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How the Massey Alliance is imagining a future without cancer

Jan 18, 2022

The Massey Alliance, VCU Massey Cancer Center’s young professionals board, focuses on advocating and fundraising on behalf of the cancer center. The group works tirelessly year-round to help advance Massey’s innovative work and to help make a future without cancer possible.

“One goal of the Massey Alliance is to make sure that Massey is not a secret,” says Mickey Hofmeister, Massey Alliance president. “We want everyone to know about Massey [and] to share what we have learned in hope that it might help others, rally support for patients and their families and spread Massey’s mission.”

The board is comprised of more than 30 members who are young professional leaders in their own professions and are committed to Massey’s mission. Each board member has their own motivations for advocating on behalf of Massey.

“As a cancer survivor, it is important to me to be a part of a group that works hard to help find a cure to cancer,” says Meredith Ascari.

Will Stallings, whose father was treated at Massey during a battle with cancer, joined the Alliance in an effort to “give back and help others become aware of the great work that Massey does.”

While the motivations might be different, Alliance members are united in advocating for Massey and giving back to the community in the process.

Spreading Holiday Cheer

The holiday season is one full of joy and hope for a new year and a new start for many, but it can also be a difficult time of year for families affected by cancer. With that in mind, the Massey Alliance took a number of steps to make sure that the holidays were special for families that needed a little extra support.

In a joint partnership with the Massey Advisory Board and Massey social workers, the Massey Alliance helped provide over $2,000 in gift cards from Walmart, Kroger and Food Lion to Massey patients. The grocery store gift cards were accompanied by handwritten well wishes and a healthy recipe provided by Allie Farley, M.S., R.D., L.D., registered dietician at Massey. Thank you to all who were involved with this initiative.

The Massey Alliance was also able to continue it’s annual “Christmas Family” tradition which saw Alliance members donate and wrap presents for a family with a parent being treated at Massey. A 6-year-old boy and 10-year-old girl received various gifts, including art supplies, a Razor scooter, an SOL math prep book and an iPad. Alliance member Nick Shedd, who helped lead this initiative, reflected that it was “amazing to see the Massey Alliance come together and help give back to those families that are being affected by cancer right now.”

Giving Blood, Giving Life

This February, the Alliance is partnering with VCU Health to promote three American Red Cross blood drives on Feb. 10, 11 and 25. India Sisler, M.D., Massey physician and clinical director of pediatric hematology and oncology at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, joined a local mom in asking Virginians to donate blood and help save lives. The mother, Katie Troy, is calling for blood donations in support of her 22-year-old son who is being treated at Massey for an aggressive form of lymphoma and needs blood transfusions.

“Let’s roll up our sleeves to help fight cancer together,” Hofmeister added.

Those interested can learn more and sign up to donate blood here and Alliance members are putting together ‘thank you’ care bags for blood donors with pre-packaged cookies, a water bottle, juice and a thank-you note to remind donors of the impact they are making.

Looking ahead to 2022

While the holiday season is always a busy time of year for the Massey Alliance, the group knows there is work to be done year-round. The Alliance is looking forward to hosting a series of events in 2022 that will combine socializing and making a difference by raising awareness and support for Massey, and they invite others to join them.

In March, the Alliance will come together for Appetizers & Advocacy, where guest speakers will discuss ongoing brain cancer research at Massey. The group will also drive, chip and putt their way towards a future without cancer at their Spring golf tournament.

In June, the Alliance will host a reunion for former Massey Alliance Board members. If you are a former Massey Alliance Board member and would like more information about the reunion, please contact Emily Pumphrey at

Be sure to follow the Massey Alliance social media pages for event updates through the year. Together, the Massey community can have fun and socialize while also making a future without cancer possible.

Follow the Massey Alliance on Facebook and Instagram.


Written by: The Massey Alliance

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