Shay Moraga is a yoga instructor, entrepreneur, community leader and mom. Following her diagnosis of the very aggressive Triple Negative form of breast cancer on February 11, 2016 – she set her sights on a new goal: becoming a cancer survivor.
As a yoga teacher, Shay was in tune with listening to her body. She noticed an itch that would not go awayfollowed by a tiny lump in a self-examination. After having just received her annual exam, she knew somethingwas not right. She became her own best advocate and called her doctor. A mammogram, ultrasound andultimately, a guided biopsy, revealed fast-growing vascular mass that was determined to be malignant. Then began the fight of her life. She knew she had to be there for her teenage daughter, so she completely committed to a long road of treatments that tested her strength but never her faith. Joyfully, Shay received the best news on December 1, 2016 after 10 long months of 20 rounds of chemotherapy and 38 rounds of radiation, she was in remission.
Shay’s journey has changed her more than she could have ever imagined. She stepped aside as co-founder of her very successful property management company to follow her true passion – yoga, along with other projects that focus on wellness, spiritual growth and cancer support. She created “Namaste With Shay” (namastewithshay.com) – a mobile yoga studio where she teaches yoga, mindful meditation, spin and teen and tween yoga workshops around the valley at a variety of studios. She is registered with Yoga Alliance and holds certificates in power yoga, children’s yoga, trauma in underserved communities’ yoga, and is currently studying for her 500-hour yoga therapy training with an expected completion of April 2018.
Closer to her heart are the yoga classes she leads at Eisenhower’s Lucy Curci Cancer Center & Cancer Partners (formerly Gilda’s Club), known as Yoga for Cancer. In early 2017, she was honored with the title of Lululemon “Ambassador” and has embraced that title to further her wellness ambitions and be an inspiration of strength to those who are in or who have won the fight of their lives against cancer.
"Life is a Gift." ~Shay Moraga
Gregory Gene Polzin was born in Walla Walla, Washington to parents Shirley M. and Donald G. Polzin. Greg was an only child. The family moved to Spokane where Greg attended high school and then graduated from Seattle Pacific University in 1987 with Marketing and Communications degrees. Greg made lifelong friends in Spokane and visited there throughout his life.
After college Greg traveled the world as an on-board sales representative for Holland America Cruise Line. He later went on to a career in hotel sales and convention center catering. He thrived in sales and had a talent for planning parties and creating memorable special events. He was outgoing and very friendly and had that special quality of making everyone feel special. Greg loved parties and parties loved Greg! His good looks and sparkling personality added star-quality to the events he attended.
Greg had big heart and a passion for helping others. In the 1990’s his career transitioned to non-profit fundraising and management. This is where his talents really blossomed. In Arizona he was the Executive Director of the Arizona Human Rights Fund and Director of Development for the Scottsdale Center for the Arts. After moving to the Palm Springs area he accepted the position of Development Director for the Desert Aids Project and then, the Dorothy and Harold J. Meyerman Director of Development for the Palm Springs Art Museum. Greg was an extraordinary manager and fundraiser for the Museum, playing a critical role in the creation of the museum’s two satellite facilities in Palm Desert and Palm Springs.
From the boardroom to the ballroom Greg was always the star of the show. He faced life lovingly and courageously. In May of 2016 we lost our dear friend Greg to Pancreatic cancer. We are honored to commemorate his life with the American Cancer Society’s Celebration of Life Award.
As a performer, songwriter and producer, Richard Marx’s nearly three-decade-long career has had innumerable highlights. The Chicago native has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide, starting with his self-titled debut which went to #8 and spawned four Top 5 singles, including the chart-topping “Hold on to the Nights,” with “Don’t Mean Nothing” earning him a Grammy nomination for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance. The follow-up, 1989’sRepeat Offender,was even more successful, hitting #1 and going quadruple-platinum with two #1 singles in “Satisfied” and “Right Here Waiting.” When both Rush Street (with two #1 AC hits in “Keep Coming Back” and “Hazard”) and Paid Vacation (with its #1 AC hit, “Now and Forever”) went platinum, Marx achieved a seven-year string of triumphs that rivaled any in pop-rock music history. To this day, he is the only male artist in history to have his first seven singles reach the Top 5 on the Billboard charts.
Richard has been involved with many charitable organizations throughout his career. He has performed benefit concerts for organizations including Children of the Night, Toys for Tots, Make-A-Wish Foundation, the American Cancer Society and the Special Olympics. In 1987 he donated the royalties of his 1987 hit single “Should’ve Known Better” to build a room at the NYU Medical Center where pediatric cancer patients can play while at the hospital. Perhaps closest to Richard’s heart is the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, which he has raised over $3 million for. He organized Newsapalooza in Chicago, an annual benefit concert to raise funds for research to cure the disease.
In May of 2016, Richard Marx and his wife Daisy Fuentes attended the FedEX/St. Jude Angels and Stars Gala in Miami. Daisy is the co-founder of this event.
Richard Marx was a part of the American Cancer Society’s anti-smoking campaign in 1996 speaking around the country to school age students about the dangers of smoking.The singer's appearance at Woodland was the first time he spoke at a school as part of the American Cancer Society's anti-smoking campaign. The pupil's questions to Marx and his answers were videotaped by Turner Broadcasting for use in a public service announcement.
"I always thought it (smoking) was gross," Marx said to the young audience. "To this day, it is such a turnoff for me." The singer urged the teenagers not to be sold on smoking by the tobacco companies that use cartoon characters like Joe Camel to make smoking appeal to young people. "They (tobacco companies) don't care if you kids die," Marx said.
Marx told the pupils that he became more vocal about his anti-smoking beliefs when his grandmother died nine years prior from the lung disease emphysema. "It is the main reason why I feel the way I do because I lost my grandmother," Marx said. "I watched my grandmother literally waste away. She was a lifelong smoker. I watched the person I adored suffocate."
I was having a conversation with my cousin about her father, my uncle, and his diagnosis of cancer. My daughter overheard me and commented, "Isn't his birthday in November?" It took me a minute, but I realized that her frame of reference was horoscope, not disease. I was surprised since her beloved auntie Vero was taken by ovarian cancer the previous year. When I quizzed her about the ironic association that she has with the word cancer, what I discovered was incredible. She felt that cancer was much like a bad flu because she thought most cancers weren't serious with today's medicine and a cure was imminent. All I could do was mentally high-five the American Cancer Society and decided to get involved.
Sean and I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to become a part of finishing the fight against cancer. We are close and hope you will help us connect the dots to ending this disease. The American Cancer Society is currently funding nearly $48 million for research projects in California alone in. Funds raised at this event will support service program such as Look Good Feel Better, Road To Recovery, Lodging, and more. In today's modern world pronouns can be very emotional, but especially when referring to cancer. Whether it's a loved one saying "I'm fighting cancer" or a doctor saying "you're fighting cancer", cancer makes all pronouns scary. In fact, not even our pets are safe from the fight. After all, who hasn't been touched by cancer? Sean and I are proud to serve as Honorary Chairs for Desert Spirit XXIX... Cuisine, Spirits, & Rock ‘n Roll. Please join us for an evening of music and giving. The money raised from this night will go to local patient programs and services as well as cancer research.
We look forward to seeing you on March 18th.
Michele and Sean Kanan
For more than a 100 years, The American Cancer Society has been leading the fight to end cancer. With your support, we have helped usher in an era where more people survive cancer than ever before. By translating our research findings into action, we've seen a 20% decline in US cancer death rates since the early 1990s.
Desert Spirit XXIX
73-161 Fred Waring Drive #100
Palm Desert, CA 92260.