Fight NET Cancer with Katherine

by Susan Payson

When I first met Larry Sells in May, we never imagined that the community fundraiser he planned to honor his stepdaughter would rally an entire community and become one of the most successful third party events held on behalf of NETRF. Katherine Mueller, age 29, was diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer in November 2018 so the family was looking for a goal to help NETRF’s mission and support NET research. Larry, the COO of the Severna Park Voice newspaper, set the bar that he wanted to raise $25,000.

The Mueller and Sells family launched an all-hands-on-deck fundraising and NET awareness effort that exceeded all expectations. More than $73 thousand was raised for NETRF. Success was reached by recruiting many members of the Severna Park community – local businesses, families, friends, work colleagues – to join in a day-long fundraiser at the Taphouse Bar & Grill for music entertainment, food, spirits, silent auction, raffle and photo-booth — all to raise much needed research funds for NETs. 

Celebrating the results

  • Raised $73,889 for NET research 
  • 550 tickets sold
  • 25 event sponsors
  • Over 150 individual donors
  • 13 bands/musicians

Extra-special acknowledgments

We like to send a round of applause out to:  

Jessica and Mark Tinordi, owners of the Severna Park Taphouse for hosting the event and recruiting their entire staff to take care of all event guests throughout the  day;

Nashville Country Music Artist Chad Bearden for a great concert that all enjoyed and also for spending time post-concert with guests;

Larry & Robin Sells, Matt & Katherine Mueller, Ralf & Lisa Mueller for welcoming me into their family and organizing such a wonderful and fruitful event for NET research through NETRF.

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Family Reflections from the Day

‘There are many people to thank, everyone has been special and generous! This has been such an emotional time for all of us. I tend to recognize the unsung hero helpers – those who took part in organizing the event and those who have immediately stepped up to support Matt and Katherine since her diagnosis. Their friends are just starting out in their careers, yet have embraced our kids during this difficult time with many contributions,’ shared Katherine’s Mom, Robin Sells.

‘I was able to meet and exchange contact information with three local NET patients and two caregivers. This may not sound like a big deal to some, but when you have a “rare” condition, it can feel like you are all alone in managing your disease at times. It is so refreshing to talk to someone else that knows all about the world of Ki-67 scores, Ga-68 Dotatate, PNETs, SSAs, and PRRT. It is almost like we have our own secret language. The energy and love at this event was palpable. I am so grateful for everyone that showed up to support us,’ shared Katherine Mueller.

‘The past ten months have been a complete whirlwind, starting with the diagnosis, which left us feeling absolutely hopeless and crushed, till now where we have a plan in place working with great doctors, and the best support system of family and friends behind us. The outpouring of support and involvement by family, friends, neighbors and co-workers has been truly unbelievable. We have good days and bad days, but knowing our team is behind us, providing the strength and support we need, keeps a big smile on Kat’s face. Katherine is truly a warrior, she is determined to use her journey to help others with fundraising for a cure and improving earlier detection in diagnosing NETs for future patients,’ shared Matt Mueller, Katherine’s husband.

We are pleased that these proceeds will be matched through our Spark Hope campaign doubling the impact of NET research.

Heartfelt thanks to our new friends in Severna Park, MD.!

9/5/19 article, Severna Park Voice