Our Team

Selma R. Schimmel is Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Vital Options International, a southern-California headquartered and internationally focused not-for-profit cancer communications organization with the mission, to facilitate a global cancer dialogue.

She originally founded Vital Options in 1983, in response to her own diagnosis of breast cancer at age 28.  It was the first support and advocacy organization specifically targeted to address the unique emotional and psychosocial needs of young adults with cancer, between the ages of 17-early 40’s.

In the mid-1990’s, Selma recognized that more people were seeking cancer information and support online and she envisioned the opportunity for patients to speak directly with oncology thought leaders, using talk radio as the forum.  The Group Room radio show was transformative, changing the way people talk about cancer.  In 1999 Talkers Magazine named her one of the 100 most important radio talk-show hosts in America.

20 years after breast cancer, Schimmel was diagnosed with early stage ovarian cancer and literally became the voice of survivorship.  Schimmel’s book, Cancer Talk: Voices of Hope and Endurance from The Group Room, the World’s Largest Cancer Support Group, was published in 1999 by Broadway Books, a division of Random House, and also published in Chinese.  Cancer Talk is now available electronically.  In 2006, she was the author of Ask Selma, a Revolution Health oncology advice column.

A prominent figure in numerous cancer initiatives and public policy issues, and a recipient of many awards and citations, Schimmel has served in leadership and advisory positions for cancer-related state, national and international organizations, committees and commissions, and has been involved in various projects associated with Institute of Medicine, National Research Council, the National Cancer Institute, and the National Institutes of Health.   She is a member of C-Change and sits on the “Assuring Value in Cancer Care” Advisory Committee, a former vice president of the National Coalition of Cancer Survivorship, and a founding member of the Livestrong® Young Adult Alliance steering committee.

Selma Schimmel is a passionate voice helping patients understand their clinical options and translating new research into hope and possibilities.

For more information on sponsorships, corporate relations, and other programming opportunities, you may reach Selma at:

Ph: 818-508-5657

Email: sschimmel {at} vitaloptions {dot} org

 

Terry Merrill Wilcox is the Creative Director and Supervising Producer of The Group Room, Advocacy in Action and other video media based projects at Vital Options International. A Producer with more than 20 years of experience in all major aspects of the entertainment and production industries. She has worked closely with major network executives, casting and production personnel as well as the leading talent agents, managers, publicists and celebrity personal assistants.  Wilcox has served as the Creative Director at Vital Options International since 2008 and is responsible for bringing The Group Room to its current video format. Previously, she served as the Executive Producer and creator of the web series, Understanding Cancer.  In addition, she was Director of Talent for G4 TV, as well as Executive Producer for Frag Files, for Gameplay HD.

She has also worked as a freelance Talent Producer, and her client productions include the TV Land Awards, Fox-TV’s Summer Music Mania, Dallas Reunion: Return to Southfork, Happy Days 30th Anniversary Reunion, Dynasty Reunion: Catfights and Caviar and the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.

From 1999-2003, Mrs. Wilcox served as Account Manager/Talent Relations Director for Los Angeles-based Celebrity Connection and its primary clients TV Land and Nick at Nite. She worked closely with the network President as well as the network’s executives in marketing, affiliates, public relations, development, on-air and online departments. Her professional involvement included booking and coordinating more than 50 celebrities for the first TV Land Awards: A Celebration of Classic Television, as well as talent acquisition responsibilities for the Nick at Nite Holiday Special, several network upfront events and five separate summer and winter Television Critics Association presentations.

Additionally, Wilcox has coordinated talent and production responsibilities on behalf of the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, Lifetime Television, Vh-1’s The List and I Love the 80’s, Creative Arts Emmy Awards, Edelman Worldwide Public Relations, Marshall Fields and Cairns and Associates. With Cairns, she headed an unprecedented celebrity t-shirt decorating campaign for the Make-A-Wish Foundation that included participation by George Clooney, Ben Affleck, Susan Sarandon and Whoopi Goldberg.

From 1992-1999, she served as casting director and event manager for the Long Island-based, Chezzam Entertainment Group. Major events she managed include the launch of the Ford Taurus at Radio City Music Hall (with Aretha Franklin), the Olympic Torch Lighting Ceremony in New York City and talent producer and stage manager for Le Masquerade’s Cirque Le Masque, touring through Venezuela and Colombia.

For more information on the memberships/conference packages, production services and advocacy relations you may reach Terry at:

Ph: 818-760-5090

Email: twilcox {at} vitaloptions {dot} org