RAI Attends the LIVESTRONG™ Young Adult Alliance Annual Conference…

The LIVESTRONG™ Young Adult Alliance (LSYAA) meets annually, creating an opportunity for information and resource sharing, and to develop collaborative relationships within the young adult cancer community. On November 13th and 14th, the LSYAA met to ensure that LIVESTRONG™ is offering the appropriate resources necessary for our grassroots organizations to grow with collective strength.

Day 1
Ryan O’Donoghue (Founder/President) attended the New Media and Clinical Trials & Follow-Up Care breakout sessions while Jackie McNamara (Chair, Fundraising & Sponsorships) attended the New Media and Resource Sharing and breakouts. Each session featured experts who shared their experience and provided direction on how to collaborate and use new tools tackle the issues limiting progress against cancer in young adults.

Day 2
Ryan met with the Awareness Task Force. Ryan and other nonprofit leaders worked to continue implementing the recommendations of the Progress Review Group report related to awareness, advocacy and communications both within the alliance and to patients and their families. Click here for more information about the AYOA Progress Review Group.

Jackie attended and joined the Membership Task Force. Jackie and other members evaluated current member support and worked to ensure the stability of the LSYAA. The Membership Task Force will continue to evaluate new member applications, nominate steering committee members, and make recommendations for changes to membership guidelines. This group is also working to improve communication and resource sharing, develop Newsletters and recognize members’ events and community impact.

Click here to see RAI's photos from the annual meeting.

Clevelandfest in Chicago

Clevelanders Take on Chicago!

The second annual Clevelandfest was held on the streets of Wrigleyville Saturday, April 25th in honor of cancer warrior Kevin Healey, with all proceeds benefiting Rise Above It (RAI). Over 50 Cleveland natives, currently living in Chicago, joined full force for a bar crawl in the spirit of Kevin and in support of RAI’s fight against adolescent and young adult cancer. The Clevelandfest crew visited six bars throughout the day and great times were had by all! The event was an excellent opportunity for fellow Clevelanders to gather for a great cause and also helped solidify RAI's footprint in Chicago.

For further information about Kevin Healey and his story, please visit http://www.kevinhealey.com/.

Special thanks to...

  • Clevelandfest Organizers - Bobby Krueger, Lauren Rini, and Tewey McNamee
  • Kevin and the Healey family, for their courage and great inspiration

Host Bars:

  • Blarney Stone
  • Central
  • Merkle's
  • Sluggers
  • Moe's Cantina
  • John Barleycorn

Click here for photos of Clevelandfest!

Village Green Splash Day in Chicago

On April 18th, Rise Above It (RAI) was the Chicago area beneficiary of Village Green Companies 18th Annual Splash Day. Each year Village Green apartment communities across the Midwest collect pledges from residents and local businesses, daring company employees to take a plunge into the frigid pool waters at their properties.

This year the Chicago event took place on the 42nd floor of Eugenie Terrace and featured not only the official "Splash", but also food donated by local restaurants, a silent auction, open bar, a live reggae band and panoramic views of the city's world renowned skyline.

RAI is humbled by the generosity of Village Green Companies and its residents. It is the heartfelt generosity of companies like Village Green that make our efforts possible, and help us make a meaningful impact in the lives of young adults battling cancer.

In total, Village Green’s Chicago Splash Day event raised over $14,000 for RAI and the fight against adolescent and young adult cancer.

RAI Superbowl Party Benefit Logo

Click here to view photos from the event!

Ski / Snowboard trip to Vail

Vail Resorts, Colorado

On April 11, RAI hosted young adult cancer patients and survivors to a day at Vail Resorts. Philanthropist and accomplished professional athlete, Jeremy Bloom, joined the group to share his experience as an Olympian, world champion skier, and member of this year's U.S. Freestyle Ski Team.

Thanks to RAI supporters, volunteers, event sponsors and local partners, the day was one those involved will always remember!

Production by Modern Brand Images (modernbrandimages@gmail.com)

  • Clike here to view more photos from the event!
  • Click here to read RAI volunteer Ashley Masin’s published article
  • Click here for Vail Daily article


Gold Sponsor

Lifeline Logo


Silver Sponsors

Digicomm Logo Arrow Logo


Bronze Sponsors

Jess Bulkowski
Terrance Clark
Erik Vaughan
Michael Wyse
Carolyn “CC” O'Donoghue
Susan Beatty
Jonah Martin
John & Nancy Flowers


Additional Program Sponsors

Tamme Straden Julie Andolek Kevin O'Donoghue David Effler
William Berryman Joseph Nilsestuen Ryan Jones Aaron Gomoll
Tracey Countryman Erin Wallace Krista Maher Lois Shaver
New York Walk & Train James Gomoll Aaron Gomoll Amy Morash
Lindsay Bird Nancy Rodgers Brad Ludden Founder, First Descents
Sarah Clark John Fitch Jr Elizabeth Boscoe Suzanne Thigpen
Richard Oppelt Kevin Prevost Nancy Lipson Jim Dodds
Kimberly Wise Sheila Webb Jeff Reeser Kevin Rohnstock
Gloria Dawson Tom Roesch Malik Duncan Stephen Gottesfeld
Beth Barton-Jones


Volunteer Medical Staff

Chris Porter
Jenny Madden
Lia Gore
Meg Macy


Program Volunteers

Aaron Rini Alex Kislia Amy Cornelius Andrew Darlington
Ashley Masin Bob Fejes Christine Hennessey Colleen Kaneda
Ellie Sandrock Erik Turner Hannah Allen-Yeager Heather Darlington
Jack Hennessey Jackie McNamara Jafar Tabaian Joe Nilsestuen
Josh Hubacher Kevin Kaneda Kevin Brown Lauren Bock
Lauren Getsie Mel Miller Pat Flanagan Savana Snyder
Thom Sandrock


6th Annual RAI Super Bowl Benefit

Sunday, February 1st, 2009

With the biggest turnout to date, the 6th Annual RAI Super Bowl Benefit was another tremendous success. Over $12,000 was raised for the benefit of adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer patients and survivors. The continued growth of RAI's Cleveland network was evident -- with a variety of new sponsors, volunteers and attendees, another great experience was had by all!

The 2009 Super Bowl marked another significant day in RAI's history: the official launch into Chicago! Cleveland natives and other supporters alike joined our fight at an Inaugural Super Bowl Benefit in Wrigleyville. RAI-Chicago's Super Bowl Benefit was also a success (despite the Steeler victory). Over 100 new RAI supporters participated in the event resulting in another growth milestone for RAI-Chicago.

Special thanks to Cleveland Browns athletes Dave Zastudil #15 and Ryan Pontbriand #64 - thanks to their support, 100% of individual contributions will be directed to young adults facing a cancer diagnosis.

Click here to view photos from the event!

Additional thanks to...

  • Silver Sponsor: Resource Title
  • Gold Sponsor: Blockshopper
  • Bronze Sponsor: Euphoria Health & Fitness
  • The Blind Pig
  • Event Coordinators James Maday, Jennifer Wotsch and the 2009 RAI Event Committees
  • Guest Bartenders: Megan, Stephanie, Tyler, Sue, Jeanine, Jodi, Ashley
  • Miller Lite
  • Jaegermeister