The Bili Project Loses Two Amazing People

Andrea_RichThe Bili Project Foundation is sad to make this update. It has been a rough two months!

We lost two amazing people to hepatobiliary cancer – Andrea Scott and Rick Babich. Both Andrea and Rick were Bili supporters and attended our fundraising Gala on August 3rd. They were both in good spirits and shared their story with us very candidly at the event.

Andrea was a mom, a daughter and a wife, who only wanted to set a good example for her boys. She was diagnosed with intrapathetic cholangiocarcinoma in April of 2013 and died in November 2014.

Rick was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in May 2014. Rick shared that one day he just started to feel lethargic and had no desire to go to the gym. As the days went by, his energy level dropped even more and he started to lose his appetite. At that point he decided to check things out. The first doctor told him: “Your labs are fine, see you next year.” Dissatisfied, he consulted a second doctor. This doctor had him see a urologist to do an ultrasound and then followed up with a CT scan. The CT scan revealed an inoperable, untreatable, pancreatic cancer.

Both Rich and Andrea were friends of the foundation and we are deeply saddened by this loss.
Please join us in sending condolences to their families.

The 2014 Vince Acquisto Memorial Golf Tournament was a Success!

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The 2014 Vince Acquisto Memorial Golf Tournament took place on Monday, October 13, 2014 at the beautiful Blackhawk Country Club in Danville, California. Those who attended enjoyed a day of fun and networking as funds were raised for The Bili Project Foundation in memory of Vincent Acquisto.

The foundation raised nearly 10k which will go towards the continued research in to the study of Hepatobiliary Cancers.

Check out a few highlights and photos from the event!

  • The event was a huge success and we were able to raise about $10,000 for The Bili Project Foundation. 100% of the proceeds raised will go towards research of Hepatobiliary Cancers to hopefully provide treatment options and early detection indicators in the future for those suffering from Hepatobiliary Cancers.
  • Mike and Debbie Lax volunteered all day at this years event. Mike is suffering from Bile Duct Cancer and both he and his wife manned the Bili Tee for the entire day. Debbie gave a heartfelt speech during dinner and his family was present with him during the evening reception. It was truly inspirational to have Mike there with his family to show his strength and deamination to fight this disease.
  • We had King Bechtel BBQing for the golfers at the 9th hole and Rosanne Wassom with Fahrenheit Wood Fired Pizza of Pleasanton provided dessert pizzas for the golfers at the 1st tee.
  • We had the following competitions throughout the day:
    • Straightest Shot: Winner was Andrew Ray
    • Marshmallow Drive: Winners were Donna Emrich (women) and Peter Tripp (men)
    • Closest to the Pin: Winner was Joy Stephenson-Laws
    • Longest Drive: Winners were Chuck Acquisto (men) and Lisa Morphis (women)
    • Putting Contest: Winner was Rob Perez
    • Winning Foursome: Jason Gambonini, Matt Free, Vince Avila, and Rodney Simmons
  • On Tee 6 we had a professional golfer where participants could elect to have the golfer take the drive from the tee for them.
  • The cocktail hour took place at the Blackhawk Country Club Lakeside Clubhouse with beautiful views overlooking the lakeside golf course. Attendees were able to enjoy their drinks and hors d’oeuvres on the patio or inside where the silent auction took place. When doors to dinner opened, guests were ushered into the clubhouse ballroom where they enjoyed a wonderful Italian themed buffet, live auction and raffle, award ceremony, update from one of the research physicians for The Bili Project Foundation, a heartfelt speech from Debbie Lax, and a message from one of The Foundation’s co-founders, Sue Acquisto.

For more information on how you can join in on the fun at next year’s event please email

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Battling Bile Duct Cancer: Founder’s Story

The Bili Project Foundation’s Co-Founder, Sue Acquisto, shares her story of how her husband went from complaining of a stomach ache to being diagnosed with Bile Duct Cancer (Cholangiocarcinoma). Sue is now committed to bringing this cancer into the spotlight as well as funding research to find a cure and better diagnostic tools.

Watch this video as our Co-Founder tells the story of her husband and the stomach ache that was later Bile Duct Cancer. Bile Duct Cancer should probably be called the “goodbye cancer” because once diagnosed, that’s about as much time as you have – time to say goodbye to those close to you. Sadly, our Co-Founder had to experience this.

Watch as she shares what it was like trying to avoid saying goodbye to her husband.

Using Patients’ Own Immune System to Knock-out Cancer: Adoptive Cell Therapy


Bile Duct Cancer patient who received life expectancy of a couple of months will talk about how clinical trial saved her life – don’t miss live webinar! on Oct 21, 2014.

Sign up for webinar here:

Melinda Bachini was diagnosed in 2009. She is now 46 years old, and is a wife and a mother of six beautiful children. Now she can add brave, fierce and survivor to her name. In this live webinar, Melinda Bachini will share her journey through diagnosis and treatment as a cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer) patient and study participant.

“I found myself not wanting to spend the rest of the life I had left using a chemo that would not cure me but had already caused so much damage. Chemo was toxic and it was not holding against this growing cancer within me.I found the NIH clinical trial online shortly after this decision.” Melinda Bachini

Also on webinar hear from Steven A. Rosenberg, M.D., Ph.D., National Cancer Institute, Adoptive Cell Therapy pioneer. Adoptive cell therapy uses a technique that harnesses a person’s own immune system to fight cancer & Eric Tran, Ph.D., National Institutes of Health Surgery Branch, Tumor Immunology Section

An Event to Remember!

The Bili Project Foundation 2014 Sonoma Bili Project Experience was a tremendous success in raising funds to support UCSF’s Hepatobiliary Cancer Research Program.  Guests of the event were treated to a VIP evening hosted by Cedric “The Entertainer” at the historic General’s Daughter located in Sonoma, California.  The event included a plated dinner created by the culinary team at the nationally acclaimed Ramekins Culinary School, live and silent auctions, dancing and an evening socializing with celebrity entertainers and athletes.

bili_4Our guests had the extraordinary opportunity to hear from two very brave and inspiring individuals battling Hepatobiliary cancers, both of whom gave very heartfelt and moving first-hand accounts of living with and battling these diseases.  The Bili Project foundation was truly honored to host these two individuals who are a true inspiration for all of us to stay strong and remain positive in the face of adversity.

Dr. Robert Kerlan of UCSF attended our event and presented the extraordinary and cutting-edge research being conducted across the country in Hepatobiliary cancer research.  UCSF’s collaboration with other leading institutions to find early detection and treatment options for those suffering from Hepatobiliary cancers has been instrumental in the path to potential groundbreaking research and discoveries.  The Bili Project Foundation is honored to have Dr. Kerlan and UCSF as part of Team Bili.

bili_3The Bili Project Foundation had the privilege of hosting Marion Schwartz, Board Member and Chief Research Advocate of The Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation, as both a guest and speaker at our event.  Marion presented important updates in research advocacy across the country to our guests.  The Bili Project Foundation and The Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation have collaborated in their joint efforts to support the institutions’ research of Cholangiocarcinoma.

Excitingly, The Bili Project Foundation has created a video documenting the motivation behind The Bili project Foundation, which was debuted at the event.  The video will be released on our website soon!

The following day selected donors and VIP guests enjoyed a private experience at the exclusive and private Sonoma Golf Club, including a celebrity golf outing benefiting The Bili Project Foundation and UCSF’s Hepatobiliary Cancer Research Program.

The Bili Project Foundation is committed to our mission of reducing the incidence and improving the outcome of Hepatobiliary cancers.  To continue this fight, The Bili Project Foundation is proud to be a participating charity in the upcoming 2015 ASICS LA Marathon.  Team Bili will be participating in the LA 5K and LA marathon to continue raising awareness of Hepatobiliary cancers.  We look forward to your support as we race for future research!

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Hard Work Pays Off

Thanks to everyone that attended the Inaugural Sonoma Bili Project Experience. It was an amazing night and we are grateful for all your support. Special thanks to the Bili team, Cedric “The Entertainer”, Scott Erickson, Jim Plunkett, Barry Bonds, Robert K. Kerlan, Jr. MD, Andrea Scott and Rick Babich.

Event photos coming soon!

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The Bili Project Foundation Receives Certificate of Achievement

The Bili Project Foundation was fortunate enough to be a Participating Charity in the 2014 Asics LA Marathon. Team Bili did an amazing job as they hit the streets of LA, all to raise awareness of The Bili Project Foundation and it’s mission. The Bili Project Foundation is truly honored to receive this Certificate of Achievement and we look forward to next years marathon!

Bili Project Certificate of Achievement


The 2014 Sonoma Bili Project Experience

Sonoma Bili Project Experience

Join us on Saturday, August 2, 2014 at General’s Daughter in Sonoma, California for an evening of laughter and entertainment – hosted by Cedric “The Entertainer” – as we raise funds for The Bili Project Foundation.

More details to come. Please check our Sonoma Bili Project Experience event page often. If you have questions regarding The Sonoma Bili Project Experience please email us at or call us at 818.817.0831..

The Bili Team @ The 2014 LA Marathon

The Bili Team did an amazing job at the 2014 Asics LA Marathon. Our runners trained hard, hit the pavement and crossed the finish line! A BIG thank you goes to everyone involved, from our runners to those who dedicated their time to help out and to those who supported our runners along the way in reaching their goals! Your support brings us one step closer in helping promote research to help detect and treat this complex disease affecting the Hepatobiliary system! Congrats again to all our medal winners and finishers!


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12 Year Old Burbank Native Battles Cholangiocarinoma


Christopher Wilke, 12, of Burbank, is at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles for treatment of a rare disease he is battling on Monday, March 3, 2014. The disease is a a bile duct cancer that is rare for adults, and nearly unheard of for children. (Tim Berger / Staff Photographer / March 4, 2014)

Our thoughts go out to Christopher who is battling Cholangiocarinoma. According to the Burbank Leader “Christopher is the first patient on record at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles — and among the youngest patients ever — to be diagnosed with a pure cholangiocarcinoma.”

The Bili Project Foundation will continue to make strides to promote research to identify diagnostic biomarkers and therapeutic targets in this complex and heterogeneous group of diseases.

Help us spread the word and to raise awareness. #thebiliproject

To read the story in its entirety Click HERE 


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