Crab Cake Row: Telling story of local American Cancer Society efforts and Hope Lodge in downtown Baltimore

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After MCing the annual “Evening of Hope” in November, Nestor Aparicio welcomes Vivianne Stearns-Elliott and Therese Gustitis to “A Cup Of Soup Or Bowl” at Faidley’s Seafood in Lexington Market. The spirit of David Modell was alive during this one. And this beautiful butterfly mural created by Michel Modell is on display at 636 W. Lexington Street.

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

wife, years, cancer, lodge, people, teresa, maryland, night, vivian, give, battling, american cancer society, guests, emcee, treatment, market, baltimore, mashed potato, michelle, hope

SPEAKERS

Vivienne Stearns-Elliott, Therese Gustitis, Nestor J. Aparicio

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:01

We are W NSGA and 5070 tests in Baltimore as part of our cup of Super Bowl. It is crabcake row. We are at fade Lee’s market. We’re in the old Lexie. Nice, say the old market, the new mark are trying to get into the new mark. We thought we’d be there today. We are now we’re going to be Costas on Tuesday. Coco’s on Wednesday, Thursday. We moved to Catonsville State Fair, then on Friday, Pappas, nine to five all day long all for the Maryland Food Bank. Real simple. You bring stuff to the food bank, we give you a cup of soup, or bowl, and we thought it’d be purple pep rally around here. These are nice folks. And they’re sort of the defending champions because they invited me out to be a part of something really special. My wife was out of town, she was visiting with the man who saved her life. She was over in Europe. And I wound up getting invited. And I’m like anything for cancer. I’ll do anything for MC usually feed me Give me a cocktail, which is nice as well, of course. And then I have to shave and like, fix my hair like Geddy Lee, and I went down to the Museum of industry back in November for an evening, and I really didn’t know what I signed up for. I just know, look, it’s American Cancer Society. It’s gotta be a good thing. I’ll do it. I mean, yes. And then I showed up and Michelle modell showed up with this painting. And, you know, David and I were very, very close. And it turned into this emotional Firestorm for me. You You got the MC crying, you know, up on the dais. My cancer affects everybody. I don’t need to tell anybody that Vivian storage led us here. I got to know her a little bit a couple of months ago. And I’m just pleased you guys were our first guest. And I did not get to know Teresa status is steeped status that I get it right. You got it. All right. I know Greek people you agree? Yeah, I knew that. I didn’t get a chance to talk to you. And then I was a mess. And I had to sort of compose myself a little bit because I’m an emotional sort. But to hear the story of what you’re doing literally two blocks from here. You’re the perfect first guest here at fade these days. Moving Good seeing you again. Well, nice

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Vivienne Stearns-Elliott  02:03

to see you. Thank you for your emceeing and it was serendipity that Michelle modell your good friend and your good friends, wife. Serendipity follows

Nestor J. Aparicio  02:11

me. Yeah. So I tell people that all the time. Yeah, I’m always right where I’m supposed to be.

Vivienne Stearns-Elliott  02:16

Well, she lost her husband to cancer about seven years ago, I think it was. And she has come on our advisory board and really been wonderful and supporting the Hope Lodge Baltimore, which as you say, is just two blocks away from Lexington market. So the guests often come here for their groceries for food just for a break. You can just walk over and Teresa is the fabulous manager of the Hope Lodge.

Therese Gustitis  02:39

Bar. Exactly. It is at 636 West Lexington street. So literally two blocks away. We are still like families in our old building. Yeah, so we are in our building in my old Ben Yeah, in 1987, where we’ve served 1000s of cancer patients throughout the year with our 26 rooms, and we provide free lodging to cancer patients while they’re going through treatment. So if you live far away from your treatment, and you have to come down to University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins, we can hopefully accommodate you.

Nestor J. Aparicio  03:16

Well, my wife was diagnosed, it’ll be 10 years. It’ll be 10 years on the 20th of March. And you know, it’s gonna be a long week, you’re talking about bad things and good people trying to do all that. So I’m going to try to compose myself with it. But 10 years ago, there was nothing about this we felt was a blessing. But someone came forward very early on and said you guys are going to make a difference when when she survives this. My wife had a really rare form of leukemia. We later found that she got it at 911. She was a first responder 911 Which is why it was such a wacky leukemia that was not traceable to genetics in any way is very complex. leukemia was a ll and AML is combination. So you know, she needed a bone marrow transplant. And from the beginning, over at Johns Hopkins, we felt so blessed. I was 1.6 miles per Google on from my home to the Cancer Center. We call it the hotel over to the Kimmel Cancer Center, which is basically if you know where the Popeyes is on Orleans, and you know, and Broadway that’s where my wife lived for 155 Nights through two battles over a year and a half. We saw people in adjacent rooms who had it way worse than us, right? My wife had insurance. She had me she had family. She had a home close to people cared about her. Close, close, close, close, close. But in every room, somebody from Tennessee, somebody from Florida, because people come from all over the world to Baltimore, to have their life safe literally. We do amazing things here in the city. We don’t talk about them enough which is what this week is about. And I had someone call me when my wife first got sick, who was a wealthy person? I said, Do you need me to fly over to the Mayo Clinic? And I’ve been to the back, I did radio in Rochester, Minnesota 20 years ago, I’ve been, I throw out the first pitch in Rochester, Minnesota one night at a baseball game. So I said, No, no, no, we’ve got Hopkins and we’re, if you need a second opinion, University of Maryland, whatever we need to do us, now we’re real comfortable. In the beginning, we’re like if somebody is going to save, or it’s going to be these people, and they did amazing. But the notion that people travel, and you see these people at their hour of need, right? They’re here, they have a loved one in the tank, trying to save them. They don’t have money, they flew in, they have to leave their job to take care of their spouse, their loved one their mother, their father, their child, every day. I mean, the emotions are all in your place, and you’re trying to give people hope, but make them comfortable.

Therese Gustitis  06:00

Right, right. I mean, the Hope Lodge and like you said, people traveling for bone marrow transplants, we have people who are going through those at both Hopkins and Maryland. And we provide that close mileage to be close to their treatment. And it’s not only that, it’s it is a place to stay. But it is a community, that community of other caregivers like you who are going through the same thing caring for their loved one and other people going through cancer treatment. So Hope Lodge isn’t just a place. It’s a community and it’s a feeling. And giving that to people really does help their odds when they’re going through treatment.

Nestor J. Aparicio  06:36

Well tell me about the night I did with you. Because you asked me to come down and emcee I didn’t know what I was doing. I just said, Yeah, you know how Sure I am. And I learned a lot about your mission and the things you’re doing that night. I certainly that’s what this week is all about is telling the stories we got that night, you talked about your community there that was very obvious with survivors, family members, people that lost people like David. Yeah, it was a special night. It

Vivienne Stearns-Elliott  07:04

was a special night and we were really honored to have you there. I knew about your cancer connection. I’d read about your wife’s journey. I did not realize she was a first responder at 911. So thank her for all calm.

Nestor J. Aparicio  07:15

She was putting together Wall Street and putting together because the thing that it hit on West Street down in the lower Manhattan bowl was the Verizon towers there. It sort of looks like remember, Ghostbusters, that building? That’s the sort of the building. And she would always take me down there. We got married, no three. So 911 happened and a 103 got married, she always say I went to New York, I went to New York, I went to New York, let me show you, we would go to New York, she the towers were gone. Obviously, she would go down and get emotional. I’ve worked in New York, that she gets cancer. We didn’t find out until 2018. That it was because of that. So she’s in the program, you know, up into you at 911 program, but certainly wasn’t in 14 and 15. But she was battling for her life. She just didn’t know. So it’s you never know, right? This way these stories come back 10 years later that I’m here talking to you about this and being a part of it. And we lost David. David, I want to talk about David one minute, because we’re going to it’s going to be a week here. I tried to do this with composure. While my wife was battling. David called me and said, I want to come down and and I know what it’s like to sit down there. Because he had had other people in his family to battle. He had been a caregiver on the cancer front, and he said, I know exactly where you’re sitting, I’ll come down i That’s what David was. And then David was a right arm to me when my wife was battling. And then he got cancer and died. Like it was just it really struck me that night about serendipity.

Vivienne Stearns-Elliott  08:52

Yeah, you’re right about bringing people together. So a little more about Hope Lodge, which that evening was about. We were fundraising for Hope Lodge, and we’re fundraising for the future Hope Lodge. So there’s such demand for rooms, you know, as you say, people come from all over to have their lives saved University of Maryland Hopkins, we have other fine institutions. And just so you know, I mean, there are places all around the country that are like this. We have more than 30 Hope Lodges in major cities and areas where there are major medical centers that are bringing by the American Cancer Society. They’re all funded by the American Cancer Society. We provide on average 500,000 free nights of lodging. We have it in Puerto Rico. We have it in Hawaii, and like

Therese Gustitis  09:35

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you mentioned by the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, there is a Hope Lodge, right?

Vivienne Stearns-Elliott  09:39

That’s right. So you know, people who stay here at Hope Lodge are not Baltimoreans necessarily there are people who live at least an hour away where it’s gonna be grueling for them to come for daily treatment. This is all outpatient treatment, mainly that they are the patients that stay in your patients and one caregiver. Okay, fair enough. So that at We don’t provide medical care there. But as Teresa will tell you, we have a communal kitchen. We have exercise facilities, we have a library people get together and chat until the middle of the night. And there’s just such a commodity reports

Nestor J. Aparicio  10:14

in their chests that come. My My wife was shooting her drugs into herself and her port at a Bruce Springsteen concert in Hershey as outpatient because she’s trying to stay alive and she’s like, well, Bruce is playing. If you’re good enough tonight we’re gonna go right might not make it but I’m gonna make Bruce tonight you know, but the the, the technology it just blew me which changed my life. I sat there every day, 16 hours a day watching nurses keep my wife alive. And thinking what am I doing fight with Peter Angelos? Like what? What what what am I you know, using this microphone for things like this American Cancer Society Hope Lodge. I’ve got Teresa here. Vivian sturge Elliot as well. I want to say they give it a dislike to say this as a silent, sad. All right. Tell me how to find you help you and where are the new ones going to be? Sure.

Therese Gustitis  11:06

So we are moving right across the street to expand our lodge from 26 to 34 rooms. We can be found on cancer.org/hope Lodge. More information about our campaign that we’re currently going through is your campaign ID. So we are raising $10 million to move from our old building that we’re in right now to our new building, which is directly across the street, expanding our community space, expanding rooms, and modernizing a little bit. And that website is Hope is home. baltimore.org.

Nestor J. Aparicio  11:41

So you’re adjacent to the Maryland campus kind of sorta we

Therese Gustitis  11:44

are we’re on University of Maryland’s campus, you’re

Nestor J. Aparicio  11:46

on the campus with a new location still be okay. When

Therese Gustitis  11:49

I say across the street, I mean, like walking, I can see the building from our current goes to the old building. So that’s just a trade kind of with Maryland, because they own the new building. Yeah.

Nestor J. Aparicio  12:03

How much money did we raise on that night back in November and Michelle had this. Michelle is an incredible artist Michelle modell. And she was cheerleader on the 2001 team, my favorite team, by the way. She made this butterfly three D mural. And I started bawling and I walked away and then they took the thing away. And I went to look at it. And it was gone. By the time I got my act together that night and had a second glass of wine. By the way. They had a mashed potato bar. at your event that was the best well is the best because Raul freegle from Atlanta catering my buddy was the caterer and I was there and one of the guys that was slicing the meat recognize me wanted to take a selfie. Okay, and I’m like you guys were wrong. Yeah. Rosewood boy. Yeah. So I sent him a picture of me with potato biomass. pinbar and I put it up in a pink controversial my social media. isn’t the only thing you’ve ever been to or the mashed potato bar. For me, I’ve never been anywhere to mashed potato bar. Yeah, I

Vivienne Stearns-Elliott  13:04

think that was my first my first. My

Nestor J. Aparicio  13:06

first version mashed potato bar. Speaking about

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Vivienne Stearns-Elliott  13:09

our fundraising, so we are raising $10 million. For this New Lodge. We are at 8.5 We’ll be able to ground break. We’re creeping towards a point. We have worried about

Therese Gustitis  13:22

7.5 Okay,

Nestor J. Aparicio  13:23

we’re just a million dollars.

Therese Gustitis  13:25

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You need a million dollars. So you know if anyone call

Nestor J. Aparicio  13:29

Steve shoddy. You’re John Angelo’s just coming into some money. Maybe he would be participatory. But that butterfly mural is hanging in your places I gotta get. I gotta guess I have. And I’m bowling. And Michelle is trying to hold it together because she’s stronger than I am. Maybe the strongest woman I’ve ever met. I saw her eulogy for her husband and it blew me away. Right? But I wouldn’t say for me I need to get over and see that that’s gonna be my thing.

Therese Gustitis  13:57

Come on by anytime anytime. You’re hanging in the facility and as right in our great room above our piano, and it will be moving with us of course and be

Nestor J. Aparicio  14:07

a piano player. Why no one Absolutely. Okay. Yeah, bring a piano player. We could come down yeah, I’m not gonna come down and

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Vivienne Stearns-Elliott  14:21

bring some families crab cakes for the

Nestor J. Aparicio  14:23

guests who blocks away catering by faith Lee’s work the old market Vivian la starts here Theresa sight Kristin it’s good status. The status I got because status rhymes with what’s the rhyme or itis way I learned they foolishly made me the emcee of the event back in November. We do that event every

Vivienne Stearns-Elliott  14:48

year is a new one. But hopefully, you know we’ll keep raising money we always raise money for Hope Lodge the operational costs alone are 800,000 Send dollars a year. Am I right? Teresa? is pulling that out. Yeah, that’s correct. And the community is wonderful. We have volunteers who come in and they host dinners so that the guests don’t have to prepare a dinner for themselves. You know, after a long day of treatment, eight, nine hours at the hospital, people can go grocery shopping, they can make their own meals, and they do but we love what the community does many volunteer groups and organizations and people come in with entertainment and crafts

Therese Gustitis  15:27

and yeah, so and piano players.

Vivienne Stearns-Elliott  15:31

an emcee for radio station I

Nestor J. Aparicio  15:33

have reunited with my middle school music teacher, Mr. Calvin stated he was in his 80s he’s a young 80 something as I give him a hard time. But he has threatened to come out and play the piano. And I like taking him to the Hippodrome because he’s like into that. I see something happening. I don’t not gonna be Mrs. Doubtfire. This, but I see something happening. So piano, the butterfly mural Hope Lodge give the address again, somebody can find you

Therese Gustitis  16:01

636 West Lexington Street is our address, but find us at cancer.org/hope Lodge

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Nestor J. Aparicio  16:08

and then for you with American Cancer Society, the things you do during the year. No offense to hope law. Can you do more than that? Right. Yeah, I mean, you do a whole lot more than that. What are you doing that I can come in? Come in deer and

Vivienne Stearns-Elliott  16:22

out command deer? Well, I can give you some statistics. And let me think about the commandeering. So for one thing, okay, for one thing, we do fund an enormous amount of research. We have $21 million right now at work in the DC area and the Baltimore area alone. And across the country. We have something like 400 million right now. We have We are the the largest nonprofit funder of cancer research in the United States. So many of the discoveries that have led to cures for cancer have started with the people that we have, by

Nestor J. Aparicio  16:57

the way, yeah. Well, the bone marrow registry and DNA and my wife would have died 30 years ago. No, no, no question about it. You know, 10 years ago, a man in Germany stepped up who’s 19 years old to save her life with bone marrow. None of that would have happened without a registry. None of that would have happened without research scientist, all the work that’s going on.

Vivienne Stearns-Elliott  17:17

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Right. And we have in the last 40 years probably helped save 3.5 million lives from cancer. So the good news is that the death rate is going down. The other news, which is not so good, we’re expecting for the first time more than 2 million new cancer cases in this country. And it’s happening to younger people. So what we want people to do is go get screened, talk to your doctor, if you have symptoms, go to our website, and look at the screening guidelines. Make sure that you get that colonoscopy.

Nestor J. Aparicio  17:47

She’s so my back. She’s not. But she’s on me. I mean, when you’re probably 55 Have you had your

Vivienne Stearns-Elliott  17:56

colonoscopy?

Nestor J. Aparicio  17:59

You know, they’re I don’t know my number. I do this every

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Vivienne Stearns-Elliott  18:01

year at the Super Bowl at home testing.

Nestor J. Aparicio  18:04

I do. I have NFL players who come by who battled prostate cancer. And a finger they give me next year right now. You’re 48 you’re 51 you’re 50 Now 55

Vivienne Stearns-Elliott  18:18

Well, you look great commission, but we need to know kill me

Nestor J. Aparicio  18:22

when he finds me. He’s my proctologist. Don’t tell anybody. But he’s he listens so he’ll he’s got Robert Okay. I’m just thinking about it.

Vivienne Stearns-Elliott  18:31

We’re getting you worked up a little bit this is why

Nestor J. Aparicio  18:35

men have wives is to bother them and eat them up about getting this stuff because men don’t want to go to the doctor. You know this men don’t go to the doctor. Right?

Vivienne Stearns-Elliott  18:44

That’s true. Right? I have one of those husband right? I have to urge I resemble Yes, he had his colonoscopy prescription on top of our microwave in the kitchen, you know, magnet for five years. Okay. It took him five years to prescription five years later. Yeah. And finally I then I went to get mine and I said, Look, I’ve done it. You better do it too. Don’t be worse. Yeah. And you know, saving his life. He had polyps removed. precancerous polyps removed. So that’s why you get a colonoscopy. Because it was one. It is one of the day

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Nestor J. Aparicio  19:18

I am on the first day and I’m already getting we’re in a food place. conversation I’m gonna have all weekend. American Cancer Society. Vivian Lea, Stearns Elliott here and how many names not gonna mess up? Crew Teresa status. There you go. I got it perfect here. Any other thing people can do locally to help either one of you. Donate.

Therese Gustitis  19:45

Donate, volunteer your time. It’s all important.

Vivienne Stearns-Elliott  19:49

Yeah. And we do have a forest Dart navigator charity rating so you know that your money is going to a place where we’re using the dollars very efficiently, and we have Making Strides Against Brian Since breast cancer in October, we have realized for life that you can participate and we have social events we have, you know, things that are fellowship that are community based so that you meet other cancer survivors, other caregivers. Just go to our website cancer.org. Well,

Nestor J. Aparicio  20:17

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it’s nothing better than coming emceeing the event with you all and seeing survivors there. Step forward. Say I spent time with the Hope Lodge supporting me. I want to donate to it I want to make time for you make a difference and you feel it you know it I felt in the room that night.

Vivienne Stearns-Elliott  20:30

Yeah. And And thank goodness there are people like your wife who are survivors you know, it’s an organization that we all can be really proud of. Because as you say, cancer touches everybody. Well, the

Nestor J. Aparicio  20:42

spirit of David Modell is here right now my bro Vivian thanks for coming out and being our first guest our honor, we’re off to we’re off to a rocky start but we’re going to soar before the week is over. I have Maryland lottery scratch offs to get matter of fact all of our guests get up get soup at a Maryland lottery scratch off because it is a cup of Super Bowl week here it’s we’re calling a crab cake row it’s all brought to you by our friends at the Maryland lottery at least 10 times the cash to give away I have my funky window nation hat around here somewhere I’ll find that oh it’s over there my little floppy hat I’ll get that thing and I got my it here he gave me this because they want me to look like summer I think when donation I remember when donation had on our friends trip up multi care as well. And we’re gonna be here eat crabcakes I’m gonna get some fried oyster forts all over with do not sleep on a shrimp salad at fade Lee’s delicious. I took a piece of fresh rock fish over there. I did capers, lemon, butter, white wine. It was delicious on Thursday night so fresh seafood. We’re at the old mexican market. The new Lexington market is there. We’ll get in there very very soon. From families I’m gonna step out take a break. Say thanks to our friends from American Cancer Society and support oak Lodge. We’re going to be talking about dozens I tried to get 100 charities this week. I think I’m in the 60s I couldn’t get to quite 100 Maybe next year. That’d be the goal.

Vivienne Stearns-Elliott  22:03

We brought canned food for the Maryland Food Bank to important now I have these bags over here is

Nestor J. Aparicio  22:11

our spar spot we were starting to get like a pile and it’s only 10am I like that all right good. Good. I like what I’m seeing here Lucky Charms I got some Campbell’s noodle soup you didn’t want that anyway stores we go pasta lasagna people that’s why he’s market was wise our sponsor we have this was a wise conversation. I bet you didn’t watch because you were here. Take a break. I’m Nestor we’re wn st am 5070 Towson Baltimore. Doing a cup of Super Bowl. Remember our friends at the American Cancer Society and Hope Lodge

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