To most outside observers, Dr. Jay Calvert is an internationally recognized leader in secondary rhinoplasty and a board-certified, Ivy League-educated plastic surgeon. But behind the scenes, he has a philanthropic side that few get to see, above and beyond his work with the Surgical Friends Foundation, to help provide free reconstructive surgery and post-operative care to children and young adults with difficult and life-threatening physical deformities.
As a co-founder of the Surgical Friends Foundation, Dr. Calvert donates more than his time and energy toward the mission of aiding needy children with pro-bono reconstructive surgery. He and his colleagues complete the circle, both bringing families from all over the world to Los Angeles for the medical procedures and traveling to Cambodia, Haiti, Bolivia, and more locales to deliver the care themselves. This same directness and purpose drives Dr. Calvert in his fundraising campaign for the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Sloan-Kettering is the world’s oldest and largest private cancer center with more than 125 years devoted to exceptional patient care, innovative research and outstanding educational programs.
Unbeknownst to many, Dr. Calvert has taken up another cause: running marathons to raise money for the world-famous Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. His efforts are in tribute to cancer victims and survivors everywhere, including one very dear to his heart: his 5-year-old son, who is two years into his battle with leukemia. It all started with Dr. Calvert’s son.
The young boy was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 4, and he now spends 4 days each month in chemotherapy to kill the cancerous cells. While these medical poisons ultimately benefit the patient, they take their toll and sap a person’s energy, no matter what your age, but there’s a certain poignancy in seeing a child laid low by this condition when other kids his age are happily playing and running about.
Dr. Calvert drew strength and inspiration from his son’s fight, and he vowed to contribute in his own way. The doctor registered and trained for the New York Marathon, joining “Fred’s Team”, a fundraising group dedicated to creating a world without cancer. Fred’s Team is a fundraising program that brings together hundreds of athletes of all abilities to compete in marathons, half-marathons, triathlons, bike races and other endurance events around the world to raise funds for cancer research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
But once again, fate intervened. On the morning of Nov. 1, 2013, a gunman opened fire at the Los Angeles International Airport, killing one Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and injuring several people. LAPD was able to intercept the shooter about five minutes into his rampage, but the damage had already been done to numerous bystanders and to the airport operations in general.
Dr. Calvert and his young son were two of the people affected by this tragedy. They were set to catch a flight in the terminal where the shootings took place, but due to a delay in traffic, they were not able to make it in time. The upside: They were not present during this horrific shooting. The downside: They were not able to get another flight to New York, and the doctor had to miss the New York Marathon this past November.
To honor the spirit of his vow, Dr. Calvert ran the unofficial Newport Back Bay Loop Marathon in Newport Beach instead, clocking an unofficial time of 4 hours, 50 minutes for his 26.2-mile journey. In addition, “Fred’s Team” raised more than $17,000 for the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and the doctors and researchers seeking better treatment methods for cancer patients everywhere…despite not being able to make the Big Apple marathon.
In even better news, Dr. Calvert’s son has come a long way from his early sessions of intrathecal chemotherapy and having a port-a-cath placed. At one point, his son couldn’t walk and weighed a mere 27 pounds as the medicine took its toll. Now he’s riding a bicycle, not unlike other kids his age.
Dr. Calvert credits UCLA’s Pediatric Oncology team for their incredible care and responsiveness and all their efforts to keep his son up and about. Much work remains to be done, but all signs are pointing in the right direction.
More about Dr. Jay Calvert Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, Dr. Calvert performs all types of plastic surgery and specializes in aesthetic surgery. He has a special interest in face lifts, primary and revision rhinoplasty (nose reshaping), and breast augmentation.
For information on Dr. Calvert’s medical practice, visit: www.drcalvert.com.
Dr. Jay Calvert discusses Surgical Friends Foundation: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________