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505 Food Fights


Local Chefs Battling... for Local Charities 

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505 Food Fights


Local Chefs Battling... for Local Charities 

Season 3

VINTAGE 423

Doors Open at 8:30pm - Battle starts at 9:00pm

Chef JOE ROMERO OF PUEBLO HARVEST CAFE

vs

Chef MATT SCHINDELE OF FORK AND FIG

BUY TICKETS NOW


 

Every 21 days, two local chefs face off in an underground, after hours tournament style competition.

The chefs will go head-to-head in a 60 minute live competition.

The contestants will receive a mystery basket of three ingredients to create two dishes.

The audience is invited into the kitchen of some of the best restaurants in the city to cheer on and watch the battle as it goes down.

3 local judges will decide which chef moves onto the next round.

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The Battle


Excellence is the unlimited ability to improve the quality

of what you have to offer. - Rick Patino 

The Battle


Excellence is the unlimited ability to improve the quality

of what you have to offer. - Rick Patino 

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The Reason


Rochelle Tittmann #teamRoBaby

The Reason


Rochelle Tittmann #teamRoBaby

 

2016 ended with the heartbreaking news that Rochelle Tittmann had been diagnosed with stage IV non-small cell lung cancer. We’ve all have been asking ourselves why her, how could this happen…she’s a perfectly healthy, 38 year old woman, who’s never smoked, with everything anyone could hope or ask for in life: a wonderful husband of 10 years, 3 beautiful daughters, and an amazing family and group of friends. What makes this situation even more difficult is that she’s 32 weeks pregnant with their fourth daughter.

Here’s her story from my perspective…

On December 13th, Mike and I received a phone call from Barbara (Ro’s mom) thinking she was calling to tease us about our Christmas card, but her tone was somber and serious, and what she was about to share with us caught us completely off guard. For the past week, Rochelle had apparently been suffering from a flu, thinking it was just a cold and would pass. However, the night after she thought it passed, she was awoken with an overwhelming headache and disorientation, causing her to be unable to take care of her three daughters, Azylnn (8), Mila (6), and Nyelli (2) while her husband Miguel was at work - Miguel has been an Albuquerque fireman for 12 years. Miguel immediately rushed home and decided to have her transported to Presbyterian Hospital as a precaution to make sure everything was okay with her and the baby. This is when life decided to throw a curveball - after some tests and an MRI, the doctors discovered a mass in her brain.

No one can prepare you for a phone call like that…there were still so many questions to be answered. Mike and I looked at each other, each knowing that all we could do was hope and pray this was a false alarm…maybe a benign tumor, an error on behalf of the machine, who knows. What complicated the situation even further was the pregnancy, there’s only so many tests and diagnostics that can be preformed so as not to harm the unborn baby, and so we waited. Each day after that Tuesday brought only a couple more answers, the mass in her head was relatively small - around 1cm - which was good news and the doctors were able to do a biopsy. The results of the biopsy revealed that the mass was an abnormality and also led doctors to believe that the brain tumor could possibly be a byproduct of something else going on in her body. Mike called me on Friday December 16th, a phone call I’ll never forget, in tears blurting out that Rochelle had stage IV lung cancer……our worst fears had been confirmed.

The next couple days were a whirlwind - that night Mike and his dad, Big Mike, immediately left for Albuquerque and I followed the next day - all we wanted to do was be with her and family. By the time I arrived at their home it was 3am, Rochelle had come home from the hospital and everyone was asleep. I can tell you from this experience that there’s no script or dialogue to follow when you find out someone has cancer, there’s no wrong or right thing to say, sometimes you’re just speechless, as most of us were in this case. When I saw her first thing that next morning, I just crawled into bed with her and we hugged and cried.

That following week was filled with doctors appointments which continued all the way up to Christmas day. There were so many questions to be answered, but what we did know was that the baby was healthy and that they were able to schedule a lung biopsy for that week with the results coming in Tuesday after Christmas.

So what did we do in the anticipation of results and answers, we came together as a family! My parents, Kathleen and Austin, drove out from LA, Celine (Ro’s sister) and her boyfriend, Ryan, flew in from Santa Cruz, and between all of us, including Miguel’s parents, John and Carmen, and of course Barbara, we helped in any way that we could. There was an outpouring of love and support from even more family and friends via phone calls, Facebook messages, text messages, care packages, and more. I’ve never seen a group come together so quickly as the Albuquerque Fire Department did to shower this family with love and labor, and lots and lots of food; these men were delivering food and Costco supplies around the clock! We spent Christmas Day in Santa Fe with Rosie and Carmelo (Ro’s grandparents), which was probably one of the most special Christmas’s we had ever had - all of us embracing each other with love and lots of prayers.

Tuesday eventually came and we had another piece of the puzzle, the diagnosis. The doctors informed Rochelle that she had been diagnosed with Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (ALK ) Fusion Oncogene Positive Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. It’s categorized as stage IV because the cancer has metastasized to her brain creating a small secondary tumor. Almost 40% of lung cancer patients have no symptoms until it has traveled to other parts of the body. As of now, there’s no trace of cancer in her blood, bones, liver, and adrenal glands, which are additional common places it can spread when you have lung cancer. I’m sure you’re wondering, but, once again, she’s never smoked. Unfortunately, 15%-20% of lung cancer patients are nonsmokers and the causes can range anywhere from occupational to environmental, and as of today, we do not know the cause. Apparently, lung cancer research has come a long way in the last 4-5 years, and there are new treatments being tested and discovered all the time. As for Rochelle, the current plan to treat the lung cancer is an oral drug called Alectinib and to address the mass in her brain they’ll perform Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS ). The doctors explained that this specific type of lung cancer is slower growing, so they feel confident delivering the baby at 36 weeks. As to how to ultimately deliver the baby, the doctors are still determining which delivery method will be the safest for both mom and baby, c-section or a natural vaginal birth.

As we stand today, the overall prognosis for Rochelle is that her cancer is not curable, but TREATABLE with the goal being long term survivability. Many people have reached out asking how they can help and we’re hoping this Go Fund Me page will be part of the answer. The Tittmann Family has a long journey and fight ahead of them, and with the funds we raise here we hope to alleviate some of the financial burdens that come with a cancer diagnosis. Rochelle is an amazing stay-at-home mom and varsity volleyball coach for a local high school, and while she makes her health her number one priority, Miguel will be taking time off work to care for a newborn, their daughters, and support a recovering and healing wife. The ultimate goal is to help raise funds for their medical and household expenses, which they'll accrue during her treatments, in the hope that all Rochelle will have to do is focus on healing and ultimately knowing that this is one less thing she needs to worry about for her family.

With that said, the new year is a time for reflection, change, and new beginnings, and a good reminder that we have so much to be thankful for each and every day of our lives.  No donation is too small!!  Please stay tuned for more information, stories, where your donations are going, and the long road ahead.  With your assistance we can all work together to help Rochelle in this time of need!

Love you Ro,

Sloane aka Soon-To-Be-Sister-In-Law