April 20, 2018 – Announcing CanCare’s Luncheon Emcee
CanCare is excited to announce the Emcee for our 24th Annual National Cancer Survivors Day Luncheon, Kevin Quinn, Host of the Afternoon Show, on 104.1 KRBE, Houston’s #1 Hit Music Station. Originally from Florida, Kevin moved to Houston with his wife in 2013 when he joined the KRBE staff. Kevin is also the co-host of KRBE’s community affairs program “Around H-Town”, which spotlights the great local charities and organizations that make our city so unique. Kevin is especially passionate about cancer-based charities, due to his personal experience with the disease. Five years ago, Kevin’s 13-year-old brother was diagnosed with a rare form of Lymphoma. The ensuing treatment regimen and community support that Kevin witnessed, while his brother fought the disease, will remain with him forever. Kevin credits his brother’s bravery, and the dedication of many people in the medical and philanthropic community for the positive outcome that was achieved. Today, Kevin’s brother, Austin, is a freshman attending college in Florida with a clean bill of health.
April 12, 2018 – CanCare Hospital Volunteer Highlight
April is National Volunteer month and CanCare would like to thank and honor all of our CanCare volunteers for helping us provide HOPE to cancer patients and their families. Meet one of our amazing CanCare volunteers, Lauren Liggett. Lauren provides one-on-one emotional support to newly diagnosed patients, she also volunteers at Houston Methodist West as one of our CanCare Trained Hospital volunteers and every Monday Laurencomes to the CanCare office and volunteers her time to help us with administrative work. Lauren says, “I remember receiving a text from one of my clients when she finished her treatments. She told me that she couldn’t have done it without me. CanCare has given me an outlet to reach out to help others by sharing my experience with cancer. With CanCare’s help and training I feel like I can make a difference in someone else’s life and I can put my experience with cancer to a good use.” Thank you Lauren for all of the great volunteer work you do for CanCare! .
April 5, 2018 – CanCare Volunteer Highlight
Meet Sherea Cary, a CanCare Trained Volunteer, who provides one-on-one emotional support to caregivers of cancer patients. Sherea shares, “Initially, I was afraid when my father was first diagnosed with cancer. I realized I could not remain afraid, and decided to educate myself to be an effective advocate and caregiver for my father. I found CanCare on the internet while looking for organizations that assisted caregivers. CanCare allows me to encourage caregivers and be a small light in a time of darkness.” As a CanCare volunteer, I have the pleasure of representing the organization in the community and informing survivors and caregivers of the great resources and services offered by CanCare. I am also honored to participate in training new volunteers by serving on the doctor patient relations panel. If you are a caregiver of a cancer patient and are in need of emotional support please contact us at 713.461.0028 or at cancare.org/support
March 29, 2018 – Suit up for CanCare’s 24th Annual National Cancer Survivors Day Luncheon!
Suit up for CanCare’s 24th Annual National Cancer Survivors Day Luncheon with M. Wiesenthal Men’s Collection and help change the lives of cancer patients and their families. During the month of April, 10% of proceeds sold at M. Wiesenthal Men’s Collection will directly benefit CanCare. Be sure to mention this promotion when you visit. M. Wiesenthal Men’s Collection is conveniently located just south of the Galleria area at 6750 West Loop South, Suite 170 (at Bellaire Blvd.) on the first floor of the Frost Bank Building.
March 23, 2018 – March is Kidney Awareness Month
March is Kidney Awareness month. According to the American Cancer Society kidney cancer is among the 10 most common cancers in both men and women. Overall, the lifetime risk for developing kidney cancer in men is about 1 in 48 and 1 in 83 in women. It is estimated that about 63,340 new cases of kidney cancer will occur in the U.S in 2018. To find out more about kidney cancer and ways to prevent it please visit www.cancer.org/…/ki…/causes-risks-prevention/prevention.html If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with Kidney Cancer and would like free and confidential emotional support please call CanCare at 713-461-0028 or visit cancare.org/support
March 13, 2018 – The Power of Food for Cancer Prevention & Survival
According to the World Health Organization, approximately one-third of cancer cases are preventable. The American Institute for Cancer Research states that an estimated 340,000 cancer cases per year can be prevented with a healthy diet, physical activity, and a consistently healthy weight. Certain diet patterns seem to have a major effect in helping cancer survivors to live longer, healthier lives. Numerous studies have shown that a diet built from plant foods offers the most cancer-fighting protection of any diet plan. The Food for Life: Cancer Project offers a unique opportunity to acquire knowledge about the link between diet and cancer and share the following 6 guidelines for cancer prevention:
- *Avoid dairy products to reduce risk of prostate cancer.
- *Limit or avoid alcohol to reduce the risk of cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, colon, rectum, and breast.
- *Avoid red and processed meat to reduce the risk of cancers of the colon and rectum.
- *Avoid grilled, fried, and broiled meats to reduce the risk of cancers of the colon, rectum, breast, prostate, kidney, and pancreas.
- *Women should consume soy products in adolescence to reduce risk of breast cancer. Breast cancer survivors should consume soy products to reduce risk of cancer recurrence and overall mortality.
- *Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables to reduce risk of several forms of cancer
March 8, 2018 – Friends of CanCare 14th Annual Crawfish Boil and Silent Auction
The Friends of CanCare reaches out to Houston’s professional community and plays a vital role in the success of CanCare’s mission of improving the quality of life for cancer patients and their families In addition to spreading CanCare’s message of Hope, the Friends of CanCare hosts an Annual Crawfish Boil and Silent Auction to raise funds to support CanCare’s work. Join the Friends of CanCare under the covered patio at McIntyre’s as we celebrate our CanCare family and the return of the crawfish season for the 14th Annual Crawfish Boil on Saturday, April 14th from 2-5 p.m. For more information and to purchase tickets please visit cancare.org/friendsboil
February 26, 2018 – February is National Cancer Prevention Month
February is National Cancer Prevention Month, a great time to commit to a lifetime of healthy choices—for yourself and your loved ones—to reduce your risk of cancer. About 1.7 million Americans are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in 2018, but many cases are preventable. Lifestyle changes like exercising more, quitting smoking and eating better are long-term strategies that may reduce your risk of cancer. Below are five ways to get started. • Don’t smoke. Smoking is responsible for 80 to 90 percent of all lung cancers. • Get screened. Regular screenings for breast, cervical and colorectal cancers have been shown to reduce cancer deaths. Men should talk to their health care professionals about the pros and cons of prostate cancer screening. • Protect your skin. To reduce your risk of skin cancer—the most commonly diagnosed cancer—avoid sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you need to be outside, wear sunglasses and a hat, and use sunscreen with at least SPF 30 with UVA and UVB protection. • Exercise. Regular exercise can reduce your risk of colorectal, breast and endometrial cancers; more recent evidence links exercise to reduced risk of additional cancers, including liver and kidney cancers. Adults should get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week, and children should get at least an hour daily. • Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity has been linked to at least 13 types of cancer, including post-menopausal breast, colorectal and liver cancers. Eating a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, while limiting red meat and alcohol, can help you maintain a healthy weight. To learn more about cancer prevention, visit www.preventcancer.org.
February 22, 2018 – Donor Spotlight: Why CanCare? A testimonial from Titus
For twelve years, Titus H. Harris, III, has been committed to helping CanCare ensure that no one battles cancer alone. Supporting the mission of CanCare was something that Titus always held close to his heart, and even more so in 2006, when his father was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.
“After my father passed away from his battle with cancer, I knew that I needed to do more to help CanCare because I personally felt the effects of what a cancer diagnosis brings – I knew what others were going through and I wanted to give back even more,” says Titus.
Titus’ dedicated involvement with CanCare has led him to become our 24th Annual National Cancer Survivors Day Luncheon Honoree. “I’m truly humbled to serve as this year’s honoree because I so deeply believe in CanCare’s mission. Every day, hundreds of cancer patients and their families hear those three dreadful words, “you have cancer”, yet because of CanCare, they don’t have to face their diagnosis alone. Nothing brings more hope than speaking to someone who has faced your greatest fear and overcame it, and that’s what CanCare provides. Because of that, as a donor, I feel confident in knowing exactly where my dollars are going,” says Titus. “It’s more than a donation, it’s an investment in someone’s future.”
February 15, 2018 – Join CanCare at Étoile Cuisine et Bar this February!
Do you want to enjoy an inviting and warm European environment where fine French food is front and center? We have just the place for you! CanCare has been selected by Étoile Cuisine et Bar as February’s charity for their benefit brunch and dinner weekend menus! This month when you visit Étoile on a Saturday or Sunday and order from their charity menus, a portion of the sales will benefit CanCare. We hope you get a chance to enjoy their delicious French food while helping CanCare improve the quality of life for cancer patients and their families. To view their charity menus click here. To view hours and location or to make a reservation please visit http://www.etoilecuisine.com/
February 6, 2018 – Meet the keynote speaker for CanCare’s 24th Annual National Cancer Survivors Day Luncheon
CanCare will be celebrating its 24th Annual National Cancer Survivors Day Luncheon on Friday, May 11, 2018 at The Westin Houston, Memorial City from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Each year, CanCare hosts this inspirational luncheon to celebrate cancer survivorship. This year the luncheon keynote speaker will be Pastor Suzette Caldwell, who currently serves as the Associate Pastor for Windsor Village United Methodist Church – the nation’s largest United Methodist Church – and is the Chairman of the Board of Directors for The Prayer Institute. Pastor Caldwell was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, she remembers vividly the day her breast cancer was diagnosed. “When I got the diagnosis — and I’ll never forget that day — it was as if someone punched me in the stomach,” said Pastor Caldwell. Her cancer was the most aggressive type, and she needed to address it seriously and quickly. Less than two weeks later she was in surgery, followed by six weeks of radiation treatment. Pastor Caldwell may have been devastated at that news of a cancer diagnosis, but she’s composed and confident today as she shares her story to encourage other women to take care of themselves. In addition to leading a healthy lifestyle, she urges them to do monthly self breast exams and get regular mammograms. Her cancer story, which will highlight how she overcame this devastating disease, is nothing short of inspirational and a story that you don’t want to miss hearing live! To purchase tickets for CanCare’s 24th Annual National Cancer Survivors Day Luncheon click here. To read more about Pastor Caldwell’s cancer journey click here.
January 29, 2018 – First “Wellness Wednesdays” Facebook Live Session
We want to thank Ann Friedman, PhD. from Mindful Being for sharing some helpful tips on how to use mindfulness to reduce stress and anxiety on our first Wellness Wednesdays Facebook Live Session. These Facebook live sessions are a way to promote health and wellness in our cancer support community.
Mindfulness is an excellent antidote to the stresses of modern life. It is the art of paying attention to present moment experiences with openness and curiosity. Mindfulness can be developed through meditation practice, and it is also a quality of attention that can be brought to any moment in life.
For an introduction to mindfulness meditation that you can practice on your own UCLA offers free guided meditations online at http://marc.ucla.edu/mindful-meditations
To find out more about Mindful Being you can visit their website at www.mindfulbeinghouston.com
January 22, 2018 – Team CanCare provides HOPE at the 2018 Chevron Houston Marathon
CanCare has been a part of the Chevron Houston Marathon for over 20 years as a charity in the Run for a Reason program. The Chevron Houston Marathon is the largest single-day sporting event in Houston. Both the Chevron Houston Marathon and the Aramco Half Marathon will take place in downtown every year. Team CanCare consists of runners and walkers of all ages. Team members work towards a common goal – to raise awareness and support for CanCare, give HOPE to individuals battling cancer and make sure no one battles cancer alone. The 2018 Marathon was incredible year for Team CanCare. They had nearly 40 runners who raised over $70,000. Team CanCare also WON the 2018 Run for a Reason Charity Challenge! CanCare was awarded $25,000 from the Chevron Corporation for being the non-profit with the most funds raised during the 10 day challenge. To view a recap video of Team CanCare at the Chevron Houston Marathon click here. Registrations are now open for the 2019 Chevron Houston Marathon. If you would like more information click here.
December 13, 2017 – How One Moment Changed Everything by Larry, CanCare Volunteer/Tongue Cancer Survivor
In 2003, I was diagnosed with stage 4 tongue cancer. I underwent chemo, radiation, and surgery – all successful. I knew then that I needed to help others get through their journey but did not know how. In 2007, I retired but still was not helping anyone. Right after I retired, our church, Fellowship of the Woodlands as it was known then, hosted a CanCare health fair. I went and knew then that CanCare was what I was looking for to give back. I contacted CanCare and was in the June 2007 training class, class #40. I had no idea when I signed up that CanCare even went to hospitals. When it was talked about on Friday night, I was adamant that I would NOT do hospitals. It was too intimidating. But that changed. By the time training was over, I had signed up for 4 different hospitals – Conroe Regional, Memorial Herman in the Woodlands, Methodist in the Medical Center, and North Cypress Medical Center. I left Memorial Hermann in the Woodlands after I trained Renee and she took over so I could start going to Memorial Hermann Greater Heights. I was recruited by Dr. Bob Boyd, our CanCare volunteer there. I have been there ever since. I remember one of my first patients in the radiation treatment center at Methodist that sold me on being a volunteer and more specifically at a hospital. She was a lung cancer patient in her later 60s or early 70s. She was in a wheel chair and had just recently been diagnosed. She was slumped down in her wheelchair looking like she had lost her last friend. I introduced myself and told her that I was a stage 4 tongue cancer survivor. She got a big smile on her face, straightened up in her wheel chair, and asked” YOU ARE?” She was surprised. It was obvious I made a big impact on her but what she didn’t realize was how big an impact she made on me. From that point on I realized how important it was for a cancer patient to have contact with a cancer survivor and be introduced to CanCare. I am in my tenth year as a hospital volunteer.
December 5, 2017 – Finding Hope by Ricardo, CanCare Volunteer/Acute Myeloid Leukemia Survivor
During one of my many rough overnight stays at St. Lukes hospital, after receiving treatment for AML, I had a visit from a volunteer from CanCare. I had no idea at the time, didn’t even expect for someone other than my family and friends to visit me. He began telling me about the organization and what it was all about. He told me he was a cancer survivor and had gone through a similar situation as the one I was going through. We talked for a while, he mostly listened to me as I had a lot to say and the millions of questions asked since I knew he was a cancer survivor. It made me feel like there was hope and that if he made it, I could too. I was very thankful he took the time to visit patients going through a rough time like myself. I told him, “When I’m done with all this, I want to be a CanCare volunteer and here I am, thank God. I took the training with class #60 and have been a CanCare volunteer ever since.
November 20, 2017
Thank you to Caregiver Action Network for providing ‘10 Tips for Caregivers’. As National Caregiver Month continues, CanCare would like to recognize and honor caregivers who devote countless hours to providing care to their loved ones. Please use these tips as a source of help along your caregiver journey.
- Seek support from other caregivers. You are not alone!
- Take care of your own health so that you can be strong enough to take care of your loved one.
- Accept offers of help and suggest specific things people can do to help you.
- Learn how to communicate effectively with doctors.
- Caregiving is hard work so take respite breaks.
- Watch out for signs of depression and don’t delay getting professional help when you need it.
- Be open to new technologies that can help you care for your loved one.
- Organize medical information so it’s up to date and easy to find.
- Make sure legal documents are in order.
- Give yourself credit for doing the best you can in one of the toughest jobs there is!
Find comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Please remember, if you have been diagnosed with cancer or are a caregiver to someone with cancer, and need one-on-one emotional support during or after treatment, we have trained support volunteers who are here for you. If you or anyone you know needs one-on-one emotional support, please contact us at 713.461.0028.
November 17, 2017 – Providing Hope In The Hospital
Thank you so much to the team at Memorial Hermann Greater Heights for your commitment to ensuring that no one battles cancer alone! CanCare works directly with hospitals and treatment centers in Houston through our unique hospital visitation program? Trained volunteers are available to medical partners and families to talk to patients who have questions, concerns or who find hope in meeting someone who has been there and overcome cancer. Through this program, cancer patients and caregivers don’t have to go out searching for hope, amazing volunteers like Clara are able to reach them first. For more information visit our Hospital Visitation Program page.
November 8, 2017 – From Daughter to Caregiver by Maya Ayyat
It’s hard to believe that as I write this personal story my mom, Corazon Mendoza, is on the other side of advanced-stage ovarian cancer. She officially got the remission stamp last month. I am respectfully aware that many survivors and caregivers may not experience the opportunity to use that word. In my mom’s case, she had a lot of cards stacked against her. The case worker at the hospital was adamant that I understood how sick my mom was. They suggested that we consider hospice versus conventional care, while another nurse was pulling me aside into a medical supply room to tell me to “prepare for the worst.” On top of that, we later found out that my mom’s own oncologist was scrutinized by his own peers because he went forward with treating a seemingly hopeless stage-four patient. Throughout my mom’s survival and our care giving, we never took no as an answer. Not from Medicare, hospitals, clinics, doctors, nurses or administrators. My mom was judged about upholding her will-to-live and as caregivers we matched her attitude by practicing defiant hope, vigilante faith, endless support, relentless sacrifice right beside her. We can’t fail to mention Mom’s oncology team, who deserve absolute accolades and respect. As newbie caregivers we didn’t always do the right thing, but we did right by my mom. A good caregiver-rule to stand by—to give a voice first and foremost to the survivor, really witness and hear your loved one. They may be fighting for his or her life. As a client of CanCare and as a caregiver, I felt witnessed and heard. *Victoria, my mentor, was actually an ovarian cancer survivor. CanCare ensures cancer patients are matched up with survivors and caregivers are matched with caregivers. I am grateful to this day, for Victoria and for CanCare’s creativity in pairing up a volunteer survivor with a caregiver client. What I received from Victoria was something very special. Apart from feeling witnessed, it was as if I were blanketed with an energy that was objective, yet compassionate; strong yet gentle. Inspired, I suggested CanCare to my parents, but at that time they preferred to refrain from seeking a volunteer. While I honored their choices in this journey, I knew that I needed to reach out to someone who would understand my raw and vulnerable moments, specifically someone who could relate to me. It was a critical source of comfort and perspective for me to find someone who battled through the rigorous process of cancer. While a CanCare mentor’s job is not one of a therapist, Victoria’s validation and witness of my process; along with her willingness to meet me for coffee was therapeutic and healing for me. One particular act of kindness I appreciated was the handwritten cards she would send me through regular mail. These cards offered encouragement and were personally signed by her, in gorgeous calligraphy. Through all her interactions with me, even when I was operating on very limited capacity, I could feel that Victoria was reminding me that I was doing a good job as a caregiver. She reinforced that I “was enough;” which, as a caregiver, can greatly help in remembering that you are not alone. From Mom’s diagnosis on January 22nd, 2016 to her official remission declaration on April 26th 2017, our family has countless memories, both deeply positive and negative. A few of the awakening instants were being in the same room with Mom and Dad during her diagnosis, the endless tears I cried both in public and private, and the continuous struggle with insurance/hospital personnel for my mom to get the best surgeon. Through the dark times, we were also met with the moments of comic relief. I recall when Mom’s opined pain medications gave her extra courage and delirium during her chemotherapy treatments, the sobering moment when Mom asked me to take notes on her preferred funeral arrangements, and the diverse cancer advice we received from others. While I have numerous stories to my care giving process, the one constant I appreciated was CanCare; along with the people who truly loved and witnessed Mom, Dad and our voyage. There is a familiar term spoken at the end of many yoga classes: Namaste. There are many translations for this Sanskrit expression of respect, my favorite being: the light in me is the same as the light in you. I’ve recently learned about another term which conveys more bowing-in-reverence to the receiver of the salutation: Namaskar. If I were to speak to you as a caregiver, I would say to you and your choice to embrace a survivor as a deep act of Namaskar. Embrace bowing to yourself as someone who gives care, embrace bowing to your loved one who takes on the journey of survivor ship, and embrace bowing to the mystery connecting us all on this passage. If you’re a caregiver reading this, please know that from the bottom of my heart I also bow with deep respect to your process. If you’re a care-receiver and survivor reading this, I bow equally to your process. Know that you are not alone in your respective paths. While there are numerous cancer initiatives out there, the unique beauty of CanCare is their ability to see you and meet you exactly where you are. You don’t have to be the best caregiver or survivor. You don’t have to have all the answers or know endless medical jargon. You don’t need to put on a happy face when all you want to do is hang up on the umpteenth insurance call or scream when treatment makes your hair fall out. To embrace what CanCare has to offer, I suggest having a willingness to ask for help, a willingness to look for answers, a willingness to receive or give care, a willingness to be seen heard and witnessed. Whether caregiver, survivor, or curious reader, I encourage you to reach out to CanCare and discuss matching up with a volunteer … I hope you find resilience, healing, love and hope throughout your own unique journey. Final Words from Maya Ayyat Written with deepest gratitude to: Our our amazing Family and Friends–Dad, what a rock you are to Mom; to Dr. Luis Camacho, who was willing to ‘go against the grain’ and walk with Mom in Hope; to the staff at East Houston Regional Medical Center–you are angels; to Dr. Geri-Lynn Fromm and staff … Dr. Fromm we are stunned and blessed to have you take fierce care of Mom; to Dr. Claire Ozaki–thank you for being a part of Mom’s healing; to the staff at St. Luke’s Hospital–thank you for making Mom’s post-op comfortable; to the staff and medical director(s) with Cigna Health spring–thank you for escalating and responding to Mom’s needs; to our amazing neighbors at Heritage Creek Village–your unconditional love and support are unwavering; to CanCare and my volunteer Victoria … thank you for holding space for me and lighting the way; and to the Ultimate Light that guided us all. And to my Mom, who showed me, through cancer, what it means to Fight gracefully, Love fully and Believe wholeheartedly–even through the Fear. I am so proud of your journey and I am so proud of you. Team Cora, always and forever!
November 3, 2017 – 2017 Annual Interfaith Clergy Luncheon
Thank you to those that attended our 2017 Annual Interfaith Clergy Luncheon, generously hosted by Congregation Beth Israel. This annual event is an opportunity for CanCare to recognize and thank those congregations which have been so supportive of our mission. Every year, we continue to be amazed by the incredible support and dedication we receive from our wonderful congregation partners, and we are extremely grateful. Special thank you to:
- Emcee, Michael Wisenthal, CanCare Volunteer
- Invocation, Rabbi Adrienne P. Scott, Congregation Beth Israel
- Special Music, Cantor Star Trompeter, Congregational Beth Israel, Kay Wasden & Kim Knudsen
- Volunteer Testimonial, John Butler, Author of Envying Job
- Special Guest Speaker, Senior Pastor Patrick Miller, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church
- Benediction, Dr. Alf Halvorson, Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church
- Catering, Marsha Gilbert, Congregation Beth Israel
- Congregation Relations Committee, Barbara Selzer, Carol Greene, Debbie Mikan, Garry Schoonover, Larry Latimer, Leah Katz, Robert Hill, Pam, Shepard and Warren Bright
If you weren’t able to make it this year, we are excited to announce that our 2018 Annual Interfaith Clergy Luncheon will be held on November 7, 2018, so mark your calendars!
October 31, 2017 – Tribute to CanCare Breast Cancer Survivors by Don McGill Toyota
Thank you so much to Don McGill Toyota for creating this inspirational and powerful video in tribute to our amazing and beautiful CanCare volunteers. We are incredibly blessed to have your support! “With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Don McGill Toyota wanted to pay tribute to the strong, resilient women affected by this terrible disease. We were humbled to partner with CanCare, Inc. to share these incredible women’s stories and offer encouragement to those in the trenches today. Keep fighting the good fight!“
October 27, 2017 – A Night of Fun and Fashion In Support of Breast Cancer Awareness
Thank you so much to Elaine Turner for hosting a night of fun and fashion in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month on Thursday, October 26. 15% of proceeds sold that night benefitted CanCare, to ensure that no one battles cancer alone.
Guests dressed in their favorite pink attire and enjoyed complimentary sips & light bites, while mingling and shopping.
Four lucky winners left home with a pink patent leather breast cancer awareness clutch, and three patent leather breast cancer awareness bracelets, sponsored by a fabulous Elaine Turner raffle.
The event was generously hosted by Cynthia Bryant, Mari Trevino Glass, Jillian Goltzman and Sendy Higuero Jimenez.
Make sure to visit our ‘Events’ page and follow us on social media to stay up to date on all of our events!
October 18, 2017 – The Story of Iris Gerken, CanCare Volunteer/Breast Cancer Survivor
Thank you to Houston Chronicle for highlighting the inspirational story of our sweet volunteer and breast cancer survivor, Iris Gerken. “Her desire to “give back” became stronger after she completed her treatment. Iris wanted to be available to other women who had just received news of their diagnosis. She wanted to offer hope and be a support to them.” To read the full story click here.
October 12, 2017
What can I do to reduce my risk of breast cancer? Lifestyle changes have been shown in studies to decrease breast cancer risk even in high-risk women. The following are steps you can take to lower your risk:
- Limit alcohol – The more alcohol you drink, the greater your risk of developing breast cancer. The general recommendation — based on research on the effect of alcohol on breast cancer risk — is to limit yourself to less than 1 drink per day as even small amounts increase risk.
- Don’t smoke – Accumulating evidence suggests a link between smoking and breast cancer risk, particularly in premenopausal women. In addition, not smoking is one of the best things you can do for your overall health.
- Control your weight – Being overweight or obese increases the risk of breast cancer. This is especially true if obesity occurs later in life, particularly after menopause.
- Be physically active – Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, which, in turn, helps prevent breast cancer. For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity weekly, plus strength training at least twice a week.
- Breast-feed – Breast-feeding might play a role in breast cancer prevention. The longer you breast-feed, the greater the protective effect.
- Limit dose and duration of hormone therapy – Combination hormone therapy for more than three to five years increases the risk of breast cancer. If you’re taking hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms, ask your doctor about other options. You might be able to manage your symptoms with non-hormonal therapies and medications. If you decide that the benefits of short-term hormone therapy outweigh the risks, use the lowest dose that works for you and continue to have your doctor monitor the length of time you are taking hormones.
- Avoid exposure to radiation and environmental pollution – Medical-imaging methods, such as computerized tomography, use high doses of radiation. While more studies are needed, some research suggests a link between breast cancer and radiation exposure. Reduce your exposure by having such tests only when absolutely necessary.
Can a healthy diet prevent breast cancer? Eating a healthy diet might decrease your risk of some types of cancer, as well as diabetes, heart disease and stroke. For example, women who eat a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil and mixed nuts might have a reduced risk of breast cancer. The Mediterranean diet focuses on mostly on plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts. People who follow the Mediterranean diet choose healthy fats, like olive oil, over butter and fish instead of red meat. Maintaining a healthy weight also is a key factor in breast cancer prevention. Is there a link between birth control pills and breast cancer? A number of older studies suggested that birth control pills — which often had higher estrogen doses prior to 1985 — slightly increased the risk of breast cancer, especially among younger women. In these studies, however, 10 years after discontinuing birth control pills women’s risk of breast cancer returned to the same level as that of women who never used oral contraceptives. Current evidence does not support an increase in breast cancer with today’s birth control pills. What else can I do? Be vigilant about breast cancer detection. If you notice any changes in your breasts, such as a new lump or skin changes, consult your doctor. Also, ask your doctor when to begin mammograms and other screenings based on your personal history. Source: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/in-depth/breast-cancer-prevention/art-20044676?pg=2
October 5, 2017 – The Story of Lauren, CanCare Volunteer/Amazing Mom/Breast Cancer Survivor
Lauren first came to CanCare as a caregiver to her younger sister who was diagnosed with cancer. Lauren says, “CanCare was instrumental in helping me discover how to walk side-by-side with my sister through her health event.” In May 2006, Lauren joined Class #38 and began providing clients with support and encouragement. She also began volunteering at CanCare’s special events, like the Annual National Cancer Survivors Day Luncheon and Annual Golf Tournament. “Every day is different. It is a joy to give back and I find it helps me grow, too, in the process,” expresses Lauren. Little did Lauren know, she would also hear those three words her sister heard almost a decade earlier. Lauren shares, “In October 2014, I was diagnosed with an aggressive stage III breast cancer. The verse I claimed through my cancer experience was, ‘I will live and not die to declare the works of the Lord’ (Psalms 118:17). Praise Him! Today I am alive and healthy! As someone who has been given a second chance at life, I appreciate life more and have a new found passion and feel an obligation to share what I have learned through my experience.” Lauren describes, “On week two of my volunteer shift at CanCare, I answered the phone at the receptionist’s desk and on the other end was a lady who called to learn more about CanCare. She was hurting. As we talked, I listened and learned we were close in age, shared a similar diagnosis and experienced a similar treatment plan. It felt like it was a divine appointment.” Lauren continues, “Since that first call, she and I have texted and talked by phone. Recently, we met in person for the first time for coffee. We discovered that we share our faith, our love for pets, and even have a few friends in common. As an added benefit, I’ve found that through encouraging my new friend and listening to her through the tough spots, I am strengthened too! Volunteering for CanCare reminds me how far I have come on my journey back to life after cancer. It stirs up my gratitude and gives me great joy. God is good!“
September 28, 2017
Did you know that 50% of your daily food intake should be consisted of fruits and vegetables? Yet, what kind of fruits and vegetables? Thanks to our friends at MD Anderson and “Anticancer: A New Way of Life” by David Servan-Schreiber, we’ve compiled a list of fruits and vegetables that can help to prevent cancer.
- Cruciform Vegetables – Prevents precancerous cells from developing into malignant tumors and promotes the suicide of cancer cells
- Brussel sprouts
- Bok choy
- Avoid boiling cabbage and broccoli because it destroys benefits
- Vegetables and Fruits Rich in Carotenoids – Inhibits the growth of cancer cells
- Sweet potatoes
- Berries – Slows tumor growth and blocks the transformation of environmental carcinogens into toxic substances
- *** Ellagic acid also detoxifies cells. It blocks the transformation of environmental carcinogens into toxic substances and stimulates the elimination of toxins. The toxins we are referring to here are dangerous because they interact with DNA and provoke potentially life-threatening genetic mutations. Hence, ellagic acid is a kind of super molecule that acts on several fronts.
- Stone Fruit – Blocks the transformation of environment carcinogens into toxic substances
- *** These fruits, particularly plums, are at least as rich in anticancer elements as small berries
- Citrus Fruit – Anti-inflammatory
- Organic skins can be steeped in tea or hot water
Don’t forget to visit our blog every week for new posts!
September 20, 2017 – Financial Resource Available for Leukemia & Lymphoma Patients Who Were Affected by Harvey or Irma
As we continue to rebuild our communities after Harvey and Irma, along with the properties that remain under construction are hospitals, doctors’ offices, treatment facilities and medical centers. Therefore, many cancer patients have had their treatments, surgeries and follow up appointments postponed. During this time, it’s important to not lose sight of the many cancer patients and families that have been evacuated from their homes and are not able to reach their physician or treatment center, or have lost their medications due to flooding. Thank you to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for providing eligible blood cancer patients who live in declared disaster areas with a one-time payment of $500. Patients must be in active treatment, scheduled to begin treatment or are being monitored by their doctor. If you are battling blood cancer, and were affected by Harvey or Irma, please use the link below for more information or to apply. http://www.lls.org/hurricane-relief-program?utm_source=Silverpop&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=BCAM&utm_content=BCAM-Donate-Engaged-LLS&spMailingID=30653452&spUserID=MTA1NzIwNTM0Mzg2S0&spJobID=1122218524&spReportId=MTEyMjIxODUyNAS2 September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month. Today, nearly 1.3 million people in the United States are living with, or are in remission from, Leukemia, Lymphoma or Melanoma. For more information visit: http://www.lls.org/blood-cancer-awareness-month?utm_source=Silverpop&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=BCAM&utm_content=BCAM-Lymphoma-Engaged-LLS&spMailingID=30611762&spUserID=MTA1NzIwNTM0Mzg2S0&spJobID=1121750895&spReportId=MTEyMTc1MDg5NQS2
September 18, 2017 – Hope in the Hospital by Teresa
Working as a volunteer in my local hospital has been a life changing experience. I started my journey at North Cypress thinking that offering my “help” to cancer patients would be my way of giving back to the community and serve others that are just beginning their journey; however, I had no idea the blessings the Lord would put in front of me while I shared my story and reached out to give them hope. This is not a story of how I helped cancer patients; this is a story of how they helped me!! Having the honor and privilege to freely help cancer patients in the hospital environment has made a difference in how I look at life. I have entered rooms of patients with no hope after a diagnosis and had the opportunity to tell and show them there is always hope. I have seen their eyes light up after explaining to them I am a 10-year survivor after the chemo, radiation and surgeries. That hope and glimmer in their eyes is what makes it all worthwhile. Along this journey I have cried with loved ones, laughed with families and held hands with strangers that seemed as though they were lifelong friends. I have had the privilege of hearing one cancer patient sing like it was Heaven opening its doors! Fishing stories, war stories and even stories from families and their love for each other. This is not just an opportunity for me to help others; it is an amazing ride into the lives and hearts of other people that has made a lifelong difference to me. There have been numerous occasions when I have walked away feeling that the Lord has filled my love bank and shown me what life is all about. It is so simple, you give and you receive 10 times more back in return! I know and understand that is a “cliché”; but, when you learn the value of human life as you share your story, it is priceless!!
September 12, 2017 – Financial Resources Available For Those Affected By Harvey
A cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming for all individuals affected – between deciding on treatment, dealing with fear and emotional concerns, and figuring out finances. It is a time in life that no one should have to face alone. For those individuals that are dealing with a cancer diagnosis along with the tragic aftermath of Harvey, please remember that you are not alone. Below are some helpful financial resources to help you on your road to recovery.
The Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program offers short-term food assistance benefits to families recovering from a disaster. D-SNAP is designed to help when people return to their homes and have access to electricity and grocery stores. Benefits are loaded on a Lone Star Card within three days of applying, and the amount is equal to two months of the maximum amount of SNAP benefits, based on household size. There is a limited period of time to apply for D-SNAP, based on your county of residence. To be eligible, you must:
- Be from a county that has been declared a federal disaster area*.
- Have experienced a loss of income, destruction of your home or a disaster-related expense, such as temporary shelter or home repairs.
- Not have been getting regular SNAP food benefits at the time of the disaster.
- Meet certain income limits. Click here to view income limits.
*Federal disaster counties are: Aransas, Austin, Bastrop, Bee, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Colorado, DeWitt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzales, Hardin, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Karnes, Kleberg, Lavaca, Lee, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Polk, Refugio, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Tyler, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Wharton Applying for D-SNAP You must apply in person at a designated D-SNAP location in your county of residence. You will not be able to apply online. D-SNAP applications will be accepted for a limited amount of time in each county. To apply you’ll need to show:
- Proof of identity – Examples include a driver’s license or other government-issued ID
If you enroll in D-SNAP and you are pregnant or have a child younger than five, you are also eligible for WIC. This allows you to get health foods such as fruit and vegetables, cereal, bread and milk, as well as breastfeeding assistance, infant formula and help from nutritionists and other sources. Visit TexasWIC.org(link is external) or call 800-942-3678 for more information. D-SNAP locations You must apply for D-SNAP in your county of residence. Residents of the following counties may only apply for D-SNAP between Sept. 13 and Sept. 19: Dewitt, Gonzalez, Jasper, Karnes, Kleberg, Lavaca, Matagorda, Newton, Orange, Sabine and Tyler. You will need to apply on certain days depending on the first letter of your last name. Offices will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information visit: https://hhs.texas.gov/services/financial/disaster-assistance/disaster-snap
American Red Cross Disaster Financial Assistance
The American Red Cross is providing some financial assistance for those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. With the Immediate Assistance Program, people who were directly affected by the storm can receive $400. Please note that assistance will be available for those significantly affected by Hurricane Harvey which includes:
- Primary residence was severely impacted by Harvey.
- Household is in need of emergency assistance.
- Household was displaced by the impact of Harvey.
Verifiable pre-disaster primary address in one of these 39 Texas counties Aransas, Austin, Bastrop, Bee, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Colorado, DeWitt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzalez, Hardin, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Karnes, Kleberg, Lavaca, Lee, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Polk, Refugio, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Tyler, Victoria, Walker, Waller and Wharton. The American Red Cross is currently experiencing a high demand, and is asking for individuals to check their website at a later time. The program is open through October 10. https://www.disasterverification.com/redcross/
September 11, 2017 – FEMA/State of Texas Open Three Disaster Recovery Centers in Houston
Three State of Texas/FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers will open Monday, September 11, 2017, in the cities of Katy, Baytown and Houston. Disaster recovery centers offer in-person support to individuals and businesses in 39 counties included in the Texas federal disaster declaration for Hurricane Harvey and the subsequent floods. Recovery specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the State and other agencies will be at the centers to talk about assistance and to help anyone who needs guidance in filing an application. The new centers are at the following locations: Katy Mills Mall (Fort Bend County) 5000 Katy Mills Circle Katy TX 77494 Hours: Daily, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Baytown Community Center (Harris County) 2407 Market Street Baytown TX 77520 Hours: Daily, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Greenspoint Mall (Harris County) 263 Greenspoint Mall Houston TX 77060 Hours: Daily, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) disaster assistance employees are committed to helping businesses and residents rebuild as quickly as possible. SBA representatives are available to answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program and help business owners and residents apply to SBA. Disaster Recovery Centers are accessible to people with disabilities. Centers have assistive technology equipment allowing disaster survivors to use amplified telephones, phones that display text, amplified listening devices for people with hearing loss, and magnifiers for people with vision loss. Video Remote Interpreting is available and in-person sign language is available by request. The centers also have accessible parking, ramps and restrooms. If possible, homeowners, renters and businesses should register with FEMA before visiting a recovery center. Eligible residents may register for assistance the following ways:
- Online at DisasterAssistance.gov.
- Phone 800-621-3362 (voice, 711/VRS-Video Relay Service) (TTY: 800-462-7585). Multilingual operators are available (press 2 for Spanish).
- Via the FEMA app, available for Apple and Android mobile devices. To download visit: fema.gov/mobile-app.
The following information is helpful when registering:
- Address of the location where the damage occurred (pre-disaster address).
- Current mailing address.
- Current telephone number.
- Insurance information.
- Total household annual income.
- Routing and account number for checking or savings account (this allows FEMA to directly transfer disaster assistance funds into a bank account).
- A description of disaster-caused damage and losses.
Disaster survivors can visit any of the centers for assistance. Locations of other recovery centers are online at www.fema.gov/DRC. Homeowners, renters and businesses in Aransas, Austin, Bastrop, Bee, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Colorado, Dewitt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzalez, Hardin, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Karnes, Kleberg, Lavaca, Lee, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Polk, Sabine, San Jacinto, Refugio, San Patricio, Tyler, Victoria, Waller, Walker and Wharton may be eligible for help. Thank you, ALERT HOUSTON, for this helpful information. CanCare community, please remember, if you have been affected by Harvey, please contact us at 713.461.0028. We are currently in the process of assessing what needs our community has, and are ready to help you.
September 6, 2017 – Harvey Crisis Response Guide
Thanks to our friends at Insperity for sending us this helpful ‘Harvey Crisis Response Guide’. This guide contains information to help anyone who has been impacted by Hurricane Harvey. It was prepared by Baker Botts and covers a broad variety of topics, such as how to file flood claims, renters’ rights, how to replace your passport and/or credit cards that may have been lost or damaged in the storm, information about schools and about small business administration loans, and tips to avoid home repair fraud. It also contains a broad list of other resources and includes contact information for them. Click the link below to view guide.
CanCare community, if you have been affected by Harvey, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 713.461.0028.
September 1, 2017 – A message from our President/CEO
To our CanCare community: On behalf of CanCare, I want to offer my greatest concern and deepest compassion to all the individuals affected by the devastating storm along the Texas coastline, and Houston region. Like many of our Houstonians today, I too, have personally experienced the loss and uncertainty that a storm of this magnitude can bring. I have faced the devastation of waking up at 2 a.m. with close to four feet of water in my home, rounding up my family to safely evacuate, and leaving all our personal belongings and decades of memories behind. One thing that I learned throughout that experience was, I was not alone, and neither are you. With my 14 years of experience at the American Red Cross along with our dedicated CanCare staff members, we are here to help connect you with the assistance you may need during this trying time. Although our office will be closed until September 5th, we are available to assist those in need now. If you have been affected by Harvey, we want to hear from you. Replacing fear with hope has been the mission of CanCare for 27 years. When you choose CanCare, you choose hope that comes from survivors sharing their own cancer experiences. It is our utmost commitment to ensure that no one battles cancer alone, and as we begin to rebuild our great city of Houston and the surrounding communities, we want you to know that you are not alone on this journey either. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions about your road to recovery. I am here for you. Stay strong, Houston. We are with you, always. Warm regards, Cristina Vetrano