Monthly Archives: April 2012

No Worries Now holds annual proms for teens who may not live long enough to attend their own proms. Since 2007, No Worries Now has held annual proms in Los Angeles, as well as additional proms in San Francisco, Sacramento, and Washington, D.C. These proms are 100% free for participants, and attract up to 500 […]

The No Worries Now Prom in a Box Program gives volunteers around the country the opportunity to organize their own No Worries Now Proms in their cities. We will be accepting a few exceptional volunteers to throw a No Worries Now prom in their city. Volunteers who are accepted into the year-and-a-half-long program will commit […]

Saving Lives Now

Many of the patients who attend our proms can benefit now from an umbilical cord blood transplant. Cord blood, like bone marrow, already cures more than seventy diseases, including leukemia, lymphoma, and testicular cancer. It is collected after birth with no risk to the mother or child, and can be frozen and stored for up to fifteen years. Yet, for lack of an adequate public banking system, the overwhelming majority of cord blood units are thrown in the trash (98%) or privately banked (1%) for personal use (and thus not available to the public). Meanwhile, thousands of patients die every year while waiting to find a match in the public system. No Worries Now is committed to improving the odds that our patients will find a cord blood match by helping to publicly bank one cord blood unit at a time. Collecting one unit to publicly bank costs $200, which can be raised by selling our “Saving Lives Now” wristbands.

Our pair program pairs teen patients with teen volunteers based on location, personality, and interests, and sends each pair on monthly outings so that patients have the opportunity to feel like normal teens. The yearlong program also includes group outings, and culminates at the following year’s prom. Now Pairs was inspired by our spokesgirl, Samantha […]

Elana Helgesen, Grants Advisor

Elana is currently a grant writer at College of the Canyons. In the past, she has served as the assistant director of communications and marketing at Glendale Community College, a public affairs specialist at California State University Dominguez Hills, public relations specialist at Angeles Girl Scout Council, and a public relations assistant at Jewish Family Services of Los Angeles. Elana is also the L.A. Kings’ #1 fan – or at least top 10, for sure.

Gina Adrien Kornfeind, Social Work Advisor

Gina, a Los Angeles native, is the support and bereavement coordinator in the Mattel-UCLA Children’s Comfort Care Program. Gina has worked in New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles as a pediatric medical social worker since 1988. She is the proud mother of four daughters ranging in age from 8 to 18 years. Her husband, Fred, is a social worker and psychologist at the V.A. Hospital. Gina earned her bachelor’s degree at Kenyon College in Ohio and went on to get a double master’s in special education and social work from Columbia University School of Social Work and Bank Street College of Education. She has been on the board of Carrie On Day Camp and St. Matthew’s Day Camp. Gina has been working to get the support and bereavement services up and running in pediatrics at UCLA and has started a monthly staff support session, puts on an annual family memorial service and is introducing a family bereavement group in the fall in Westwood Village. Gina plays volleyball, hikes, bakes, and loves hanging out with her family, preferably by a body of water. Gina climbed Mt. Whitney in September 2008 starting at 2:30 a.m. and finishing the 14,000-foot climb by 6:30 p.m. later that day. Gina advises the No Worries Now board about how to best fulfill their mission of making teens with life-threatening illnesses feel less isolated.

Kendahl Gottes, Director of Outreach & Operations Assistant

Kendahl has been working with the No Worries Now Foundation since 2010. Since that time, she has graduated with a B.A. from Chapman University and attended two international universities in Florence, Italy and Prague, Czech Republic. Her event experience and dedication to perfection make her an invaluable asset in bringing the prom to life. She now works in the guest service and hospitality industry in the most magical place on earth – Orlando, FL. She loves Disney and glitter, and considers it her duty to make sure that every guest at the prom has the most magical night every year. Those who know her cite her positive, adventurous personality and her drive to achieve as the traits Kendahl brings to the Board of No Worries Now.

Lucene Beshirian, Patient Relations

Lucene came to No Worries Now as a prom attendee. Diagnosed in January 2005 with a tumor on her optic nerve, Lucene immediately lost her eyesight. Since then, Lucene has developed an intense passion for volunteer work, and has logged more than 2,000 volunteer hours with various organizations, including Teen Impact, Extreme Mobility, the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls, and Junior Statesmen of America. She has also been involved with a project of a Washington State school for the blind involving creating brail literature. Now 19, Lucene is starting her first year at the University of California, Los Angeles. When she isn’t volunteering, Lucene enjoys skiing, snowboarding and painting.

Bianca Philippi, Marketing and Research

Bianca Philippi brings more than seventeen years of experience in business development, education and international marketing, including thirteen years in marketing research with organizations such as Olson Zaltman and Campbell Rinker. Bianca has extensive experience working across sectors on professional development, corporate social responsibility, philanthropy, global poverty and volunteerism. Bianca has worked with firms as varied as The Coca-Cola Company, Proctor and Gamble, Audi, Cessna, Chevron-Texaco, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Pfizer, Kimberly Clark, Hugo Boss, Escada, Intel, Microsoft, the Harvard Business School, Phillips Academy (Andover), The World Bank, CARE International, The Carter Center, NFTE (National Foundation for the Teaching of Entrepreneurship) and Opportunity International. She is an adjunct instructor at The College of the Canyons and the University of California, Los Angeles, Extension as well as the founder of Creative Insights. She studied at Boston University, Harvard University and the University of California, Los Angeles.

Jason Bowers, Media

Jason was inspired to join No Worries Now by his sister, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma two years ago at the age of 17. As she went through chemo, losing all her hair and feeling drained of energy, one of her biggest goals was to attend her school’s senior prom. Unfortunately, she did not have a good experience at her own prom because she felt overwhelmed by being “different.” Jason is grateful that No Worries Now provides a truly amazing prom experience for teens in his sister’s situation. Currently, Jason is a freelance filmmaker and focus group coordinator for a market research company in Los Angeles. He worked with Australian pop star Sam Sparro on a television pilot in 2010, and that same year made a short film that went to international film festivals all over the world. Jason has a bachelor’s of science in digital filmmaking and video production from the Art Institute of California, Los Angeles. He has been extensively involved in philanthropic organizations, including coordinating events for Britney Snow’s Love is Louder campaign and Richard Branson’s Rock the Kasbah. Jason loves to travel, and eating out is his ultimate guilty pleasure. He balances a busy social life with relaxing yoga rituals. He dedicates a great deal of his time to helping others and raising his three-year-old Miniature Pinscher. His friends, as well as his dog, cite his dynamic, spontaneous personality and his intense drive towards success as the traits Jason brings to the Board of No Worries Now.