by Gail Hamm, program director
Courage is as often the outcome of despair as hope; in the one case we have nothing to lose, in the other, all to gain. ~Diane De Poitiers
It was such a privilege to meet so many survivors a week ago at the Lapper/Survivors Day Celebration. I was heartened by their stories…the volunteer who told me of the death of her son-in-law but the lives of her two grandchildren who are in remission from their cancers. Then I met the father of a teenager who succumbed to lung cancer 2 months ago and whose family was walking in this young man’s memory. Another walker rejoiced that she has been dealing with a Stage IV cancer for over 4 years but formed a large Lapper team and succeeded in completing the Walk. And I thought: what courage!
Some mornings, just getting out of bed is an act of courage. Even in the midst of doubt, the simple act of breathing is enough. This moment will only be this moment. The next moment carries us forward. We are asked to live each moment fully. The many friends and neighbors of Cancer Services who celebrated together at Foster Park embody the idea that we have nothing to lose and all to gain when hope and courage give meaning to our lives.
Last year, a brother and sister sought a way to help a family member struggling with cancer. The two siblings came to our organization unsure of what to expect. As the two entered the building, they walked across the brick “memory” path. The path consists of many bricks purchased by loved ones who either lost someone they love to cancer or have a loved one currently fighting against cancer. Inscribed in the bricks are messages honoring those courageous people. Before the brother and sister entered our building, they gazed down to see a brick with the inscriptions of both of their grandparents’ names. They realized Cancer Services was not unfamiliar to them; Cancer Services had already touched their lives, and they did not even know it. They felt a wave of relief rush over them as they realized they came to the right place.
Every year, thousands of people are diagnosed with cancer in Northeastern Indiana. Nearly everyone knows of someone—a family member, a friend, a co-worker, a neighbor—who has been affected by this disease. Our mission here at Cancer Services is to provide practical resources and emotional support to individuals diagnosed with cancer, to their families and to the community.
How do we do this?
At Cancer Services, we provide nutritional supplements, financial assistance to help cover the cost of medical/hospital bills, transportation to appointments, and counseling services to both our clients and their loved ones. We make it our mission to help our clients fight cancer and to assure them they are not alone.
In order to continue with our mission, we need help from those people who understand what it may be like to struggle through cancer or who knows what it is like watching a loved one battle this life-altering illness, while wishing they could do something to help alleviate the pain.
Consider dedicating a brick mentioned earlier in this post for someone you love who is currently fighting cancer or for someone you lost to cancer. These bricks include the name of your loved one and a message of “In honor of…” for those currently fighting cancer or “In memory of…” for those who lost the fight to cancer. These cost is $100 with funds contributing to our mission to help those people affected by cancer.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us at 260-484-9560 or visit the Cancer Services website at cancer-services.org. Thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to read this post. Your gift WILL make a difference in our community.
This spring, Courtney Berger, a Huntington University student, interned for our organizations. Here is her story:
As a Fort Wayne native, Courtney grew to love exercise and personal training and put this passion into practice by working at a local gym as a personal trainer for a few years prior to her studies at Huntington University. During her time at HU, Courtney’s love for exercise and training others continued to grow and when an opportunity came up with a new spin on traditional personal training, she jumped all over it. (Read more HERE)
We say it over and over again, but it’s worth repeating: We could not do what we do without the support of our community. We are so grateful to the Noble County Community Foundation for it’s continued support. Last week our Outreach Coordinator Linda Bewley and Executive Director Dianne May visited the foundation and were presented with a $1,000 check. In addition to the foundation’s support, we were surprised to discover we were selected by P.U.L.S.E, a youth philanthropy group, to receive an additional $500.
Our Program Director, Gail Hamm, was recently named Cancer Control Champion by the Indiana Cancer Consortium (ICC). She will be recognized for her leadership in implementing the Indiana Cancer Control Plan on Thursday, May 19, at the ICC Annual Meeting.
by Amber Recker, development director
For the past few weeks, the first thing I’ve done every morning when I get into the office is pull up the Lapper website to see how much money we’ve raised for much-needed programs for people with cancer in our community. Today, our total surpassed $45,000. That will go a long way in supporting families dealing with the health crisis that is cancer.
Those who know me best, know how much this organization means to me. My job here is much more than a job- it feeds my soul because I know that every ounce of energy I put in directly and positively impacts someone in our community who needs help. Our entire team feels that way and we have the great honor of sharing a small part of the cancer journey with our clients; their strength, in the face of fear and great challenges, inspires us. That is why we do what we do.
You too can be inspired by joining us for Lapper 2011. Walk alongside those who have faced a cancer diagnosis and continue to thrive. We cannot do what we do without generous supporters like you. Even if you can’t walk, consider making a donation to the event and know that your treasure will be put to good use. Here’s a glimpse of what your donation provides:
- $50 provides a wig for someone who is going through treatment
- $100 provides one month of nutritional supplement for a client
- $500 provides a year’s worth of prescriptions, food and co-pay assistance to a client
- $850 provides one hospital bed
- $1,000 provides one year of emotional support
By Gail Hamm, Program Director
“……and wonder if I will be one of the survivors….”
Recently a Cancer Services’ client made the following comment on the evaluation she returned to us: “… (I) wonder if I will be one of the survivors…”
This is a concern of most people who hear, “You have cancer.” You do not know in that moment of stillness, what to expect next. It takes your breath away. Life stands still. In a split second, you remember all the dire stories you have ever heard, and forget the successes.
But the truth is, that everyone’s experience, while similar to others’, is really unique for that individual. You may or may not have the usual side effects. For some, the treatment and after effects are not significant to them. For others, the experience is so momentous that life is measured as “before cancer” and “after cancer.”
At Cancer Services, we use the term “cancer survivor” to mean anyone affected by cancer, from the moment of diagnosis forward. And it includes caregivers, as well. The term “cancer survivor” was first used by Dr. Fitzhugh Mullan, who was diagnosed in 1975 with mediastinal seminoma. In 1985, he wrote an essay for the New England Journal of Medicine titled “Seasons of Survival.” In that article, he wrote of the uncertainty of the life of a person diagnosed with cancer. He coined the term “cancer survivor” as an all-encompassing term identifying all people affected by cancer in any stage of survival. In a later interview on public radio, he said he wished that there were a better or more descriptive term to use. Even he recognized that people with cancer live in a sort of limbo, not knowing if they will survive the experience.
If there is a day when you need the reassurance that indeed you are a survivor who is surviving, just call your Cancer Services’ Client Advocate. He or she is here to listen to you, to encourage you, to help you find the answers you need in order to better cope with your unique situation.
Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana is the first place to call after a diagnosis of cancer : (260) 484-9560 or toll free (866) 484-9560. ….Serving people with cancer and their families since 1944.
Bring your family and join other cancer survivors at Lapper and Survivors Day at Foster Park, May 21. Lapper starts at9 am and the party for Survivors Day starts at 11 am. Fun, food, and festivities!
photos by Megan Ryan and Emily Osborn
Last week, we hosted one of our annual kid’s events at the TinCaps game. Twelve families attended the event.
Child Advocate Leah Kneubuhler says, “These events are so important because the kids are able to see and play with friends that they have met during their treatments. Parents also get the chance to talk with adults who have gone through the experience of having a child with cancer.”
The weather was a little cold but that didn’t stop the kids from having a good time! The children loved the dance contest. For many of them, this was their first baseball game. Even though the TinCaps lost, the children had a great experience at Parkview field!
Two-time cancer survivor Jill Sample is riding in the Zoo-de-Mackinac , a 51-mile bicycle ride, on May 21, and is raising money for Cancer Services in the process. She’s started a facebook page and is directing her family and friends to our site. Check it out <<HERE>>
She writes: As many of you know, I am a Cancer Survivor (2-time). God has greatly blessed me through his love and support and the love and support of my family and many, many awesome friends. It has been 6 months since my last diagnosis and surgery which saved my life.
Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana was so helpful to me during my recovery at home by providing a hospital bed free of charge for as long as I needed it.
I am one of the lucky ones who have survived cancer and I am so much stronger for it. And because I am a survivor and have fully recovered, I feel strongly about helping such a great organization and would love for any and all of you to help also.
I am going to be riding in the Zoo-de-Mackinac bicycle ride in May this year. It is a 51 mile scenic bike ride. I am asking everyone to please donate to Cancer Services by clicking on the link below as a sort of sponsorship for the bike ride I am undertaking. Your donation goes directly to support LOCAL cancer patients and their families and is a tax deductible contribution. Please enter my name in the “In honor of” box as you fill out the online form.
Thank you so much for your support to such a wonderful cause!! My Goal is to raise $1500 for Cancer Services of Northeat Indiana.
To support Jill’s efforts, visit our <<Donation Page>>
Last year, Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana introduced the William A. Kunkel III Champion of Hope Award, an honor designed to recognize an individual who embodies the mission of Cancer Services through his or her lifelong commitment to enhancing the quality of life of those affected by cancer in Northeast Indiana.
“Our clients tell us all of the time that having caring companionship and practical help means so much on a difficult cancer journey,” says Jill Nichols, co-chair of the Champions of Hope Selection committee. “It is important that we honor those who have made that assistance possible.”
Cancer Services’ board of directors bestowed the first award on its namesake, William A. Kunkel III, who has served in many volunteer roles, including board member since 1959.
“Bill’s service to Cancer Services has been exemplary,” says Tom Horton, co-chair of the Champions of Hope Selection committee. “The award was an honor long overdue.”
Cancer Services is accepting nominations for this year’s award. The recipient should demonstrate an unparalleled devotion to the organization as a volunteer, advocate, friend and companion, leading by example and exhibiting unwavering compassion.
Please visit our website to fill out the nomination form: cancer-services.org. Be sure to include information regarding how the nominee demonstrates leadership, compassion, and devotion to Cancer Services, including examples which address quality of life issues for people with cancer.
Nominations may be submitted by June 1, 2011 to Dianne May, Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana, 6316 Mutual Drive, Fort Wayne, IN 46825, or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.