Archive for the charities Category

The importance of Clinical Trials and myths debunked.

Posted in charities, non-profits on February 4, 2022 by OC Talk Radio

Tori Larrick, is a Manager ll, Patient Services with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.  Tori has been with PanCAN for five years and was drawn to the organization due to the loss of her father to pancreatic cancer.  Tori supervises a team of Case Managers in the Patient Services department which provides information and resources to patients and families affected by pancreatic cancer.  Tori oversees the GenomOncology Explorer and biomarker search process for the Patient Services team and has extensive experience with clinical trials. Tori brings to light the importance of clinical trials for those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and debunks the myths of clinical trials, here @OC Talk Radio Orange County’s only community radio station streaming live from @UCI Beall Applied Innovation at the Cove.

“As long as you speak my name I shall live forever.”

Today’s Living Hope is dedicated to Tori’s father



A wife shares her journey with her husband’s diagnosis and the difficulties of being a Caregiver

Posted in charities, non-profits on February 3, 2022 by OC Talk Radio

Colleen LaSalle shares her journey with her husband, John, diagnosed with stage lV pancreatic cancer.  John was put in a clinical trial and told with chemo he would have 3 years and without chemo one year, sadly John was gone in four months.  Colleen was John’s Caregiver, it was difficult, she went from being his wife to being more like a parent.  She shares how she had to keep things as normal as possible for her two daughters. Colleen received no training or advice on how to be a Caregiver; it was a  learn as you go experience. Colleen has gone from being a wife, mother, caregiver, volunteer, advocate.  She wants to be there for others, to offer them the support and knowledge this journey has brought her, something that unfortunately she learned along the way.  Colleen and her girls are involved in bringing awareness and advocacy because they don’t want John to be forgotten “he was here, he was important, he will always be important.” This episode of Living Hope is dedicated to John LaSalle.  January is Clinical Trials Awareness Month and finding out John was in a clinical trial with an oral chemo that sadly did not help him but helped many pancreatic cancer survivors including myself was a little emotional for me but really brought the importance of clinical trials to a different meaning.

The Year in Review Looking forward to what’s to come

Posted in charities, non-profits on February 3, 2022 by OC Talk Radio

Looking back this has been an amazing year for Living Hope and for myself.  Coming out of my comfort zone going from Podcast Producer to Podcast Producer and Podcast Host!  Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d be here doing this.  This year we have shared my personal journey as well as the journeys of so many.  2021 has been anything but normal but hopefully the journeys shared have given us all hope and have inspired us in some way.  Though many of the journeys did not end the way we wanted, we shared in the tears, laughter, the understanding we weren’t alone.  In 2022, we look forward to hearing from you.  Sharing your journey, ideas of what you’d like to hear more about.  Some may be controversial, but we hope you take something positive away from what you may hear.  In closing this episode of Living Hope is dedicated to all those that shared their journey, that watched or listened to Living Hope, the many non-profits that supported us helping us get off the ground.  A special thank you to Dawn Kamber, Public Affairs Director/Podcast Host of Impact OC, who started this many years ago and Paul Roberts, CEO and Station Manager who came up with the idea.  If you’d like to share your journey or have ideas for future episodes please email me at or

 Thank you for being part of our 2021 journey and to future journeys!

Courtney Sparkuhl

Posted in charities, non-profits on January 28, 2022 by OC Talk Radio

The holidays for most are usually a time of joy, family gatherings and making lasting memories. This “wonderful time of the year,” can also be very stressful for pancreatic cancer patients and their Caregivers. We had the opportunity to talk with Courtney Sparkuhl, about dealing with stress during the holidays. Courtney, is a licensed clinical social worker at UC Irvine Health working in the Comprehensive Digestive Disease Center (CDDC). Courtney provides supportive counseling and resource connection to patients with IBD, colorectal disease, and liver and pancreas diseases and cancer. Courtney is also a Pancreatic Cancer Action Network PatientChampion. A Patient Champion is a healthcare professional who shares PanCAN’s resources with pancreatic cancer patients. 

How a journey begins with a family members diagnosis, to volunteer to Case Manager

Posted in charities, non-profits on January 26, 2022 by OC Talk Radio

Nikki was an oncology nurse practitioner for 15 years in the Chicago area.  Nikki relocated to Nevada and began volunteering with the Nevada Affiliate. Nikki’s journey with pancreatic cancer started when her brother-in-law was diagnosed in February 2014 and died in November that year. She made a promise to him that she would continue the fight and work on bettering the outcome for patients and for families.  She continued his fight by first volunteering with the Nevada Affiliate and later retiring from nursing to go on to her now position with PanCAN as a Case Manager with their Patient Services.  Nikki connects with newly diagnosed patients and their families, provides them with information and resources allowing them to make informed decisions.  Nikki provides great information on what Patient Services is and does and she leaves us with an important message. “Everyone needs to be their own advocate.  You have to push if you know something is different with your body, make sure you see your health care provider.  We’re your purple family that can help support you so please utilize us.”

This episode of Living Hope is dedicated to Patient Services and all the Case Managers. They play an important role in the patient and caregivers journey.

How far would you go to bring awareness to the world’s toughest cancer?

Posted in charities, non-profits on January 22, 2022 by OC Talk Radio

US Army Ranger Veteran and pancreatic cancer survivor Chris Calaprice traveled 43,000 miles – on a Victory motorcycle to bring awareness.  He formed “Road to a Cure,” and travel one mile for every person diagnosed with pancreatic cancer that year.  Chris shares he “got a little crazy,” in 2010, was anger and frustrated and wanted, needed to do something. Chris was on the road for 9 months, bringing awareness to the streets and small towns all the while doing chemo.  Chris and his partner are looking to start a PTSD equine therapy program and refocusing “Road to a Cure,” to help veterans and cancer patients with the challenges of survival, survivors guilt, physical trauma and other concerns.  Chris is very open and honest in sharing his feelings and personal journey with pancreatic cancer.  This episode of Living Hope is dedicated to all the men and women serving or who have served our country and those who are battling pancreatic cancer.

What annual event happens on Halloween!

Posted in charities, non-profits on December 17, 2021 by OC Talk Radio

Sunday, October 31, 2021 marked the 24th annual “L.A. Cancer Challenge.” Due to the pandemic, last years event was virtual but this year the Hirshberg Foundation was excited to be back in person and on UCLA’s Campus at Wilson Plaza. The 5K walk/run is always held on Halloween weekend, a fun festive event that leads up to November – Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.

Dr Zhaoping Li, served as Honorary Medical Chair.  Esther Lee, a one year+ Survivor was the Honorary Starter.

Congratulations! LA Cancer Challenge surpassed their goal of $500K by raising almost $530K!





On their first date, they discover they both lost their first spouses to pancreatic cancer.

Posted in charities, non-profits on November 22, 2021 by OC Talk Radio

What are the odds of going on your first date, talking, enjoying each others company.  You feel this amazing connection and in getting to know each other you ask the question “how did your spouse die?” Imagine the dismay they must have felt to realize they both lost their spouse to pancreatic cancer.

Lee and Dwaine are open and honest about their relationship, their relationship with their pervious spouses, their loss, how they found each other and their common passion to help others and how they keep fighting the world’s toughest cancer in honor of their spouses.

This episode is dedicated to Sally Reitler and Chuck Mattei

What inspired this woman to join the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network?

Posted in charities, non-profits on November 2, 2021 by OC Talk Radio

Jenny Isaacson was attending a conference when she heard Julie Fleshman, President and CEO of The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, speak about her vision of progress to double the survival rate for pancreatic cancer by the year 2020.  Jenny was so impressed by Julie and her vision that she also wanted to be part of that vision. Jenny picked up the phone called Julie, that was ten years ago.  Though Jenny has filled different positions since joining PanCAN her position now allows her to oversee partnerships including the World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition.  Learn more about PanCAN, the World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition and why it is so important to have a month, November and a day, November 18, dedicated to pancreatic cancer?  Only on OC Talk Radio, Orange County’s Only Community Radio Station which streams live from @UCI Beall Applied Innovation Center #WPCD 

This episode of Living Hope is dedicated to Brenda Coleman a 13 year pancreatic cancer survivor at the time of her death.

“At the end of the day, I want everyone to know that our experiences with pancreatic cancer can serve a purpose. Every experience, everyone’s journey, can bring hope and inspiration, if we all work together to make a difference.” 

How did the creation of a Caregivers notebook lead this daughter to the Hirshberg Foundation?

Posted in charities, non-profits on October 19, 2021 by OC Talk Radio

A daughter creates a notebook for Caregivers to help keep track of medical information for the family members and patient seeking treatment. The Founder of Hirshberg was impressed and Sarah has been a member of the Hirshberg team for ten years. This year is LA Cancer Challenges 24th annual event and the event always takes place on last weekend of October. The event is fun and festive with costumes, events for kids, trick or treat wall, a little something for everyone and leads up to November which is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.

Held at UCLA Wilson Plaza register at for in person or virtual event. Registration; Fit Family Expo; Candyland Kids Zone opens at 7:30am.  Opening Ceremony begins at 8am with event start at 9am.

The most important part of the event is having Survivors, Patients and families attend, Sarah feels it’s about having a sense of community.

Join Dr Li, the Honorary Medical Chair and Esther Lee, Honorary Starter, a pancreatic cancer survivor at LA Cancer Challenge on Sunday, October 31

Visit to register, for more event information and packet pickup details.  Also go to for their webinar series.