In January 2012, our friend Natalie was diagnosed with paraganglioma and pheochromocytoma, which is a type of neuroendocrine cancer. As friends and family started to cope with the reality of her situation, they created a support system and Team Nat was born. With neuroendocrine cancer representing less than 2% of all cancers, Team Nat quickly recognized the lack of awareness and decided to take action. What started off as 14 friends educating and supporting each other, grew 770 strong and matured into the Team Nat Foundation.
The Team Nat Foundation was created to raise funds for neuroendocrine cancers research, bring awareness and to help those affected by this rare type of cancer. Neuroendocrine cancer is among the most difficult types of cancer to detect and people are often misdiagnosed. It could take years to diagnose even after the onset of many symptoms. It is increasingly common, however poorly understood. Many medical professionals have little or no experience with this type of cancer. There are approximately 500 to 1,100 cases per year in the United States.
Proceeds from the Team Nat Foundation go to the MD Anderson Neuroendocrine Cancer Research Department.
Why the MD Anderson Cancer Center?
When Natalie was first diagnosed six years ago, she was directed to go to MD Anderson in Texas, one of the top ranked cancer institutes in the US. Given how rare her disease is, she quickly found out that there are only 10 Paraganglioma/Pheochromocytoma specialists in the US, and only a few hospitals that have neuroendocrine research departments working on protocols for these kinds of tumors. That is how Natalie met Dr. Jimenez.
Throughout Natalie’s fight, she and her family received a great deal of guidance and support from Dr. Jimenez at MD Anderson. In our 2013 Annual Fundraiser, Dr. Jimenez was our guest speaker of honor. He has extensive knowledge of new treatments in the field and maintains contact with Paraganglioma specialists around the world.
Dr. Jimenez specializes in adult endocrinology with a special interest in paragangliomas & pheochromocytom
The Team Nat Foundation Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Dedicated to a friend, supporting a community
Victoria Diaz de Villegas
Karina D. Moises
Maria Elisa Muñoz
Natalie Papadam †
Adriana Liao Vilhena
At A Glance
1.One in one million people develop a paraganglioma 2.Pheochromocytomas (paragangliomas of the adrenal glands) occur in one in 500,000 people 3.Hereditary paraganglioma-pheochromocytoma affects approximately one in one million people 4.Most hereditary tumors are diagnosed in people in their 30’s 5.Tumors recur in about 10 percent of patients
Neuroendocrine cancer by the numbers