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Help Tiffany von Emmel Beat Cancer!

$40,140 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 232 people in 12 months
Created August 1, 2018
Team Tiff
Our beloved friend, teacher, coach, artist, social entrepreneur, and all-around phenomenal and inspiring human being, Tiffany von Emmel, has Stage 4 Adrenal Cancer, a rare aggressive cancer, and urgently needs help. As a community of friends, we are raising funds for Tiffany's diagnostics and treatments that are not covered by insurance. Tiffany has dedicated her life to helping others to grow, heal, and facilitate positive social change. This has been primarily at her own expense, physically as well as financially.  Now she needs help. Please, donate and share this campaign with your friends. Please, help save Tiffany’s life. (Click "Read more" below. For the latest developments in her journey and the multi-pronged approach of her treatment, please click on the Update Tab.)

Tiffany's Story
In 2017, Tiffany was living a full life. She was co-founding the educational nonprofit, Include , teaching in the MA Organization Development program at Sonoma State, coaching nonprofit executives, facilitating a group for the Interpersonal Dynamics course and mentoring group facilitators at Stanford. Physically, for the past years, she had been experiencing fatigue, a lower tolerance to stress and chemical sensitivity, but her doctors hadn't found anything. Then, in the winter, she began experiencing severe back and leg pain. Her new doctor gave her a CT scan which revealed a massive tumor that occupied the left side of her abdomen and had been growing for many years. The tumor was the size of a butternut squash,  so large that it had pushed her kidney into her pelvis. 

In February 2018, she had major surgery in which an enormous tumor, her left kidney, left adrenal, spleen and part of her pancreas were all removed. Recovery from the surgery took six weeks. Six weeks after the surgery, she was back co-teaching a three-day Facilitating Diversity Dynamics training for facilitators. 

Adrenal Cancer is rare, very aggressive and has a poor prognosis. The particular type of Adrenal Cancer that Tiffany has is extremely rare (300 documented worldwide). Most of her cancer cells are growing slowly. Unfortunately, seven new tumors have just been detected in her lungs.   

Tiffany has sought out the experts in Adrenal Cancer. She consulted with the University Of Michigan's Adrenal Cancer Center's Dr. Gary Hammer (passionate Ted Talk on vulnerability, presence and Adrenal Cancer ) and tumor board, Stanford's Electron Kebebew, and Dr. Michael DeMeure, who is using targeted therapies based on genetic profiling to treat Adrenal Cancer.  Adrenal cancer does not respond well to chemotherapy or radiation.

(For updates on the practitioners involved, as Tiffany’s research and care team develop, Click on the Updates Tab.)
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Tiffany's regime includes two immunotherapy protocols, anti-cancer neutraceuticals, a whole-food plant-based diet, daily exercise, and mindfulness practices. 

Ways You Can Help
1.  Give a donation.
              * Give what you can.
              * Monthly Giving - Pledge to donate an amount each month for one year.  If you would like a                  monthly reminder email or help to set this up through online banking, please message our team. 
             
              Ways to give
              * by credit card here
                  (Note: GoFundme deducts 2.9%  from your donation.  If you do not want to give to the                    GoFundme platform: After you click "Donate now" button and enter your donation amount, you will be asked if you want to include a "Tip" to Gofundme. On the drop-down menu, click "Other" and enter "0".

               * by check: Payable to "Tiffany von Emmel".  Mail to:  1945 Piner Road, #157, Santa Rosa, CA, 95403
                          
2. Share this campaign.  
             *  How to post the campaign link: Please write a sentence about why this matters to you, and then a call to action to donate and share.
             *Your personal appeal makes a big difference. 

3.  Work with Include , the nonprofit Tiffany co-founded.    
 

A Profile in Presence
Here is how Tiffany’s life has unfolded to help so many:
Early in her life, Tiffany performed in a physical theater ensemble and taught theater. Moved by seeing the transformative learning that physical relational practices could offer, she studied Buddhist psychology and became a Somatics educator and shiatsu therapist. For thirty years, she has taught people how to be in a mindful relationship with themselves, others, groups and the earth.
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Wanting to bring this work to more people, Tiffany explored how to apply the physical arts as methods in Organization Development.  She trained with pioneers, Sandy Meisner in physical theater, Anna Halprin in dance for social and environmental change, and at Tamalpa Institute in expressive arts therapy. The first in her family to finish college, Tiffany completed her MA and Ph.D. in Human and Organization Development at Fielding Graduate University

While going to school, Tiffany founded an adult learning local community hub aptly named The Empowerment Place. The Empowerment Place was a welcoming space in Ventura, California where adults gathered to learn the tools for healing and growth from gifted teachers and therapists.  

In 1994, tragedy struck Tiffany. An extreme case of Ulcerative Colitis from which she suffers to this day brought her to the brink of death.
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 She persevered her Ph.D. with the unwavering support of amazing colleagues and mentors at Fielding. Often home-bound and spending months enduring consecutive surgeries and losing her entire colon, she pursued her mission to nurture the growth of those around her through teaching graduate workshops in the  Use of Self and in Arts-based research methods. 
31798814_1533133414625906_r.jpeg(Tiffany with Charlie Seashore and Don Bushnell, her mentors)

Even in her hospital room, she created a "Club Med" for the highly stressed medical staff. She made Club Med membership cards for the staff and patients who wanted respite through creating art out of recycling medical supplies in her room. She coached staff in their Use of Self. She created with a transgender nurse who wanted to be seen by fellow staff an improvisational performance performed on the hospital floor. 
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Tiffany's work as a scholar-practitioner has been about how the lived experience of the body teaches us about a reality and a self that reflects the interconnectedness of life.  In her doctoral research, co-researching with a diverse community group in Berlin, Germany, she used action research and critical performance ethnography methods to study what the body teaches about Knowledge while in the transformative experience of physical theater improvisation. Her work articulates how lessons from physical relational practices can disrupt and heal oppressive privileged American Euro-centric patterns embedded in Organization Development, adult learning and leadership development. 

In 2006, fulfilling her vision of relational leadership for an interconnected world, Tiffany founded Dreamfish, a global empowerment cooperative allowing people anywhere in the world to mutually support each other in pursuing their dreams and serving their communities.
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With membership in 26 countries, and based in Nairobi, Kenya, and San Francisco, Dreamfish created artful inclusive collaboration projects and experiential learning experiences for grassroots nonprofit leaders, open source developers, young leaders in informal settlements, systems scientists, and for independents.
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Tiffany created a Fielding Dreamfish Fellowship with Fielding Graduate University for doctoral students in organization development (OD) to serve on social change projects while learning how to practice OD outside of privileged American-Eurocentric contexts.  
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Financially, Tiffany has been a survivor. From 1994 to 2013, insurance wouldn’t pay for her treatments and surgeries, because her auto-immune disease was deemed a “pre-existing condition”.  Despite having little money, Tiffany dedicated all her time and resources towards both the Empowerment Place and Dreamfish and went without taking a paycheck. 
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Currently, Tiffany is writing a book and co-leading Include, the nonprofit educational institute, whose clients include a Buddhist monastery, credit unions, nonprofits, and Stanford University.  

At Cedars Sinai hospital, Tiffany made a sign on the door to her hospital room that said: “Follow Your Aliveness!” Please help Tiffany to live her aliveness. Please donate what you can and please share this campaign.
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+ Read More
Hi beloved friends! In honor of Mother's Day, I'm posting a pic of my amazing mom and me at the ocean in San Diego, where I've been going for medical treatment. To update you, I am continuing to feel stronger. My hemoglobin numbers have finally gone up from an anemic 8.8 to 10.5, almost normal, after months of effort to get my blood counts up. In the last CT scan two months ago, the small tumors in my lungs and liver had grown and spread. My next scan will be in a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, I am focused on being as healthy and vital as possible. This is a marathon, and I am determined to stay with it to recover my full health.

Last weekend, I co-taught a Diversity Dynamics weekend training for the facilitator community at Stanford GSB, a powerful experience, and I felt so emotionally moved by the honor to do purposeful work. This week, I'm doing IV infusions...

To kill cancer stem cells, I have been doing cycles of IV infusions of high dose (75 grams) vitamin C. The high-dose Vitamin C, when delivered intravenously, uses a glucose metabolic pathway to get into the cancer cells and trigger cell death. I am following a "Press/Kill cycle" strategy-- For ten days before the IV infusions, I take about 60 supplements and several off-label drugs a day that starve the cancer (This is the "Press" phase of the Press/Kill cycle) and then for four days in a row, I get the IV infusions (This is the "Kill" phase in Press/Kill cycle). I have been on this protocol for two months and will continue for at least a year. The cost of this treatment cocktail is almost $3000 per month.

I want to thank YOU, who have enabled me to continue to heal from cancer through your generous giving.

A special thanks to Bob Hodas and Pien van den Herik. A few days ago, when I told Pien that my medical fund was almost empty and I was worried, she told Bob and Bob is donating $5000. And, Pien offered the idea to create an in-person fundraising event in the SF Bay Area to fund my medical care. I am enormously grateful.

If you like the idea of an in-person fundraising event, and want to help in any way to co-create it, please let us know!

Much love and gratitude to you!
Tiff
+ Read More
Here’s Tiff’s new video update! We’re so inspired by it! Watch and please share. Tiff’s ongoing costs beyond insurance are $3,500 per month. We ask you to donate as generously as you can (Consider being a monthly donor). Join Tiff in the ongoing practices that are enabling her to say, “I got this!”
+ Read More
In this holiday of giving thanks, I would like to thank all of you who have most recently donated to support my healing. I feel blessed and honored by your generosity.

Thank you to the new Monthly Giving Group for giving a donation each month. Thank you, Dikla Carmel, Tricia Dell, Kate McAlpine, Paul Loper, Pien van den Herik, Karla Jordan, Sue Lebeck and Camille Harris

For $5,000 - $500 gifts: Thank you Bob Hodas, Federica Delaini, Lisa and Randy Kistler Ellis, Maggie Churchville, Scott Bristol, Lucy Whitworth and Anonymous Donors

For $500 to $100 gifts, thank you Brenda Pagliari, Don Bushnell, Robert Silverman, Debra Tash, Kathleen Brown, Lela and Campbell Djakovic, Melanie Grandjacques, Mrs and Mr Adams, Sandra Klos, Ute Scott-Smith, Eugene Kim and Anonymous Donors.

For $100-$10 gifts, thank you Valeria Borsotti, Catherine Fallis, sarah lightfoot, Kelly Walsh, Donna Chan, Elaine Ehrich, Laura Swenson, Kathy Gower, Atte and Stefan Due, Fred Evans, Debra Hammond, Mary Oleksy, Luna Baron, Amy Benziger, Sasha MrKailo, Kevin Nourse and Anonymous Donors

With a heart full of gratitude for your giving, encouragement, and healing wishes,

Tiffany
+ Read More
Hi dear donors --- friends, acquaintances, and the whole growing Team Tiff community,

I want to give you an update on what's going on. Seen in my last CT scan a few weeks ago, there are seven small tumors in my lungs. So, the disease is now Stage 4 with metastasis to my lungs.

Initially, I was shocked and scared. And now, I'm focusing on being present and moving forward. Physically, I feel like I'm healing and emotionally, I am hopeful.

This photo is of Dr. Jeffrey Ye, my local oncologist at Kaiser and me on the day I heard results of my last CT scan.

To gather info, I just saw a surgical oncologist at Stanford, Dr. Electron Kebebew. He laid out a number of options: a) start taking immediately EDP, a cocktail of three chemo drugs. 23% of people have some short-term shrinking of tumor but it doesn't lengthen overall survival rate; b) take immediately one of the three chemo drugs, Cisplatin, as a "bridge" treatment; c) surgery to remove at least one tumor to biopsy and create targeted systemic therapy and d) remove 5 of the 7 tumors in my lungs. Of these options, I am most likely going to remove one tumor to biopsy for targeted therapy.

MD Anderson Cancer Center – For another opinion, I’ll be going to Houston for a consult with Dr. Mouhammed Habra, an Adrenal Cancer specialist who collaborates on the Proteomics project (see below). I would prefer to be treated at a comprehensive cancer center with Adrenal Cancer specialists because evidence shows longer survival for their Adrenal cancer patients vs. with community cancer clinics. The barrier is that my current insurance, Kaiser, won't cover treatment outside of Kaiser.

Meanwhile, to have more comprehensive care, I had my first consult with Denise Cooleris, the medical director at Hillpark Medical Center, and she will be my new primary naturopathic doctor, while still collaborating with Lois Johnson on my case. Denise introduced some exciting possibilities that I'm now following up on:

Chemosensitivity testing at Nagourney Cancer Institute:
They would use a fresh tumor sample from one tumor in my lungs and test which medications are most effective on my cancer cells and least toxic to me. For financial assistance for the testing, I am going to apply to the Vanguard Cancer Foundation. In researching this, I found a case co-authored by Robert Nagourney in which an Adrenal Cancer patient's tumors shrank in response to Metformin, a low-toxic diabetes medication.

Metformin - After reading the above case, I asked my naturopathic docs to prescribe Metformin for me and I started it today!

Proteomics - The University of Texas does a genomic analysis to find a targeted therapy that works on a particular individual. They offer a case story of a patient with advanced Adrenal Cancer who is now in remission.

I also am soon having a consult with Michael Broffman, Pine Street Clinic. He is a doctor of Chinese medicine specializing in cancer.

I plan to go to Block Center for Integrative Oncology in Chicago to fine tune my diet, supplements, and if I do any chemo, to adjust the treatment for best effect and least toxicity.

Thank you for all your help, generosity, and love. I am very grateful for your big-hearted, kind, and gracious support!

Tiff
+ Read More
Read a Previous Update

$40,140 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 232 people in 12 months
Created August 1, 2018
Team Tiff
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