Life-Threatening Illness and a Mother’s Emotional Journey: Lessons in Care

When my son, David, was 10 years old in 1995, he was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness—acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Over the next five years, the entire medical team, David and our family, were busy trying to defeat the illness and spare his life. Every ground-breaking procedure was provided, but to no avail. He lost his battle in 2000. It has been 16 years since his death and I am still haunted by specific memories, especially during his last three months of care after a high-risk stem cell transplant.

First, Sex Ed. Then Death Ed.

From The New York Times Sunday Review By JESSICA NUTIK ZITTERFEB. 18, 2017

Jing Wei

Jing Wei

FIVE years ago, I taught sex education to my daughter Tessa’s class. Last week, I taught death education to my daughter Sasha’s class. In both cases, I didn’t really want to delegate the task. I wanted my daughters and the other children in the class to know about all of the tricky situations that might await them. I didn’t want anyone mincing words or using euphemisms. Also, there was no one else to do it. And in the case of death ed, no curriculum to do it with.

When Tessa heard I’d be teaching sex ed to her fellow seventh graders, she was mortified. My husband suggested she wear a paper bag over her head, whereupon she rolled her eyes and walked away. When the day arrived, she slunk to the back of the room, sat down at a desk and lowered her head behind her backpack. Read More...

Fairfield University to offer palliative care education program

FAIRFIELD — A new education program is launching at a local university, aimed at teaching nurses and the broader community about palliative care, a medical sub-specialty that aims to offer extra support to patients with serious illnesses.

With its new Kanarek Center for Palliative Care Nursing Education, Fairfield University will look to educate its undergraduate and graduate nursing students by embedding a national curriculum into its coursework.

Fairfield University Announces New Palliative Care Center

Fairfield University Announces New Palliative Care Center

Fairfield University trustee and alumna, Robin Kanarek BSN ’96, of the Kanarek Family Foundation has made a leadership gift in the amount of $2.5 million, to found the Kanarek Center for Palliative & Supportive Nursing Education, which will be housed in the newly renamed Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies.

Palliative Care programs and services benefit patients who have a life threatening illness and who require supportive care, pain and symptom management from a multidisciplinary healthcare team to enhance quality of life.

David’s Legacy: Communications Training for Our Pediatric Nurses at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

For the Kanarek family, life changed forever on an otherwise ordinary evening before dinner, when 10-year-old David, playing in the kitchen with his younger sister, Sarah, suddenly fell, saying that his legs had “buckled.” By the end of that week, he was unable to walk. David’s parents, Robin and Joe, took him to see his […]

$200K grant to launch Fairfield University Masters Nursing Program, Hartford Business Journal, August 21, 2012

Fairfield University has received a $200,000 grant that will allow the school to launch a new master’s of science in nursing program. The grant was provided by the Kanarek Family Foundation, whose president, Robin Kanarek is a 1996 Fairfield graduate as well as chair of the school of nursing advisory board. The new program will […]

Real-Life Nursing, Artificial Patients, New York Times, January 29, 2009

The soundtrack is a distracting din of electrocardiogram beeps and ventilator whooshes; the fully propped hospital room is I.C.U.-perfect, down to the authentically stocked crash cart and flashing cardiac monitor. And here in the Robin Kanarek ’96 Learning Resource Center, a state-of-the-medical-arts teaching facility at Fairfield University’s School of Nursing, diabolical hospital dramas are being staged […]

Dedication Ceremony Of The Fairfield University School Of Nursing…

She continued, “Our meetings are absolutely energetic. Everyone has an idea of where things should go, and every idea is received excitedly.” Kanarek is quick to point out that the Board has done as much for her as she has for it. “For me, being on the Board represents a lot of healing,” she noted. “After we lost our son David [to acute lymphocytic leukemia], I wasn’t sure I could even move back from England to Connecticut, a place that represented so much pain. I had no expectations when I joined the Board. But the leadership and the brainstorming that goes on is so exciting that I look forward to each meeting. I’ve been able to do the things I’ve wanted to do to honor David’s memory. It’s been a very healing experience.”