As we rake leaves, dig out our mothers’ pie recipes or make travel plans this week, it’s a good time to remember that feeling grateful is not just good for our mental health. Studies suggest it may also help improve heart health, lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation. (Hey, we work with doctors, so we like to include some science!)
With that in mind, our colleagues at The Skin Cancer Foundation share their thoughts on thankfulness.
I’m thankful for the opportunity to work with an organization that cares about people. My wife, Noël, is a nurse practitioner who helps people every day, and as the father in a family with two growing boys, I often think about what their future holds. (That’s Jack and T.J. with Noël). When they’re older, I hope they can close a long day by saying “I made a difference today.” I’m thankful that I am in a position to experience my dream for them.
— Dan Latore, executive director
I am thankful for “Hamilton.” Sure, the musical is a nifty, award-winning, impossible-to-get-tickets-for extravaganza, but I’m talking about my fluffy, white (with an epic tail) Maine Coon/Ragdoll rescued-from-the-shelter cat. I am grateful for our first year together and look forward to many more years to come!
— Paul Melia, director, design and technology
While I can’t get to Texas for Turkey Day with my family this year, I’m thankful that I’ll be with fascinating friends here in New York City who make up another kind of family. I’m also grateful for my 11 skin cancer scars and all the brilliant and caring dermatologic surgeons who have sliced, diced and stitched me up. They’re why I’m passionate for this cause.
— Julie Bain, senior director, science and education
This year I’m particularly thankful for my circle of friends. Most of us have known each other since college, but we’ve added some wonderful new additions to the group over the years. Many of us faced significant challenges this year and looked to each other for guidance and support. We’ve mourned our losses, celebrated our victories and cheered each other on. My friends are truly special people and I’m grateful to have all of them in my life.
— Becky Kamowitz, senior director, marketing communications
So many things come to mind when I think about what I’m thankful for (family and friends, travel, living in NYC), but none of them would be as enjoyable if it wasn’t for my health. So, this year and hopefully many more to come, I’ll remain most thankful for that.
— Brian Hanley, marketing manager
Just a few months ago, I had the opportunity to join The Skin Cancer Foundation. I’m excited each day to get up and go to work for this cause, and that is an incredible feeling. I’m also thankful for amazing friends and family, and for advances in technology that help to keep them all very close even when they’re physically far away.
— Victoria Kopec, director of marketing communications
I’m so thankful for this beautiful city I live in, and for the ability to say it has truly become my home. New York has challenged and inspired me at every turn, and the people here show it’s possible to be kind, imaginative and hard working all at once. And of course, unreasonably defensive about their pizza.
— Ali Venosa, communications manager
I’m thankful for my increased vigilance for sun protection! Until I started working for the Foundation just a few weeks ago, I didn’t know skin cancer was the world’s most common cancer.
— Mae Fang, web development manager
I’m thankful that I was drafted into the Army in 1953, where I was lucky to get to work in pediatrics at Tokyo Army Hospital. That led me to medical school, which led me to dermatologic surgery, where I performed 47,000 skin cancer surgeries in 49 years of practice. I’m also grateful I was able to create The Skin Cancer Foundation 37 years ago and watch it grow and eventually become a household name.
— Perry Robins, MD, founder and president
After 30 years of practice, specializing in dermatology and treating more than 30,000 skin cancers, I’m so thankful to have the opportunity to play an even greater role. As the incoming president of The Skin Cancer Foundation (with its founder, Dr. Robins, right), I look forward to helping this global organization achieve its goal of educating the public about the prevention, early detection and treatment of skin cancer.
— Deborah S. Sarnoff, MD, president