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OHSU Doernbecher Pediatric Cancer Program Will Represent Oregon on StoryCorps’ National Day of Listening, Nov. 26

Sarcoma patients, their families, physicians, nurses and volunteers will gather at OHSU Doernbecher on the day after Thanksgiving to preserve their stories for future generations

WHAT: StoryCorps, one of the largest oral history projects of its kind, has asked the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology division at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital to be an official representative in Oregon for the 2010 National Day of Listening.

About 25 OHSU Doernbecher patients, family members, volunteers, nurses and physicians will preserve their stories of courage, strength and hope for future generations by recording an interview with someone they care about. All of the patients have, or have had, sarcoma, a cancer that occurs in the muscle, fat, fibrous tissue, blood vessels or other supporting tissue of the body. A synopsis of their stories will be posted on the “Wall of Listening,” on the National Day of Listening Web site and recorded on a free CD to share.

“We hope to eventually expand on StoryCorps’ ‘National Day of Listening’ and allow all of our patients to be interviewed,” said Rae Acosta, R.N., research nurse coordinator in the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.

WHERE: OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital first-floor lobby, 700 S.W. Campus Drive, Portland

WHEN: Friday, Nov. 26, at 9 a.m.

DETAILS: The 2010 “National Day of Listening” marks the first time StoryCorps has had "official state representatives." To become an official state representative, organizations must conduct at least five National Day of Listening interviews with members of their organization or others in their community and post a summary of those interviews on the "Wall of Listening."

This outreach initiative was made possible through a National Cancer Institute grant resulting from the Carolyn Price Walker Act. The grant, awarded to Charles Keller, M.D., F.A.A.P., and Melissa Hill of the Northwest Sarcoma Foundation, specifically allocates resources for a StoryCorps Outreach Initiative.

Keller is a recently recruited leader of the Pediatric Cancer Biology program in the Papé Family Pediatric Research Institute, OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital; and a member of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. His research focuses on molecularly targeted therapies to treat rhabdomyosarcoma, childhood muscle cancer, and, medulloblastoma, a childhood brain tumor. Co-organizing the StoryCorp project with Acosta is Keller laboratory research scientist Jennifer Alabran.

The National Day of Listening is a new national holiday started by StoryCorps in 2008. On the day after Thanksgiving, StoryCorps asks all Americans to take an hour to record an interview with a loved one, using recording equipment that is readily available in most homes, such as computers, iPhones, and tape recorders, along with StoryCorps’ free Do-It-Yourself Instruction Guide. StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives.

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