What if we could provide a targeted, non-invasive treatment for breast cancer?

Sounds incredible, right?

I’m participating in the Race To Beat Women’s Cancers 5K, which supports women’s cancer research and patient care at Magee-Womens Research Institute & Foundation, to help support research to find better treatments and reach a day when cures are possible.

Please consider making a donation to join this effort to fund research.

It is estimated that more than 927,000 women will be diagnosed with cancer in 2021. More than 281,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. These numbers are staggering.

Add to these numbers are the women who are going through treatment or have ended treatment and are still dealing with the effects or surgeries related to having been diagnosed with cancer.

Researchers in Pittsburgh are making tremendous strides in the detection, treatment and prevention of women’s cancers — including breakthrough therapies for breast, ovarian and cervical cancers that are in large-scale clinical trials right now.


Research is changing the way breast cancer is treated.


And, with your support, the research at the Magee-Womens Research Institute & Foundation can go further.

By focusing on women’s health, the health of all people here in Pittsburgh and around the world can be improved.

What are Magee scientists doing right now?

  • Uncovering new prevention and treatment approaches in more than 20 clinical trials.
  • Working to solve for treatment resistance in the most common form of breast cancer.
  • Examining the vulnerabilities in triple negative breast cancer to find a more effective cure for this aggressive disease.

For more than two decades, Magee-Womens has dedicated clinical research studies and clinical trials to improving the health care of people everywhere — with research done right here in Pittsburgh.


One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.


Magee-Womens Research Institute collaborates with the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center to help reduce the incidence of and death from women’s cancers by supporting research aimed at translating novel discoveries into improved patient care.

This great work can continue to impact lives here in Western Pennsylvania and around the world — with your support.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and for supporting the important research and patient care at Magee-Womens.

Camped out in the corner booth at Sheetz

As people came and went, grabbing lunch or an afternoon jolt, there I was camped out in the corner booth.

Headphones in as others nearby talked about colleagues, family or life. As jarring alarms from the kitchen sounded each time a new order came in.

The clackity-clack of my computer keyboard. The amped up music from the store.

And there I was, camped out in the corner booth. For hours on end — usually doing some kind of work. Sometimes, watching a movie or playing a game. Other times, just watching the world pass by.

That was how I spent a large chunk of my life. At Sheetz, camped out in the corner booth. Before a pandemic brought the world to a standstill.

Some had a corner coffee shop. Others, Panera or a library. For me, it was Sheetz.

Sheetz was my third place.

Ray Oldenburg coined the term “third place” — a neutral place where people can meet, gather and interact.

When I worked for a newspaper company, I spent long, countless hours in the office. Sheetz was the place I could unwind before going home.

I’ve used Sheetz for volunteer meetings, lunch meetups, post-theater show outings, midday cold brew coffee jolts, early morning cold brew coffee jolts, evening cold brew coffee jolts, late-night cold brew coffee jolts.

You get the picture.

But that all changed with the COVID-19 pandemic.

No longer did I sit for hours camped out in the corner booth.

My Sheetz trips became blips of time — orders placed on the app and quickly picked up inside at a display kiosk.

In recent weeks, Sheetz reopened the dining areas for use during daylight hours.

I don’t intend to sit down in Sheetz for awhile.

But, soon enough, when the pandemic has ended and I feel comfortable again in public and around others, you’ll find me at Sheetz, camped out in the corner booth.

Image by DAMILARE ODUNUYI from Pixabay

Pepsi Blue returns!

Get ready! Pepsi Blue is making a triumphant return!

The last time we saw Pepsi Blue, Usher had three of the top 25 songs of the year. Nickelback had the 17th best Billboard hits song. “Everybody Loves Raymond” was the top sitcom. “Shrek 2” was the highest-grossing movie.

What was the year?

2004.

Apparently, “passionate Pepsi Blue fans have been clamoring for the return of their beloved berry cola” for years, Pepsi said, according to the USA Today.

The company recently released Pepsi Mango, which is amazing.

Of course, I need a return of Crystal Pepsi. Preferably a zero sugar Crystal Pepsi!

Image by anncapictures from Pixabay

Will ‘Days of our Lives’ be renewed?

Has the sand run out in the hourglass?

“Days of our Lives” wrapped production on April 16 of its 56th season — reportedly filming 112 episodes over the last 14 weeks. And they did that through an ongoing pandemic!

The current contract extends through September. It was last renewed in January 2020.

The last time this happened, Corday Productions — the production company that produces the show for NBC — let all of the actors out of their contracts. It’s not clear if the same situation happened this time around, according to Soap Opera Network.

It should be noted that when this happened in 2019, the news spread like wildfire, suggesting that “Days of our Lives” had been canceled. So, it’s safe to assume that Corday, Sony Pictures Television (which distributes the show for Corday) and NBC likely wanted to avoid a similar situation.

Of course, if NBC does not renew the drama, there are other (albeit, slim) options. NBC could find a way to include it on Peacock (their streaming service) or it could find a home on another streaming service or network.

‘Now it’s time to say goodbye’: Disney Store magic is about to run out

The clock is about to strike midnight on dozens of Disney Store locations.

Keepers of the happiest place on Earth will shut about 40 Disney Store locations on or before March 23. This includes the final Disney Store in Western Pennsylvania — at South Hills Village mall.

The news shouldn’t have come as a surprise to me as retailers continue a mass exodus of brick-and-mortar locations in an effort to stave off losses brought on by online shopping and to appease shareholders.

As a millennial, I’ve mourned the loss of many childhood spots: Children’s Palace, KB Toys, Hills, Kaufmann’s, Sam Goody and, of course, Toys R Us.

But there was something about the Disney Store news that seemed like a tipping point for me.

As a child, shopping wasn’t always a fun experience. I hated what seemed like hours spent in Kaufmann’s fitting rooms trying on clothes. Being dragged to the crowded grocery store on weekend mornings as a kid also wasn’t a magical experience.

Visits to Toys R Us, Hills and the Disney Store always offered a reprieve from the doom and gloom of grown up stores.

The Disney Store always offered that chance to pretend like I was at Disney World — a place I have only visited once as a sophomore in high school on a choir trip. I came close to Disney World again around 2010 but didn’t get a chance to visit.

In true Disney fashion, every inch of the store was steeped in magic — from the decorative columns to the artistic character scenes to the overall theme of the store.

Even as an adult, I regularly stop into the Disney Store and become lost in the magic of childhood stories. (And don’t even ask how many Christmas ornaments I’ve purchased from the Disney Store.)

Browsing the colorful displays as cheerful and very recognizable music pumped through the store added to the magic of Disney. I still got excited seeing stuffed animals, action figures and other collectibles with beloved characters on them.

Slogging through pages and categories and pop up windows and filters on the Disney Store website doesn’t seem to have the same magic as being inside of a brick-and-mortar Disney Store.

On what might have been my final visit to Pittsburgh’s last Disney Store, I purchased what is a very 2021 purchase: Several Disney face masks.

Disney is using lyrics from a version of “The Mickey Mouse Club” theme song to say farewell to fans: “Now it’s time to say goodbye.” Unfortunately, how that song ends (“See you real soon!”) is not how the Disney Store story ends.