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’m thankful for my son’s innocent smile and his constant joy. He lifts me up and reminds me to be grateful every single day.
— Carla Barry-Austin, senior director, marketing communications
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
Glad every minute to be alive, especially after a 95 percent blockage of my carotid artery and a small stroke a few years ago. Glad the stroke left no lasting damage. Glad to have a steady job with a life-affirming foundation. Glad my wife has put up with the likes of me for 36 years. Glad my cockapoo Connor still runs and jumps like a pup at age 12 and still loves people.
— Mark Teich, executive editor
After experiencing a very tearful year with the loss of my dearest companion, Patron, I am grateful for the nine wonderful years we spent together!
“No longer by my side but forever in my heart.”
— Jo Ann Perrino, senior director, HR and administration
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, health and science editor
I’m thankful for having all three of our kids graduated from college, happily employed, living close to us and all with great “significant others.” Really looking forward to a wonderful Thanksgiving with all the crew and the Ohio State-Michigan game on November 26th. Go, Buckeyes!
— Bill Ridenour, senior director, partnership development
This year I’m particularly thankful for my circle of friends. (That’s me, bottom right.) 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, director, marketing communications
I am thankful for holiday parties that bring everyone together, and for good friends who show up with good wine — and who go shopping with me to find good deals in stores that we can’t usually afford to shop in.
— Adrienne Cea, director of development
I’ll always be thankful for my husband, Ed, because after 20 years together, we still delight each other, find new interests to share (including science fiction, photography and birds), make each other laugh a lot, bring new people into each other’s lives and find strength to support each other no matter what. And he lets me take pictures like this one.
— Elena Gaillard, graphic coordinator
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 Stovall, digital content manager
I’m thankful for so many things, including my job, my home, my partner, my small group of quality friends, my dog and my health. This year, since my mother died of cancer, I’m especially grateful for time with my father, as we’ve become closer than ever.
— Douglas Stirling, assistant logistics manager
I’m grateful that my mom, who will be 80 next year, is still able to go on a trip (we traveled to Kentucky together this month) and is enjoying her life. I’m also thankful for my health, my job and my apartment, which my colleague Jo Ann helped me decorate so beautifully.
— Veronica Barlow, assistant manager, partnership administration
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 coordinator
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 developer
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-elect