Wednesday Morning Notes

Herndon Graduate Continues Cancer Treatment — “Chelsea Proctor, the Herndon resident diagnosed last year with a rare and painful form of cancer, is continuing chemotherapy treatment.” [Reston Patch] 

Local Company Pivots to New Target — “Parabon NanoLabs, the small Reston company helping law enforcement crack cold cases across the country, has big priorities for 2021: Cancer therapeutics, VR software, diagnostics and more. [Washington Business Journal]

Herndon Tech Company to Buy Reston Contractor — “Herndon-based tech company Serco Inc. (a subsidiary of United Kingdom-based Serco Group plc) announced Tuesday it will acquire Reston-based H.I.G. Capital affiliate Whitney, Bradley & Brown for $295 million.” [Virginia Business]

Photo by Marjorie Copson


Music has a way of transcending the limited simplicity of words, and it often invokes a greater depth of emotion.

It is with music that Reston native Kelsey Burch, a music teacher at Coates, Sunrise Valley and Vienna elementary schools, is finding her solace as she has navigated an arduous journey through cancer and recently going into remission.

While on this journey, Burch’s passion for music has led her to launch an effort to raise $14,000 on GoFundMe to commission two pieces of music – one of which is a Grade I piece for her elementary students – from composer Brian Balmages, who has agreed to take on the projects.

“It’ll be huge. I mean, the one for my students, it’s just something I always wanted to do. Cancer makes you think about life is short and if I don’t do it now then it won’t happen,” Burch said.

The second piece is what Burch hopes can be a tale of her journey through cancer.

“In the middle of the night, I was thinking about it and then was like, why don’t I do something about my cancer journey? And it made me think of it because Brian wrote a piece that premiered in February called ‘Love and Light’ for a flute player in the Army Band who had a stillborn baby,” Burch said.

“So that’s kind of what spurred me, and I could commission something about what I’ve been through with the heartache and the joy of going through a cancer diagnosis and naturally being in remission.”

In March, Burch was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer. Along with a tumor in the colon, the cancer had metastasized in her lymph nodes, liver and abdominal wall.

She underwent the treatment with support from her husband, Rob, her family and an extended group of friends and colleagues. The emergence of COVID-19 didn’t allow for Burch to have visitors with her during each treatment. But the immediate support from her family and friends, to Zoom calls and Facebook Messenger conversations, to a surprise of 100 birthday cards in June, the well wishes and her support group stayed with her through it all.

“People I haven’t talked to for years, from college or people I grew up with, were messaging me and saying they’re thinking about me and supporting me,” Burch said.

“You know, I was getting all these gifts in the mail, and I feel like the support has been overwhelming and I feel like if anything, I’ve gotten closer with all my friends and family during this time, rather than further away. So that’s been wonderful.”

After four months of treatment and eight rounds of chemotherapy, Burch received the news that she was in remission. She has continued to undergo maintenance chemotherapy treatment for what she assumes will be for life, and will undergo a CT or PET scan every three months to check for any signs that cancer has returned.

With her cancer in remission and a determination to share her journey through music and provide a commissioned piece for her students, Burch is looking toward the future. She is also looking to share the experience in one of the most effective ways she knows.

“I think it is hard to pick specific words to explain what it’s like, and I think that’s why I want music to explain that,” Burch said. “(Having) my journey be explained through something so creative is, I think, more than I can do with words. I can write my journal and give you my thoughts, but I feel like music is what’s really going to showcase everything I’ve been through.”

If the fundraising goal is met, the timeline for the Grade I piece would have it delivered by the spring, while the piece written to tell Burch’s journey would be set for a year and a half from now.

More information regarding Burch’s GoFundMe for this cause can be found here.

Photos courtesy Kelsey Burch


Breast cancer survivors will model top name brands to raise funds and awareness at Reston Town Center next week.

The Runway to the Cure Fashion Show will take place on Saturday (Oct. 19) from 6-9 p.m. at 11900 Market Street and will mark the event’s third year. Tickets are donation-based but event organizers recommend a $25 donation.

Attendees will have the chance to participate in a raffle and silent auction as well. Raffle tickets are $5 each or five for $20.

The money raised from the event will benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the Step Sisters organization, both of which help women battling breast cancer.

Event sponsors include Scout and Molly’s Boutique, Hyatt Reston, Reston Town Center, Reston Hospital Center and Washington Radiology.

People who have questions or want to donate items for the auctions can call Jane Abraham at 703-362-5860.

Photos via Runway to the Cure/Facebook


Book lovers can get their hands on thousands of used books at the Friends of the Reston Regional Library’s semi-annual sale this weekend.

Although the spring sale started on Thursday for the public, the event continues today through 5 p.m., on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 3:30 p.m. at Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive).

No children’s books will be offered at the sale. The next book sale is in mid-August right before the next school year begins.

Tomorrow (May 4)

  • Reston Pet Fiesta (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) — Dogs and their owners can enjoy this outdoor festival at Reston Town Center. The free event brings together businesses, rescue groups and pet owners for activities, demonstrations and entertainment.
  • Spring Festival (1-5 p.m.) — Enjoy entertainment, animals, craft making for kids, and displays from local environmental groups at the Walker Nature Center (11450 Glade Drive). An animal show, interactive performance and puppet show are also planned.
  • Tapestry of Peace and Justice (4-7:30 p.m.) — This “mixed-art” performance and exhibit combines music and images from artists of The Reston Art Gallery & Studios and League of Reston Artists, as well as poems from The Poetry Society of Virginia. Tickets are $25 for adults.
  • Crescent Community Yard Sale (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) — If you missed Reston Association’s big community yard sale last weekend, now is your chance to comb through items at the Crescent Apartments’ sale (1572 Cameron Crescent Drive).

Sunday (May 5)

  • Hopecam 19th Annual 5k Run/Walk (9:15 a.m.) — Hopecam’s annual event helps children with cancer. The race begins at 9:30 a.m., followed by an awards ceremony and post-race celebration at 1890 Preston White Drive.
  • Sunday Country Western Dance (5:30-8 p.m.) — Swing the night away to popular western tunes played by Reston Community Center’s DJ. The monthly event takes place at RCC Hunters Woods. Dancers must be 18 years or older.
  • HGRTC Marketplace (noon to 5 p.m.) — Reston Town Center will host a home and garden marketplace for all plant lovers. The event is the first of its kind in the town center.

File photo


Runway to the Cure will return to Reston Town Center’s Ice Skating Pavilion on September 29 from 6-8 p.m.

The second annual event aims to raise money for breast cancer research and advocacy. local businesses and sponsors will work together to produce a runway fashion show. Breast cancer survivors will model clothing from Scouty & Molly’s and Athleta, as well as accessories from The Eyewear Gallery and Kendra Scott.

Organizers said this year’s goal is to raise $22,000, double the amount raised last year during the inaugural event. The event is free but a donation of $25 is suggested.

Photo via Runway to the Cure


Monday Morning Notes

Herndon Woman 10 Years Into Breast Cancer Fight — On her 50th birthday, Anita Hyman got the call that she had breast cancer. After a mastectomy, she is now celebrating her 60th birthday with her family. [WUSA]

SLHS Band Honored — The South Lakes High School marching band won first place in its class for best music, overall effect, percussion and visual at the USBands NOVA Regional recently. [South Lakes Band/Twitter]

Bulova Among ‘Most Powerful Women’ in DC Area — Washingtonian says Bulova’s “role in getting the Silver Line’s first phase completed, despite Metro’s budget problems” has cemented support for her. [Washingtonian]

No Change in County Unemployment Rate — The unemployment rate in Fairfax County in August was 3.1 percent, unchanged from July. That’s ahead of the 3.8 percent rate in Virginia and the 4.5 percent rate nationwide. [Inside NoVa]

Reston Company Provides Tablets to Inmates — Reston-based Global Tel Link is working with jails, including in Indiana’s Allen County, to provide secure tablets to inmates. The inmates are using them for communication, music, games and other activities. [Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette]


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