Michael Hayes, PhD
Simply put, it’s personal. I was 27 when my sister was first diagnosed with cancer, and since that time, my father and grandmother were diagnosed and underwent treatment for cancer. Their experience, unfortunately, is all too common. Working in the Penn State Cancer Institute I meet with patients and caregivers everyday who are in the midst of their own experience surrounding cancer. Without exception, for each of them it’s personal. Their courage, tenacity, and determination inspires me to do everything I can to ensure those seeking treatment through the Penn State Cancer Institute receive the comprehensive, personalized medicine they deserve – CARE that is tailored to their unique circumstances and needs. My involvement with the THRIVE for Life Foundation represents an unwavering commitment to deliver on that pledge.
Steve Mancuso, BSN, MBA
I often get questions about retirement, you know, how I spend my time, do I miss work (no), am I bored (no), do I travel much, do I see my adult children, etc. etc. Although I have other interests, hobbies, to-do lists, and things I want to accomplish in the time I have left on this earth, I always respond by first talking about the work I do with the THRIVE for Life Foundation. If everyone in the world was as fortunate as I am - to have an opportunity to be “all in” for one cause, imagine the possibilities!
Jennifer Feeman, MHA
Nineteen years ago, at the age of 32, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 ovarian cancer. This terrifying and life-altering experience profoundly changed my life and the way I view the world. To say that I am grateful for all of the individuals who helped me through this experience doesn’t come close to the warmth and adoration that I now carry for those who entered my life both then and now as a result. Being a board member of the THRIVE for Life Foundation has provided a path for me to push forward that warmth and adoration to others who are now challenged by a similar diagnosis.
In 2022 I met Michael Hayes, THRIVE for Life Foundation’s President, and became aware of THRIVE’s sole mission – to provide philanthropic support for the Penn State Cancer Institute CARE Center. I assisted that year in the Cooking for Cancer event and continued ever since to work with Michael and others on several fundraising initiatives. Today, there is not one person out there who has not known someone who has experienced cancer. Cancer is the diagnosis, but what you choose to do with that diagnosis varies from person to person. THRIVE’s dedication to care for the whole person – helping individuals diagnosed with cancer to navigate the healthcare system and cope mentally – is why I am drawn to be a part of this organization. I am honored to work alongside a wonderful group of people in support of the CARE Center and the growing number of individuals – both patients and caregivers – the CARE Center serves.
Shiyoko Cothren, MHA
I am privileged and honored to be on the THRIVE Board. Having focused my professional life on behavioral health and cancer services, the CARE Center is a place that can intersect these two clinical areas but achieve so much more. Providing support, educating and empowering those with cancer to lead full lives is an incredible and meaningful endeavor and I am so pleased that through THRIVE,we are able to help support the CARE Center.
Matthew Lawrence, JD
I first became aware of the project that would become the Care Center in teaching a class at Penn State Dickinson Law on entrepreneurship in health care. Michael Hayes came to talk about an idea he had for a person-centered care center at the Cancer Institute, and our class focused (as lawyers do) on how his “common THRIVE for Life Foundation Website Content Page of 4of 4 Rev. 11/29/2022 sense” idea was unlikely to work out because of financial and structural barriers in our oddly designed, fragmented health care system. Well, five years later a real- live center is in placing helping real-live patients, and that is thanks to Michael and many others’ tireless efforts—and to donors’ generosity. It is so rewarding and meaningful to see a (large and growing) group of committed people work together to do something hard, big, and important to make others’ lives better. And to provide support for people precisely when and how they need it most. It is a reminder that we can still solve hard problems, together. I am proud to chip in by serving on the board for THRIVE.
Terry M. Wolpaw, MD, MHPE
If there is anything I have learned in my years as a physician, teacher and education leader, it is the importance of seeing the whole person, respecting their uniqueness and supporting them in achieving their health and life goals. So often this means seeking to find and help resolve those barriers that may prevent a person from thriving. I know that doctoring skills are important, and I know they cannot stand alone. The THRIVE for Life Foundation is an inspiring organization that supports whole person care as its north star. I feel honored to be on the THRIVE for Life Foundation Board and proud to support the whole person initiatives so integral to care at the Penn State Health Cancer Center."