Monday, March 7, 2011

Call from the Governor's Office

After leaving school Thursday, I noticed a voice mail on my cell phone from an unknown number. After I played the message, I pulled into the nearest parking lot and replayed it.

The caller identified herself as "Liz" from Governor Christie's office, and politely requested that I return her call at my earliest convenience. I immediately called back, and to my great surprise - Liz picked up on the second ring.

She explained that she was following up on my email, asking the Governor to declare November 10th - NET Cancer Awareness Day in NJ. (See my Jan 21st blog post: "Ask Governor Chris Christie (NJ) to Support NET and Carcinoid Cancer Awareness")

She asked me if I could send her some proposed language for a Proclamation ... no promises of course; she was just looking into the matter. Below is the email I sent to her. I am excited at the possibility of Governor Christie joining the fight against NET cancers.

From: Marlena Johnston []
Sent: Thursday, March 03, 2011 8:21 PM
To: Liz Ortiz
Subject: Proclamation Supporting Neuroendocrine Tumor (NET) Cancer Awareness

Dear Liz,

It was a pleasure speaking with you today about the possibility of Governor Chris Christie becoming the 17th United States governor to join the global campaign supporting neuroendocrine tumor (NET) cancer awareness.

The first Worldwide NET Cancer Awareness Day (WNCAD) was held on November 10, 2010, and was an international movement coordinated by carcinoid and neuroendocrine tumor cancer advocacy groups around the world, including: Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Singapore, Sweden, United Kingdom and United States. As part of the campaign, a Proclamation urging NET cancer awareness was created, and has since been signed online by more than 4,600 people on six continents, and in person by thousands more. (Read more about the campaign at I have attached a copy of the WNCAD Proclamation for your review. There are already plans for a second international WNCAD on November 10, 2011.

I was diagnosed with carcinoid cancer in April of 2010, and would have died if my neuroendocrine tumor wasn't "accidently" found during another surgery. My cancer went undiagnosed for at least 5 years - allowing it to metastasize - in large part because of the lack of education in the medical community about neuroendocrine tumors. As the WNCAD slogan states: "if you don't suspect it, you can't detect it." Therefore, I urge Governor Christie to issue a Proclamation declaring November 10th as NET Cancer Awareness Day in the State of New Jersey, or join Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts in declaring the entire month of November as NET Cancer Awareness Month.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any further assistance. I'd appreciate it if you could confirm receipt of this email and the attachment - just to ensure I have the correct email address.

Marlena Johnston


  1. OMG!!! That is GREAT!!! Like she said, she will look into it. That is a step into the right direction. I hope it all works out well.

  2. Excellent job Johnston!!!! I am just so very proud of you!!! Keeping my fingers crossed!!!!

  3. Thanks Christine and Sunshine!

  4. This is wonderful!! Congratulations.