drive that makes her seem superhuman, Gina’s connection to our mission is a personal one.

“Both my father and my dear childhood friend were diagnosed with cancer within 3 months of one another. They were surrounded and supported by friends and family throughout their battle and until their passing. No one should suffer through a diagnosis alone and, without Legacy of Hope, some people would do just that.”

greg garber

Greg Garber is the director of Oncology Support Services at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center.

dr. kevin kelly

Dr. Kevin Kelly leads Legacy of Hope’s Scientific Review Board to seek out and support the most promising cancer research in Philadelphia using a merit-based system.  He is Jefferson’s Director of Solid Tumor Oncology.

David April

David is the founder of the Fishtown Beer Runners, an organization with chapters all over the world based here in Philadelphia.

joseph ruggieri, jr

Education: Bachelor’s of Science from West Chester University in Management and Finance

Bio: As a member of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.’s upper management team, Joseph brings a wealth of knowledge regarding finances, management, team-building and planning to the Legacy of Hope board. Joseph linked up with Michael, our President, and Wells Fargo began supporting Legacy of Hope annually.

“My father passed away from what started as Colon Cancer in 2015. Cancer is horrible and if there is something I can do to help others impacted I would want to be a part of it.”

mary chicorelli

Professional:  Mary is a certified city planner for Philadelphia, a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association as well as the Philadelphia Bar Association, and the Pro Bono Honor Roll First Judicial District of Philadelphia.

Bio: Mary’s insight into the legal world is invaluable to Legacy of Hope, both in keeping our daily operations moving fluidly as well as making connections for our patients and their families when needed.

“Michael reached out to me about 2 years ago through mutual friends. We worked together to help a woman with stage 4 cancer get her electricity turned back on after it was shut off during the winter. I’ve been 100% supportive of Mike’s vision since then.”

Kimberly S. Reed

An award winning international speaker, author, corporate trainer and diversity, equality and inclusion executive, nationally recognized thought leader, expert, strategist and advisor to some of the world’s most influential organizations in global professional services, health care, financial services, consumer products and pharmaceutical industries.

Kimberly is a seasoned leader in transforming organizations into high-performing enterprises and challenging leaders to live without limits, with more than 20 years of HR, talent acquisition, and diversity & inclusion experience; successfully turning around troubled diversity practices by designing, building, leading, and shaping high-performing cultures at global organizations with robust strategies, global employee development programs and enterprise-wide initiatives that have increased revenue growth and organizational brand eminence.

Dr. Claudia Capparelli, PhD

Affiliations: Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center

Education: PhD, University of Calabria, Cosenza, Italy – 2011

Focus & Impact:  Focus on the role of the SOX10 transcription factor with regard to tumor cell heterogeneity and plasticity across multiple genotypes in melanoma. Investigating how SOX10 plasticity/heterogeneity affects the response to MEKi and anti-ErbB3 combinations in WT BRAF melanoma patients. 

Publications: Publications Link

Honors & Awards:

  • Legacy of Hope Merit Award

  • Outrun the Sun Melanoma Research Scholar Award

  • Unical Fellowship Visiting Scholar

  • International Pigment Cell Conference Travel Award

  • Best Poster Presentation, Ninth Annual Jefferson Post-doctoral Research

  • INPDAP Fellowship for Student Merit 

  • University of Calabria Fellowships for Student Merit 

Bryan Lathrop

Bio Coming Soon

Maree Lavo

Bio Coming Soon

Carol Sollenberger

Bio Coming Soon

Rebecca Blinn

Bio Coming Soon

Nia Andrews

Bio Coming Soon

Dr. Qing Chen, M.D., Ph.D.

Affiliations: The Wistar Institute, The Chen Laboratory, University of Maryland

Education: PhD,Immunology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, State University of New York at Buffalo (Dean’s Award for outstanding dissertation) – 2006

Focus & Impact:  Focus is on the molecular mechanisms of brain metastasis originating from primary tumors like breast cancer, and the interplay between cancer cells and the stromal cells that populate the brain microenvironment. 

Publications: Publications Link

Honors & Awards​:

  • Legacy of Hope Merit Award

  • Jayne Koskinas Ted Giovanis Foundation for Health and Policy Award

  • Susan G. Komen, CCR Basic/Translational and Clinical application

  • The V Foundation for Cancer Research Award

  • Dissertation Research Award, Susan Komen Breast Cancer Foundation 

Michael Rowe

Awards:

Volatile Media Management’s Mover, Shaker, Changemaker Award – February 2017

Miles Mack Community Services & Leadership Honorable Mention – 2016 TJUH Emergency Department Technician of the Year, Physicians Choice Award – 2015

TJUH Emergency Department Technician of the Year, Physicians Choice Award – 2014

Bio:

With his free time so limited, Michael manages to fuse his work with his other passion: running. Whether it is with the Fishtown Beer Runners, our own Team Relentless Hope, or his closest friends, Michael can often be spotted on the streets of Philadelphia keeping himself fit and active.