Wednesday, January 5, 2022

2024 Saturday Meeting Schedule

Our tentative schedule for 2024 will be for in-person meetings (which may move to Zoom depending on COVID/Flu/RSV status).  Our in-person meeting will be at The Wellness House in Hinsdale.  Saturday meeting dates for 2024 are:
  • February 3, 2024
  • May 18, 2024, Chicago GIST Day of Learning at Lurie Cancer Center
  • September 7, 2024
Meetings are generally informal.  The typical agenda includes patient GIST journey updates and may also include outside subject matter experts as well as informal updates on GIST management and recent GIST publications or meeting presentations.  There is no charge for the meeting. You do not have to be a member of The Life Raft Group to attend.

Virtual Meetings:

 If we are meeting via Zoom, invitations will be sent during the week of the meeting and again on the Friday before to all those on the Chicago Area GIST Group mailing list. If you think you might not be on the list ... text me at 847-302-5133 or email me at tjhughes43 at  Our Google Group mailbox is

In Person meetings:

All Chicago area GIST patients and caregivers are welcome to attend our in-person meetings. Meetings are from 1:00 3:00 p.m.. Doors open at 12:30 p.m. and close at 3:00 p.m.. Wellness house is located at 131 N County Line Rd., one block east of Hinsdale Hospital. Parking is free.  Attendees are asked to bring a snack or beverage to share before the meeting. If you are planning to attend, please text 847-302-5133 to let us know so we can plan for food and room setup.

Wellness House
131 North County Line Road
Hinsdale, Illinois 60521
Phone 630.323.5150 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Webcast Thur. Jan. 28, 2016: Living with Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GIST)

CancerCare is offering a workshop via either an on-line webcast or as a listen-in phone call with Doctors George Demetri and Mike Heinrich titled " Living with Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GIST)" on Thursday, January 28, 2016, 1:30 – 2:30 pm, Eastern Time. 

Both Drs. Demetri and Heinrich are renowned GIST researchers as well as oncologists who treat a wide range of GIST patients.  This should be a very informative session for those living with GIST and for those seeking options in their treatment plans.

This activity is supported by a grant from Genentech and Pfizer and is being produced in collaboration over two dozen organizations including:
  • GIST Cancer Research Fund
  • GIST Support International
  • Life Raft Group
You can register for the workshop by clicking the link below:
Living with Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GIST)

The next meeting of Chicago Area GIST Patients is scheduled for the following Sunday, January 31, 2016 at 12:30 - 3:30 pm at Wellness House in Hinsdale, IL.  All Chicago area GIST patients and caregivers are welcome to attend. 

Jim Hughes

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Chicago Area GIST Patients 2016 Meeting Schedule

Our Chicago Area GIST Patients regular meeting schedule pattern has been to meet on Pro Bowl Sunday in January, and the first Sundays in May and September.  

The planned schedule for 2016 is:
  • Sunday, January 31, 2016 (Pro Bowl Sunday)
  • Sunday, April 24, 2016
  • Sunday, September 11, 2016
Meetings are held at Wellness House 131 N. County Line Road Hinsdale, IL 60521. They generally run from 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm. Attendees are asked to bring a snack or beverage that can be shared.

Contact for the meetings is: Jim Hughes 847*302*5133

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

GIST Day Of Learning (GDOL) Chicago Returns Tuesday, April 14, 2015 to Northwestern University Medical Research Building

GDOL Chicago will be held this year in the Baldwin Auditorium of the Robert H. Lurie Medical Research Building at 303 E. Superior St. in the Northwestern University medical campus area on the evening of Tuesday, April 14 from 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm. Casual dinner and refreshments will be provided. Discounted parking ($6 coupon) will be available. The program includes Lurie Cancer Center MDs speaking on GIST surgery, management and research.

Register soon's free.

Meeting details, program and registration are here on the LRG website:

Robert H. Lurie Medical Research Building 303 E. Superior at N. Fairbanks Ct.
Lobby and dining area

Baldwin Auditorium

Friday, January 9, 2015

Meeting Sunday, January 25 at Wellness House in Hinsdale

The next meeting of the GISTChicago Chapter of the Life Raft Group will be Sunday, January 25, 2015 at 12:30 pm at Wellness House in Hinsdale.  Wellness House is located at 131 N. County Line Road Hinsdale, IL 60521. The phone there is: (630) 323-5150.  Click here for directions.

All Chicago Area GIST patients are invited to attend. Please RSVP to tjhughes43(at)comcast(dot)net.

The agenda will include a social period, GIST story updates and a brief discussion of recent GIST research. The meeting usually lasts til 3:30 p.

Please bring a snack or refreshment to share.

Wellness House is next door to Hinsdale Hospital and the Highlands Metra Station on the BNSF.

Our meeting room has a kitchen at one end.

Jim Hughes

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

You're Invited
1st Annual GIST Awareness Day

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N Cannon Dr., Chicago, IL 60614

  • Morning - Informational session for patients and caregivers*: 9 AM-1 PM
*Breakfast and lunch will be provided
  • Afternoon - GIST Awareness Day Festival: 1 PM - 4 PM


GIST Awareness Day was created by the Life Raft Group to help address the lack of education and recognition surrounding GIST (GastroIntestinal Stromal Tumors)- a rare cancer of the GI tract- and help break down the barriers to funding, research, treatment and diagnosis that this causes. To raise awareness among the general public about GIST we are attempting to break the Guinness World Record for largest display of origami boats among other activities at this fun family festival.

Both morning and afternoon are free.

Call 847-302-5133 (Jim Hughes)
Self register at:


8:00 AM - 9:00 AM Registration/Breakfast/Mingling
9:00 AM - 9:10 AM Welcome, Mildred Menos, LRG Asst. Director of Programs
9:10 AM - 9:45 AM The Surgeon's Role in Co-management of Patients with GIST, Dr. Karl Bilimoria, Surgical Oncologist, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, Northwestern Memorial Hospital
9:45 AM - 10:30 AM GIST Treatment Advancements, Dr. Bruce Brockstein, Medical Oncologist, Director of the Kellogg Cancer Center, at NorthShore University HealthSystem
10:30 AM -10:45 AM Coffee Break
10:45 AM -11:30 AM Managing Emotional and Relationship Changes after a GIST Diagnosis, Dr. Erin Braule, Post-Doctoral Fellow in Psycho-Oncology, Cancer Wellness Center
11:30 AM - 12:30 AM Lunch, Round Table Discussion with Panel of Experts


Tasting tables from Chicago’s top bakeries and restaurants, arts and crafts, giveaways, live band and plenty of entertainment for the kids will make this a wonderful day for the whole family.  Featured in the afternoon will be the chance for you to contribute to our Guinness World Record attempt for the largest display of origami boats.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Meeting Sunday, May 4 in Palatine

The next scheduled meeting of the Chicago Area Chapter of the Life Raft Group (LRG) is Sunday, May 4 at 12:30 PM at Wellness Place 1619 West Colonial Parkway Palatine. 

All Chicago area GIST patients and caregivers are invited to attend…especially those new to GIST.

The agenda includes:

  • A time to update our personal GIST stories
  • LRG Calendar events
  • Plans for the next meeting 

Our custom is to share a potluck of appetizers and refreshments at the start of the meeting. 

If you plan to join us please RSVP to