Wellington’s Russell Finsness Helping To Raise Awareness Of Bladder Cancer

Russell Finsness was born in Fort Lauderdale, grew up in Memphis, worked in Pittsburgh, but decided to make his home base in Wellington’s Palm Beach Point in 2005.

“My wife and daughter are equestriennes, and for those who compete, few places have what Wellington has to offer, or has the quality of life you find here,” he said.

Finsness may be semi-retired, but he hasn’t left work completely behind. In 1981, he co-founded Metplas Inc., a medical devices company, and he still serves as its president. Finsness also served in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War, and noted that he and his company support charities that are devoted to helping children of veterans and deceased Marines with scholarship funding and grants.

A war veteran, golfer and avid gardener, Finsness thought he was in perfect health and could not have been more surprised when he was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2014.

“I had no symptoms,” Finsness said. “When I was diagnosed, a friend my wife rides with referred me to Massachusetts General Hospital, and my radiologist there told me about BCAN, the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network. It was a truly invaluable resource for learning about treatment and organ-sparing surgery options.”

Bladder cancer is the fifth most common cancer, and one in 42 people will be diagnosed with bladder cancer during their lifetime. “Although it is a common cancer, it has been vastly ignored,” said Finsness, which is why he is serving on the committee of BCAN’s upcoming inaugural New Discoveries Lecture & Luncheon at the Beach Club in Palm Beach on March 8.

“This event was created to raise awareness and funds to find a cure for bladder cancer, which has some very promising new treatment options,” he said. “One of the world’s foremost bladder cancer experts, Dr. David McConkey, the director of the Johns Hopkins Greenberg Bladder Cancer Institute, will be a speaker at the event. So will Fay Vincent, the former Major League Baseball commissioner, who is also a bladder cancer survivor. He will share his personal journey. We hope people will come to the event and support this important cause.”

Tickets to BCAN’s inaugural New Discoveries Lecture & Luncheon are $200. For information about the events, tickets and sponsorship opportunities, contact Anita Parker at (301) 215-9099, ext 202, or aparker@bcan.org. Learn more at www.bcan.org.

ABOVE: Russell Finsness