Ticia’s involvement with the American Cancer Society began in the early 90's when her younger brother was dying of chronic Myeloid leukemia. First diagnosed in 1978, he had married in 1990 and fathered twin sons, but without a bone marrow donor he did not survive to see them grow up…dying in 1993 when they were only 2 years old. This began her passion to help support the American Cancer Society’s mission to save lives and diminish suffering from cancer.
But nearly 30 years later, Ticia would hear the same words as her brother had, “You have cancer.” She was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in October 2018, marking the beginning of her odyssey with cancer and treatment at MD Anderson. Having a rare gene mutation, she qualified for a Phase 1 Clinical trial involving unnamed pills (FT 2102) and chemotherapy.
After nine months of countless blood transfusions, daily pills, continuous blood draws and one week a month of chemotherapy infusions, her leukemia gene was gone but she had developed new gene mutations. Now her diagnosis was Myelodysplastic Syndrome. Her only option was a bone marrow transplant, but at 72 years of age, she was anxious that she might not be a candidate or find a match. However, she was approved for a transplant and the process was put into action.
Ticia’s thoughts were focused not only on her treatment but that of countless others who face similar hurdles. This prompted her to turn to the American Cancer Society, Christus Spohn, and her legion of family and friends to create bone marrow donor awareness in her community so that she or someone else might have a second chance of life. Two successful bone marrow registry events were held and, amazingly, not one but three excellent matches were found. Her donor was from Germany, and a courier traveled there and transported her donor’s stem cells to MDA. On August 14, she had her transplant and a new life!
Ticia’s cancer treatment is not over. She was in the hospital for 3 weeks, discharged and required to remain in Houston within 30 minutes of MDA for 100 days. Ongoing blood tests, multiple pills, twice daily blood thinner injections, and more ensued. Her treatment is ongoing and once she is discharged before Thanksgiving, she will be followed closely by the transplant team for some time to come.
Although Ticia’s treatment is not over, neither is her fight. She is a small, but mighty warrior. Friends have marveled over Ticia’s ability to endure the deaths of several family member and find the courage each time to fight harder. Her personal cancer battle exemplifies her strength, bravery and her famous positive attitude.
For nearly 30 years, Ticia has been a tireless advocate for the American Cancer Society. She is truly legendary and an unparalleled spokesperson for the cause. The Corpus Christi Cattle Baron’s Ball is proud to have Ticia Hanisch as the 2020 honoree.
Words from friends of Ticia Hanisch:
"I cannot imagine my journey with Cattle Baron’s Ball without Ticia’s energetic spirit. Ticia’s passion for the American Cancer Society is contagious. She truly believes in ACS’s mission and is the greatest spokeswoman for the cause. To know Ticia is to love Ticia! She is an amazing volunteer and friend. I have had the privilege of getting to know Ticia over the years and have learned so much from her. She has helped shape me not only as a volunteer, but also as a mother and a friend. She is always quick to say thank you with her famous chocolate chip cookies and an enthusiastic “jumping for joy!” I am a better person for being privileged enough to call her friend. It is my honor to know and love her!" (Jennifer Henderson)
"Ticia and I have been friends and volunteers together for more years than I can count! She is in inspiration to all who know her. Ticia is a vital part of this community and to raising attention and money to fight cancer. I am always honored when asked to work on a project with her." (Lynn Giddings)
"Ticia is truly one of the most selfless and loving people I know. She makes everyone she meets feel loved and included, if there were a million people in a room when you’re talking to Ticia her genuine love for people makes you feel like the only person around. She is always the first to step up and volunteer for her friends and her community. I feel so blessed to have this amazing woman in my life she is always a shining light with her hearty laugh and constant smile she lives life to the fullest." (Carrie Gilley)
"Ticia is a small and mighty warrior against cancer. She has endured the deaths of several family members to the disease and finds the courage each time to fight harder. When confronted with her own battle, Ticia faced the battle with strength, courage and her famous positive attitude! Love simply pours out of Ticia to everyone she meets and almost no one can tell her “No” when she asks for a donation for ACS. Ticia is a beautiful human being, inside and out." (Lori Dellinger)
"Ticia's 30 + year commitment to cancer awareness and to the mission of the ACS makes her a treasured volunteer--but her unique gift for gentle and gracious fundraising is truly legendary. Ticia has been tireless and fearless in her enthusiastic pursuit of underwriting for ACS and for Cattle Baron's Ball. No corporate office is too distant, no CEO too remote, no budget-conscious CFO too close-minded for Ticia to approach-- often with warm chocolate chip cookies in hand and to tell our story. She usually leaves with a check , a commitment or at least a new friend or a possible prospect for next year. Each gets a thoughtful, hand-written thank you note and gets added to her list of donors or prospects to be cultivated, recognized, taken care of --babied even. In the end many become not just ACS contacts, but Ticia's personal friends." (Susan Taft)
2020 Corpus Christi Cattle Baron's Ball Ladies and Gentleman's Committee Honorees:
Gentleman's Honoree: Fred Dotts
After a regular doctor's visit in August 2017, Fred was diagnosed with colon cancer. After surgery and multiple rounds of chemotherapy, Fred was able to win his battle with his cancer. Fred has been cancer-free since May 2018! We are proud to recognize and honor his fight!
Ladies Honoree: Cathy Scholl
After her mother's passing with breast cancer, Cathy was assured by several Doctors that it was not genetic. But, in 2010 she discovered an abnormality in my breast, but didn’t question it, even after a routine mammogram showed she was in the clear.
The following year she went to a new Doctor. Voicing her concerns to her physician, new tests were ordered. However, she still received a clear mammogram and a clear diagnostic mammogram. It wasn't until a follow up a sonogram which finally showed the cancer.
During surgery, a second cancer was discovered then, but yet no previous tests had showed it. Cathy realizes her battle with cancer would of been different had she not been an advocate in speaking out about her concerns. She never had a lump as a signal but knew something was wrong.
Her advice for everyone who reads this:
1) Know Cancer’s warning signs
2) Have regular checkups
3) Don’t totally rely on 1 screening
4) Listen to your body
For more than 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.
Sr. Development Manager, Distinguished Events
American Cancer Society