Healing Comes in the Form of Giving

Vol. 13, No. 3
Fall 2003

  • Revolutionary New Device Helps Patients Living with Chronic Stomach Disorder

  • Long Island Can Breathe Easier Thanks to Winthrop's Pulmonary Hypertension Center

  • New Catheterless pH Monitoring System elps Diagnos Reflux Disease More Accurately, Less Invasively

  • Urinary Incontinence - You Don't Have to Live with it Anymore

  • Fay J. Lindner Foundation Awards Grant for Renovation, Expansion of Emergency Department

  • Multiple Sclerosis Treatment Center at Winthrop Looks Towards Future of Research, Treatment Options

  • Winthrop's Institute for Neurosciences offers Comprehensive Care for Stroke Patients

  • Don't Wait - Vaccinate! Flu Season is Quickly Approaching

  • Healing Comes in the Form of Giving

  • $10,000 Donation from Jay's World Childhood Cancer Foundation Helps Fund High-Tech Microscope at Cancer Center for Kids

  • TWIGS to Honor its Founders at Golden Goose Gala Roaring 20s Party

  • A Celebration of Life... Patient gives back to those who helped him in his time of need

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  • On any given day, you can find Marika Spizz walking through Winthrop-University Hospital's Cancer Center for Kids toting a big red bucket filled with colorful yarn, crochet needles and nail polish. Inscribed on the bucket are the words "Adam's Stuff." The bucket belonged to her son, Adam, when he was a child, reminding her of happier days - days before he was diagnosed with cancer at the tender age of six. The disease that took her beloved little boy from his family almost two decades ago has inspired Marika to give back to those children and their families who battle it today.

    "It took me a long time to come to terms with losing my son and now it feels good to be able to help others who are in the position I was once in," said Marika. "Helping others has been part of the healing process."

    Marika Spizz (left) with her son, Jack (second from right) and his wife (right) during this year's walk-a-thon.
    Marika, along with her husband, Alex, and her other son, Jack, created the Adam Paul Spizz Foundation in 2000 to further the work they do. Marika has also turned her love for fitness into a lifetime of charitable work.

    For her 50th birthday, she initiated a walk-a-thon at the Long Beach boardwalk and, for the past six years, the annual event has raised money to help children living with cancer. With the assistance of her husband, her son, his wife, Kim and Marika's new grandson, Aidan, as well as about 50 of their closest friends, this year's walk raised about $3,600 for the Cancer Center for Kids.

    "Adam was diagnosed on my 37th birthday," explained Marika. "The only way I was able to celebrate this day again was by organizing this walk-a-thon."

    Most recently, Marika, with the help of a number of her friends, created a special fitness video to help promote the Cancer Center for Kids. The one-hour, low-impact workout video is set to her favorite tunes and its dance routines are simple enough for anyone to do. The workout was designed to be performed both sitting down for the physically challenged as well as marching to the lively beat of the music. It also works well as a mood lifter for patients and their families after a long day of treatment. Money from the video will go to the Cancer Center for Kids.

    Back in the Center, Marika totes the red bucket down the hall to one of the treatment rooms, offering a patient a well-deserved manicure. She thought that perhaps one of the mothers would also like a manicure to help alleviate some of the stress of the day. Later, she'll teach some of the older patients how to crochet.

    "Everyone in the Cancer Center for Kids has been with me through all of my family's struggles. They are like my second family," said Marika. "I know what these families are going through and I hope that I can help make these days a little easier for them."

    For more information on the Cancer Center for Kids at Winthrop, call (516) 663-9409.

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