Morning Medical Update Friday 9-22-23

Media Resources

Jill Chadwick

News Director

Office: (913) 588-5013

Cell: (913) 223-3974


     Key points from today’s guests:

Michael Dritlein, Coast 2 Coast 4 Cancer Rider

  • Michael is a former Kansas City Chiefs player and is riding in the Coast 2 Coast 4 Cancer Ride – a 3,000 mile race -- in honor of his mother, Claudia, who died this past December from glioblastoma.
  • Even as a former pro athlete, he relies on a coach to help the riders train 4-5 days per week, because it is a very challenging race – 70 miles and climbing almost 5,000 feet on the first day.
  • He wrote a personal message to everybody that donated to him, just because he appreciated them so much. They helped push him along the ride.
  • He heard a story from one a young girl that had brain cancer, and she was actually in remission. Those are the reasons why we're doing this -- you can get better and you can beat this.
  • He encourages others to donate at

Dr. Roy Jensen, vice chancellor and director, The University of Kansas Cancer Center

  • The Cancer Center has received about three quarters of a million dollars of grant funding from the V Foundation and those funds have been utilized in a number of ways.
  • One way is focusing on new immunotherapy cellular therapies, one of the most exciting aspects of cancer research these days.
  • Immunotherapy is revolutionizing the treatment of this disease and whether that's cellular therapy or so called immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy, it is making a tremendous difference – it is the future of cancer care over the next five to 10 years.
  • Research is essential for cancer care. We've made a lot of progress over the last 50 years and every bit of that progress has been due to our research program.

Heather Acker, Coast 2 Coast Cancer Rider

  • Heather was not a cyclist, so she prepared for this with five months of rigorous training.
  • Every time the training gets tough, she said she just remembers what patients go through.
  • We know their journey and so nothing that we're doing, can compare to what patients go through. We’re happy to push through raise as much money as possible for cancer research and patients.
  • Heather is riding for her best friend’s mom, who died of cancer when her friend was just 2 years old, and for her Aunt June, who passed away due to ovarian cancer.

Jon Alhart, executive director, brand marketing and storytelling, V Foundation for Cancer Research

  • The V Foundation is proud to be a part of this coast to coast ride.
  • When you think of Jim Valvano, the “don't give up -- don't ever give up!” spirit is inspiring to so many people, including these riders.
  • When it comes to deciding how funds are distributed, the V Foundation has a scientific advisory committee comprised of top doctors and scientists from across the country. They review the best proposals submitted from 72 National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers and other exceptional institutions.
  • We have the best of the best reviewing the best of the best proposals, so that we ensure it's going to the best research.
  • We can say that 100 percent of money raised goes right to game changing cancer research so that we can one day create a world where no one is going to fear the word cancer again.

Dr. Dana Hawkinson, director of infection prevention & control, The University of Kansas Health System

  • Active COVID patients in the Health System this week are at 19, which is up from 16 last week.
  • For vaccinations after COVID, flu and RSV vaccinations are generally safe to get after the recovery from COVID. But for the new COVID vaccine, the recommendation is about three months after the COVID infection to get the vaccine.
  • A small study out of Israel has looked as people’s perceptions about interactions with each other post-pandemic and how some people don’t look at close interactions as favorably as before.

Monday, September 25 at 8 a.m. CT is the next Morning Medical Update. Linda Tagge used to struggle with diabetes. But meeting with experts turned her health around.

You’ll find out what she learned about when to eat, what to eat, and other tips from patients and physicians.

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