The magazine is a thanksgiving. After recovering from breast cancer, The Big C publisher
Suzette Andrews was transformed and she determined to give thanks to the Lord and to celebrate her new lease on life by embarking
on an enterprise that would help other cancer victims. But what enterprise? A foundation perhaps? A donation campaign? In
the end, she parlayed her love of the written word and her background in journalism for a brave foray into the all too risky
world of publishing. She was going to print a magazine devoted to cancer.
Not a few friends were alarmed. But challenges were nothing new to Suzette (after all, she had just
faced off with and won the biggest challenge of all) and she was emboldened to empower others in their fight against the disease.
She had taken the first step--and now, time to call in the cavalry.
Enter Dr. Francis V. F. Lopez, one of just a handful of bone-marrow-transplant specialists in the
Philippines and the medical oncologist who had saved Suzette from her cancer. There was little need, it turned, persuading
him to be the magazine's technical adviser and, later, chairman of the handling company. Dr. Lopez was in from the get-go.
He had more than a professional stake in the project. His, like Suzette's, was personal--years earlier, he had lost his father
to cancer. Besides, he had a healthy streak of philanthropy in him.
As with all things fated, serendipity now played its hand. The first editor Suzette approached was
too tied up in other commitments to help put up the magazine. Dr. Lopez then remembered a charity patient whose husband was
an out-of-work editor who had quit his job to take care of his wife. An introduction, a phone call and the aborning magazine
had its editor in Achilles Mina, who was only all too willing to join.
By then, it had become apparent that the magazine was going to have a core group that was uniquely
bound, not by profit but by a common experience dealing intimately with cancer. Ferdie Figueroa was a natural choice as marketing
and finance head. He was marketing director of a company (his own, in fact) engaged in health-care products, and his adolescent
daughter had earlier beaten down leukemia after a bone-marrow transplant by Dr. Lopez.
Things had moved fast. Now just a few days after Suzette first broached the idea, the core group
of the magazine had already coalesced. It wasn't surprising in retrospect. Individual commitment to the project cause was
solid. In fact, it was taken for granted because everyone had come into the project with a personal handle on the magazine's
topic--and a private wish to use that unique perspective to help others.
And all of a sudden there was a magazine-in-concept to print. Details were quickly voted into the
project. The name of the magazine (Dr. Lopez's brainstorm), for instance, was adopted only after several other suggestions
were thumbed down by the group. Logos and look were designed and redesigned, article lineups and the motto were drafted and
redrafted. And, yes, The Core Group Publishing Inc. was incorporated to professionally handle the advertising venue requirements
for medical and pharmaceutical products and services.
It's amazing how quickly and how smoothly the magazine was midwifed
from idea to reality. No doubt, the magazine is a labor of love--and we hope, of redemption as well.