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.

Learn More About CancerCare’s Specialized Services for Men, Women, Children, and Families

September 1, 2011

September is the national awareness month for many different cancer diagnoses:


Explore CancerCare’s leukemia resource page to see the free services we offer for people affected by leukemia, which include a recent revision of a three-part fact sheet series on coping with chronic mylogenous leukemia.


Our free services include an upcoming Connect Education Workshop series on living with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. The first workshop will take place Wednesday, September 14 at 1:30pm EST. Register for the workshop.

Multiple Myeloma

CancerCare’s free resources include our new Connect booklet, Advances in the Treatment for Multiple Myeloma. If you have been diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma, or multiple myeloma, you may wish to participate in a free support group for people affected by blood cancers. Learn more and register for this support group.

Prostate Cancer

Register for our upcoming Connect Education Workshop, “Caring for Your Bones When You Have Prostate Cancer” on September 16 at 1:30pm EST.

Ovarian Cancer

Read our new Connect Booklet, Medical Update on Ovarian Cancer. We’ve partnered with L’Oréal Paris and Ovarian Cancer Research Fund on a dedicated telephone counseling and referral service for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer. To speak with a professional oncology social worker, call 1‑877‑OV‑HOPE‑1 (1‑877‑684‑6731).

Gynecologic Cancers

Learn more and register for an online support group for people affected by gynecologic cancers.

Thyroid Cancer

Listen to our podcast, “Treatment Update on Thyroid Cancer.”

Childhood Cancers

Learn more about CancerCare’s free services for children diagnosed with cancer. CancerCare also helps children who have a parent, sibling, or other loved one facing cancer. Read our e-booklet, Helping Children When a Family Member has Cancer. 


CancerCare Holds Holiday Toy Drive For Children Affected by Cancer

December 14, 2010

CancerCare recently partnered with members of national honor society Phi Beta Kappa for a successful toy drive in New York City. All donated toys will benefit children who participate in CancerCare for Kids, a program that provides free support services for children affected by a cancer diagnosis. 

Phi Beta Kappa members and their family and friends donated dozens of toys, just in time for the holiday season. The event also raised $400 for CancerCare for Kids.

CancerCare Director of Education and Training Carolyn Messner, DSW, suggested coordinating the toy drive during a recent Phi Beta Kappa chapter meeting.

Learn more about CancerCare for Kids.

[pictured above: CancerCare's Carolyn Messner [l] and Rosalie Canosa [r] showcase donated toys]

Elizabeth Edwards: Champion for People Everywhere Facing Cancer

December 9, 2010

 From Helen H. Miller, LCSW, CancerCare CEO:

We mourn the loss of Elizabeth Edwards, who died on Dec. 7 from metastatic breast cancer at the age of 61.  An accomplished lawyer, political advisor and the wife of a former US senator (who was also a vice presidential candidate and, briefly, presidential candidate), Edwards will be remembered in part for the tragedies and personal struggles in her later years that played out so publicly and painfully on the national stage. More enduring, however, is the legacy of her courage and activism on behalf of all people facing cancer. 

Elizabeth Edwards was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, and was successfully treated with chemotherapy and radiation therapy. But in 2007, her cancer returned and was found to have spread. Edwards described her diagnosis as treatable, but “no longer curable.”

Still, this did little to slow her down. She became an inspirational figure to anyone facing cancer, especially an advanced-stage diagnosis.  As the mother of an adult daughter and two young children, she was candid about discussing her diagnosis with them, and in numerous interviews with the press emphasized the importance of talking to children honestly and openly, in language they can understand, about cancer.

“I think the most important thing — and the younger the member of your family is, the more important it is — is that you be incredibly honest, even though you might be giving a grammar school explanation of something,” Edwards told WebMD in an interview last year. “At least when your children look back on what you said to them, they will know that you were honest with them.”

Elizabeth Edwards exemplified the resilience and spirit we at CancerCare see everyday in the individuals and families we serve. She was a true champion of people of all ages and from all walks of life who, like her, face cancer with courage and with hope, and live their lives accordingly.

She will be greatly missed.


 If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with an advanced or recurring cancer, CancerCare recommends:

Communicate with your doctor. The question of prognosis, that is, how long one may have to live with advanced cancer, is one that some people want to ask and others do not. However, it may be possible for a doctor to provide information regarding a time frame that could be helpful in terms of decision-making regarding treatment choices, planning for future care, financial decisions and how to spend your time. Read more about practicing doctor/patient communication in the CancerCare publication, Communicating with your Health Care Team.

“Incurable” does not mean “untreatable.” There are treatments that can control or slow down cancer from growing or spreading to other parts of the body. In this way, a cancer that cannot currently be cured can still be treated.

Define hope and meaning for yourself. A recurrence of cancer requires that you define hope in a more varied and complex way. Recurrence is a time to revisit those decisions and more specifically think about the quality of your life and what that means to you. Most important is how your doctor, family, and friends can help you maintain what you define as quality living. Read more in the publication, Coping with Cancer: Tools to Help You Live

Talk openly with your children. Conversations about advanced cancer can feel particularly complicated where children are concerned. The best thing you can do for your children during this difficult time is to talk to them about your recurrence and their feelings. Learn more in our publication, Helping Children Understand Cancer: Talking to Your Kids About Your Diagnosis.

Popular New York Caterer Supports CancerCare Bake Sale to Benefit Kids’ Program

September 23, 2010

Dozens of busy executives were spotted cradling cupcakes in their hands while rushing off to business meetings and appointments this afternoon in the lobby of CancerCare‘s New York City headquarters. The cause of this flurry of frosting was a bake sale held by CancerCare that raised nearly $300 to support our CancerCare for Kids program. 

Team CancerCare L to R: Kyle Hornyak, Monica Cavazos Mendez, and Lindsay Osborn

The delicious and lavishly decorated cupcakes were generously catered by David Ziff Cooking, Inc.  


The bake sale was part of our ongoing Cupcakes for a Cause fundraiser benefiting CancerCare for Kids, a specialized program that provides free, professional support services designed to help children and parents deal with the emotional and practical concerns of a cancer diagnosis, whether it’s the child’s, the parent’s or that of another family member. 

You can support this vital program by hosting a bake sale of your own. It’s easy– simply download a free, easy to use toolkit from our website to get started. 

You can also visit a participating bakery and purchase a cupcake this week, with proceeds from the purchase benefiting CancerCare for Kids. We’ll even help you find a participating bakery near you.  

To learn more, visit

This Week, Visit a Local Bakery to Support Kids and Families Affected by Cancer

September 20, 2010

Today marks the start of Cupcakes for a Cause Week, which means there’s no better time to indulge in some “sweet” fundraising.

It’s easy to show your support from now until September 26th—simply visit one of the more than 700 participating bakeries and purchase a cupcake.  A portion of proceeds from the sale will be donated to CancerCare for Kids. 

We’ll even help you find a bakery in your neighborhood!

To learn more, visit

Host Your Own “Sweet” Fundraiser to Support Kids, Families Facing Cancer

September 10, 2010

Children and teens who are affected by cancer have needs and concerns that are different from adults.  CancerCare for Kids is a specialized program that provides free, professional support services designed to help children and parents deal with the emotional and practical concerns of a cancer diagnosis, whether it’s the child’s, the parent’s or that of another family member.

You can help raise funds to support these free, vital services for kids and families by participating in CancerCare’s Cupcakes for a Cause® fundraiser. Here’s how:

  • During Cupcakes for a Cause Week, September 20-26,visit one of  over 700 participating bakeries across the U.S. and purchase a cupcake (or two!). Participating bakeries will donate a portion of the proceeds from cupcake sales to CancerCare. Find a bakery near you.
  • Show your creativity by creating a free e-Cupcake to send to a loved one.  Our sponsor, göt2b, will donate $1 for every e-Cupcake sent in September, up to $10,000. Send one now!
  • Host your own bake sale and donate the proceeds to CancerCare for Kids.  It’s easy—simply download a free toolkit, sponsored by göt2b, that provides tips on how to coordinate and promote your bake sale, along with ready-made flyers and signs. 

To learn more, visit

Scott Hamilton Inspires at CancerCare for Kids Gala

June 4, 2010

World-famous Figure skating champion Scott Hamilton is no stranger to wowing crowds with gravity-defying feats of athleticism.  And as distinguished honoree at CancerCare’s 2010 Treasures of the Sea gala, he once again gave his all and left guests speechless and spellbound, with nary a skate in sight.

Scott’s sharing of his inspirational story, a story that includes triumphs over childhood illness, testicular cancer and a brain tumor, was a highlight of the ceremony. He both charmed and moved the crowd with his trademark enthusiasm and tremendous passion for cancer advocacy, especially concerning cancer and children.

From L to R: Diane Blum, CEO of the Lymphoma Research Foundation and former Executive Director of CancerCare; Helen H. Miller, CEO of CancerCare; Scott Hamilton

The gala, which took place at New York City’s Chelsea Piers, was a fantastically fun evening and a great success. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and supporters, ticket sales and auction bidding raised nearly half a million dollars in support of the CancerCare for Kids program.

Scott launched The Scott Hamilton CARES Initiative to promote cancer awareness provide information about cancer and support to patients. The initiative has raised over $10 million for cancer research and education. Please visit the organization’s website to learn more.

CancerCare for Kids offers free, professional support services such as individualized counseling and support groups for children and teens affected by cancer.

Huffington Post Features CancerCare’s Annual Cupcakes Fundraiser for Kids’ Program

March 10, 2010

Check out The Huffington Post‘s  latest coverage of our CancerCare for Kids fundraising event, Cupcakes for a Cause!

The article, written by CancerCare Director of Corporate Relations Christina Wyman, details the event’s history, which began in New York City in 2004.  What was initially just 12 local bakeries donating the proceeds from selling cupcakes adorned with the CancerCare logo has now evolved into a national campaign, with over 365 bakeries participating in 2009.

CancerCare for Kids was created to address the special needs and concerns of children and adolescents who are coping with cancer. CancerCare‘s professional oncology social workers help families navigate the often complex issues they face when coping with a cancer diagnosis though age-appropriate counseling, therapeutic recreational activities, educational materials, and financial assistance.

Here are just a few ways that you can help support Cupcakes for a Cause:

  • Download a bake sale kit and host your own bake sale, and donate the proceeds to CancerCare for Kids
  • Create virtual e-Cupcakes and sending them to friends and family. Last year, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM® donated $1 per e-Cupcake for the first 5,000 sent.
  • Purchase Cupcakes in Bloom, non-edible cupcakes provided by 1-800-FLOWERS. Last September, 10% of net proceeds from the sales of these cupcake-shaped floral arrangements went to support our CancerCare for Kids program.

The Huff Post‘s Tammy Tibbetts also writes about the cupcakes for charity trend and mentions CancerCare‘s campaign. Read Tammy’s article.

The 2010 Cupcakes for a Cause Week will take place September 20-26, during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Please visit our Cupcakes for a Cause website for more information. To learn more about our specialized services for children and families facing cancer, visit CancerCare for Kids or call 1-800-813-HOPE (4673).

Tips for Talking to Children About Cancer

February 17, 2010

The consumer health website features the article “Helping Your Children When You Are Diagnosed With Cancer” on its network this month.

The piece, written by CancerCare For Kids® Program Coordinator Julia Little, shares tips for supporting children through a cancer diagnosis and treatment

Some of the helpful advice the article provides includes:

  • Share the diagnosis early on to build trust.
  • Use age-appropriate language so that your children will have an easier time understanding your cancer and what to expect.
  • Prepare your children in advance for possible side effects, as these can be upsetting to them.
  • Discuss your treatment with younger children through activities like drawing.
  • Have a support team in place to make sure your children’s needs continue to be met.

Read the full article for more tips. For individualized support, contact CancerCare for Kids.