Cancer Services Northeast Indiana | Cancer Services Northeast Indiana Cancer Services Northeast Indiana – Page 31 – Cancer Services Northeast Indiana

Walking with a Purpose

During the winter of 2009, Ralph Burgess hadn’t been feeling well, so to improve his health and lift his spirits, he began walking laps at Foster Park with Susie Blaugh, RN, who is in charge of the Health Ministry at The Chapel.

When spring rolled around, in order to give him a goal, Susie encouraged Ralph to participate in the Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana’s 2010 Lapper, the annual walk held to support those affected by cancer. As they prepared for The Lapper, Ralph and Susie would pace laps around the park. After one particularly long walk, Ralph asked Susie if she thought they had walked a mile that day. Susie smiled at him and replied, “Ralph, we didn’t walk one mile today, we walked two!”

Participating in The Lapper showed Ralph that he could still do something for others, even at the age of 92! That year, he proudly walked next to Susie and her friend, Shelley Chapman.

His wife, Shirley, says that walking in The Lapper gave Ralph a sense of purpose. Ralph felt good about walking; he had accomplished something.

This winter, as so many do, Ralph was feeling a little blue, but as spring began to roll around, his spirits lifted and he started to look forward to walking in his second Lapper. He and Shirley have already set off around Foster Park a few times this season in preparation for the big event. Shirley is hoping that this year she can join Ralph in The Lapper, in spite of her recent knee replacement.

Even though Ralph and Shirley haven’t personally experienced cancer, they understand the importance of Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana, and they understand the importance of being a part of this event.

“Cancer is a wicked thing,” Shirley said, “but any services that help someone through it are beneficial!”

Do you have a story about Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana? If you do, we would love to hear it. Put it in the comments below, or email it to

We Are Here to Assist You

by Gail Hamm, program director

“I strongly feel that the people at Cancer Services have done their best to make me feel supported and you all have kept in touch with me to make sure that I am ok. Thank you for reaching out to me when I didn’t reach out to you.” ~ A Cancer Services client

Clients say it better than I can. When you are diagnosed with cancer and do not know what to do next, call Cancer Services. A friendly, knowledgeable professional advocate is here to assist you.

Knowledge is power. Knowing what to expect before you travel the unknown paths of treatment and recovery can lessen the stress and help you heal faster. Dealing with financial issues, employment issues and day-to-day pressures is so much easier when these concerns are shared with a Cancer Services’ client advocate.

The first call to make after a diagnosis of cancer is: (260) 484-9560 or toll free (866) 484-9560

Hats Off to our Volunteers

It’s National Volunteer Appreciation Week!

Volunteering is one of the greatest gifts you give yourself…unless you are the organization who is being blessed by your time. Cancer Services is truly blessed with more than 600 volunteers who are always eager to help. We love the way each of you use your talents and follow your hearts as you help our clients.

We value the service you provide to our clients, as you assist us in fulfilling our mission.

We acknowledge all of your efforts and thank you for enhancing the lives of our clients. Our hats are off to you!

Thank you TinCaps!

We are honored to have been a part of the TinCaps Season Opener on April 7 as one of the featured charities. Our volunteers had a great time interacting with fans and selling our “count moments” bracelets. Perhaps the highlight of the night was a chance for one of our clients, Nathan Coffey, to throw out one of the first pitches. Despite the gloomy weather, the night was a huge success, both for the TinCaps and Cancer Services.

Cancer Services client Nathan Coffey throws out the first pitch

Pam Saylor, Bryttani Bair and Teresa Bair help sell bracelets and promote Lapper.

Brandon Borders and Brenda Bair brave the cold to help us promote our mission.

Team Peterson’s Lapper Story

Team Peterson

By Kathy Peterson

Mother and Cancer. Two words that have the most beautiful and ugliest meanings in life. But that is why my family sponsored the “Peterson” team in last years Lapper.

My brother Joe, from Pittsburgh, came to walk for the mother of his two children, Diana. She died from pancreatic cancer at the age of 48, leaving behind a 17-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter.

Our niece Annie, from Decatur, was fighting ovarian cancer at the time of last year’s Lapper. Close to Thanksgiving, she died at the age of 53, leaving behind three children, one a daughter who just graduated from high school.

Both mothers were young and spirit filled before cancer stole their life. The Lapper was the perfect opportunity to show our support.

During the walk, the guys – husband, son, two brothers and son in law – took turns hoisting our 4-year-old grandson onto their shoulders when he got tired. We all took turns pushing my 83-year-old mother in her wheelchair. Young and old – doesn’t matter – cancer touches all ages.

There is something special about walking around Foster Park on a a still spring morning in your Cancer Services of NE Indiana T-shirt, honoring those you love.

For our family it was all about Mothers.

Interested in joining Team Peterson and hundreds of others for Lapper 2011? Click here for more information and to register today!

Talk to Your Kids About Cancer

by Linda Bewley, outreach coordinator

“You have cancer,” are three words that will turn your world upside down. The moment that diagnosis is given your life changes. Will I live or die? What sort of treatment will I have to have? How sick will I be? How will I care for my family These are just some of the questions that instantly come to mind.

It is a time of huge change, uncertainty and fear. For most of us, sitting down to talk to our kids is not the first thing we think of when we receive this diagnosis. And, when we do think of it, the idea of sitting with our children and trying to make sense out of a disease that we do not understand and are petrified of is intimidating. We are scared—do we dare show this fear to our children who look at us as invincible?

We often assume, incorrectly, that children are too young or too self-absorbed (in the case of tweens and teens) to be overly affected by this diagnosis. WRONG! Children always know—maybe not all, but they do know something has happened and they are immediately affected. Being honest at this time can be painful for you, but telling them from the beginning will allow them to become part of your team.

Speaking from experience, these little people need to be considered right from the get-go. Children are very tuned in to family issues even if they do not make it apparent. They need to be included in this life altering crisis, because it does affect them directly. If they are not, the consequences will come out, usually in a negative way. By letting them become part of your team, they can feel useful by participating in age appropriate actions.

My daughter (6) had her friends help her make a huge welcome home sign and she made me get well cards on a regular basis (which I still have today). My son (10) helped do chores around the house when I was just too tired. Both children suffered from fear at first because I tried to protect them from this family crisis. Once I was honest with them, all of us were able to function as a team and reestablish the bond of trust that had been broken. Let your children be there for you as you are for them.

Communication is the key, no matter what the age. Children have the right to know what is going on. That knowledge is their right and also their greatest need. Always be open and honest and encourage them to ask questions. Trying to protect your children from the unpleasant truths will only make them distrustful. The most important thing at this time is for them to trust the two most important people in their lives—the parent that is sick and the parent that is there to continue to care for them.

Following is a list of books that might prove helpful if you find yourself in this situation:

Can I Still Kiss you? By Neil Russell; How to Help Children Through a Parent’s Serious Illness, by Kathleen McCue; Mira’s Month, by Deborah Weinstein-Stern; Vanishing Cookies, by Dr. Michelle B. Goodman; internet article entitled “Teen Views: How to Cope with a Sick Parent”, by Virginia Allen

Spread the Word!

by Gail Hamm, program director

Cancer Services’ Client Advocates often hear this lament from a new client: “I wish I had heard about you sooner!” Of course we think we are doing everything the get the word out…news releases, Facebook, Twitter, Friends for Lunch, the Cancer Services’ website, brochures and folders at treatment centers, community presentations, etc. But these messages are not enough. We need your help to bring people to Cancer Services sooner.

People are amazed by all the items in our warehouse. Whether a camisole for a client about to have a mastectomy, gauze bandages for a wound, a hospital bed to allow a patient to sleep in an elevated position…all the services at Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana are here to make the lives of people with cancer and their families better.

In addition, clients in any stage of their cancer find that support groups are very helpful. Both clients and caregivers benefit from being able to talk with others to find out what to expect before, during and after treatment.

Most people believe that they have plenty of support from family, friends and their faith community. But Cancer Services is unique. Where else, in one place, can you find no-charge 1-on-1 emotional support from advocates, financial assistance, information about community and national resources, medical equipment and supplies, library, wig salon, massage, exercise, support groups and educational workshops?

So tell your friends and neighbors. Spread the word. Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana is the first place to go to after a diagnosis of cancer!

Mom2Mom Radio Interview

Cancer Survivor, Mother and local business owner Kim Richards invited our Development Director Amber Recker on her Mom2Mom radio show to talk about how cancer affects the entire family and the services offered here to help. Listen HERE.

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