In this episode Kristin and Bill are joined by Lisa Scherber, (The Play Lady) Director of Patient and Family Programs at Dana-Farber's Jimmy Fund Clinic. We discuss the Jimmy Fund Clinic, Pedal Partner Program and connection to the PMC. What is it like when a family gets a cancer diagnosis and shows up at the Jimmy Fund Clinic.
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Special thank you to Joe Zarbano for production assistance.
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This is the PMC Podcast with Kristin Brandt and Bill Alfano. On today's episode, we welcome Lisa Scherber, Director of Patient and Family Programs at the Jimmy Fund Clinic. Now here's Kristin Brandt and Bill Alfano.
I'm Kristin Brant and you're listening to The PMC Podcast. I'm here today with my co -host and partner in crime, Bill Alfano.
and we are joined today by
Lisa Scherber from the Jimmy Fund Clinic.
Thank you for joining us today.
Lisa Scherber: 0:39
Thanks for having me.
Lisa Scherber: 0:40
Kristen and Bill.
I am so excited. Lisa's here.
Are you? Why? Tell me why
I you know, be prior to the PMC. I used to work with a bunch of radio stations in town, and we would do a big radio tele-thon to raise money for the Jimmy Fund clinic and Dana-Farber, and, every year, the highlight would be Lisa coming on. Um, and yes, Lisa is a wonderful person, but really, because of the stories she would tell, um and I just think everyone listening to be really excited about this
we have set the bar so high. So let's start by
telling people what is the Jimmy Fund Clinic?
Lisa Scherber: 1:21
Lisa Scherber: 1:21
mean, I think the
Lisa Scherber: 1:22
best way to describe the Jimmy Fund Clinic is you know, we are a multi disciplinary team from the doctors, the nurses, the clinic assistants. We take care of kids of every age from infancy to in their twenties and oncology hematology.
And what is your role at the Jimmy Fund clinic?
Lisa Scherber: 1:42
My role is I'm the director of patient and family programs.
Okay, But you also said you you had a
title. called the play lady.
Lisa Scherber: 1:49
Yes, many, many years. I was called the play lady,
Lisa Scherber: 1:53
and yet it still sticks. And I'm totally okay with
Lisa Scherber: 1:56
that. I I was going to say if it's not about right, So there's a lot of things you could be called and I'll take this right. Take the play, lady.
So maybe just
just to give us some idea. Like, what is your history with the Jimmy Fund clinic? Like, how did you How did you become the play lady? And how does that translate to who you are there today?
Lisa Scherber: 2:13
Lisa Scherber: 2:13
I 20 about 29 years ago, I started volunteering. When?
you were 12.
Lisa Scherber: 2:18
Exactly. She knows me so well. This is great. I started volunteering
Lisa Scherber: 2:23
and I volunteered twice a week and on Tuesdays and Thursdays. And really from the moment I walked into the Jimmy Fund clinic, I felt that it was It was just in my heart and I just felt that it was something that was, I guess, kind of calling me and I needed that. So I feel like it. When they offered me the full time position, it was a no brainer, and I took it. And so 28 years later, here I am and have grown a program that really wasn't a program into something that really I I believe and I hope impacts so many patients and families.
You said we were talking beforehand. You said they might call that a child life specialist. Now the
time play lady
Lisa Scherber: 3:04
on my team. Now I have child life specialists, Yes. Oh, only
because you don't want to give up the title play Lady of somebody.
Oh, she got the tattoos, you know, hard. So what?
When you say you've developed a program like what does that mean? What have what's been developed?
Lisa Scherber: 3:24
Yeah. I mean, I think when I
Lisa Scherber: 3:25
first started, it was the role was to sort of sit at a table and when kids came in for their treatments and their siblings. I would pretty much play and we would do art it and we'll play board games and do whatever. Of course, we didn't have iPads back
Lisa Scherber: 3:39
in the old days. So there was a lot of just right.
Lisa Scherber: 3:42
There was a lot of one on one activities that sort of keep them distracted from what they were really doing there. And and so there was no program where, other than there weren't any events that were outside of the Jimmy Fund clinic, there really weren't any support groups that were that were happening. And And I really think if you ask those kids and those parents from 28 years ago, they had the most amazing experience there and and they still come in and we connect and but now it really is. I think it's turned into a really magical place that
yes, so why don't you tell us a
little bit about So you're a family who has gotten this devastating diagnosis and you're coming to the clinic for the first time? What? What is that experience like?
Lisa Scherber: 4:26
Lisa Scherber: 4:27
mean, I think from listening to families throughout the years. When they first walk in the first thing, they see her, other kids and other parents, and immediately they want to turn around because this isn't their world. This is nothing of what they expected for their child, and and then the next thing they say is we see smiles and we hear laughter, and that's not what we were expecting. And I think that is something that I'm really proud of, and I think all of our clinic staff is really proud of that. We really are a family there, and when we see a new patient and their family coming in, it's like we just want to make them feel like this is gonna be their home for a very long time and we're a part of it.
And when we say
we like, who do you consider part of that team like,
Lisa Scherber: 5:11
Yeah, I I think you know, from the moment they pull their car and to the garage at Dana- Farber, it's the parking attendants is the valet's. It's when they walk up and they see the cafeteria staff, they they walk in the clinic and they see your front desk staff and they see the nurses and the doctors and the clinic assistants. And it's really everybody and and our regular guys that take out the trash and deliver the snacks, and it
Lisa Scherber: 5:38
really is. It's I'm so proud
Lisa Scherber: 5:40
of it. I really look around every day and I can't imagine working anywhere else.
What resonates with
me that, like, you know, like it's the nurses and the doctors and the, you know,
Lisa Scherber: 5:49
Did I put them last? I don't know, I know.
But you know what? I think that's
important. I I will say, You know, I'm a parent of of teenagers now, but I've been to other hospitals. Um, and you have all the kids, right? Like if it's this child specific hospital, you have not had all the smiles, right? Even And we weren't. I have one very specific, like time in my head when we went, and I felt like we shouldn't be here. Our thing. It's not a big deal, but it's just sad, like, you felt so sad. And we were just in a waiting room at a hospital for children.
Lisa Scherber: 6:26
Yeah, No, I feel like it really is something that every one of us that work in the Jimmy Fund Clinic, and we don't to try it. It's just it's natural. It just comes
and it's about the whole family to
Lisa Scherber: 6:37
especially the siblings and
Lisa Scherber: 6:40
the brothers and sisters that come in. We see the aunts, the grandparents, and we want them to get to know us, and we want to get to know them because that's the entire family.
So it's yet let's talk about
the siblings a little bit because I do think they get a little lost in the shuffle, right?
Lisa Scherber: 6:55
Typically, they do. I think, you know, no matter how amazing these parents are, they have to be with the child who's on treatment a little bit more. And so sometimes the brothers and sisters get left at the grand parents with the neighbors, and they're not really making all their dance recitals and sports games. And so what we try to do is every time if we're giving Red Sox tickets out, it's for the whole family. If we're doing something, it's for everybody and that's so important and we encourage the brothers and sisters to come in. We have a sibling week during school vacations where it's just activities just for the siblings as well. But I really think it's one of those things where when the patient goes home and they're talking about their day, it's really important that the brothers and sisters say, Oh, I know who that is I met them and that's really part of that. Yeah. Yep.
what kind of training
goes into this like, as you've developed this program, like, how do you get? I don't say people onboard, but, like, how do you, you know, as a team, talk about this together to, like, make that
Lisa Scherber: 7:56
I think it's
Lisa Scherber: 7:57
one of those. It's something that's really organic. I feel like if I try to think of when that
there's no hand book
Lisa Scherber: 8:03
I guess it's like becoming a parent, right? You're sort of like How do I do this? And and I I feel like everyone
Lisa Scherber: 8:13
on my team on the activities team. It's, you know, the deal is you don't walk in that clinic unless you are filled with sunshine. You know, it's sort of and it's it's really something. You just do it. It's not something you think about. It It's just something you love to do
How do we
extend, or how do you extend that experience to when they go home, right? Like so you're in the clinic like, how do we make sure that the kids and the parents feel that same support?
Lisa Scherber: 8:40
Yeah, I think it's
Lisa Scherber: 8:42
setting expectations. You know, when they're there, like, today, are the Friday kids, you know. So when they're leaving, it's like, See you next Friday and it's something as simple as that. It's the way the clinic is set up. So you do become the Friday kid or the Thursday kid, or sometimes a Tuesday and Friday short and so. You typically have the same nurses. You have the same doctor, you have the same playroom volunteers, and you know, so that really is setting that tone of just, you know, so much has been taken from them. So much of the control and so much of things that they can count on has been taken away with this diagnosis. So we try to sort of give a little bit of continuity and structure.
Lisa Scherber: 9:23
Um, where did things
like because I've seen we've had, unfortunately, kids in our town who you know when they get the tickets from the Red Sox and are there going to the Celtics? Where
does tickets come from? Well, we're so
Lisa Scherber: 9:34
fortunate. We have amazing donors that some of them listen to that radio tele-thon and they know how to connect with me. So I feel like it's really through just the the love and support of people. Strangers where they just say, we want to make a difference. And they do and they go right to the kids and they take their family.
like individual ticket holders? They give up their tickets.
Lisa Scherber: 9:55
Lisa Scherber: 9:55
like, usually season ticket holders. Okay, Yeah, which is great on
you Get lots of visits. I know that from the media. Are sports of the Red Sox, you know? Definitely. Yeah, definitely.
That's awesome. Um, so you're also a rider with the PMC
Lisa Scherber: 10:10
Yes, I am me so hard.
It would be hard
to be involved with these things and not, you
Lisa Scherber: 10:17
know. Yeah, I think it's one of those things when you're when you're in the clinic, you do feel
Lisa Scherber: 10:21
kind of helpless, you know, because my job is play and do programming and things like that, but to know like I can actually have a part and sort of helping in another way. It's really unbelievable. So I think
Lisa Scherber: 10:37
this is my 18th here. You really do lose track.
Do you really
You really do. When that email came out, it's time to register. It's like Wow, really held
It was early this year. I will say,
Lisa Scherber: 10:50
But it is Honestly, I look
Lisa Scherber: 10:53
forward to it
Lisa Scherber: 10:54
every year in a very strange way, because I feel like it allows me throughout training to think of these kids and their parents. And it gives me my sort of alone time to really just feel what happens every day in that place because there is joy and there is lots of laughter. But there is also sadness and and there's just grief and and for all of us who work there, we really have to do a little bit of self care. And to make sure we can walk in every day and sort of bring the smiles and riding in the PMC I mean, it
Lisa Scherber: 11:26
Lisa Scherber: 11:26
freaking everything. Can I say that
You can even say more. Uh, were you a rider before the PMC?
Lisa Scherber: 11:36
No, I mean I
Lisa Scherber: 11:37
started so long ago. I mean, I
Lisa Scherber: 11:39
just right, I know. All right?
Lisa Scherber: 11:41
I was Ah, pretty much right when I started. I think the first year I started 28 years ago, I think I rode those first years not understanding. Any of it, Um, I remember crossing that Bourne Bridge and being petrified.
it's so high. And you're like, I am gonna hit that.
Lisa Scherber: 12:01
But you don't. You don't
You don't like. They are my first time across. I guess I was like, Yeah,
Lisa Scherber: 12:06
but I do remember that
Lisa Scherber: 12:07
from my first. You know else, remember, I didn't know anybody, and I was just riding, but it was actually so cathartic. I mean, it was one of those experiences, whereas, like, how can I not spin these little wheels? Yeah, raise money and then finish and feel like, Okay, this is this is gonna do some good. This is gonna change some lives.
I mean, I know that I, um first year I would see signs that would say, you know, she's 18 and she's here today because of you. And I know that hit me hard. How does that hit you?
Lisa Scherber: 12:41
I love it. I just I crave it. And I probably often tackle the If I stopped everyone get back on my bike, I scream. I literally
Lisa Scherber: 12:53
have no voice after two days because I'm constantly yelling and then I
Lisa Scherber: 12:57
don't know how,
Lisa Scherber: 12:58
but families will recognize me, probably because they hear me
Lisa Scherber: 13:00
screaming, screaming. But But it's the coolest thing because I'm like, Yeah, I'm out
Lisa Scherber: 13:05
here. I'm out here for you guys and I'm here for me. I'm out here.
Lisa Scherber: 13:08
It's just it is such a It's an amazing two days.
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Well, I was gonna talk about that the Pedal Partner Program, and you know, if you could give us a little about that. But then where I really wanted to go is it is such a moment for all of our riders when they're coming into Lakeville, I can't even imagine what it is for you and your team to see all those photos of those kids. So I would love to hear,
then they're standing there,
and then the kids themselves are there
Lisa Scherber: 13:53
You know, it's so
Lisa Scherber: 13:54
interesting because in clinic today, one of the girls Hannah was in and she's in for a well check up, which is great. She's finished treatment, but she was one of those amazing things at the Pedal partner tent where it was two years ago and it was pouring. When was it
Lisa Scherber: 14:07
yes, a couple years last year pouring? No, no, The last five years ago. You're right. It was pouring. My Pedal Partner was like soaking what
Lisa Scherber: 14:18
I have to say. It was probably one of my
Lisa Scherber: 14:20
favorite rides because I actually got one of my favorite times with at that pedal partner tent because I was absolutely soaked and riding in. And I see Hannah dressed up in her pink and princess outfit and she's screaming and she knows she's four and I Oh, my gosh,
Lisa Scherber: 14:39
me, You want me? Yes, yes, I get off the bike. I threw the bike and we're like, you know, and it was one of those things where I was like I felt like I had
Lisa Scherber: 14:47
a motor on my bike after that and she couldn't care if it was pouring out. It was sunshine. It didn't matter. I literally did not feel the rain drops after that. And then once I saw her and then I saw one of our moms. That was a bereavement mom. Her daughter, Maddie, had passed away that year, and she was there waiting for me and Dr O'Neill, who is Maddie's doctor, and Dr Compton, who also was on that team. And she was There was Maddie's high school where she went to school. Maddie's school, Um, and
Lisa Scherber: 15:17
that was the other
Lisa Scherber: 15:18
thing. So I go from one. It's it's really the story of our lives at the Jimmy Fund Clinic. You go from one complete joy of just squeezing Hannah and laughing with her and and then, literally two minutes later, embracing Maddie's mom, crying, laughing, doing everything you have. And to me. That's what the pedal partner represents. It's. It just gives these families a sense of just belonging and and realizing that when we're coming in like we're riding for their child, yeah, and and there's no better gift that you can give anybody to sort of know that you're not in this alone, whether it's through treatment or through grieving. We're all in this together and, um, and every year I just cannot wait to get to that pedal partner tent. like everybody else, but I feel like I have a selfish
Lisa Scherber: 16:08
I think you've earned it.
Yeah, but no. But I was gonna ask, you know, kind
of on the bigger picture of the pedal partner. Um, so my team has is on their second pedal partner that ours has in recovery our first one, so great. Um, but
Lisa Scherber: 16:22
how do the pedal? How does the
pedal partner program help your patients throughout the year when we don't see them? Necessarily.
Lisa Scherber: 16:28
Yeah. I mean, I think it's it's really
Lisa Scherber: 16:30
amazing because when they take the pedal partner photos and we choose pedal partners, it's pretty much whoever's on active treatment. Who's there that that week or two, Which is which is everybody? Um, it's one of those things where, when we explain it to them, it's like, Listen, would you like to have a whole team ride for you, right? To celebrate you and to help you fight this, and they're like, Yeah,
Lisa Scherber: 16:53
all right. So it just gives them, um I don't
Lisa Scherber: 16:57
know. It gives them strength, gives them hope, which is amazing. Um, and I think it just gives them a sense that No one wants to be alone in this, you know, And some some kids have amazing support systems outside, and some really don't and so sort of know that every one of them is going to be supported is just a really beautiful thing for us because I'm kind of a mama bear. So I want to make sure all of our kids in that clinic feel loved and feel supported and never feel alone.
And how much
do you think? I mean, I know as a teammate, you know, having a pedal partner is just so like inspirational and motivation. But do you see that in the riders when you're talking to them like what the pedal partner means to the riders?
Lisa Scherber: 17:40
Oh, without a doubt, I mean, I always feel bad for my team because we don't take a pedal partner because I'm
Lisa Scherber: 17:44
like, I'm like, I don't
you technically have them all.
Lisa Scherber: 17:49
So But they love their fav. My
Lisa Scherber: 17:53
team, their favorite part is the pedal partner tent because they sort of literally, watch me delay them for about 15 minutes
Lisa Scherber: 18:00
and they and they love
Lisa Scherber: 18:02
it. And I think watching the other teams I love seeing that I love seeing them, especially. We're going up the hill and you see a team touch a picture of a pedal partner going up there, and I'm like, That's nice.
It's an incredible part of the weekend. Like the most hard core you know, we always say, Right, it's ride, It's not a race. We have people out there that are forgetting that rule until you get the couple miles into Lakeville and you see everyone slow down and look at the signs and it's just it's so motivating and it's it's also very emotional and that it's just very special place.
Lisa Scherber: 18:39
It just reminds you why you're riding, you know, and it's literally like brakes on. Let's go like slow it down, take a breath and realize that you're here for one reason. You're here to make a difference in the lives of these kids and the adults that are being treated, so I just think it's it's just a beautiful That's my obviously everyone's favorite part
and you hit on the head. Everyone strongest part of their day. One, if they're riding two days, is coming out of Lakeville
Lisa Scherber: 19:07
Yeah, I know it and I will confess my first year. You know, it's to your point in your first year, right? You don't know what to expect. Maybe about yourself. And ah, I hit the pedal partner like they start leading in with the pictures, and it can be half a mile. You know, they're really out there, and Ah, but I saw the name of one of the teams from my town, so there's a pedal partner. But the team was for a woman who had cancer. So it was like a double whammy. And I don't think I I was not ready. I
was not ready
for a lot of day, year one of my PMC, but like I certain that was not something I really understood,
Lisa Scherber: 19:46
right? The emotional part
Yeah. Yeah, until you were in it.
Lisa Scherber: 19:49
I think everyone always talks about. I got to get trained. I gotta raise money. I got No, no. You gotta get your motions ready.
It's a whole separate training course.
Lisa Scherber: 19:58
Once you have
Lisa Scherber: 19:59
that, all the other goes away.
true. What do you think is
coming up for the Jimmy Fund Clinic clinic? Where do you see the support of the patients and the and the family going, you know, how do you see it developing?
Lisa Scherber: 20:12
Um, so from the PMC, the financial part of
it, that's all of it.
You know where, like you were, where you are now and kind of Where is this your program going?
Lisa Scherber: 20:21
Yeah. I mean, I think you know, the program is is growing every day. I mean, I think it's growing just because we know what we're doing now. And I really feel like it's It's just it's such a positive, positive experience being in the Jimmy Fund clinic and as a staff member knowing that we're able to do the things like we're gonna be taking 50 teenagers to spring training, right? You know, and that story always comes from from one of our adolescent patients 19 years ago who let me know that I was doing it all wrong.
Lisa Scherber: 20:52
Oh, yeah. Okay. Always great way.
There's a story here. OK, so you have a patient? Yes. How many years ago?
Lisa Scherber: 21:00
19 years ago. Todd Schwartz. Okay. Yeah. How did Todd make it right. How did I do?
Of course. Todd makes it in ,Todd and he did what?
Lisa Scherber: 21:09
So I was all by myself. I had no team and I was just like
I got some crayons, stickers.
Lisa Scherber: 21:16
So you know, the teens and
Lisa Scherber: 21:18
our clinic adolescence is a tough time for anybody. A teenager with cancer is almost impossible. So I thought I would try these little day things with the kids with the teens and take a couple nurses with me. We go the movies, and second, I am doing some good stuff here. And then
Lisa Scherber: 21:33
one day, right?
Lisa Scherber: 21:35
Sounds good. One day I'm sitting in
Lisa Scherber: 21:37
the teen area with Todd, who at that point had relapsed his first time. And he was a freshman at UMass Amherst at this point and had a very aggressive cancer. And so he sat me down. He said, You know, Lisa, you're doing it all wrong.
it to a teenager.
I like. I pop your balloon.
Lisa Scherber: 21:55
Yeah, And he was a huge
Lisa Scherber: 21:57
Red Sox fan and he said, You have to take us away. You have to take us where we're away from. Our families were away from everything that represents cancer, and we have time to talk to each other. And I thought, Oh, no, Todd, we can't do that? Oh, no, Lisa, you can. And I knew talking with Todd like
Lisa Scherber: 22:14
he was not gonna
Lisa Scherber: 22:15
ever see this be fulfilled because he knew it. His his treatment, was um and I just looked at him and I was like, Okay, I'm gonna look into this. He's like, Oh, yeah, you're gonna do it. And so a couple months after the conversation, he passed away and I remember talking to the docs and the nurses, and I said, Can we do this? And they said, Yeah, we can, Let's try. And so
Lisa Scherber: 22:40
I think you know all of this. Just the
Lisa Scherber: 22:42
ability that we said, Yes, let's try really does. Actually everything kind of comes back to the Pan-Mass Challenge in a way, because it really is that hope and that drive that everyone has, that we can do this.
Wait, Is it commit? You'll figure it out.
Lisa Scherber: 22:57
Lisa Scherber: 22:58
role of my life. Say yes and it'll all come into place. And on the first that was very it was very good.
Lisa Scherber: 23:08
And the first year we had Todd's doctor, Dr Wilensky, who, uh, the funny thing with him was you could give him a basketball and he would think it was a baseball. So the job with Todd and his doctor with Lauren, You know, Todd taught him about baseball, and Lauren taught him about his cancer. And so that was the deal they had.
Oh, my gosh.
Lisa Scherber: 23:26
And Lauren came with me as the first doctor chaperone. Because the first year we took kids our in the middle of treatment, but really medically stable, and it went amazingly well,
to make sure we're being, you know, totally clear you took them to Florida.
Lisa Scherber: 23:43
For spring training?
Lisa Scherber: 23:44
Lisa Scherber: 23:46
Yes, because Todd told me I could.
It sounds like he told you, you had to?
Lisa Scherber: 23:50
Todd was like,
just so you know, you're going to
Lisa Scherber: 23:55
Lisa Scherber: 23:56
year in March will be the 18th annual. Um, we are now able, we take kids. End of life. We take kids with all types of medical issues. Um, as they deal with their treatment because the doctors,
and you leave their Children at home there, you leave
their parents at home.
Lisa Scherber: 24:15
So it's 40 to 50 teenagers that come with us all. An act of treatment. We have eight docs. We have 12 nurses and then my team and ah, and it
Lisa Scherber: 24:24
Lisa Scherber: 24:25
And I think it's one of those events that I look back on. And I was like, God, yes, this is what you do when you commit right,
Lisa Scherber: 24:34
You figure it out,
you figure it out.
I love and I love that. You listen to the kids
on, and I think you really
nailed it. Thio on teenagers, right? Like in some ways, I don't want to say little kids or easy. So I'm a Girl Scout troop leader just
to pull that piece of information there you go on like credentials when they were
daisies, when they were elementary school.
It comes easy,
right? Like the meetings were easy, The planning of the events were young, and
then they become
teenagers, and it's like just everything. And I see this in banking, right? We're really good at doing
Oh, savings makes sense
when you're eight or nine. But then there are no programs to teach savings to teenagers, right? Because
it's just hard. It's hard, it's
hard. But you listened away
him and you did something with that
Lisa Scherber: 25:18
He started a program.
Lisa Scherber: 25:22
Now he we owe him everything, and now we do the girls weekend.
Lisa Scherber: 25:25
Everything. Girls weekend,
What's the girls weekend like and the girls weekend.
Lisa Scherber: 25:31
We could all day. The girls
Lisa Scherber: 25:33
weekend is a weekend in Boston. Okay, for 25 to 30 teenage girls, all in active treatment again. They don't, No one knows each other when they go on these trips, which is amazing. Um, we start the day shopping at H & M we have lunch. We went to go see Lion King. We stay at the W hotel the next day we go to Pini Swissa Salon on Newbury Street. He closes the salon for us because we committed and it happened, right? Yeah. So, um well, he is the hairdresser to Tom Brady and Giselle. Giselle has come in, and she has strut her some amazing
I'm dropping Girl Scouts and she's
dropping Giselle. Just be clear here.
Lisa Scherber: 26:12
But, you know, it's one of those things where
Lisa Scherber: 26:14
these girls they show up for girls weekend, they're nervous. They're scared. They don't feel pretty at all by the time they leave Sunday and we take their portraits they feel beautiful. How we saw them before the weekend we didn't make them beautiful. we just allow them to see themselves as beautiful And so their portrait taken. Ah, we have. I just picked all the portrait's up at the frame store. They'll be on easels. We turn it into a wine and beer. It's really special. A special night, and it's the first time the girl see their portrait's and their families come in. All the staff come as well, about 100 people, and it's really, I mean, just sort of sum up the portrait reveal it was a couple years ago. One of the girls stood in front of her photo, her portrait, and I
Lisa Scherber: 26:57
am beautiful. I really, uh I you're just like, Yes, that's right. That's
Lisa Scherber: 27:06
it. That's why we do it. That's why we do. All of this is to make these kids feel strong and feel beautiful.
Well, and you're treating so much more than their body. Yes, right, we have to. Really, I was. I don't know what's what stupid medical drama was watching the other day, but they were
about right, like we treat their body. But that's only halfway.
Lisa Scherber: 27:28
Yes, well, you know, and it's interesting because I was speaking to a donor. I'll never forget this sort of conversation. He was a very lovely man, but he was asking kind of where we needed help with funding. And so I started explaining one of the teen trips, and so he goes, Oh, yeah, that's really good. But that's kind of the fluff.
Lisa Scherber: 27:45
and he said it in a negative way. Now I am one
Lisa Scherber: 27:48
of those people where I was breathe.
Lisa Scherber: 27:53
I said, Okay, so I hung up the phone. I was really angry. I was just really
Lisa Scherber: 27:56
angry that he had the nerve to say that. And
Lisa Scherber: 27:59
then I thought, and I was like, You know what? Okay,
Lisa Scherber: 28:02
let's spin this. The fluff is so damn good on a peanut butter sandwich,
Lisa Scherber: 28:08
right? So the peanut butter is the medicine.
Is this your KMC reference again,
Lisa Scherber: 28:14
where the peanut butter is?
Lisa Scherber: 28:16
The medicine is the research is the doctors,
Lisa Scherber: 28:19
nurses. The fluff is everything
Lisa Scherber: 28:22
that touches their heart and everything that makes them feel beautiful. Everything that makes him feel strong
Lisa Scherber: 28:29
it sticks to you
fight that we can spend this four ways to Sunday
Lisa Scherber: 28:34
it's sweet. It's it's just everything because you can have a
Lisa Scherber: 28:37
peanut butter sandwich alone. Sure,
Lisa Scherber: 28:40
Lisa Scherber: 28:41
really wants it alone? who doesn't want a little thing of fluff on top of it, so
Lisa Scherber: 28:45
I do fit. So I have a can
Lisa Scherber: 28:47
of fluff in my office on, and I keep it there
really good to remember, though, because you know what
the fluff like that is? Yeah. I mean, you know, referencing one of the interviews we did. She was talking about new technology that allowed her to keep her hair on. You know, on one hand, you go like she said, she's like, it sounds vain, but it's the only thing I can control. That's right. And so, for And what I
you're saying two is because
I've always seen
the tickets, right? Like I've seen I went to the Celtics into the red. Um, I had no, I didn't know that there was this other stuff, right, Because that's not with those tickets. Don't always resonate with someone, right? So
we're not always a sports for seven or they don't
Lisa Scherber: 29:29
feel well enough to go.
Yeah, I've seen that a lot, right? Yeah. But also just the fact that, like that, what feeds that soul? That fluff is gonna look different. And you're responding to that?
Lisa Scherber: 29:41
I know there is the the holiday party right. You give a little what other programs don't we know about?
Lisa Scherber: 29:47
Well, the Winter Festival. That's why I ride. So all our funds go to the Winter Festival,
shout out. Does your team have a name?
Lisa Scherber: 29:53
Team ROAR, reindeer on a ride,
Reindeer on a ride? Heart that
Are you switching teams. Is that no, no, no breaking announcement.
Melissa would like kill me. dead, I am all about the names
Lisa Scherber: 30:13
It is it's a really cool
Lisa Scherber: 30:14
thing. And I think it's one of those things where you know I find for our families and when they're in the midst of treatment, you know the question around the holidays. How do we find joy when our child is feeling like this?
Lisa Scherber: 30:27
How do we
Lisa Scherber: 30:28
find any magic during the holidays when we're here getting treatment for cancer, for our child? And so the Winter Festival is that moment Is that time when Santa Claus comes? It's the real Santa, obviously, and the best part of Don't mess around. No is the elves are first year fellows, so those there are doctors. So when the kids get up to Santa, they're like
Lisa Scherber: 30:52
Santa Dr Joe. Wait
he works for you?
Lisa Scherber: 30:58
They totally buy in
Lisa Scherber: 31:02
on oh my, So, the doctor that sat there day one with those parents and gave them the most devastating news of their lives
Lisa Scherber: 31:11
is now in green tights on a Sunday, giving their child magic time
Lisa Scherber: 31:17
with Santa, right? And so for the parents, it really shows them that were in it for the long haul. We're not a Monday through Friday kind of crew, you know, And for the
Lisa Scherber: 31:26
kids, they're just
So you have the holiday party?
Lisa Scherber: 31:30
Yes, we have the holiday party. Then we do two weeks inside the clinic with Santa and all that kind of stuff. And his, um we do the summer festival, which is a little party for 3000 people.
Lisa Scherber: 31:42
Lisa Scherber: 31:42
that was Yeah,
just a little party with 3000 of my closest friend.
Lisa Scherber: 31:46
Lisa Scherber: 31:47
my first year at the Jimmy Fund clinic where I was listening to parents, and they said we really would like to see a little bit of hope, because everyone we see here is just diagnosed or relapsing. And so I thought, as you know, a five year old just starting at the Jimmy Fund clinic. Um Well, we should have a party, you know, having any idea what I was doing. So the first year was that
that's me with podcasting by the way
Lisa Scherber: 32:12
it's Me. Is this sort of like I don't know. So,
Lisa Scherber: 32:17
um, first year I had 800 people come to my little party and honestly was made. And
where where is this?
So it was a noble, and greenough
Lisa Scherber: 32:25
school for 26 years. Look. And so it started 800 then it moved up. And then when we left there it was 2500. That would come, and we finally outgrew that. And what's so special about this party? It's anyone who's ever been treated at the Jimmy Fund clinic as long as you keep your yearly appointment. So we celebrate Survivorship. Well, yeah, And when you're in line at the festival, you were in front of someone who was diagnosed with leukemia 10 years ago. Yeah, and you were just diagnosed a month ago. And so those are the connections we build? What's the hope we give? And so now, last year I had to find a place. So
Lisa Scherber: 33:04
where can you hold 3000 people, so I
Lisa Scherber: 33:05
called the Franklin Park Zoo and I said, How can I make this private? They said, Well, you can buy us for the day I said Okay, so I bought the zoo for the
Lisa Scherber: 33:13
Yeah, is that a book its a book
Did you get to feed the animals?
Lisa Scherber: 33:19
Of course, I bought a zoo, right? So 3000 people came
and again, that's
all because of donors.
And right when you say I bought a zoo, it's because because that you raised with reindeers wildly running reindeer and everything,
Lisa Scherber: 33:37
everything. Everyone who believes in the power that we have to bring joy and hope to these kids, they believe in us. So they give these funds and we use them to directly impact our kids and their families.
think it's amazing
I like her
I told you,
Did I not tell you, I find it amazing that every program you mentioned you started with I was talking to and then followed up with I listened. It's
Lisa Scherber: 34:02
None of these
Lisa Scherber: 34:03
things are mine. Like I feel like I started them. Yep, because I listened, you know, and I think I still, like, feel like every time I can learn something from families because
Lisa Scherber: 34:14
they're the ones going through
Lisa Scherber: 34:15
it. We don't We don't know that you can't learn this in school, you know? So I feel like we just listen and and I make sure my team and everyone else at the clinic, we just listen
that even a big part of it? At a time when everything is out of control, that someone's listening Someone's right that you're not feeling blown off? You're not. And it is about your listening about not just the the peanut butter, but you're listening about the fluff
Lisa Scherber: 34:40
Lisa Scherber: 34:41
Lisa Scherber: 34:42
And I think you know, the other day and I think it was one of one of the moms came out and she said, Oh, my gosh, I can't believe I was able to ask so many questions. She had so many questions about the next protocol. They were gonna be on and and she felt so, like, just relieved that she was actually in the doctor's office for so long. And it was okay with the doctor to listen, and to let them get all their questions out. And that's all we have to do.
Lisa Scherber: 35:08
you know, that's super important.
It's awesome. I think we could talk to you forever
I agree and ever
and ever and ever. But I think also we're gonna have to come to some of these events and bring the rig
and talk to some people because
the summer sounds great and all so great. But anyway, I want to thank you so much for coming. If
wants to learn more about the Jimmy Fund clinic, where should they go? That's
a good question, right?
So I know I stumped her with that one.
Lisa Scherber: 35:36
I know everyone thinks I'm like Suzanne Fountain or something, but, like, I'm in the clinic. So I think if they
Lisa Scherber: 35:41
wanna learn about sort of the activities and programs, that can always probably connect with me email myself and also am on Twitter as well. So a lot of
okay, we'll put links in the show notes to your Twitter and the Jimmy Fund Clinic,
Lisa Scherber: 35:54
and they can find it all the programs that
and on top of you can ride the PMC volunteer. The PMC, the clinic you guys need want volunteers there. Is there an open? How does that
Lisa Scherber: 36:06
mean? I think the
Lisa Scherber: 36:07
best way for volunteers. That
Lisa Scherber: 36:11
The thing is with volunteers in the clinic. No one leaves, which is so cool, and you
so it is hard .
That's what I knew
Lisa Scherber: 36:18
Christmas Party Summer
Lisa Scherber: 36:19
festival. Because they're so large. I'm always up for, like, you know, if there's a group of, like, five or 10 that, you know, I really would love to have my company do this. So we
have that nice is actually not
everyone can commit to like, Tuesday Thursday like you did, right. But they don't say I can volunteer one day to help it The zoo and Oh, yeah, trash and help with lines and stuff like that. So, yeah,
And if you're interested in team roar and want to support that, you can always look up at Lisa or Team ROAR on the PMC website (pmc.org)miles.
Well, thank you again for coming
on the show for show notes and links. Um, you can go to PMC dot Org, if you like our shows,
help spread the word until three friends or leave a review for us. And thank you again for listening