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Ferrarotti family tradition of helping Karmanos’ lung cancer patients continues


Stephanie Sielawa, intern with the Development Department, coordinated the packing of 300 comfort bags for lung cancer patients at Karmanos.


Members of the Development team helped pack the 300 bags with items, donated by the Gianni Ferrarotti Lung Cancer Patient Assistant Fund. From left to right are Stephanie Sielawa, Katy Kaliszewski, Lisa Koltunchik, Karry Samulski and Liz Johnson. 

When it comes to raising awareness of lung cancer and funds to help support cancer research and patients, few have shown the level of commitment as the Ferrarotti family.  

Since 2004, the Gianni Ferrarotti Lung Cancer Foundation has raised more than $70,000 to help support lung cancer research at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute. In addition, the family has raised more than $35,000 for the Gianni Ferrarotti Lung Cancer Patient Assistant Fund to help lung cancer patients at Karmanos and their families.

As part of the Gianni Ferrarotti Lung Cancer Patient Assistant Fund, for the third consecutive November, the Ferrarotti family has donated 300 canvas care/comfort bags filled with water, fruit snacks, granola bars, peppermints and a valet voucher. The bags are distributed to lung cancer patients and their families at Karmanos as part of National Lung Cancer Awareness Month. The Ferrarotti family also helps provide Thanksgiving dinners, as well as toys, clothing and other items during the holidays to help those going through the cancer journey.

Rosanne Ferrarotti started the two funds at Karmanos after her husband, Gianni, passed away of lung cancer in 2003. He was only 58. Rosanne herself was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago and she continues to express her gratitude for her survivorship by giving to others. Both Roseanne and her husband were treated at Karmanos.   

Rosanne and her family have organized the annual Gianni Ferrarotti Lung Cancer 5K Run/Walk & Little Lungs Fun Run to help raise awareness of lung cancer. The 10th annual event took place in Sept. 2013 and proceeds helped support the Lung Cancer Screening Program at Karmanos, helping to detect lung cancer early for those at high risk of the disease. Next year’s event is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014.

“The commitment of the Ferrarotti family to help those impacted by lung cancer is truly an inspiration,” said Shirish Gadgeel, M.D., leader, Multidisciplinary Thoracic Team at Karmanos. “Rosanne and her family turned a difficult situation into an opportunity to raise awareness, help comfort patients and their families, as well as help save lives by contributing to research and Karmanos’ Lung Cancer Program. We are extremely grateful for their incredible support.”
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