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November 1, 2023 28 mins
This week, we chat with Keri Muschell, director of key partnerships at NRG and TJ Johnson from Lurie Children's Hospital and Dr. William Dahut from the American Cancer Society.
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Episode Transcript

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Hello, and welcome to the weeklyshow here on iHeartRadio on ninety three to
nine, Light FM one All threefive, Kiss FM, and Rock ninety
five to five. Every single weekwe get here together to discuss a variety
of topics that matter to Chicagoland,from health, education, to finances and
everything in between. We love hearingfrom all of you who are doing amazing

things right here in our city andour suburbs. Today on the show,
we chat with doctor William de Hutt, chief Scientific Officer at the American Cancer
Society, and Doctor de Hutt willbe talking all about joining the show today
for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, stressingthe importance of women getting tested early and
often, along with the progress madeover the past few decades in diagnosing and

treating breast cancer as well. AndI'll be chatting with Carrie Murchelle, director
of Key Partnerships at NRG, anenergy supplier. She'll be joining us talking
all about Luried Children's Hospital, andwe'll be joined by TJ. Johnson,
who is from Lurie's, so it'llbe a double interview, which is amazing

because we'll be talking all about howLuri's Children's Hospital uses its money that it
gets from ENERG and everything in between, as well as how to get involved,
as well as how Lurie's Children's Hospitalgot involved with ENERG and we'll be
talking about what makes Lurie's Children's Hospitalso special as well. And to kick

off the show today is Ryan Gorman. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and
the American Cancer Society is urging womento get screened early and often. The
American Cancer Society, of course,is working constantly to improve the lives of
cancer patients and their families through advocacy, research, and patient support to ensure

everyone has the opportunity to prevent,detect, treat, and survive cancer.
And you can learn more about thework they're doing on breast cancer specifically lay
along with lots of great resources andinformation at cancer dot org slash breast cancer
and to talk more about this issue, we're joined now by the Chief Scientific

Officer at the American Cancer Society,doctor William Dehut. Doctor day Hut,
thank you so much for coming onthe show. And let's start with a
big picture view of the impact breastcancer has on this country each year.
So a couple of facts. Thegood news is since nineteen eighty nine,
we decrease breast cancer mortality by fortythree percent, which is wonderful, but

sadly, we still have over fortythree thousand women dying breast cancer. So
we do know that regular screenings canactually significantly decrease your risk your dying from
breast cancer. And so that's whywe think breast cancer Awareness clons is so
important. Since breast cancer screenings arereally the focus of your message for Breast
Cancer Awareness Month, let's talk aboutthem for a moment. How much have

those screenings evolved in terms of technologyand what we're able to learn with them,
and how crucial do they become inhelping women survive a case of breast
cancer. Well, we know breastcancer is actually one of the most treatable
and potentially curable cancer refound early,and romography does have the ability to catch

cancers before they have spread. Now, mimography is a test that's been around
for a long time, you're probablyknow, probably close to fifty years.
And while the technology mimography has improved, we are hopeful with the addition of
things such as AI and other testingabilities that will actually even increase our sensitivity
of picking up the more aggressive cancers. What are the recommendations for screenings depending

on the age of the person lookingto get one, Well, every woman
should actually talk to the position,make a starting mimography at age forty and
certainly everyone should be having a mammogramstarting at age forty five. Are at
higher risk, and the higher riskcould be from a strong family history or
genetic mutation puts you at a riskfor breast cancer, you should start earlier,

and in fact we recommend to thoughit's not yet in our guideline,
that if there's a breast cancer inyour family, particularly a breast cancer or
young person, you should begin yourscreening about ten years beforehand. And if
you do do screening when you're inyour say you're thirties, you probably need
an MRI or ultrasound in addition toyour homography before going and getting that screening,

before going and getting a mammogram.Is there anything in particular that women
should know or be aware of.I think the really important thing is for
women to have a sense of theirown risk of breast cancer. You know,
your history of dense breasts or strongfamily history or other mutations. I
think that really information is crucial becausethat really may change your screening paradigm.

The other thing is that mamography actuallyhas the ability to find cancers when they're
very small and very early, whenthey're treatable, and where theoretically the treatment
is not nearly as invasive. SoI think will it can be afraid of
it. If one the bad newsdoes come and there's a cancer diagnosis,
there is a very good chance thatcan be treated and one can have a

lifespan the same as someone that withoutbreast cancer. I'm Ryan Gorman, joined
right now by the Chief Scientific Officerat the American Cancer Society, Doctor William
Deahutt is with us for Breast CancerAwareness Month. You can learn a whole
lot more again, lots of greatresources and information at cancer dot org slash

breast cancer. So, doctor dayHutt, what are some of the treatment
options, especially for cases of breastcancer that are caught early through the screenings
that we've been talking about well earlyon. Oftentimes what's needed is the resection
of the abnormal of actually the cancerself, and oftentimes that we've done with

a lumpectomy, so just to removeup the cancer. Lull radiation is sometimes
needed, you know, as partof that treatment, and then some women
need to go on treatment then toactually decrease the cancer cancer recurrence, and
that's author hormoral treatment, although sometimesit could be a target treat for chemotherapy,

some women because of the size ofthe tumor or the aggressiveness of it,
would actually start with drugs first.They could even be immunotherapy or chemotherapy
or hormoral therapy. And then afterthe drugs are given, then a local
treatment such as surgery would be needed. You know, over the years,
we've seen a number of public figuresand celebrities who have come out and let

it be known that they got amasectomy or double misseectomy due to some of
the risk factors that they faced whenit comes to breast cancer. Can you
explain why that could potentially be asmart option for some women and some of
those risk factors that women should lookfor as they're trying to make a decision

like that. Yes, that's agreat question. So I think that's why
it's really important for women to actuallyunderstand their own cancer risk. And there
are some cancer mutations inherited cancer mutationssuch as the breast cancer gene, the
bracket gene that puts patients at riskfor breast cancer, ovarian cancer, pancreatic

cancer, and actually in their malerelatives prospect cancer, and so having a
surgery of propoglactic surgery may make sensefor women, particularly those that are carriers
of rare mutations. For those whohave gotten some kind of a breast enhancement
surgery or breast reduction surgery, arethere certain things that they need to be

aware of as they're getting a mammogramand getting checked for breast cancer each year,
are there certain things specifically for themthat they should know about. Yeah,
it's a great question. I thinkyou know, talking to your healthcare
team because obviously you know having abreast operation, you know, whether it's
enhancement or induction, could have animpact on the imaging and determining whether additional

tests beyond the monography makes sense.Again, that would likely be an ultrasound
or potentially an MRI. But thoseare questions that definitely should be brought up
before you undergard you're screening. Onething I do want to point out for
Breast Cancer Awareness Month, while thisis primarily an issue that impacts women,
it does also impact some men.Can you talk a little bit about breast

cancer in men, well, Ithink again that's it's a very good point
that men can get breast cans andthere's not routine screening for breast cancer for
men, and breast cancer rates havenot fallen. Rettoralities have not fallen in
men the same way they have fallenin the women the last thirty or forty
years. So men should really besensitive to, you know, any changes
they in their bread tissue. Ifmen have again have a family history of

cancer, even breast cancer, that'simportant, and they've received radiation to the
chest area another risk factor for breastcancer. So an awareness I think in
the community that men can get breastcancer. It can be treated very often
in similar ways that women are treated, but it's getting the word out,

particular when there's not Richie screening,stun events, it's very impwardant. Final
question for you, what are someof the advancements that you're looking towards that
you're working on at the American CancerSociety or that could be on the horizon.
As breast cancer has become such abig focus the month of October and
the raising of awareness of it hasbecome such a big moment here in this
country. Are there things moving forwardthat we should be keeping an eye off

for. Yeah, I think therereally are. You know, we're proud
how long the American Cancers that Ihas been involved with with cancer research.
You know, we currently have overone hundred and twenty seven million dollars out
of grant studying it. So it'sit's the core of who we are in
many ways. So I think onearea would be sort of therapeutic prevention strategy,
the ways that if you had asort of a known mutation, could

a vaccine be developed it could actuallydecrease the likelihood of breast cancer. And
the second thing I think is lookingat AI technology to help with the diagnosis
of breast cancer as well as improvingscreening techniques. So I think improved technologies,
whether it's vaccine based or whether it'sAI based for imaging, I think

are in the near future and canhave potentially real impact on patients. Chief
Scientific Officer at the American Cancer Society, doctor William de Hunt, with us
for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Youcan learn more lots of really great resources
and information available at cancer dot orgslash breast cancer that's cancer dot org slash

breast cancer Doctor day, Hut.Thank you so much for taking some time
to come on the show and breakall of that down for us. We
really appreciate it. Yeah, thanksall Ryan for having me take that.
Hi. It's Paulina here with iHeartMediaChicago, and today I am chatting with
Carriemurchelle, a director of key Partnershipsat NRG, and I'll also be chatting
with our friend TJ. Johnson,vice president of corporate Partnerships at Lurri Children's

Foundation. How are you today,doing great? Thanks Paulina, great,
Thanks of course, thank you somuch for being here. Thank you so
much for for taking the time tojoin me on our show. First things
first, Carrie, do you mindgiving us a little bit of background about
yourself and the work that you do. Sure. So, I've been a
part of NRG since twenty fourteen andworked on different projects, and I have

to say that this is the bestone that I have the pleasure of talking
about and being a part of.And so I represent our Choose to Give
program. We launched that in twentyseventeen, and it is a program that's
different from any other energy supply partnershipor a plan that is out there and

what it is is it's an opportunityfor us to partner. We support eight
different nonprofit organizations, primarily children's hospitals, and we have contributed over twelve million
dollars since twenty seventeen. So it'sa plan where folks in deregulated markets which

is just a fancy word for youcan choose your energy supplier in Illinois,
for example, And what that doesis gives you the opportunity to select a
Choose to Give program. And howit works is when you sign up for
nrg's Choose to Give program, wecontribute fifty dollars to the Lori Children's Foundation

and then we also continue with anongoing earn of one percent of the supply
portion of the bill. So it'sjust a really easy way for people to
give to a to a wonderful foundation. Absolutely, that's incredible. And what
about TJ what is your role andall the work that you do at Louri

Children's Hospital. Yeah, well,thanks for the opportunity. My role is
vice president of Corporate Partnerships, whichreally means I get the pleasure of working
with generous companies in Chicago and evennationally really just want to support the mission
of Luriy Children's with a number onepediatric hospital in the state of Illinois,
and as a result of that,we took care of essentially the sickest of
the sick children. And we havea mission to serve any family that walks

through our door, regardless of theirinsurance status or the ability to pay.
NRG support through their Choosday Give programdirectly supports that that key part of our
mission, which is the really ensurethat any family has access to the world
class care regardless of their insurance status, regardless of their ability to pay,

and so their support goes to ourAccess for Every ChildFund, which really underwrites
those costs and make sure that youknow, the financial obligations for families is
really a burden they don't have todeal with. Oh yeah, no,
absolutely. And you know, Carrie, I wanted to ask you really quickly
if you don't mind telling us moreabout you did mention this earlier, but

like telling us about your relationship withLori Children's Hospital, right, and she
was going to give the program whichbenefits the hospital as well. Can you
talk a little bit more about that, Yes, So specifically to Lori Children's
Hospital, we've contributed over four milliondollars over the last several years, and
that money is used, as TJwas saying, to support certain initiatives that

are going on at the hospital,and so our contributions in the past have
gone to fetal health and what wehad the pleasure of being a part of
on that program was we had enoughcustomers that signed up for our Choose to
Give program where we could contribute thatwent to building of a lounge and so

as neonatal patients were coming in withtheir parents and we were able to help
to create a lounge where families couldgo and have all of the care that
they needed in one place. Andso it's just been it's really amazing to
see the contributions that come in fromcustomers. This is all available because of

the customers deciding to make this choiceright and so then that money comes into
the hospitals and into the foundation andto see the actual work and the development
that has been the recipients of thecustomers contributions has just been game changing,
at least for us here at NRG. We're just really proud of of the

funds that were able to contribute.So that's a little bit more of a
background. I hope that helps.Yes, absolutely, And TJ, how
did Lurry Children's Hospital get involved withNRG? Well, I have to give
the kudos to Energy for really reachingout in and wanting to forge your partnership
with Louriy Children's So we were readyand able to, you know, take

the opportunity and run with it.But they really were the ones that initiated
and really wanted to do something specialfor the children's hospital in the Chicago market.
And we're just grateful that they didbecause it's been a really special partnership
and it's been awesome to see itgrow over time and make such a huge
impact on our patients and families.Absolutely, and then do you mind teaching
hearing us a little bit of whatLurie Children's Hospital does and what makes it

so special to begin with? Yeah, So Luri Children's Hospital is, as
I said that the number one pediatrichospital in the state of Illinois. We
really have a mission that hits onthree pillars. We want to provide world
class care, so we offer thatsub specialty care that you really can't get
anywhere else. If your child needsopen heart surgery, you need a brain

surgery, if you need cancer treatment, You're going to come to the Erate
Children's for that care in the ChicagoLand region. We also have specialists that
are world class, and we dohave families that come from other states and
around the world. It comes comeand received care for specific areas where you
really can't get that care anywhere else. We also are a teaching hospital,

so we are designed to train andeducate the next generation of caregivers. So
we're the teaching hospital for the FeinbergSchool of Medicine at Northwestern University. So
another part of our mission is reallyto equip the next generation of pediatricians and
subspecialists in pediatrics. And then finally, we are invested in developing the next

treatment options and cures in the futurefor for pediatric diseases. And we do
that through what we call the StanleyMany Children's Research Institute, which is essentially
the research arm of the hospital.You know, we have hundreds researchers that
are working every day in labs andat the bed side to again try to

deliver world class care and develop thosenew troupement options for our families. Absolutely,
and Carrie, my last question foryou is can you tell us more
about your upcoming efforts with Lori Chodren'sHospital. I know we're talking about,
you know, the holidays coming upand everything, so can you tell us
a little bit about that. Yeah, So another one of my favorite events

is at Lori Children's Hospital. Wewill be there to participate. I think
this is our third or fourth yearworking with them on their radiothon with iHeart
Media, and so it's been anamazing event. They have people there,
volunteers, answering phones on the radio, talking with patients. It's just a

very special event that we're really fortunateto be a part of. And so
we're excited to attend and we're goingto raise money that day and we're going
to awareness to energy choose to givea program for Illinois residents and families of
the Lori Children's Hospital. So lookingforward to it. Can't wait to get

out there, TJ. Look forwardto see you there. Amazing. Thank
you both so much for being herewith us today. And this is a
part of iHeartMedia. We're super excitedas well to participate as we do every
year. It's such a great event. Where can we head to for more
information for those who want to makesure that they put in their calendars and
we keep up and make sure thateverybody is fully aware. Where can we

head what's a good website? Yeah, so you can go to Lury Children's
Network, where we will have updatesand information related to the Lury Children's radiothon.
So that would be the primary placethat that would go. Beautiful.
I appreciate it. Thank you somuch to you both for being here today,
and we really appreciate hope to seeyou soon. Great, Thanks Paulina,

Yeah, thank you so much.Every good day. Hey, what's
going on? Showbish here? AndI'm very excited to be talking to somebody
who I consider a friend at thispoint, but also somebody who was doing
something so cool. Courtney White ofCulinary Care. Hi, Courtney, Hi,
Shelly, has it gone? It'sgoing really good? So why did
you first talk for those who don'tknow about Culinary Care and why you started

it and what it's all about.Yeah, definitely. So. Culinary Care
is a nonprofit I started ten yearsago, so we delivered our first meal
in March of twenty thirteen, butthe inspiration and kind of story behind it
starts much earlier. In two thousandand six, I lost my father to
lung cancer, and from the timethat he was diagnosed until he passed away,

which unfortunately was just about seven monthsin and out of the hospital,
we were really fortunate to have friendsand neighbors that stepped in and brought us
meals every single night for months,and it was just such a huge help.
What our motto is a culinary caretoday, it was just one lessing
that we had to think about,and for me, just every memory that

I have with my dad, Ifeel like a centered around a meal in
some way. And so, youknow, I was really fortunate to be
able to grow up where food wasreally something that we could look forward to
and was something that brought joy intoour lives and not stress. And being
able to, you know, keepthat going even while he was diagnosed with
cancer and we just had no timeto think about food was just such a

huge help and just something that reallyjust brought a lot of joy into our
lives. And so that was reallythe impetus behind culinary care was just looking
for ways that I could bring thatsane sense of comfort and joy and one
less worry to other families that weregoing through treatment, and just was not
able to find anywhere that I couldvolunteer, and so we decided to launch

Culinary Care to help fill that void. So, yeah, and I remember
when you first came to me andwe talked about it, I just thought
it was such a cool idea becauseit's something you really don't even think about,
you know, but it's something thatis a big deal for everybody,
for people who are in the hospital. And like you said, I think
a lot of time food isn't evennecessarily about the food, but it's about
the memories around it. And sonow, I mean, like you said,

you've been around for ten years,You've helped so many people. What
for you has kind of been likea highlight of getting to do this.
Yeah, I mean I think justhearing the stories from from the families that
we've met and just being able toknow that we've helped them survive. I
mean that's really just the most meaningfulstories. And I love making people happy

and so and food makes people happy. So I think that's really been something
that I personally am passionate about.But just with our tenth anniversary, one
of the things that I've just beenconstantly going back to in my mind was
the first person that we ever delivereda meal to. Her name was Lee
And at that time, you know, now our families can count on us
during every single treatment and we're withthem for one year or three years,

however long they need us. Butwhen we were first getting started for Lee,
it was just one meal to oneperson delivered her meal, and I
asked her if she had any feedbackabout the program, you know, just
what it meant to her, andshe ended up writing a four page letter
and in the end of it,she just said, you know, you've
not only nourished me physically, butyour goodness, grace, and tenderness have

restored my faith in human kindness.And so just the idea that one plate
of food that's just like a goodquality meal can restore someone's faith in humanity,
I think that's just something that hadjust from that moment forward, it
was like, we're we're doing somethinggood and meaningful here and this just needs
to keep going so absolutely, andso just to give people an idea,

do you want to talk about someof the restaurants and places that you partner
with. Yeah, so, ourprogramming side, we work with all local
restaurants. Everything is prepared by youknow, just incredible local spots. So
we work with Doc Bee's has beenwith us since day one. We have
restaurants like Wildfire and Magianos and Goddessengrocer Laschuk Street Food and Rotee and there's

just so many amazing partners that Ihaven't even named yet that get involved with
the organization. Today actually we deliveredhundreds of meals from both Frontier and Cafe
Barbariba, who are helping feed everysingle patient across all three of the outpatient
centers that we work in. Andso we have a lot of incredible partners
that get involved, and it's justbeen really meaningful to see the difference that

a high quality meal could make.So I wanted to make sure we touched
on that because we're taking really reallygood restaurants. I mean, I love
every single one that you name,so I want to make sure we cover
that. But I have to say, you know, I know you can
held events in the past, andI've been to some of them. You
can put on some of the bestevents, and there's so much Yomi food
there as we can expect. Andso you have another big one coming up,

the Gourman Gala, and I wantyou to talk about it. This
is going to be so special.Yeah, we try to make I mean,
just with our mission, we thinkthat food should be fun and stress
free, and so I think that'sreally a focus for all of our events.
So we try to make everything funand generosity should be fun. Getting
involved in making a difference should befun. So that's a huge focus of
our events. This year, wehave twenty five chefs, So I like

to think of this event as likea twenty five course tasting menu. If
you've had these partners on your listof like, oh, I've been meaning
to try it, you get tocome sample some of what they what they
serve. And also it's a uniqueopportunity to actually meet and say hi to
the chefs. I know, forpeople like me that our foodies, some
of these chefs are just like Iget you know, I'm like starstruck,

like oh my gosh, you know, you prep the best food, and
so that's really exciting part of it. But we have live entertainment, so
there will be a DJ this year. We have casino tables, so you
know, you get to play playat all of your favorite you know,
Vegas style of casino tables. Butthe biggest difference is that every tip you
put down will change someone else's life. And so I think it's just we
add a lot of layers to theevent to make sure that it's fun and

interactive and just really connects to thedifferent pillars of our organization, which is
community building and you know, justamazing food and creating new memories with people,
and so it's going to be it'sa really fun time. Oh,
I, like I said, itis, it's going to be a great
time. I want to make surewe cover November ninth at Union Station,
right, And how can people gettickets if they want to go, Yeah,

they can just go on to ourwebsite Culinarycare dot org slash Gala,
and so they can go there.But you know, any if you just
go to Culinarycare dot org, you'llbe able to find find the Gorman Galla
listed there and yeah, where ticketsare you know, selling fasts, so
always good to get on and getthem. It's the first time too at
Union Station, Is that right thatyou've had it? It is? Yeah.

We moved to just be able tosee it's our tenth anniversary celebration,
and we really just wanted to beable to see everybody's face as we you
know, celebrate this impact and celebratethis milestone. Just being able to have
everyone in like one collective room thisyear is going to be really exciting.
So yeah, I mean, justto set the scene for people, Like

you said, it's literally just foodeverywhere. Everywhere you get, there's stations
of food, and it's what itis. It's a dream. It's so
much fun and you're doing something fora great cause. So I encourage everybody
to get their tickets. I wantto give the website one more time Culinarycare
dot org slash gala Okay awesome Novembernine. So thank you so much Courtney
for joining me and hope pleuy seeyou soon. Thanks so much, see

you soon. Thank you so much, and thank you for listening to the
weekly show here on iHeartRadio on ninetythree nine LIGHTFM one A three five Kids
Up, I'm in Rock ninety fiveto five. If you are someone that
you know should be interviewed to befeatured here on our weekly show, you
can email me at Paulina at iHeartMediadot com and I'm going to try to
get an interview set up for youso you can tell us how you're helping
make a difference here. In ourcity and our suburbs. As always,

you place this show on our podcastpage. You can just search for the
weekly show on our free iheartapp.Thank you so much for listening and for
tuning in, and we will talkto you again and next weekend. Stay
safe, Chicago,
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