Indo-American Cancer Network (IACAN) Fundraiser 2022: You Can with IACAN


HOUSTON: After a gap of four years, the Indian American Cancer Network (IACAN) hosted the “You can with IACAN” Gala 2022 on September 10th at the Sugarcreek Country Club in Sugarland, Texas. For those unfamiliar with IACAN, this 501c (3) nonprofit organization has been providing culturally tailored services to people of South Asian origin locally, nationally, and internationally for more than a decade. All services and programs provided by IACAN are geared towards cancer prevention and creating a supportive environment for those affected by cancer (for more details, please visit

Dr. Lorenzo Cohen was presented with the Lifetime Service Award.

The theme of this year’s gala was “Support,” and the goal of the gala was to raise funds for IACAN’s initiatives that include preventive cancer screening, marrow drive, survivors and caregivers’ activities, mind-body healing yoga program, and South Asian cancer health research. The evening began with the traditional lighting of the lamps by the founding board members of IACAN.  It was followed by celebrating 75 years of India’s independence through the rendition of the US national anthem led by Niyati Jain (Clements High school choir team) and the Indian national anthem led by Dr. Shamik Bose and Mrs. Vaishnavi Bakhta.  Dr. Monalisa Chandra, IACAN president, delivered the welcome speech, which was followed by an interactive keynote address by Dr. Marina George, Vice President, Inpatient Medical Operations at the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, wherein she emphasized the practice of thinking out of the ordinary to realize and address the needs of cancer patients. The Special Guest of the evening was Dr. Stephen J Spann, the Founding Dean of the Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine and Vice-President of Medical Affairs at the University of Houston. In his address, Dr. Spann emphasized the importance of “hope” and “compassion” in the healing and treatment of cancer patients. Dr. Lorenzo Cohen, Richard E. Hayes Distinguished Professor in Clinical Cancer Prevention, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, was awarded the Lifetime Service Award for his contribution to cancer prevention research and education. IACAN also recognized the cancer survivors and their caregivers and bone marrow donors. Mr. Yusuf Khan, a first-year medical student at UT Health Science Center in San Antonio was awarded the Youth Leadership Award for his advocacy in enabling the passage of the H.B. 780 bill into law, which will increase bone marrow registration across Texas. At the gala, IACAN was recognized for outstanding community service by Honorable Members of U.S. Congress, Congressman Troy Nehls and Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthy.

Keynote speaker Dr. Marina George

The gala attendees were entertained by an exemplary presentation of “Jugalbandi” (or musical duet) of Hindustani Classical music and Carnatic classical music by Dr. Shamik Bose, Mrs. Vaishnavi Bakhta, Mr. Nishaad Kanhere, and Mr. Abhishek Iyer, which was followed by laughter yoga by Reverend Stephen Findley. The charity auction hosted by Dr. Subodh Bhuchar raised a significant amount of money for the different IACAN initiatives.

The event was further energized by the very skillful host, Ms. Pooja Lodhia.  IACAN would like to thank everyone who contributed to IACAN’s success and the success of the gala, including all speakers, donors, sponsors, musicians, guests, honorees, and IACAN’s founding members and advisory board members, and media partners. To know more about IACAN programs and services or to avail cancer-related support services, please contact 713-370-3489, email, or visit