Ride @Soul Cycle for Miles4Meredith on November 3rd, Upper East Side, NYC

October 27th, 2012 by plaiche

October 27th, 2012 by plaiche

Roar For a Cure!

February 28th, 2012 by plaiche

Dear Friends,

For nearly three years we have been following the difficult journey of our close friend Meredith Israel-Thomas. Hundreds of us have joined her on what has been a very challenging road not just for her but for her loving family as well. It has been a dark road filled with bumps, obstacles and hurdles that is difficult to define in words. Her family and her friends have been the light that has guided her. The love that she has for her daughter Niomi and husband Gary is far stronger than the disease that has attacked her. We have shared tears and laughter with her, and yet many of us have never even met. But because of our love for Meredith and our friendship to her, we are all connected in a special way and will be forever connected because of Meredith.

Meredith has done so much for so many of us. She has made many of us rethink our life’s purpose. She has put so much in perspective for the thousands she inspired. And so, after much talk and thought over the past few months we have decided to give back to Meredith. She told me last year over lunch that she would give anything to have one night back in Harry’s at Syracuse. When she was young and wild she used to dance on the bar to Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” or to The Four Seasons “Oh What A night”. Her blond hair flowing back-n-forth as she rocked the night away. I often say, “It is how we face obstacles that define us”. Meredith has faced her obstacles with courage, bravery and a will that has inspired so many around her. The cancer that attacked her body has only strengthened her spirit and she is stronger than any person that I have ever met. I am honored and humbled to call her my friend.

So friends, the time has come for us to reunite or to meet for the first time. On behalf of my good friend Josh Sagman and our fellow Syracuse “Old School” Alumni, you are invited to Roar For A Cure with Meredith and go back in time on March 9th from 5-8 PM at Jake’s Dilemma on the Upper West Side. We are making it easy for everyone by bringing Harry’s to NYC. Now let’s get ready to ROAR the only way we know how, and let’s do it for our friend- Meredith. Be Brave and Roar For a Cure until one is found!

We look forward to seeing you on March 9th. All proceeds raised that night go to Meredith’s medical fund. If you can not attend, please go to www.miles4meredith.org to donate.

Best,

Dave and Josh

REMINISCE AND ROAR WITH OLD FRIENDS AND MEET NEW ONES AS WE ROAR FOR MEREDITH

5-8 PM OPEN BAR TOP SHELF
LITE HORS DOEUVRES WITH SPECIAL D.J. MIX

SUGGESTED DONATION $20/$50/$100

JAKES DILEMMA UPPER WEST SIDE
430 AMSTERDAM AVE BETWEEN 80TH & 81ST

FOR MORE INFO

DAVID PLOTKIN 917.251.5779
OR JOSH SAGMAN 301.455.5600

100% OF THE NET PROCEEDS FROM THE ROAR
WILL GO DIRECTLY TO WWW.MILES4MEREDITH.ORG

100% OF DIRECT DONATIONS ONLINE WILL GO TO
BENEFIT MEREDITH AND HER FAMILY

Miles 4 Meredith 2011

October 26th, 2011 by plaiche

Mer and Gary wedding holding Niomi

Dear Friends and Family,

I hope all is well with everyone. First of all, I want to reiterate a huge thank you to all of you for making the last 2 years a tremendous success! With your help, we have raised over $30K to aid Meredith Israel Thomas and her family with medical expenses incurred in their battle against breast cancer. When the idea for Miles4Meredith originated shortly after Mer’s diagnosis 2.5 years ago, I could not have imagined how much support was possible. I am humbled by the generosity and empathy you have shown to our dear friend.

I am getting this out a week or so later than I would have liked and many of you have already reached out to me to see if in fact I would run the NYC Marathon this year in support of Meredith. Although my 41yr old legs have had some thoughts of their own recently the answer is yes! I have been training for several months and thanks to my friend Kellie Sullivan Cahill I once again have gained entry into the field for 2011.

It has been a big year for Meredith. Shortly after last years’ marathon, it was determined that Meredith’s treatment should change direction. Scans revealed that chemotherapy was not achieving the desired results and a decision was made to seek a new treatment known as PARP. At that time she was 1 of only 300 patients in the world to enter this trial.

Meredith’s condition and treatment are complex. Apparently so are the results from her time (9 months) receiving PARP. What is clear is that while on PARP Meredith truly felt like her old self again and feels it created a “personal miracle” for her. It enabled her to plan what she called her fairy tale wedding and to enjoy that magical event to the fullest. I had a front row seat and I can tell you it was an absolutely beautiful event.

It also enabled her to continue her tireless efforts to raise money and awareness with regard to breast cancer and early detection. To date Meredith’s efforts have raised over $140K for breast cancer research! In addition, she has also found time this year to join the staff at the Max Cure Foundation, an organization specifically addressing pediatric cancer research and quality of life issues for children with the disease. As of September, Meredith is once again receiving chemo treatments. Although it takes quite a toll on her overall in comparison to PARP, she is as determined as ever to Kick Cancer’s Ass.

As I mentioned above I would have preferred to have reached out a bit sooner, but the amazing thing is in the internet age I have seen firsthand just how fast all of you and so many friends of Meredith can spread the word and draw attention to this courageous woman almost overnight. In some ways it seems like we can do almost anything if we focus on it. Meredith believes that which is why she continues to give her time and energy to get people to focus on the big picture: raising awareness for early detection and new treatments. In turn I’ve had the privilege of focusing the spotlight on her personal battle for a few days to ensure she and her family are not in this fight alone.

So for the next 11 days I need your help to once again share Meredith’s story far and wide (via email, Facebook, Twitter, etc) and encourage those in a position to do so to make a contribution (however small). Please remember, the disease is only one aspect of the fight and the financial toll routinely destroys lives too.

My legs caused a few doubts this year during training but I’m committed to once again do my best on November 6th. What I have never doubted is that together we can once again make a generous show of support for a woman who remains dedicated to her own fight and dedicated to ensuring that someday breast cancer is a thing of the past.

If you need to reach me directly please call 908.685.9260 or email me at: tmbohen@hotmail.com.

Best regards,

Tom Bohen

P.S. For those of you who prefer to mail a donation please send a check made out to Miles 4 Meredith to:

3 Pueblo Trail
Branchburg, NJ 08876

Susan Komen Anniversary CBS

Meredith, Suzanne & Nancy: Susan Komen video 2011

2011 Launch

August 22nd, 2011 by Administrator

Dear Friends and Family,

Thank you for visiting Miles4Meredith. The Miles4Meredith / KIA Fund was created by Tom Bowen, a very close family friend of Meredith’s. He has run in the NY City Marathon twice in support of Meredith and to defray the numerous uncovered expenses, sparing her family that additional pressure. Health Insurance (even the best policies) have limitations and many expenses go uncovered.

As my children, Jason and Kiki prepare for their bnai mitzvah, we are walking in the Susan G Koman Race For A Cure. You have probably read our letter and know that we are walking on September 18th with the Miles 4 Meredith Team to support our very dear friend Meredith Israel Thomas. We recognize the importance of supporting an individual, as well as an overall cause. We believe our efforts will make a difference to Meredith personally, as well as for the larger effort to “KICK ITS ASS (KIA) and wipe out breast cancer once and for all.

Some of you know Meredith personally or may be aware of her journey. Meredith was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer in June of 2009. Meredith was just shy of her 36th birthday with a beautiful 2-year old daughter. “Kick Its Ass” (KIA) has become the mantra in Meredith’s personal fight, as well as for her efforts to raise awareness and support for breast cancer research. Despite navigating the medical maze and embarking on aggressive treatment for herself, Meredith has become an outspoken activist. She works tirelessly to raise awareness around the critical importance of early detection, ESPECIALLY AMONG WOMEN UNDER 40. She has spoken publicly across the country, shared the traumatic experience on The Today Show of losing one’s hair to treatment, and her story was featured on the Susan Koman 20th anniversary TV special last year. She is also a contributing writer to the CBS blog, sharing raw perspective about life after cancer. Meredith is a courageous and beautiful person, inside and out and has raised just about $150,000 since her diagnosis in support of breast cancer research. She is passionate and continues to amaze, educate and to inspire.

Meredith has maintained a journal with many of the details around her journey – both medically and personally. Since diagnosis, she has undergone nine different treatment regimens from hormonal to chemotherapy and a multitude of tests. Last December, she was accepted into the PARP clinical trial at University of Pennsylvania and, fortunately, her tumors have shrunk 81%. And happily, Meredith was married this past May to Gary Thomas, the love of her life and father of her beautiful daughter Niomi. You can read about Meredith’s journey over the past 26 months in her own voice at: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/meredithisrael

Thank you so much for visiting Miles 4 Meredith and for your support. While this particular donation is not tax deductable, please be assured that every penny goes where directed. And every donation, large or small makes a difference.

Sherri, Bennett, Jason & Kiki

A Few More Words About Meredith

Meredith has made countless appearances to speak, to connect and to make a difference. Here are just a few links that illustrate her efforts as well give you a glimpse into the kind of woman, wife, mother, and daughter she is.

Susan Koman Anniversary CBS

2011 EIF/Revlon Walk Speech

CBS News blog

Meredith Wedding Video

Miles4Meredith 2010 Launch

October 20th, 2010 by Administrator

Dear Friends and Family,

I hope all is well with everyone and that you are enjoying a wonderful fall season. I cannot believe a year has passed from when I last reached out to ask for your support to help raise funds for my very good friend Meredith Israel to aid her and her family as they battle breast cancer. First and foremost I would like to thank everyone for the overwhelming show of support last year. The response was unbelievable and in turn we were able to raise over $15,000 to help offset some of the medical expenses Meredith has already endured. But more importantly, what Miles4Meredith really did was show Meredith that she has friends and supporters all over the world (and I mean all over the world), standing behind her and rooting for her to Kick Cancers Ass. I was honored to sit down with Meredith and share with her all the people that reached out in support as well as all the notes of encouragement that were sent along. It was a special day for me as I could see by the way she sat there and went through each and every name and each and every note that she was truly taken aback and that the response from all of you was only going to give her that much more strength to continue her fight.

As some of you may or may not know from Meredith’s blog (link on the right) she has had her ups and downs this year. In January she started a chemotherapy regimen of 3 weeks of treatment and one week off which continues at present. This reprieve is just enough time for her body to gather some strength for the next round of treatments. For most people, that would pretty much shut us down as far as any other outside activities, but not Meredith. Somewhere deep down she gets herself together day after day, goes out into the world and takes what’s given to her. Family being her top priority, Meredith makes sure that her beautiful daughter Niomi lives a full and active lifestyle: from preschool activities, playtime in the park with mom and dad, trips to the beach, trips to see family and friends (especially grandma and grandpa!), and raising funds to find a cure.

I was reading a recent blog post of Meredith’s where she went on to say that she could share nothing with us but all the horrible things that the chemo does: loss of hair, hot flashes, feeling tired constantly, and the taste of metal that comes and goes…but that’s not who she is and it isn’t what she chooses to focus on. Meredith is the young woman who gets up each and every morning and gets her daughter ready for school, then heads over to Memorial Sloan for treatment, takes a meeting in the afternoon on what she can do next to help raise awareness, picks up Niomi from school and heads to Central Park for playtime, comes home and gets dinner together for the family, and then finally puts Niomi down for the night so they can start all over again the next day.

As if her day to day schedule were not demanding enough, this past winter she went back to school to take part in a writing class, a craft that she has always had a passion for and she continues to pursue as she shares her story with the world. June marked the one year anniversary of her diagnosis, which in turn she put a positive spin on by celebrating her 37th birthday as well as all of her accomplishments from the prior year with a group of family and friends. In July she put together a birthday party for Niomi in Central Park and then Gary, Meredith and Niomi set out for a two week trip to South Africa which is Gary’s homeland. It is there that Gary and Meredith decided to make it official as Gary proposed and Meredith happily accepted. The two of them are now in the midst of planning a special wedding for May of 2011.

As the case has been since day one Meredith is highly driven to raise awareness and ensure women are informed as early as possible to the risks they face from the threat of breast cancer. As you can see all her efforts go towards the broader problem and her dedication to find a cure and continue to fight are second to none. She was recently featured in this special CBS documentary that aired the night before the New York City Susan G. Komen Walk for the Cure 2010. In addition, The Today Show on NBC filmed her shaving her head and is airing a story on October 21st in the 8:00 a.m. hour, so be sure to tune in! She has also helped to raise over $80K for breast cancer charities throughout the US since her diagnosis less than 18 months ago.

This continued selflessness despite plenty of reasons to think only of herself and her immediate loved ones is why I am going to keep on running as Miles4Meredith continues in 2010. Thanks to a good friend from the old neighborhood in Bridgewater (Kelly Sullivan Cahill), I was able to gain entrance into the 2010 New York City Marathon and on November 7 I will run 26.2 miles in support of Meredith. Not only to raise funds to help offset the enormous pile of medical expenses that she and her family continue to incur, but more importantly try to give back to a young woman who has given so much of herself the past year and a half as she battles this disease that consumes too many. In fact, the pervasiveness of the disease is all the more real this year for the Israel family: regretfully, it was discovered a few months ago that Meredith’s mother Laurie also now has breast cancer. Thankfully they caught it early and she is doing well so far. She began radiation treatments this month as they fight this disease together.

As I detailed last year, the disease is only one aspect of the fight and the financial toll routinely destroys lives too. For those who are able to do so, I ask that you make a contribution (however small) again this year and with the race just a few weeks away also help me by getting the word out and sharing this site with anyone you think would like to pitch in or simply reposting it on your Facebook or Twitter profiles. It may be a bit cliché, but it is so true that just a few dollars can go a very long way (as we all proved working together last year!) towards alleviating a bit of pressure from the strong shoulders of this wonderful young woman. She’s already paying it forward through her work, fundraising for the cure and through her awareness has saved three women’s lives and counseled many others.

If you need to reach me directly please call 908.685.9260 or email me at: tmbohen@hotmail.com.

Best regards,

Tom Bohen

P.S. For those of you who prefer to mail a donation please send a check made out to Miles 4 Meredith to:

3 Pueblo Trail
Branchburg, NJ 08876

Mer on The Today Show

October 20th, 2010 by Administrator

“Dear Friends, I will be on the NBC Today Show on Thursday morning in the 8:00 a.m. hour. The story is regarding me losing my hair from chemo. They filmed me back in January and have interviewed me since. I will be on live on Thursday. Once I know if it will be the first or second half of the 8:00 a.m. hour I will let you know.”

See Today Show Piece

Miles 4 Meredith - What It’s All About

October 16th, 2009 by Administrator

Dear Friends and Family,

I am writing you to ask you for your support in my efforts to raise money for a very close friend of mine in need. Back in June I received a phone call from one of my oldest and closest friends Hank Israel. To my dismay the news he had to share with me was that his younger sister Meredith (35 years of age) had been diagnosed with breast cancer (soon determined to be Stage 4 metastatic (no cure or remission)). I have been friends with Hank since grade school and his family has always treated me as one of their own having me over on holidays, taking me on family vacations and to this day, they welcome me at all their family events. Through the years, I have also formed a strong friendship with Meredith and have remained close with her as well. This news that Meredith had Breast Cancer was devastating to me.

Meredith is one of the strongest people I know. Although you would never know by looking at her, she has battled health issues her entire life and has always come out on top. The doctors once told her that she would not have children and she proved them wrong as she and Gary are the proud parents of a beautiful two year old girl named Niomi. What’s most amazing to me about Meredith is her will to overcome the things that have been thrown at her. Since being diagnosed in June she has been fiercely determined to only look ahead to what she has to do to beat this horrible disease and, as her motto (K.I.A.– Kick Its Ass) makes clear, that is exactly what she is doing! (check out Mer’s blog here)

Imagine this: Since June Meredith has packed up her home in Miami and moved back to NY to get the best possible treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering. She enrolled her daughter in preschool, organized a reunion with her former company RCA Records, walked in the NYC and Miami Susan G Komen races to benefit breast cancer research and just recently Meredith was invited to share her story in front of over 600 people at the American Airlines/Susan G. Komen “For the Cure” Celebrity Golf event in San Diego, California. If that is not enough she is in the process of looking for a part time job to (keep busy?).

To recap that, she is receiving treatment and raising a family, while adjusting to a life focused on beating cancer AND building awareness for early detection. Since June, Meredith and Gary have raised over $35K dollars for breast cancer research. As I said, she’s one of the strongest people I know.

While watching all this from the sidelines she has not only inspired me but got me thinking what can I do to help Meredith in her fight? The choice was soon obvious. About 8 year’s ago another good friend of mine inspired me to start distance running and I have been hooked on it ever since. With the help of yet another friend I was able to gain entrance to participate in this year’s New York City Marathon on November 1st, and I will run in support of Meredith.
My fundraising idea is a little different…I launched a website at www.Miles4Meredith.org and I am starting a fund that will help Meredith offset some of the medical bills that have already begun to pile up in her fight to Kick Cancers Ass!! She has been so focused on raising money to find the cure, she once again put herself second and didn’t consider her personal medical bills.

In researching Breast Cancer Treatment I discovered that According to a recent survey conducted by USA Today/Kaiser Foundation/Harvard School of Public Health, 33% of cancer patients have trouble paying medical bills and 43 percent report skipping treatments or not filling prescriptions because of the cost. In addition, one in five cancer patients with insurance will use up all or most of their savings during the course of treatment. The statistics are pretty overwhelming and I feel that even if we can raise a little something to get a savings program started in her name it would be well worth the effort.

Please know that I certainly understand the economic crisis that our country is in and I am quite sure that a lot of us, if not all of us, have our own burdens to bear, but if we could get a minimum donation of $10.00 from 100 people it would be $1000.00 in the bank for starters. Maybe you can swing a buck a mile (26.2 miles)? The race is in a few short weeks, so if you are able please head straight to www.miles4meredith.org to contribute and with your help, together we can make a difference in the life of a wonderful young woman and her family as they do battle with breast cancer.

Finally, we could also use all of your help spreading the word (again, the race is almost here!) Please feel free to forward this mail or even better share the link to the site on your Facebook or Twitter accounts.

If you need to reach me directly you can reply to this email or I can be reached at (908) 685-9260.

Best regards,

Tom Bohen

P.S. For those of you who prefer to mail a donation you can mail a check to:

3 Pueblo Trail
Branchburg, NJ 08876

Or email me at: tmbohen@hotmail.com