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Publisher Andrea Tyler Evans Talks About Odds

Office Doors: Collin Cunningham

Charity Spotlight: Foundation for Blind Children

Cancer Is The Worst. But It Brings Out Our Best.


'You Will Find That Strength' OCTOBER 2017



On the Cover PHOTOGRAPHY Thurlkill Studios


GENERAL INFORMATION & PRESS RELEASES 3104 E. Camelback Road #967 | Phoenix, AZ 85016 480-622-4522 | 2 | FRONTDOORSMEDIA.COM




TABLE OF CONTENTS {october 2017, volume 15, issue 10}



EDITOR’S NOTE......................... 05 Mike the Sauce NEXT DOORS............................. 06 Cancer is the Worst. COVER STORY........................... 08 How Lucia Schnitzer Faced Down Fear And Cancer KITCHEN DOORS....................... 20 Where We Ate This Month OFFICE DOORS.......................... 22 Collin Cunningham GIVING IN STYLE....................... 24 Fashion in the Philanthropy Lane HEAR HERE................................ 28 News, Updates & Events CHARITY SPOTLIGHT................ 32 Foundation for Blind Children BOOKMARKED........................... 36 Who’s Reading What this Month A 2ND ACT. . ............................... 38 with Judy Pearson OPEN DOORS.. ........................... 40 Becoming a "1 in 2.5 Million"




EDITOR’S NOTE {on the job}

There are 15 million people in the country who have been told they have cancer. We wonder, how do they cope? How can a person live if they must always think about dying? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of people who get cancer is going down while the number of those who get cancer is going up. That’s

continues. The Valley is blessed to have some of the best institutions in the world engaged in the battle, whether through care, research or both. Judy Pearson, our “A 2nd Act” columnist, writes this month, and every month, on women survivors of cancer who have found purpose in their lives after cancer by giving back. Her organization by the same name celebrates these “second acts.”

Because of earlier detection and improved treatments, people are living longer after hearing the three cruel words, “You have cancer.” because by 2030, the number of people over 65 will have doubled compared to 2000 – to 71 million. And because of earlier detection and improved treatments, people are living longer after hearing the three cruel words, “You have cancer.” This issue of Frontdoors is dedicated to the survivors. Our cover story focuses on the amazing and harrowing survival story of Lucia Schnitzer, owner of Luci’s Healthy Marketplace and Luci's at the Orchard, in Phoenix. Our contributing editor Tom Evans explains that while cancer still and always will suck, there is reason for hope and the fight


Our publisher Andrea Evans is a two-time brain cancer survivor. Her column is a mustread. She is too familiar with acquiring the capacity to concentrate on living rather than submit to being scared about dying. There will be more and more cancer survivors. Their stories are and continue to be about more than will and strength. They are about courage.

Mike Saucier EDITOR



NEXT DOORS {ahead of the curve}

CANCER IS THE WORST. BUT IT BRINGS OUT OUR BEST. Tom Evans | CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Cancer has a way of making everything else feel trivial. And it insinuates itself into your life more and more as you get older. I’ve learned this the hard way. My wife has battled cancer (twice). Two of my close friends are battling cancer right now, and are in my thoughts as this issue comes out. My in-laws have battled cancer. I’ve lost people I care about to cancer. The older you get, the more people you know who are affected. But it’s not just old people who get cancer, because that would be…what? Fair? Understandable? No, unfortunately, cancer does not discriminate. Perhaps it would be easier to fight, and live with, if it did. But instead, it feels sometimes like it hovers over us, ready to drop down and strike without warning, regardless of age or health or anything tangible. So where do we find hope? How do you talk about the future when you’re talking about a disease that robs people of their future? I've realized recently that the stories that inspire us come from the battle itself


against the disease. It’s in the adversity and the fear and the pain that we find hope, because while it’s true that people are lost to cancer each day, people also beat it each day. And they don’t do it alone. The phrase “it takes a village” is overused, but sometimes it’s true. We all face a battle against cancer. Whether that’s fighting the disease ourselves, supporting a loved one who is fighting it, supporting the many charities and causes that help cancer victims, or even working in the medical field to find cures and treatments and medicines. We all play a role. Every one of us. And that’s how the battle will be won. It’s difficult to imagine anything that we all agree on, all commit to, all support without reservation or hesitation. Yet we all have this common enemy that touches the lives of all of us on a seemingly regular basis, and when it’s our turn, we all do everything we can to be part of the fight. Our community is at the center of this battle. The Valley boasts some of the finest medical facilities in the world, with medical



professionals and researchers who are on the cutting edge of cancer care. Barrow. Mayo. Cancer Treatment Centers. Banner. HonorHealth. Phoenix Children’s Hospital. TGen. We’re fortunate to have some of the best resources available to not only treat those battling cancer now, but to make advances that will change the future. Their proficiency is matched by the dedication of the countless nonprofits and charities that support cancer victims. Dozens of organizations contribute time and treasure to the fight, support those battling cancer and their families in every imaginable way, and give them a better chance at beating the disease. All of these efforts are growing, and rapid, substantial progress is being made, and people are living better, longer lives. OCTOBER 2017

Tragically, not every person’s battle against cancer results in becoming cancer-free. I don’t need to tell you that. It might even be unrealistic from a scientific standpoint to think we’ll ever have a world without cancer. But we have hope. And the reason we have hope is that we’re committed to the fight. Every story can’t have a happy ending, but there are enough that do to make the battle worthwhile.




'You Will Find That Strength'

Photo: Thurlkill Studios



COVER STORY {by mike saucier}

Lucia Schnitzer HOW LUCI'S HEALTHY MARKETPLACE OWNER FACED DOWN FEAR AND CANCER Each year, tens of thousands of Arizonans find out they have cancer. They then walk a path filled with uncertainties, forced to ride the emotional roller coaster that follows the diagnosis. That diagnosis can color everything they do – from interactions with family and friends to work and leisure. Lucia Schnitzer, who, with her husband, owns the Phoenix gourmet cafes Luci’s Healthy Marketplace and Luci’s at The Orchard, is all too familiar with cancer diagnoses. As a new mother, she was told she had breast cancer. That was after her sister-in-law Linda received the same diagnosis – and was able to beat it. Schnitzer’s mother-in-law Nadine was told she had cancer twice, once before


Schnitzer and then again just recently. (She is now fine.) Schnitzer’s mother, living abroad at the time, had surgery for uterine cancer, though she did not disclose it to her family until it was beaten. Her father-inlaw Carl beat prostate cancer and is now battling kidney cancer. In 2016 alone, 32,510 people across the state were told the words they did not want to hear: You have cancer. Frontdoors sat down with Schnitzer for a frank and at times emotional conversation about living with a cancer diagnosis.



The Diagnosis Schnitzer has always been a healthy person, and never one to do anything in excess. That and the fact that there was no history of breast cancer in her family made the diagnosis at age 35 a shock. She had just given birth to Aviva, her and her husband’s first child. Around the same time, Linda, who is a year older than Lucia, discovered a lump in her breast. That turned out to be stage-3 cancer. “It freaked us out because she also had no family history,” Schnitzer said. Schitzer said she always tells Linda that the reason Linda got breast cancer was to save her life. “Both of us were nursing mothers and when she first discovered the lump, they said it was probably a clogged milk duct,” she said. “Later they realized it was an aggressive form of breast cancer.” After Linda’s misdiagnosis, Schnitzer was skeptical when the doctor – she and Linda shared the same doctor – told her that the lump she’d found in her own breast was also probably a clogged milk duct. Schnitzer was nursing a six-month-old at the time. Because of what had happened with Linda, the doctor decided to have her lump checked and, sure enough, Schnitzer found out she had a fast-growing tumor. Because she would undergo chemotherapy and radiation, she had to stop breastfeeding Aviva immediately. “I remember sitting in the rocking chair


with my daughter, a baby, and looking at her and saying, ‘Mommy loves you so much. I’m not going to be able to give you pecho (Spanish for “breast”), just pretty much explaining to her why I wasn’t going to be able to give it to her anymore,” Schnitzer said. Aviva went for her mother’s breast only once after that. It was almost as if she knew. Today, Schnitzer and her husband Kenneth have four children: Aviva, 11; Benzi, 8; Gavi, 6; and Yasi, 4.

Wisdom the Hard Way Cancer survivors have a certain kind of wisdom that the rest of us lack. It comes from living through an ordeal that forces them to question everything and put their lives in perspective. Schnitzer said that her purpose for carrying through the diagnosis and treatment was that she wanted to be there for her daughter. “But it was a hard, long process because there are a lot of emotions that go with the diagnosis,” she said. She remembered thinking, “When you’re on the outside and you know someone that is going through something like that, you always say to yourself, ‘How do you do it? I don’t know if I could ever do it. I wouldn’t know if I’d have the strength to do what you’re doing.’” But she quickly learned that every person finds that strength.



2006: Lucia and sister-in-law Linda Schnitzer during treatment

2006: After chemotherapy

2016: Lucia's children Aviva, Benzi, Gavi, and Yasi

Renderings of Phoenix Raceway Project 2006: Lucia and OCTOBER husband, Kenneth 2017 Schnitzer after chemotherapy

2006: Lucia and daughter Aviva, at Phoenix Zoo FRONTDOORSMEDIA.COM | 11


“When you’re in it, you will dive deep into the abyss that we all have inside us and you will find that strength, you will find whatever it is it takes to get you where you need to go,” Schnitzer said. “That was a big awakening for me, in really realizing that we all have the strength, the ability to have the mindset. We all have the ability to overcome when we dive into the abyss.” A religious woman, Schnitzer recalls being angry at God and asking why this was happening to her, a new mother who had taken care of her health her whole life. Then, she had a moment of clarity.

to take me.’ What fear is is opportunity. It’s a way to things much bigger than you ever thought you were capable of fulfilling. And in this case, I had no idea where my diagnosis was going to take me. I had a baby, for crying out loud. I had to live with the idea that I possibly may not be here to see her grow, to see her become a woman. So I had to live for that moment that could happen.” But at the same time, she had to prepare for worst-case scenario. She said, however, that she wasn’t going to let it put her in a ball, close herself off to the world and allow herself to become a prisoner of fear.

She realized “nothing happens by chance and God chose me to have this for whatever the reason is, he chose me to have this,” she said. “And I had to own it and I had to be graceful with it and say, whatever it is I need to learn from this, whatever I need to take from this, I’m open and I accept it. The moment I did that it was like, okay, alright, let’s just get through it. “

“Fear is the unknown. It’s not knowing what’s behind door number one, or two, or three. But you have to find within yourself the courage to rise above that, and embrace it, and say, ‘Okay, take me where I need to go.’”

Schnitzer likes to share a lesson she learned about living with cancer with anyone who is facing a challenge, whether it is medical, personal or professional; a nugget that you can apply to almost anything in life.

“You don’t know until that actually happens, but if that’s the case, then that’s the case,” Schnitzer said. “But don’t let it cripple you. Don’t let it take you over because even after death, there’s unknowns. You don’t know what’s behind that door.”

“When you’re diagnosed with something, the immediate thing that comes to mind, the immediate feeling you get is fear,” she said. “Fear is a huge component of why people don’t move forward. You can choose to fall victim to fear and allow yourself to curl up into a ball and not deal with it or you can choose to embrace fear and say, ‘take me where you need


How would she react if she were to face terminal illness, then?

For her, her battle was “carrying this torch, and letting it shine, and being vulnerable to the people around me and saying, ‘We may not know what lies ahead of us but I’m going to fight and I’m going to hope and I’m going to show all of you that you all have this strength, you all have what it takes.’”


“Fear is the unknown. It’s not knowing what’s behind door number one, or two, or three. But you have to find within yourself the courage to rise above that, and embrace it, and say, ‘Okay, take me where I need to go.’” OCTOBER 2017



Fighting For Yourself Talk to people. That’s Schnitzer’s advice to survivors. After her diagnosis and treatment, she would give talks to the Jewish community and as a result, two women discovered they, too, had breast cancer. “Be open about it. Talk to people about it. You don’t know what comes from that,” she said. Her mother-in-law, who had been diagnosed years before Schnitzer and her sister-in-law, recently had a recurrence. She caught it very early, through a

Kenneth, who is co-owner and CEO of the Luci’s enterprise, was a “bulldog,” she said. “He just goes right in there and he makes his presence known and he was my biggest cheerleader and he made sure he was at every appointment. He was also advocating for me. He fought every step that I fought. He fought alongside me making sure that medically I was taken care of.”

Building a Business The idea of Luci’s Healthy Marketplace came to Kenneth Schnitzer while Lucia was going through treatment for her breast

“The message is early detection, no matter what cancer you get. You’re your own advocate." mammogram, and is doing fine. “The message is early detection, no matter what cancer you get,” she said. “You’re your own advocate. Doctors see hundreds of patients. They don’t know you intimately. They don’t know you. You don’t feel good and you feel you need further research on what’s happening? Then you need to speak up for yourself. Even if a doctor says, ‘Oh, it’s probably nothing, your bloodwork looks good,’ you have to advocate for yourself because early detection in anything is important.” Through it all, Schnitzer’s husband,


cancer. Together, they built the business from the ground up. “It was hard for him to stand by idle watching me go through this, losing my hair, getting weak,” Schnitzer said. “But he said that he got strength by watching me because it didn’t stop me. And he was so confused – how is it that my healthy wife is battling this? She didn’t do drugs, she’s not a heavy drinker, she took care of herself, no family history. What is going on here?” Kenneth Schnitzer, who has family roots in the food distribution industry, realized that he and his wife may never know what OCTOBER 2017

2017: Lucia and husband, Kenneth Schnitzer


2017: Lucia and daughter, Avivia, after their first 5k together






caused her cancer – it could be the environment, preservatives in food, all the stuff around us that seems harmless, but can actually be dangerous. That’s why he came up with the concept of Luci’s Healthy Marketplace based on wellness – in essence, good food with good ingredients. The philosophy is that it’s all about balance: You can have a cookie, but make sure it was made with quality ingredients. To Lucia Schnitzer, the businesses represent what can be accomplished by following your passions in the face of hardship. “If it feels right and if it’s something you feel really passionate about and really want, don’t let anyone stop you,” she said. “Be that opening a business or writing a book. People will tell you why you shouldn’t do it. I’m telling you right now don’t let them stop you because they haven’t embraced their fears."

HELPING SINGLETON MOMS Knowing well what it’s like to have to live your life with a cancer diagnosis, Lucia Schnitzer likes to give back to Singleton Moms, a nonprofit organization that helps single mothers going through some form of cancer with their day-to-day tasks. “When I heard about this organization I immediately realized how important it was to support them because I was married, I had a child, and it was hard as hell to try to care for my daughter and try to do the basics while you’re trying to fight for your life,” she said. “So this organization helps these women who don’t have support. They help with grocery shopping, with babysitting, with laundry. These are the things we forget about. We want to help and put all this money into research - which is very important, extremely important, I don’t discount that at all - but there’s another side to someone going through it and this kind of support is vital.” For information:




Celebrating Cancer Survivors Jamie Killin | CONTRIBUTING WRITER





The annual Wig Out Gala takes place in the spring and raises funds for Check for a Lump’s education programs as well as its WIG OUT! program which provides free wigs for breast cancer patients. The event is focused around having fun — requiring all guests to wear the craziest wig they can find. Past themes have included Vegas night and Circus extravaganza!

Earlier this year, the American Cancer Society hosted the 56th annual Picnic Under the Stars. The celebrated annual event welcomes hundreds each year and is one of the longest continuously held events in the Valley. It’s an evening of food, music, an auction and celebration, while raising money to help further the mission of the American Cancer Society.




This uplifting and unique fashion show takes place each spring and allows the community to celebrate survivors and their families. It includes a live auction, raffles, lunch and of course — the fashion show!


This luncheon aims to educate the community and celebrate the survivors who have battled cancer while raising funds to provide free cancer screenings to the under insured and uninsured in the state. This will be the luncheon’s 20th year. 18 | FRONTDOORSMEDIA.COM


This annual event brings together survivors, their families and community members for a day of golfing with lunch and an awards reception all for a good cause with proceeds from the event benefiting Cancer Support Community Arizona, a local organization dedicated to providing hope to those diagnosed with cancer.


Get $20 off per ticket to November shows and $10 off per ticket to December shows!

Use promo code FRONTDOORS *Expires 10/11. Excludes Tier 3.



KITCHEN DOORS {where we ate this month}

VOILA! Scottsdale Tucked into an unsuspecting corner of Scottsdale is a magnificent, authentic French restaurant called Voila!, which proves there’s a lot more to French food than escargot and baguettes. The husband and wife team who own and operate restaurant came to the United States just two years ago to share their culinary vision. We should all be glad they did, especially in the Phoenix area where good French food is hard to come by. Jean-Christophe serves as owner and chef, bringing 30 years of experience to the restaurant, and its delicious dishes — like the somewhat less adventurous chicken prepared with peppers and onion with white wine sauce I had, and the scallops in puff pastry and fish broth sauce my dining companion had. This is a place to enjoy all three courses too — the French onion soup, charcuterie board and soufflés are not to be missed. — Jamie Killin

Photo: Voila!

CRAFT 64 Scottsdale Craft 64 is somewhat hidden. On Main Street in Scottsdale. Hard to do. But that’s a good thing. It's known but not too known. So we fear its overall awesomeness and popularity might lead it to go the way of Rigazzi’s, a St. Louis restaurant, about which Yogi Berra quipped: “Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded.” We don’t want folks to know about its fun vibe and friendly service. We’d rather its very high pizza quality be kept among friends. It dubs itself “Scottsdale’s premier venue for local craft beer, great wine and artisan wood-fired pizza.” Normally we’d be skeptical of such lofty claims but find us a better place in Scottsdale that checks all three of those boxes better than Craft 64 that's a tall task. — Mike Saucier

Photo: Craft 64

MANUEL’S MEXICAN RESTAURANT Glendale Dinner before homecoming, family dinners and late night bites-Manuels’s Mexican Restaurant and Cantina (Glendale) is a memorable staple for many of us who grew up in the West Valley. With welcoming staff, a newly revitalized restaurant and bar area, my “usual” after work pick up that never disappoints is the homemade Albondigas Soup with fresh vegetables, delicious rice and ginormous meatballs served in a soulful broth of awesomeness and the Taco Salad with generous helpings of warmed shredded marinated chicken, freshly made salsa as my dressing and all the fixings, served in a crispy fried tortilla bowl. One of seven Valley locations, the Glendale spot continues to be owned and operated by members of the Salazar Family, and to me will always feels like home. — Whitney Thistle 20 | FRONTDOORSMEDIA.COM

Photo: Manuel's Mexican Restaurant



Photo: Voila!

Twisted Grove Parlor + Bar Arcadia If you like food that makes you happy, you’ll like Twisted Grove Parlor + Bar. While the new second location at 32nd and Camelback has had a few identities in the past, we can be pretty sure this one is here to stay. And that’s a good thing, because Twisted Grove is the creation of the very capable Christopher Collins, whose expanded empire now includes the two Twisted Groves, Grassroots Taproom, OCTOBER 2017

Wally’s American Gastropub and Sweet Provisions. It’s good-old American grub, the kind that makes you feel satisfied when you’re done. I did the gnocchi and short ribs, which was perfectly done, but could have picked from about a dozen menu items that would have done the trick. There’s nothing twisted about this place except the name — it’s straight-forward good food. — Tom Evans FRONTDOORSMEDIA.COM | 21

OFFICE DOORS {leadership}

COLLIN CUNNINGHAM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE WELCOME TO AMERICA PROJECT Jamie Killin | CONTRIBUTING WRITER When Collin Cunningham came to Arizona she found herself in a completely new environment without her family or her friends. Fortunately, as a volunteer mentor she found new friendships in a refugee family. While Cunningham wasn’t facing persecution or learning how to adjust to an entirely new culture, she was experiencing some of the same struggles with starting over in a new place as the family she became close to. 22 | FRONTDOORSMEDIA.COM

“Each Saturday I would go out and I would visit that refugee family,” she said. “At that time I was new in this community I didn’t know very many people, I didn’t have very many friends or connections and so this family really became like my family and became my friends and they definitely rooted me to this community. They’re why I’m here still today so they’re the ones that really connect me to the work.” Now, as the executive director of the Welcome to America Project, she is able to give back to other refugee families by OCTOBER 2017


helping to alleviate some of their struggles. “At that time it was the recession and so they were having trouble finding employment and so it was a really challenging, scary time,” Cunningham said. “I was glad I was able to at least be a friend to them through that and provide a little bit of encouragement because really, refugee families have to go through a lot of that on their own and they have to overcome a lot of challenges. But we can provide what we can and provide a welcoming and supportive community.” The Welcome to America Project provides refugees with what they’ll need to begin their new life — like furniture, household goods, clothing and most importantly, support and connections. “We provide that community connection so bringing volunteers out to engage and provide those services to refugees creates a sense of welcome and greater belonging to the refugees, but it also increases awareness on the other side of things,” said Cunningham. Volunteers are a big part of the organization’s efforts — with over 1,300 volunteers and a limited staff, much of Welcome to America Project’s services wouldn’t be possible without them. “We exist because community members and volunteers give up their time and resources and care about the refugees in our community,” she said. “So, while sometimes it’s challenging, it’s also very rewarding to know an organization of our size has continued to exist for this long — it’s now our 16th year.”


While Cunningham’s primary role is to provide vision and leadership for the organization, she plays a large role in almost all programming. “Being at a small organization, you do a little bit of everything, so you have to be willing to get your hands dirty and be willing to go out and do the work when it’s needed,” she said. Cunningham has her master’s degree in public policy and a background in nonprofit management. She came to Welcome to America from the Girl Scouts’ Arizona Cactus Pine Council. While this isn’t the role she expected to be in, her passion for the cause has kept her engaged in her position. “I thought I would probably be more in public policy or an analysis role but I like the strategy side and the tactical,” she said. “I’m kind of a nonprofit nerd. I like all of the behind-the-scenes stuff that it takes to plan and get your organization to the next level.” While it doesn’t seem Cunningham has any plans to stop making a difference for Phoenix’s refugee community, she still has an interest in public policy and education. “I think that there’s a lot of things I want to do,” she said. “You know, I still have a fair amount of time left in my career and there’s definitely still some different goals and things I want to achieve.” For more:


GIVING IN STYLE {fashion in the philanthropy lane}





Earlier this year the Susan G. Komen Foundation shut down its Arizona operations, leaving a huge gap in breast cancer awareness. A local organization has been there to help keep this important cause in focus. Don’t Be a Chump! Check for a Lump! was founded by Holly Rose after her own experience battling breast cancer. Founded eight years ago, the cause has grown from one that offered simple reminders to perform breast self-exams to providing free mammograms and treatment. The organization has provided over 40,000 educational magazines yearly and allocated over 1,000 free wigs to women battling breast cancer. One component of this rapid growth is the help they’ve received from corporate citizens. Schumacher European Limited has donated $100 for every car sold during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. Kendra Scott donated precious jewelry items.


Don’t Be a Chump! Check For a Lump! is growing its programs and events to reach those in need. This past weekend, they launched their first Pink Out5k! walk/run, providing the pink walk experience, having lost the annual Komen walk. The Wig Out Gala, aligns with its core sentiments and its name, which leverages a cute turn of phrase to support a serious subject. Gala attendees wear outlandish wigs and are treated to a night of dinner, drinks and entertainment while connecting with breast cancer advocates. The consistency of this organization has led it to some opportunities for publicity as well. Rose was called by Oprah’s staff during her own breast cancer treatments and was able to share how she was prompted to discover her own breast cancer due to a Facebook post. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg flew Rose out to learn about her story and the power that the Facebook platform had in her journey. This was filmed for MTV’s Diary of Facebook. Its exposure has also been helped by its


five-year relationship with Phoenix Fashion Week. Now the official charity partner for the Southwest’s most notable runway event, the first evening is dedicated to showcasing the ladies who have battled and defeated breast cancer. These survivors have been, “physically and emotionally beaten down during treatment,” said Rose. Many have lost their breasts, their hair and the feeling of being feminine. “To provide these women the girly experience of being dressed in a beautiful gown, pampered with a stylist doing their hair and having their makeup applied professionally is priceless! It provides them a moment to truly celebrate surviving and feeling like a woman again.”

by emerging talent on opening night of Phoenix Fashion Week. The partnership has elevated both organizations and provided for a launching pad for the Fashionably Pink Show that kicks off Fashion Week on October 5th. For now Don’t Be a Chump! Check for a Lump! will remain focused on filling Komen’s large shoes. But as the baton has naturally been passed to a new local leader there is an opportunity to celebrate, support and sync up with this cause and its crusade to help women better understand and treat this deadly disease. For more:

These courageous ladies strut down the runway wearing fashions designed OCTOBER 2017


GIVING IN STYLE EVENTS {fashion in the philanthropy lane}


Derived from the outcry of what designers need most, buyers, Phoenix Fashion Week has continued to build momentum over the past nine years. Through its Business of Fashion boot camp to its support of causes, Phoenix Fashion Week is giving back to the community through knowledge and mentoring. Charity for this organization not only means supporting philanthropic opportunities it means that they have a sincere focus on grooming and developing the necessary skills and opportunities for emerging designers to launch and successfully grow 26 | FRONTDOORSMEDIA.COM

their own business endeavors. This event has developed into a mix between the established and the ingĂŠnue. Providing the Valley with an opportunity to have VIP access and a real experience with professional designers such as Yas Couture, a Dubai based designer who dresses celebrities such as Carrie Underwood, Gwen Stefani and Mel B.; Rocky Gathecole, who outfits stars such as Jennifer Lopez, Nicki Minaj and Paris Hilton; and Charmosa Swimwear, which you can catch on the 2017 Sports Illustrated swimwear cover. Better yet, this event has OCTOBER 2017


cultivated a program for up and coming fashion super stars both in the design realm and in the modeling profession. Through its three-month emerging designer boot camp, Phoenix Fashion Week has created a program to help those working their way up in the industry. The goal is the same for both designers and models: producing successful, thriving businesses and professionals who will elevate Arizona’s profile in the fashion industry. One model success story is on the September 2017 cover of Glamour magazine: Phoenix Fashion Week Model of the Year Cierra Blankenship. The next frontier for this organization is a keen focus on national recognition through media and also via opportunities for the brands developed locally to be sold at prominent national retailers such as Nordstrom’s and Neiman Marcus. The executive director of Phoenix Fashion Week, Brian Hill, said guests this year will get to purchase curated items direct from its runways through the Phoenix Fashion Week mobile app. This, he said, satisfies its mission of bridging designers and buyers. The three-day event, held October 5-7, will offer 26 high-energy runway shows. Hosted by Talking Stick Resort, the first night will showcase a Fashionably Pink Show in support of Don’t Be a Chump! Check for a Lump! This is one fashion extravaganza that the most stylish in Arizona won’t want to miss.

Tyler Butler




Julia Mendez Corrective Cutting � Event Styling � Color Specialist PERSON AL APPOIN TM EN TS AVAIL A BL E

602-312-5245 FRONTDOORSMEDIA.COM | 27

HEAR HERE {news, updates and events} The best stories we saw this month about those who give generously and work for a better future.

ONE•N•TEN OPENS WITH SUPPORT OF PARSONS FOUNDATION On September 20 one•n•ten officially opened its new youth center with a ribbon cutting ceremony with Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, executive director for one•n•ten Linda Elliott, executive director for The Bob and Renee Parsons Foundation Laura Mitchell, one•n•ten staff and participants. “one•n•ten is an amazing organization,” said Mayor Greg Stanton. “I loved to coming to visit one•n•ten at the old facility and I can’t wait to come and spend time here at the new facility. There’s such an energy, passion, there’s love in the room when you come to one•n•ten.”

The new facility, housed inside the Parsons Center for Health and Wellness, was made possible by a $275,000 gift from the Parsons Foundation. “Renee and I support one•n•ten’s steadfast efforts to break down prejudices and bring greater acceptance to our entire community,” said entrepreneur and philanthropist Bob Parsons. “The new youth center will be a safe harbor and place of inclusion for LGTBQ youth who, far too often, experience a higher risk of rejection, violence, depression and homelessness.” READ MORE ONLINE




SAM FOX TO HOST FIRST-EVER NO KID HUNGRY DINNER While the education system continues to barrel toward a STEM future, science, technology, engineering and math that is, many educators are calling for a full STEAM ahead approach by adding art back into the mix.

focus more on trying to help children who go hungry, Fox told Frontdoors, so when Share Our Strength, the organization behind the No Kid Hungry campaign, reached out, “it was something for sure I knew we wanted to do.”

This dogma isn’t restricted to primary school education where public schools are seeing arts programs dimia Sam Fox will play host and a team of guest chefs will whip up a three-course dinner at the first-ever No Kid Hungry dinner next month in Phoenix.

It will be the first time the No Kid Hungry campaign comes to Phoenix. The campaign’s focus is, according to its website, “ending childhood hunger in this nation by connecting kids in need with nutritious food and teaching families how to cook healthy, affordable meals.”

The CEO and founder of Fox Restaurant Concepts and his team have wanted to READ MORE ONLINE




SUNS GRANT $1M TO REFURBISH BASKETBALL COURTS Courts around the state in need up some sprucing up will get some help from the Phoenix Suns. The 50 basketball courts, located statewide, will be refurbished throughout the Suns 2017-18 season and are operated by the City of Phoenix, Boys & Girls Clubs and the YMCA, among others. Suns Managing Partner


Robert Sarver and Phoenix Suns Charities awarded a $1 million grant on Wednesday to refurbish, restore and build 50 basketball courts throughout Arizona. The initiative helps commemorate the Suns’ 50thseason in the Valley. “We’re honored to celebrate being a part of this great state for 50 years,” said Sarver. “We take a lot of

pride in being a community leader and the investment in 50 basketball courts continues our long-standing commitment to giving back. Most importantly, today’s announcement ensures that the next generation has safe, welcoming and enjoyable places to play the game we love.” READ MORE ONLINE



BEHIND THE DOOR {the caniglia group}


Steve Caniglia

Shelley Caniglia

1502 W. Ruth Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85021

322 W. Las Palmaritas Dr., Phoenix, AZ 85021

You’ll love this classic ranch style beauty with a fabulous detached guest house in the Heart of North Central Phoenix, just a short stroll to Royal Palm (Butler) Park! This well-appointed cul-de-sac home includes 3 bedroom/2 bath with 2,128 sq. ft. of generous space in the main house, PLUS 440 sq. ft. detached guest house with full bath & pre-plumbed for kitchen. The main house has been extensively remodeled, includes vaulted ceilings in several rooms, double sinks in both the guest & master bathrooms. Enjoy this tightknit community that provides fun activities throughout the year including movies in the park and seasonal festivals. Close to wonderful restaurants, shopping and great hiking trails!

One-of-a-kind Contemporary Masterpiece transformed throughout! Master suite downstairs with wood floors, separate sitting area, sliding doors leading to pebble-tec pool and professionally landscaped yard. Separate, spacious laundry room with work space off of master. Granite/marble/hardwood flooring throughout. Stainless steel counter tops and designer sinks. Wood beamed vaulted ceilings and three indoor fireplaces! Three bedrooms plus loft/office and two bathrooms upstairs. Dramatic covered patio with wood beamed vaulted ceilings, built in BBQ grill and outdoor fireplace. Excellent location between the ‘’7’s’’ close to all the best that North Central Phoenix has to offer!

The Caniglia Group OCTOBER 2017

Shelley Caniglia: 602-292-6862 | Steve Caniglia: 602-301-2402 |


GIVING BACK {charity spotlight}

FOUNDATION FOR BLIND CHILDREN THE CAUSE The ability to see is something most of us take for granted — but for those who are blind, either because of how they were born, an accident or macular degeneration later in life, there’s The Foundation for Blind Children. The organization provides a variety of programs to help those without sight navigate the world independently, from infants to adults. Services range from early intervention programming for those born blind to providing equipment to schools who educate and employers who hire The Foundation for Blind Children’s clients. The organization has a clear mission — to help create a world where vision loss is a diagnosis, not a disability. “We have a strong philosophy here that we have to teach our kids to be self-sufficient and the only way kids can be taught selfsufficiency is if you learn how to do it on 32 | FRONTDOORSMEDIA.COM

your own so that includes riding a bike and falling or playing sports and running into things or you know, trying and failing,” said CEO Marc Ashton. “It’s normal. It’s what every one of us went through as a child.” This is an approach Ashton has applied to his own life as well, with his son Max, who was diagnosed with vision loss when he was just three months old. It’s an approach that’s worked too, with Max, who is now a college student, and with countless of the foundation’s other graduates. “The expectations of the community have changed,” said Ashton. “We now expect our kids to go to work. We don’t expect our kids who are able to work to stay home and take a social security check. We want them and expect them to go to work and it’s working.” This approach’s effectiveness is clear. Ashton reports that while the OCTOBER 2017

FBC student Jorge ZaZueta and mom Brenda

unemployment rate for blind adults nationwide is 70 percent, it’s only five percent for The Foundation for Blind Children’s clients.

The foundation even provides adaptive technology to employers to make this possible, all they ask is that business owners give their graduates a chance.

THE STORY When The Foundation for Blind Children was established in 1952, children with disabilities didn’t have many options. Blind children weren’t even allowed to go to public school, and even if they had been, there were no teachers trained in educating the blind. One family decided they wanted to change that, so in 1953, they recruited their first OCTOBER 2017

teacher for the blind community, enrolled four students and began the foundation. Now, the foundation helps those of all ages and their families, not just children. “We started out first needing services for infants so we expanded into infant services and then preschool and eventually all ages of K-12 and then our kids grew up and they FRONTDOORSMEDIA.COM | 33

Night for Sight 2016 After party

THE EVENT Lisa, Marc and Allison Ashton


needed some services after school so we started adult services,” said Ashton. Sixty-five years later, incredible advancements have been made in allowing those who have experience vision loss to live normal, independent lives. For Ashton, the next step is finding new ways to help those with multiple disabilities enjoy the same quality of life and giving hope to them and their parents. “That’s our next frontier is measuring the most difficult children, but the ones with the most hope,” said Ashton. 34 | FRONTDOORSMEDIA.COM

Night for Sight began as a backyard function — hosting just 16 people and raising about a thousand dollars. Sixteen years later, the event has raised $4 million to help fund The Foundation for Blind Children’s programs. For about a decade it has take place at Dominick’s steakhouse in Scottsdale and this year’s October 28 event is no different. “We make it very informal not a lot of fundraising,” said Ashton. “It’s just a simple program that we tell our story and some of our student’s stories and people are very generous and have a lot of fun.” For more:




BOOKMARKED {what are you reading - willy wonka edition} Frontdoors asked Paris Themmen and Julie Dawn Cole, members of the original “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory” cast, what they are reading. They were in Arizona for a screening of the film at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Chandler.

Julie Dawn Cole Actress who played Veruca Salt in “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory”

IS READING “The Interpretation of Murder” BY JED RUBENFELD H E R TA K E The book I have just finished reading, literally just a few hours ago on the airplane over here to Phoenix was “The Tea Planter’s Wife” and it was a really great book about a woman – it was kind of set in the 1920s. And now I am reading “The Interpretation of Murder” which is about Sigmund Freud’s fictitious account of Freud’s first visit,

his only visit, to New York. I’m a real cheapskate. I work at a hospital and we have a shelf where people donate books and I was going through the books to see which ones I fancy and someone else had already read “The Tea Planter’s Wife” which I can recommend. I read it in 24 hours. It’s a great read.

Paris Themmen Actor who played Mike TeeVee in “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory”

IS READING “Ready Player One” BY ERNEST CLINE H I S TA K E The book that I have on my mind is “Ready Player One” – it’s written by a guy named Ernest Cline and it’s on my mind because I actually did something I’d never done before which is I liked the book so much I wrote the author. The book is actually being made into a Steven Spielberg film and they’re shooting it in London right about now. It’s a geek book. It’s sort of a Wonka-like tale. Basically there’s a very old guy who was a fan of the 1980s and he 36 | FRONTDOORSMEDIA.COM

creates a virtual universe of all sorts of geeky places and when he’s going to die he places an Easter egg, he places these little keys in this multiverse that he’s created and so everyone around the world is trying to find these keys – it’s very Willy Wonka. So I’m going to meet Ernest Cline, he was nice enough to say he’s going to meet with Julie and I in Austin in a couple of weeks. If you have any geeks out there I think they’re going to love “Ready Player One.” OCTOBER 2017



While the nip of cold air hasn’t quite hit the Valley, the season of fall is upon us. Halloween decorations are on the shelves and children are eagerly deciding costumes. The Friday night lights are on local high school football fields and Sundays are game days. And for those book lovers out there, there’s a month of authors who will take us on some mysterious journeys.

POISONED PEN Tuesday, October 17. 7 p.m. John Sandford signs Deep Freeze. The latest of the Virgil Flowers novels centered around a deadly class reunion. Sounds like a page turner! Monday, October 30. 7 p.m. Sarah Bailey signs The Dark Lake. Another twisted tale of former high school classmates … one of which ends up dead. But how? Perfectly chilling on the eve of Halloween.

CHANGING HANDS Friday, October 20. 7 p.m. Haroon Moghul: How to Be a Muslim: An American Story. A timely discussion of the acceptance, denial and opposition of the Muslim religion in our society.

BARNES & NOBLE Friday, October 20 and Saturday, October 21. 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Sylvia Nobel, author of the Kendall O'Dell mystery series will be signing any of her books at the Surprise Barnes and Noble location. OCTOBER 2017

38TH ANNUAL FRIENDS OF ERMA BOMBECK AUTHOR’S LUNCHEON ON TAP The Arizona Women’s Board, which supports kidney health, will host the 38th Annual Friends of Erma Bombeck Author’s Luncheon featuring authors such as Wiley Cash who wrote “The Last Ballad” and Roddy Doyle, the author of “Smile,” and many other books for adults and children. The event will take place Saturday, October 28 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge and will feature an authors signing event and luncheon. David Grann, author of “Killers of the Flower Moon” and “Trish McEvoy, author of “The Makeup of a Confident Woman” will also be in attendance. Adriana Trigiani, author of 15 bestselling novels, including “The Shoemaker’s Wife,” will serve as the emcee of the event. The luncheon has raised more than $10 million for programs that benefit Arizona kidney disease patients and their families since its inception nearly 40 years ago. It now honors the late Erma Bombeck, the bestselling author who founded the event. Bombeck passed away in 1996 due to complications from her own battle with adult polycystic kidney disease.


A 2ND ACT {stories of perseverance}

HEALing House: Where ‘Miracles Happen’ Judy Pearson | CONTRIBUTING WRITER “I have to take my son to hockey practice.” It’s a simple phrase repeated daily across the globe. But when Lauren Daniels heard it on this particular day, a light bulb went on in her head. Lauren, a 35-year-old mother of three, had just been treated for breast cancer. She was calling another mother just about to undergo her last chemo treatment. “And that was the tipping point,” Lauren says. “I had a strong family support system to help me through treatment. But I realized there were so many mothers who were going it alone. I had been looking for my cancer’s purpose. I knew this was it!” The Happily Ever After League – HEAL for short – debuted in 2004 with a broad mission to provide support to moms going through cancer recovery. They give out financial grants for mothers to cover greatest need. They have a food pantry where mothers can shop for what


they need. And they host fun familyfriendly events. Lauren’s experience has shown her that summers are the hardest on these families. The kids are out of school, daycare and activities are a necessity, but expensive. “So we buy blocks of movie tickets. Some of these families haven’t been to a movie together for a long time. The financial fallout from cancer often limits what a family can do.” Perhaps one of the organization’s most intriguing elements is HEALing House. Just a few short years after HEAL launched, and thanks to donations and grants, they were able to buy a cozy house in a lovely Phoenix neighborhood. An army of volunteers poured their love into the house, to make it what it is today: HEAL’s center of operations. The pantry and events are held there, and mothers and children drop in to take a break from their exhausting, draining, cancer-filled lives. OCTOBER 2017


Lauren sees how especially important the house is during the holidays. She says miracles happen all the time there. “Many people don’t have family in town to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with. We are their family and they spend the holidays with us at HEALing House. “In addition, we do lots of crafting there. While these women and children could do those projects anywhere, we see over and over again that busy hands make busy mouths. A lot of healing goes on while they’re crafting. It has an energy all it’s own.” During the recent back to school event, HEAL was distributing school supplies. OCTOBER 2017

A family came from Casa Grande for the supplies. Gas money to make a trip of that distance is often a stretch for folks dealing with deductibles and out of network specialists. Because of some generous donations, Lauren was able to surprise the two daughters with the additional of a gift card and backpacks, bringing tears to their dad’s eyes. HEAL touches a family the most the first time they participate in the program. The recipients must fill out an application with the sole caveat that they have at least one dependent child living at home. They want to make it a simple practice, but also make certain there is true need and they want to be good stewards of the money raised. FRONTDOORSMEDIA.COM | 39


Lauren has lots of plans for the future. “We just started a new program called Ever After, Life Beyond Cancer. It’s to help women move on, with a special component to help families ravaged by the financial stress of the disease. We want them to get healthy, stay healthy, and help them mentally to move on.” Participants graduate themselves when they feel ready, but then continue coming as mentors.

Happily, HEAL never has a shortage of volunteers. Lauren laughs, “I’m not sure who gets more out of the program, the recipients or the volunteers. There is a waiting list for volunteers and it warms my heart to see how they love to come and serve. You can teach someone to have a heart of service. But it has to be experienced to become a life long gift.” Those gifts make every day a holiday at HEALing House.

Judy Pearson is a journalist, published author, and the founder of Her organization supports and celebrates women survivors of all cancers as they give back to the greater good in their 2nd Acts. Her passion is finding those who have have healed themselves by helping others. 40 | FRONTDOORSMEDIA.COM




OPEN DOORS {publisher’s page}

Becoming a

'ONE IN 2.5 MILLION' Did you know that the odds of an average golfer hitting a hole-in-one are about 1 in 12,500? Even for pros, the odds are about 1 in 2,500. My experience with a golf ball had even longer odds. In fact, the odds of me encountering the golf ball I experienced were about 1 in 2.5 million. Let me explain. In 2012, I started having a lot of issues with my sinuses and breathing through my nose. My children were little and I put off dealing with it. I thought I just had a bad cold that turned into a bad sinus infection, and tried treating it with over-the-counter medications and then prescribed antibiotics and steroids. After months of this, I was referred to ear, nose 42 | FRONTDOORSMEDIA.COM

and throat specialist Dr. Jeffrey Taffett and was diagnosed with some significant nasal polyps. They would have to be removed in outpatient surgery on Friday, September 14, 2012. When the surgery was done, Dr. Taffett spoke to my husband in the waiting room. He said that everything had gone well, but there was one growth that was much larger than everything else — about the size of a golf ball. This was, of course, unusual. They checked it on the spot to make sure it wasn’t a carcinoma, found that it wasn’t, and sent us home for the weekend. We went in for my follow-up visit on Monday morning and it turned out that Dr. Taffett had sent the golf ball to the pathologists at Barrow Neurological Institute for further review. In fact, no OCTOBER 2017

Andrea Tyler Evans with her neurosurgeon, Dr. Andrew Little

fewer than eight of them examined the golf ball, and their conclusion was unanimous, and it shook us to our core.

found me, no causes for the effect. No research studies, no telethons to raise money to fight it.

The golf ball was, in fact, a tumor. I had an extremely rare form of cancer called esthesioneuroblastoma. I know many of you know the fear such a diagnosis creates. It was particularly difficult for my family because my children were just 6 years old and 18 months old at the time.

The good news was that esthesioneuroblastoma is a slow-growing and mostly non-aggressive form of cancer – I had probably had it for four years. The better news was that there are about three places in the country that would be good for treating it and Barrow — just three miles from our house — was one of them.

Dr. Taffett delivered the news with compassion and seriousness. He added some humor that helped ease our fears. He said that esthesioneuroblastoma is only found in about 1 in 2.5 million people — and because of that, not much is known about it. There were no reasons why it

Dr. Andrew Little became my Barrow Neurological Institute neurosurgeon and Dr. John Milligan became my new ear, nose and throat doctor since he had treated other cases prior to mine. My case would be reviewed by the Barrow Tumor Board every step of the way.




A second surgery took place on October 18, 2012, and again, the Barrow team was exceptional, providing me not only with the best care I could imagine but also all the support my husband and family needed to help cope with their own fears. Two weeks later, as I continued to recover without incident, we learned I would not require any chemotherapy or radiation treatment. We were so grateful we didn’t have to go through that. So, I healed, got back to life and began a regular series on MRIs as a part of my new normal. I made it cancer-free for four years. Then a call came out of the blue from Dr. Little. He had two concerns to show us from an MRI in August 2016. On, September 13, 2016, one day shy of that first surgery four years before, we learned I needed a second round of surgery. I ended up having three more surgeries, six weeks of radiation and six rounds of chemotherapy, and my Barrow team was there, once again, every step of the way — along with my amazing friends and family.

in the back of our mind, and will always be nervous at those doctor visits and MRIs. I would have rather had my experience with long odds and a golf ball result in a hole-in-one or winning the lottery. But thanks to the Barrow team and those closest to me, I have a lot to celebrate anyway. I hope that all of you who have faced challenging odds continue to defy them, and enjoy your health, your family, your friends and your rich and full lives as a cancer survivor for many years to come.


Andrea Tyler Evans PUBLISHER


All of us who have had a cancer diagnosis know that there are no truly happy endings with cancer. We’ll always have it



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Frontdoors Magazine October 2017  
Frontdoors Magazine October 2017  

Frontdoors Magazine October 2017, featuring our Cancer Survivors' Stories issue.