Month: November 2011

Cancer Risk and Survivorship in Young Adults

A spotlight on young adults with cancer continues to shine as it becomes more prevalent than some might imagine. The Cancer Legal Resource Center Chronicle reports that adolescents and young adults ages 15 to 39 have greater risks of being diagnosed with cancer than children under the age of 15, as much as 8 time as likely.

Lymphoma, leukemia, germ cell tumors, melanoma, central nervous system tumors, sarcomas, and breast, cervical, liver, thyroid and colorectal cancers are the most commonly found types seen in young adults. A recent study revealed results of nearly 68,000 individuals, ages 15 to 39 years, had been diagnosed with cancer.

Cancer risk and survivorship challenges are under-recognized despite two barriers: minimal advances in treatments specifically altered for this population and the element of recent federal health care reforms. Very few clinical trials are made available to these young adults being diagnosed with cancer because of a lack of referrals being made by their diagnosing physicians.

For more information on young adult cancer, support and resources, visit The Cancer Legal Resource Center.

Big Thanks to Guardian in Ligonier for Their Pink-Out Fundraiser

Corrie Henschon from Guardian Industries, in Ligonier, organized a company ‘Pink-Out’ to help spread breast cancer awareness as well as raise funds for Cancer Services. We would like to send our thanks to Corrie Henschon and Dawn Alcala, along with all Guardian employees who helped make this donation possible.

Corrie and Dawn visited our offices for a tour and to present a check of $430 to Linda Bewley, Outreach Coordinator.

Corrie chose our organization as the recipient for their fundraising efforts when she personally experienced the difference Cancer Services made in her friend’s life after being diagnosed with cancer.

Some People Come into our Lives and Change us Forever

by Gail Hamm, program director

This morning I was chatting with one of our clients who is a long-term cancer survivor with severe lasting side effects from the treatment. He is grateful that he is alive but his life has been changed forever. One of those changes is that he is nourished through a feeding tube. What I take for granted…that I can swallow without difficulty, that I can meet a friend for a cup of coffee, that I will gather with family for Thanksgiving…the joy of shared community through food, is not what he experiences. Those pleasant times of camaraderie over food are gone forever.

In spite of these losses, my friend tries to avoid isolation. His story has helped others come to terms with their losses and appreciate life. Is it easy? No. Would he wish that life were different for him? Absolutely. But he keeps coming back to Cancer Services because he is making a difference in others’ lives. He gives others hope. For that, I am grateful.

Oncology Massage Training Opportunity with Nationally Renowned Trainer

In 2010, we hosted nationally renowned oncology massage trainer, Tracy Walton, MS, LMT, for a three-day intensive training session with twenty-three local massage therapist. As part of that training, each therapist agreed to provide volunteer time to our organization to help us launch our oncology massage program, Caring Touch. Beginning in July 2010, 30-minute massage appointments became available to clients and caregivers. The program has been so well received that we are bringing Tracy back in 2012 to train more massage therapists.

March 5 through 8, 2012, we will host an intensive massage training: Caring for Clients with Cancer: Simple Steps to Safe, Effective Massage Therapy. Participants will earn 32 hours of NCBTMB-approved instruction, as well as the benefits of oncology massage for cancer patients, which include reduced pain, anxiety, nausea, depression and fatigue.

Certified massage therapists interested in learning more about oncology massage are encouraged to register. The cost to attend is $200 and all participants must be willing to provide 16 hours of volunteer service to our Caring Touch massage program. Applicants must have completed a recognized professional training program in massage therapy and be certified by the state of Indiana. Registration is limited to 24 and there are only a few spots remaining.

We are also looking for clients to assist with the training sessions by being willing to receive massages from students the last day of training. If interested, contact Cheryl Dafforn at (260) 484-9560 or

November Represents Awareness for a Multitude of Cancers

November is awareness month for lung, pancreatic and stomach cancers, and marrow transplants. It also honors caregivers, hospice and palliative care of people with cancer.

There are different diagnoses of lung cancer, and each is treated differently. Lung cancer affects the lungs’ ability to function to their full capacity.

Pancreatic cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths because of its rapid growth and inability to detect in its early stages. Most cases of pancreatic cancer are advanced, meaning surgical removal often isn’t possible.

Stomach cancer, uncommon in the United States, can also be referred to ask gastric cancer, both terms most often refer to stomach cancer that affects the inside lining of the stomach, adenocarcinoma.

Caregiving for a loved one with cancer can be a full-time job. The medical, emotional and practical support that caregivers provide are a constant reminder of hope for a person with cancer.

Knights of Columbus Host Fundraising Dinner for Cancer Services

The Knights of Columbus held a free will offering spaghetti dinner on October 26 at the K of C Hall, with Cancer Services as the chosen recipient for the donations. We would like to send our thanks to Robert Hinga, Grand Knight of Council 451, for selecting our organization as the beneficiary for the month of October.

Linda Bewley, Outreach Coordinator, was invited to attend the dinner to share the our story with other individuals who were in attendance and to accept the donations.

The K of C is a non-profit catholic men’s organization that cherishes charity work as one of its key principles. They host a fundraising dinner for a different charity each month.

Debra Brown Does it Again- Wig Drive for Cancer Clients

We would like to send our thanks to Debra Brown, from the Fort Wayne Urban League, for coordinating a wig drive to collect wigs for African Americans. Debra, with the help of many others, collected 60 wigs along with donations amounting to the purchase of 20 new wigs.

Just as women with breast cancer begin to lose their hair and possibly even their hope, Debra is there to step in and provide women with a good hair day and some self-confidence because of her initiative in collecting wigs for Cancer Services.

By donating a wig, you will aid in providing women who may not financially have the resources to obtain one free of charge. Wig donations are tax deductible.

If you are interested in donating or would like more information, contact Debra Brown of the Fort Wayne Urban League at (260) 745-3100 ext. 45 or call Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana at (260)484-9560.

Bishop Luers Fall Athletics Participate in 4th Annual Pink Week

Completing yet another year,the 4th Annual Pink Week at Bishop Luers has again participated in collecting donations for Cancer Services. Luers’ Fall sport athletes, coaches, students and fans all took pride in raising breast cancer awareness at multiple home games this season by trading in their black and red and sporting pink body paint, socks and hats.

Physical Activity May Help Aid Cancer Prevention and Survivorship

Christine Friedenreich, PhD and Senior Research Epidemiologist, is researching the correlations between physical activity and cancer.

Physical exercise has been known to reduce the risk factors for chronic diseases, but the proof for cancer is absent. Studies have been showing that moderate activity lowers the risk reductions in breast cancer by as much at 30-50 percent and prostate cancer by about 10-30 percent.

Friedenreich is still conducting studies in cancer patients and the effects of putting them on exercise trials. Her goal is to provide a framework in this area of research and analyze how exercise may ultimately reduce the risk of dying in prostate cancer.

To find out more on the benefits of physical activity by means of cancer, visit

Wonderful Turnout for the 7th Annual Tribute Dinner

On Thursday, October 13, guests joined us for our 7th Annual Tribute Dinner at the Marquis Ballroom at the Fort Wayne Marriott. This year’s event, “Navigating Life’s Detours”, offered our community an opportunity to pause, treasure the memories of people who have been touched by cancer, and pay tribute to them, whether a cancer survivor, caregiver, physician, or lost loved one. In addition to quality time spent with family and friends, guests were entertained and inspired by guest speaker Regina Brett, best-selling author and cancer survivor. Regina shared the story of her own cancer journey through her 50 Life Lessons, which appear in her book “God Never Blinks: 50 Lessons for Life’s Little Details.” She made us laugh and she made us cry, but mostly she instilled in us the hope that the best is yet to come, no matter where we are on life’s journey.

Last year, we unveiled the William A. Kunkel III Champion of Hope award, which was created to recognize an individual, family or business that embodies the mission of Cancer Services through a lifelong commitment to enhancing the quality of life of those affected by cancer in Northeast Indiana. The recipient of the Champion of Hope Award demonstrates an unparalleled devotion to the organization as a volunteer, advocate, friend and companion, leading by example and exhibiting unwavering compassion. Last year’s award went to its namesake, Bill Kunkel.

We were pleased to announce the selection of Jim and Adda Jane Wiegman as the recipients of this year’s Champion of Hope award and we honored them at the dinner. Jim and Adda Jane have made significant contributions to our community as volunteers and co‐founders of the US TOO support group for men with prostate cancer and their partners. Since its debut in 1992, US TOO has held more than 200 monthly meetings providing men and their partners a safe place to talk about their health and well‐being. Jim and Adda Jane have dedicated much of their time to US TOO, and in return they have become a source of comfort and information for hundreds of men and women throughout our community. Jim and Adda Jane served many years as volunteers with the Scotts/Kroger Cancer Day, bagging groceries and helping at the golf outing. They have given financial support to Cancer Services and been a foundation for inspiration to staff and volunteers alike, always offering their help. These two Champions of Hope have had positive impacts on the quality of life of so many friends and neighbors through their very own message of hope.