Empowering Each Other to Impact Pediatric Cancer

Written by Tim Flanagan, President of MassMutual Carolinas, ISF Sustaining Sponsor

At MassMutual Carolinas, we pride ourselves on being a relationship-driven organization and to inspire others to rely on one another, to give back, and to be interconnected with our families, community and workplace. 

Erin Santos, MassMutual Carolinas “Mentoring Matters” panel

One of our focus areas is supporting the education, advancement and empowerment of women. Through our “Empowering Women” series, we bring together passionate women with a variety of experience and backgrounds to network, collaborate and advance others through relevant topics to grow personally and professionally.

The Isabella Santos Foundation is at the heart of this initiative and embodies what “Empowering Women” is all about. ISF is built on a foundation of strong women – from its staff and volunteers to its supporters – who empower one another and our community to make a tremendous impact on pediatric cancer research and patients. So, we were excited for Erin Santos to serve as a thought leader on our “Mentoring Matters” panel and for ISF to be among the non-profit organizations featured at our “Feeling Philanthropic” event to showcase volunteer opportunities throughout our community.

MassMutual Carolinas, ISF 5K/10K & Fun Run

Just as we are committed to empowering others, ISF has empowered my firm and me. As a Sustaining Sponsor of ISF, all of us at MassMutual Carolinas are honored to be part of this amazing team, to see where the funds are going in our community, and to be continually inspired by the faces of who ISF supports. We are looking forward to getting a big dose of inspiration at the 5K/10K and Fun Run for Kids Cancer; one of our favorite community events. We’ll have a run team and a booth, so stop by and say hi. Look forward to seeing everyone on September 28 and to empowering each other to impact local pediatric cancer patients.

In the meantime, I encourage you to join our “Empowering Women” Facebook Group to get networking event updates and a platform for idea sharing and inspiration. Thanks in advance for being part of this movement to inspire and empower others.

Visit the MassMutual Carolinas website

‘Tis the Season with Diamonds Direct

‘Tis the 2018 Holiday Season with Diamonds Direct. Diamonds Direct is offering you a Holiday Gift Guide, with the best gifts with the brightest sparkle.  No need to spend endless hours shopping or trying to find that perfect gift for your significant other.  Diamonds Direct has it all figured out for you.

Fashion Jewelry.  Top Trending Gifts.  Classic Diamond Jewelry.  Color Stone & Pearl.  Silver & Gold.  A Holiday Engagement.  Diamonds Direct has the perfect his and her gifts.

Diamonds Direct Holiday Gift Guide

If that wasn’t easy enough . . . Diamonds Direct is even making it easier for you this holiday season.  Diamonds Direct invites you to their Sparkling Winter Wishes, a designer holiday trunk show, on November 16, 17 & 18 at their Charlotte location in SouthPark.  At the Sparkling Winter Wishes trunk show, you can enjoy a 20% Special Savings (some exclusions apply).  Not only can Diamonds Direct offer you gift ideas for your significant other this holiday season, but you can also enjoy a 20% savings at their designer holiday trunk show.  

Diamonds Direct Designer Holiday Trunk Show Details, Showroom Hours and Happy Hour Info

It really is all about the experience at Diamonds Direct.  From the moment you step into their showroom, you feel comfortable. Diamonds Direct educates you and empowers you to make the best decisions.  They want you to understand the quality of their diamonds so you are confident in your purchase for your loved ones.  Trust us, you are in good hands this holiday season with Diamonds Direct.

Beer = Community Cheer!

Community is our future.  When our community comes together, that’s when a difference is truly made. Community is everything.  People.  Businesses.  Families.  Organizations.  We all become one.  Together.  NoDa Brewing Company,2018 ISF Sustaining Sponsor, sets the example.

NoDa Brewing Company always strives to bring the highest quality beer to our community.  But even more than that, they strive to make a difference in our community.

  • You Drink, We Donate.  NoDa Brewing Company supports over 100+ charities throughout the year, and one way they do this is by donating $1 per pint every Monday.
  • Fundraising for Free.  NoDa allows nonprofits to host fundraising events for free in their tap room. Drink a beer and learn about how you can give back! 
  • Beer Bonus.  NoDa also opens their hearts by featuring special beers that continuously give back to specific charities.  Pssst . . . . have you tried the NoDa Margarita Gose that benefits ISF?  

“Todd and I have four kids and cannot even begin to imagine what it would be like to have one of them, or our granddaughter, get diagnosed with cancer.  We’re happy to do anything we can to support families that are battling this terrible disease and hopefully finding a cure one day.” – Suzie Ford, Founder and President NoDa Brewing Company

So we say CHEERS to NoDa Brewing Company!  Beer = Community Cheer!

On the Rebound: Cancer Can’t Keep Alex Sidelined

By Levine Children’s, 2018 ISF Sustaining Sponsor

Alex Brogran, Levine Children’s Bone Cancer Patient

Basketball was everything to 11-year-old Alex Bogran – until a sudden leg injury left him sidelined last year. When Alex’s doctors couldn’t find a break or fracture to explain his worsening pain, they called for an MRI.

The results of the MRI were grim: Alex didn’t have an injury – he had osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer. “It was scary, but I knew everything was going to be okay,” Alex recalls of the diagnosis. “Everything works out in the end.”

For Alex, treatment would be far from easy. It required months of chemotherapy, plus a major surgery to remove the tumor and replace his knee. But his positive attitude never waned, making one thing clear: Treating cancer is tough, but Alex Bogran is tougher.

The full-court press of cancer treatment

Alex’s treatment required top specialists in oncology and orthopedics, and Levine Children’s Hospital was just the place for him to get all the cancer care he needed. “We’ve got some of the best in the country here, so it’s pretty incredible,” says Javier Oesterheld, MD, a pediatric hematologist and oncologist at Levine Children’s.

The first stage of Alex’s treatment was chemotherapy, which is hard for anyone, but it’s especially difficult for kids and their families. 

Knowing that, Alex’s care team put an idea into action: They devised a backpack that lets patients like Alex complete almost all of their chemo treatments at home. “I think that really changed things for him, to be honest. You saw a new Alex,” says Dr. Oesterheld. “You saw a much brighter, happier kid. That’s really the reason why we offer it.”

For the things that still required him to go to the hospital – like his surgery – Alex’s care team did everything they could to make his time at LCH as comfortable as possible. “It was hard, but they really helped me through it. I look at the positive thanks to them,” Alex says. 

A slam dunk for a more normal life

Since his knee replacement surgery, Alex has hit a lot of milestones. But there’s one milestone that surpasses them all: In February of 2018, Alex celebrated his last round of chemotherapy. 

These days, Alex is in physical therapy, where he’s learning to walk again. And one day, he’ll re-learn to jump, so he can get back on the court doing what he loves most.

Alex will continue to see his Levine Children’s care team frequently, to make sure the cancer isn’t coming back, but he’s well on the rebound. And through it all, Alex’s positive attitude has persevered, as has his never-failing belief that everything always works out in the end. 

Levine Children’s Hospital is part of Levine Children’s, a network of care for kids that includes hospital programs, as well as neighborhood pediatric offices and urgent cares. Year after year, LCH is named one of the nation’s top children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report for their life-changing care in more than 30 specialties.

Inspiring Others to Live Mutual

By Tim Flanagan, President of MassMutual Carolinas, 2018 ISF Sustaining Sponsor

Tim Flanagan and Caitlin Flanagan at the ISF 5K/10K for Kids Cancer

MassMutual Carolinas is proud to be a Sustaining Sponsor of the Isabella Santos Foundation. As a General Agency of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), we are backed by a mutually owned company that has helped people keep their promises, protect their families, and support their communities since 1851. MassMutual calls it Living Mutual, and it’s in their DNA. Ours too: along with MassMutual, we have been committed to serving our clients and giving back to our community since our doors first opened in 1890.

We pride ourselves on living out our core values – balance, growth, authenticity, conviction and stewardship – and ensuring that our clients have a secure financial future and protect the ones they love. Through this and living mutual, we are committed to inspiring others to rely on one another, give back, be interdependent to achieve happiness, make meaningful contributions and to be interconnected with our families, community and workplace.

The concept of living mutual is the core of our involvement with ISF. I have felt personally connected with the organization from day one when I ran – along with Caitlin Flanagan, my daughter and our firm’s strategic relationship manager – my first ISF 5K/10K for Kids Cancer. We hit the ground running in our support of this incredible organization and never looked back. Since then, many of our team members have gotten involved, followed by our firm becoming a Sustaining Sponsor in 2017.

The Isabella Santos Foundation is an upstanding and authentic organization that we value and believe in for many reasons. We appreciate being part of this amazing team, seeing where the funds are going in our community, and being inspired by the faces of who ISF supports. Through our partnership with ISF, we are relying on one another to make a meaningful contribution and impact on pediatric cancer research and patients. That’s a powerful way to live mutual.

Visit the MassMutual Carolinas website

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Timothy C. Flanagan, Jr., CLU, ChFC, CFP®, ChSNC™, CFBS, President of MassMutual Carolinas, is a registered representative of and offers securities, investment advisory and financial planning services through MML Investors Services, LLC Member SIPC (www.SIPC.org). Supervisory Office: 4350 Congress Street Suite 300, Charlotte, NC 28209 (704) 557-9600. Parent Financial is not a subsidiary or affiliate of MML Investors Services, LLC. CRN202008-235692