ABOUT TOWN: Stoughton Cancer Survivor to Take Part in "Celebration of Life" (And More...)

Welcome to "About Town with Mark Snyder," a column that will keep you up to the minute with what's what, who's who and what's going on around town. If you see or hear something we could use here, let us know by sending an e-mail to pmpco@aol.com.

STOUGHTON CANCER SURVIVOR FEATURED SPEAKER: Taking place in the Harvard Medical School Quadrangle on May 20, is the Celebration of Life, a full day of celebration, education and kinship for the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) cancer community to raise awareness about the battle against cancer. 

This poignant event also welcomes men and women who receive their care from other hospitals in and around Boston – and beyond. Mark Leppo, a Stoughton realtor, is a featured speaker at the event.  

Mark fought for his life against the rare and deadly Merkel Cell Carcinoma.  Surgery, regular chemotherapy and radiation couldn't halt the cancer, and it threatened his leg and his life. 

An experimental five hour procedure, called Isolated Limb Infusion, was performed by Dr. Kenneth Tanabe at Mass. General.  After 3 agonizing months, Leppo found out he was cancer free. 

While Leppo was battling cancer - and a failed remission - he was also establishing a at the Old Colony YMCA in Stoughton.  

That first year, while he was undergoing chemotherapy, he chaired the event and arranged for most of the sponsors. The event raised $17,400. , it raised another $60,000 collectively in all the Old Colony YMCA locations. 

Leppo, who works for Zip Realty (www.leppoteam.com), says, "Live every day to its fullest. It is important to keep busy, and have a great support system."  

I'm happy to say that Mr. Leppo and I have been friends for over 50 years.  Leppo has a wonderful wife and partner of 28 years, Anne, and a great son, Jason.    

Since 1993, patients and their family members and close friends, along with physicians, nurses, social workers, and other cancer caregivers at BIDMC have gathered together for this daylong celebration in June, dubbed The Celebration of Life. 

This inspiring event allows people living with cancer an opportunity to share their stories and learn from Harvard Medical School affiliated physicians, other community experts, and of course, each other. 

“It’s the pinnacle of the year for those who have been touched by this disease, patients and health care professionals alike,” said Hester Hill Schnipper, LICSW, BCD, Chief of Oncology Social Work at BIDMC and a breast cancer survivor. 

“Celebration of Life ‘puts a face’ on cancer, while providing hope to all that fight it,” Hill Schnipper adds.


CRIMINOLOGIST HUNTING LIONS: The Stoughton Lions Club hosted criminologist and author  at their monthly meeting on Wednesday, May 2. It took place at in Stoughton. The event was hosted by past King Lion Arthur Slate

Levin spoke about serial killers, and had the audience spellbound with his insight into the criminal mind. Thirty-five Lions Club members turned out to hear him speak in the restaurant's function room. 

Photos in the gallery by Hank Herbowy.

Dr. Jack Levin is the Irving and Betty Brudnick Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Northeastern University in Boston, where he teaches courses in prejudice and violence. He specializes in Criminology, Prejudice, and Social Psychology and is considered an authority on serial killers, mass murderers, and hate crimes. He is also the co-director of the Brudnick Center on Conflict and Violence at Northeastern University.

Mr. Levin has authored or co-authored 28 books, including Mass Murder: America’ s Growing Menace, Killer on Campus, Overkill: Mass Murder and Serial Killing Exposed, Hate Crimes Revisited, The Will to Kill: Making Sense of Senseless Murder, The Violence of Hate, and Serial Killers and Sadistic Murderers: Up Close and Personal.

Levin has published more than 150 articles in professional journals and newspapers, such as The New York Times, Boston Globe, Dallas Morning News, Philadelphia Inquirer, Christian Science Monitor, Chicago Tribune, and USA Today.

He has frequently appeared on national television programs, including 48 Hours, 20/20, Dateline NBC, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Oprah, Rivera Live, Larry King Live, Unsolved Mysteries, and network newscasts. 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY (on SATURDAY): to O.J. Ruggiero, owner of P.C. Networks, Inc. in Stoughton. And to flute and bass player Steve Tapper. He is married to Teresa Tapper of the Stoughton Youth Commission.

Susan Komisar Hausman May 04, 2012 at 08:07 PM
Mark's outlook has been nothing short of inspirational. I am very glad to know him.


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