On the Town: Women recognized for contributions to cancer programs

Five women who are dedicated advocates in the fight against cancer recently received Courage Awards at a dinner held at the newly-renovated and very elegant Chevy Chase Country Club.

The awards are presented biannually by the Cancer Care Guild, in partnership with the Adventist Health Glendale Foundation. The event is a celebration of cancer survivors and those dedicated to fighting cancer at Adventist Health Glendale.

Proceeds go to Adventist’s Cancer Center’s free programs provided by Ingeborg’s Place Apart/Positive Image Center to all cancer patients and families in the community and beyond its borders. Cancer patients can participate in dancing, yoga, knitting, jewelry-making and journaling classes, along with support groups and counseling.

They also receive help with wig fittings and other products to enhance their appearance.

Award recipients were Dr. Sara H. Kim, medical director of radiation oncology; Marianna Clarizio, radiation therapist; cancer survivors Guadalupe Mendoza and Mary Nazari; and community leader Fran Buchanan.

Kim received the Physician Courage Award. She joined the Adventist Health Glendale medical staff in 2003 and directs the treatment of patients undergoing radiation therapy at Adventist’s Cancer Center. She was recently elected president of the Korean American Society of Therapeutic Radiation Oncology and holds the distinction as the first female president of the organization.

She also serves on the board of directors for the Southern California Radiation Oncology Society and is an alternate councilor representing Southern California at the American College of Radiology.

Clarizio received the Healthcare Professional Award. She is a member of Adventist’s radiation therapy team that treats hundreds of cancer patients each year. People who know her say she has a heart for service and is known for going above and beyond to give cancer patients the best treatment in a loving manner.

Mendoza received the Patient Courage Award after her decade-long struggle to overcome cancer. Hospital staff members warmly remember their interactions with her, saying that she is “incredibly brave.” She is also known for showing a heartfelt willingness to give herself to others during her own health difficulties.

Nazari also received the Patient Courage Award. In 2012, she was diagnosed with stage 3 esophageal cancer. Despite the challenging diagnosis, she was determined to never give up. She went through an intensive radiation therapy combined with chemotherapy. She has been cancer-free for the past five years and said she is forever grateful to God, her family, her doctors and the Adventist Health Cancer Center.

Buchanan received the Community Leader Courage Award. She gives of her time and talent to many important causes and organizations including Las Candelas and Adventist Health Glendale. She has been instrumental in maintaining Ingeborg’s Place Apart/ Positive Image Center for cancer patients. Buchanan said that seeing the outstanding and compassionate care her close friends have received from the Adventist’s Cancer Center has inspired her to co-chair the Linear Accelerator fund-raising campaign.

Thanksgiving decor sale benefits boys in need

A local women’s group is offering a great way to embellish a Thanksgiving table and raise funds to help youngsters in need.

Los Altos Auxiliary members are creating hand-crafted floral centerpieces made of elegant cream roses, green hydrangeas, deep burgundy amaranthus, baby artichokes and hypericum berries, all in a birch container measuring 10 inches by 5 inches by 5 inches.

The 40 members do it all, from going to the Los Angeles Flower Mart to purchase the flowers to arranging the centerpieces and delivering them — all in one day.

All proceeds benefit the boys, ages 6 to 18, who reside at the Hathaway-Sycamores’ El Nido residential treatment facility in Altadena, which provides mental-health services in an environment that fosters healing and individual growth.

Centerpieces are $80 each, and the order deadline is Nov. 10 for delivery on Nov. 20 to homes in Glendale and surrounding communities.

Orders outside the delivery area can be picked up at Hathaway-Sycamores’ headquarters office in Pasadena from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 21 or 22.

Auxiliary co-chairs are Jennifer Herzer of La Cañada Flintridge and Connie Sutherland of Glendale.

Auxiliary members provide birthday cupcakes and gift cards for each boy’s birthday and tickets to Disneyland Resort for boys who can’t go home at Christmas, Herzer said.

The auxiliary recently held a back-to-school night, which included a taco truck and computer-game van.

Members also raised funds to remodel a restroom in one of the facility’s cottages.

For more information, email

JOYCE RUDOLPH can be reached at