CancerCare Superstar Maddy Shares Her Story of Help and Hope

April 21, 2014

Alyssa and Maddy

Maddy Gold, 13, has quickly become one of CancerCare’s most inspiring advocates by sharing her personal cancer experience. As a result, she has made a remarkable impact on the lives of others.

Maddy began coming to CancerCare at the age of four to receive emotional support after her mother, Alyssa, was diagnosed with metastatic cancer. She found it to be a safe space to talk about all of the changes their family was facing.

“I remember that when my mom started losing her hair, I didn’t understand why. My social worker explained to me that the medicine in her body made my mom lose her hair, and as a young child, that made me feel better,” shares Maddy.

In December 2006, Alyssa passed away. Maddy and her younger brother continued visiting their social worker to learn how to cope with their loss and their father joined a weekly bereavement group.

“CancerCare was one of the only places where I could go to escape the sadness of my mom’s cancer and be myself – talking about my true feelings with my social worker who really understood and cared about me and my family and what we were going through.”

In honor of Alyssa, the Gold family formed the walking team “Hearts of Gold” to raise funds for CancerCare’s free support services. Maddy also serves as a volunteer at CancerCare’s New Jersey office and has raised $1,500 by selling awareness bracelets.

Maddy will share her powerful story at the CancerCare 70th Anniversary Celebration Gala on April 23. Learn how you can get involved and support this exciting event and help Maddy’s cause: http://community.cancercare.org/gala.

“My mom got so much support from CancerCare when she was sick and would be so happy that I continue to give back to help other people just like her.”

 

 


CancerCare Welcomes New CEO, Patricia Goldsmith

April 7, 2014

As CancerCare approaches the 70th anniversary of its founding, we are pleased to welcome oncology leader Patricia Goldsmith as the new Chief Executive Officer. Patricia will officially join the organization on May 5, 2014.

“As CancerCare marks seven decades of helping the cancer community, we are thrilled to have found an exceptional leader in Patricia Goldsmith,” said CancerCare National Board of Trustees President Susan Smirnoff. “Patricia is a dynamic oncology visionary with an outstanding record of achievement, and we look forward to expanding CancerCare’s service offerings under her leadership.”

Patricia brings more than 20 years of nonprofit management and strategic planning experience to her new role, and has a proven track record of success in hospital and physician academic organizations, as well as nongovernmental health care organizations. She previously served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), an alliance of 25 of the world’s leading cancer centers devoted to patient care, research and education. In this role, she was responsible for overall operations and provided oversight for a multitude of programs and national initiatives.

Prior to joining NCCN, she was Vice President for Institutional Development, Public Affairs and Marketing at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, the only Florida-based National Cancer Institute-Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“CancerCare is a remarkable organization that does so much good for so many,” said incoming CEO Patricia Goldsmith. “As the leading social service organization in cancer, CancerCare is well-positioned to support the coming changes in our health care system directly relating to the psychosocial and financial effects of diagnosis, treatment and survivorship. I have admired the organization for many years and am honored to have been chosen to become the next CEO. I look forward to working with the talented staff and Board of Trustees to achieve even greater success in the coming decade.”

 


CancerCare Recognizes the Importance of Cognitive Behavior Therapy for People Affected by Cancer

March 24, 2014

CancerCare Social Work Staff and Training Instructors

CancerCare‘s staff of oncology social workers recently received in-depth training on the use of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for anyone affected by a cancer diagnosis. CBT is a therapeutic model that focuses on empowering the client to create coping mechanisms for life stressors and issues that otherwise compromise the quality of life.

“CBT is a model that fits the CancerCare counseling approach and is appropriate for the person with cancer, the caregiver and the bereaved,” said CancerCare Director of Clinical Services William Goeren, LCSW-R, ACSW, BCD.

One featured topic, “Body Image Issues after Cancer Treatment,” explored the multiple factors affecting body image and the outcomes of CBT and mindfulness interventions.

The training was lead by Szilvia Vas, health psychology researcher and member of the British Psychological Society; Andrea Ryder, Macmillan therapist; Ashley Yarwood, Macmillan therapist; and Jeanette McCarthy Macmillan director.

CancerCare provides free services for anyone affected by cancer. View all of CancerCare’s body image resources and learn more about our counseling services.

 


CancerCare Applauds Recent CVS Decision to Ban Tobacco Products

February 10, 2014

CVS Caremark, the nation’s second-largest drugstore chain, recently announced the decision to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products in their stores by October. The company predicts this change will drastically cut sales by an estimated $2 billion annually, but will further their mission of serving as a health care-focused retailer.

CancerCare is pleased to see CVS taking a stance and setting an example in the pharmacy industry. This decision shines a light on the ramifications of tobacco use and creates a timely world-wide conversation

The announcement comes on the heels of World Health Organization’s release of The World Cancer Report 2014 estimating a dramatic increase in cancer cases over the next two decades. The report emphasizes the importance of cancer screening and avoidance of lifestyle behaviors such as tobacco usage that can increase the risk of being diagnosed with cancer.

“CancerCare works with cancer patients and survivors every day and we know how devastating this disease can be for everyone involved,” said Win Boerckel, CancerCare’s National Lung Cancer Program Coordinator. “While it is important to stress that tobacco use is not the only cause of lung cancer, more than 80 percent of cases are caused by smoking.”

Learn more about how we help people coping with lung cancer.


New Institute of Medicine (IOM) Report Stresses Importance of Comprehensive Patient Care

September 11, 2013

A new report released by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) this week, Delivering High-Quality Cancer Care: Charting a New Course for a System in Crisis, is changing the conversation about cancer patient care.

The report documents how the current health care system fails to adequately address patients’ needs, leading to poorer outcomes and quality of life. It also provides recommendations in six areas for improving patient care:

  • Engaging patients to make more informed choices about their care
  • Having an adequately staffed, trained and coordinated workforce
  • Providing evidence-based care
  • Learning health care information technology (IT)
  • Translating evidence into clinical practice, quality measurement and performance improvement
  • Offering accessible and affordable care

This breakthrough report reaffirms IOM’s recommendation that health care professionals address patients’ “psychosocial” (practical, financial and emotional) concerns, along with medical needs, in order to provide the most comprehensive care.

CancerCare has long been looked to as the leading organization advocating the importance of psychosocial cancer care, and was instrumental in crafting recommendations for the IOM’s landmark 2007 report, “Cancer Care for the Whole Patient: Meeting Psychosocial Health Needs.”

The findings from that report, as well as from this most recent report, illustrate the crucial importance of providing care addressing patients’ myriad needs. CancerCare applauds the IOM for continuing to advocate for comprehensive patient care going beyond simply treating the disease.

Amy J. Berman, Senior Program Officer at the Hartford Foundation and celebrated health care blogger, provides a clear and concise rundown of the report on the Hartford Foundation’s blog, Health AGEenda. Amy also provided testimony, served as a reviewer for the report, and is included in the accompanying IOM video clip, which you can watch below.

 

 


AVONCares Supports CancerCare Financial Assistance for Women Facing Cancer

August 19, 2013

Being told that you have breast cancer or watching as a love one receives this diagnosis can turn your world upside down. Facing important medical decisions and managing difficult emotions can sometimes be overwhelming to everyone involved. But for many families, it is the tremendous financial cost of cancer treatment that presents the greatest challenge.

The financial impact of a cancer diagnosis is oftentimes overlooked and under-discussed. The inability to go to work and provide for one’s family, paired with medical and practical costs, can result in patients feeling lost and unsure of where to turn for help.

Donna came to CancerCare after she was diagnosed with breast cancer and facing a financial crisis. “I was overwhelmed with emotions, questions, concerns, and yes, sometimes fear. Because I was laid off from my job just short of a year before being diagnosed with aggressive stage-II cancer, I had nowhere else to go, since my treatments were overwhelming and left me with no energy to work. CancerCare came through for me, helping me to attend my daily radiation treatments that extended for seven weeks.”

Since 2000, The Avon Foundation for Women has generously supported CancerCare‘s financial assistance services, educational programs and publications for underserved women facing breast cancer. AVONCares, a partnership between CancerCare and the Avon Foundation for Women, provides limited financial assistance to underserved women for homecare, child care and transportation. Over the past 13 years of our partnership, the Avon Foundation has provided more than $20,000,000 to more than 65,000 women from all 50 states.

Remember to reach out for support—medical debt can cause emotional stress, but there are resources available to provide relief. Learn more about CancerCare’s financial assistance services, and view all of our support services for people affected by breast cancer, including counseling, support groups and education.

Support for CancerCare and the Avon Cares program is made possible by funds raised through the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer series. For more information, visit www.avonwalk.org.

 


“Ices for Andrea” Gives Back to CancerCare®

August 14, 2013

For the seventh consecutive year, sisters Joann and Diana hosted “Ices for Andrea” to raise funds for CancerCare. The fundraiser was held in memory of their mother Andrea, who died of breast cancer in 2007.

After her passing, Joann and her sons attended weekly counseling sessions at CancerCare. “They gave me the tools to start getting my life back, start parenting again and speak of my mom without being hysterical.”

In an effort to give back to the organization that helped them through their cancer journey, the sisters created “Ices for Andrea” on the first anniversary of their mother’s passing. As a tribute the sisters decided to sell Italian ices, Andrea’s favorite dessert, and donate all proceeds to CancerCare’s free professional services. Thanks to an outpouring of support from their community, this year’s event raised an astounding $10,150 for people affected by cancer.

Counseling for cancer patients, caregivers and loved ones is available over the telephone no matter where you live in the U.S. or in person at our offices in New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

CancerCare’s staff of professional oncology social workers provide support, information and resources to help you better cope with cancer. Learn more about our counseling services.


CancerCare Advocate Provides Hope for others Affected by Cancer

June 1, 2013

Maddy Gold sharing her story at the CancerCare Festival of Hope Gala

After being deeply impacted by cancer at such a young age, 13-year-old Maddy has become a courageous advocate for CancerCare’s free professional services available to anyone affected by cancer.

Maddy began coming to CancerCare for emotional support at the age of six after her mother, Alyssa, was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. “It was important for me to be at CancerCare, because if not, I would have let my nerves and feelings get the best of me,” explained Maddy. “My mom started losing her hair and got a wig. At first I didn’t understand why, but CancerCare once again came to the rescue. They explained to me about the medicine in her body and how it made her lose her hair.”

In December 2006, Alyssa passed away. Maddy and her brother continued coming to CancerCare to learn how to cope with their loss and their father joined a weekly bereavement group.

Determined to give back to the organization that helped her family through their most challenging times, Maddy dedicated her Bat Mitzvah project to providing hope to CancerCare clients. “Because of my experience, I know a lot about cancer. I wanted to contribute my time to talking to or working with children,” she said.

She currently volunteers at the CancerCare New Jersey office each week helping to prepare for the annual Healing Hearts Bereavement Camp. One of her passion projects involves creating a memory lane path where the children can add their fondest memories of a lost loved one. She has also raised over $1,500 by selling CancerCare bracelets and collecting donations through her family’s “Hearts of Gold” walking team.

Maddy continues to inspire CancerCare staff and clients each day with her desire to provide others with help and hope in the face of cancer.


CancerCare Honors Leader in Cancer Treatments at Partnerships in Hope Annual Awards Dinner

February 7, 2013

More than 175 dedicated CancerCare supporters convened at The Yale Club in New York City on Tuesday, February 5th for the 30th CancerCare Partnerships in Hope Annual Awards Dinner. The event, hosted by actress and cancer advocate S. Epatha Merkerson, honored Eisai, Inc. with the “Partnership Award” for their commitment to supporting people affected by cancer. 

CancerCare CEO Helen H. Miller with actress and cancer advocate S. Epatha Merkerson

Eisai, a leader in providing treatments for breast cancer and treatment side effects, is a longtime supporter of CancerCare’s free Connect Education Workshops and educational publications. Eisai is also the sponsor of CancerCare’s Healing Hearts Bereavement Camp, a weekend retreat for families who have lost a loved one to cancer. And, Eisai’s Magnolia Meals at Home program has to date delivered free meals to more than 285 people receiving treatment for breast cancer. Accepting the award on Eisai’s behalf was Dr. Takashi Owa, chief innovation officer of Eisai Product Creation Systems.  

Dr. Takashi Owa accepts the “Partnership Award” on behalf of Eisai

Also honored at the awards dinner was CancerCare client Pamela O., who told her courageous story of coping with triple-negative breast cancer. Pamela shared:

To survive something, one merely has to live through it. I wanted more than just to survive cancer, I wanted to live, thrive and prosper in spite it. Kristy [my social worker] was there for me…I could really tell she was listening, that she actually heard my pain, my frustration, my fear.  She believed in me! And she worked with me until I could believe in me again.

CancerCare client Pamela O. shares her story

CancerCare helped Pamela and more than 100,000 other people coping with cancer in 2012 thanks to our generous supporters. Consider making a donation to CancerCare to help us continue providing free, support services to anyone affected by cancer.

To speak with a CancerCare professional oncology social worker, call 800-813-HOPE (4673).

L to R: CancerCare oncology social worker Kristy Case; CancerCare client Pamela O.; CancerCare CEO Helen H. Miller

 


CancerCare Recognizes World Cancer Day

February 4, 2013

February 4 is World Cancer Day, organized annually by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC).

The focus this year is on dispelling myths and misunderstandings about cancer. For example, some people may automatically assume that a person with lung cancer is a longtime smoker. In fact, thousands of people coping with lung cancer have never smoked.

Learn more about World Cancer Day.

CancerCare’s professional oncology social workers can help you find ways to talk about cancer to family, friends and people you may encounter in your everyday life. Call 800-813-HOPE (4673) to speak with a CancerCare social worker.