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Special Delivery from an Eagle Scout

Sean O’Leary contacted us a few months ago regarding his Eagle Scout project. He wanted to make knit hats for our clients. He delivered them yesterday afternoon and they are beautiful. The project involved creating a pattern, selecting the fabric and organizing over 20 volunteers to produce 100 hats, which took over 200 volunteer hours to make.

We are so thankful for his efforts. Our clients will love them!

Join Fort Financial at Chick-Fil-A Tomorrow

Visit Chick-Fil-A at Jefferson Pointe tomorrow between 5-7PM to support Fort Financial Credit Union’s Christmas Families program, which benefits client families from Cancer Services. 15% of all sales during that time will be donated to the program.

Tell your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors to do your part in helping families in need.

Important Dates in April

April will be a busy month, so make sure these dates are on your calendar:

  • Spirituality & End-of-Life Care, a free program for professionals, co-sponsored by Cancer Services & Dignity Memorial is April 13. Reservations by April 8. Brochure can be found at:
  • Join us Tuesday, April 19 at 6PM for Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma by Dr David Zimmerman. This free program and complimentary dinner requires reservations by Thursday April 15. Call 260-484-9560 or toll free 866-484-9560. Co-sponsored by Cancer Services and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
  • Tai Chi …this slow, relaxing exercise form will help you de-stress. Even those who are only able to exercise from a seated position will find success. Meets Wednesday, March 23, 5:30-6:30PM. (No class: March 30 & April 6). Class resumes Wednesday, April 13 and continues through the end of April.
  • re-Energize! Each Tuesday & Thursday from 6-7PM. Instructor Courtney’s enthusiasm is contagious. She will lead you in a fun exercise experience, no matter what your ability level.

Don’t forget that free half hour massages are available for clients and caregivers. Call Cancer Services at 260-484-9560 or toll free 866-484-9560 for your appointment.

CSNI Team Members Honored

This morning, our Program Director Gail Hamm was recognized as the Social Worker of the Year for region 3 by the Indiana Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

Each year the NASW observes Social Work Month (March) as a time to pay tribute to its colleagues and/or other citizens who are making an outstanding contribution to social work practice or programs. The Indiana Chapter of NASW is dedicated to promoting the highest ideals of the social work profession.

The Chapter’s regional recipients were selected from among the nominations submitted by members. The Regional award winners will be submitted for consideration for the State Social Worker selection committee.

We are so proud that Gail was selected as this year’s recipient. Qualifications for the award include: demonstrates leadership qualities; effectively integrates experience with education, personally and professionally, in an effort to help people; shows a willingness to take risks for improved social services, social issues and programs through advocacy for clients and/or the social work profession; is able to enlist public support for improved human services; has the capacity to contribute to the public’s knowledge of social work in a particular area of expertise; and represents the professional ethics of social work as defined in the NASW Code of Ethics.

Last night, many of the staff attended the Top 40 Under 40 awards, presented by Business Weekly, to support our Development Director Amber Recker. She was nominated for the work she does for our organization and the community overall. We are proud to have her as a member of our team. Congrats, Amber.

Greatbatch Medical Employees Raise Money for CSNI

For the 2nd year, the employees of Greatbatch Medical organized a basket raffle to benefit Cancer Services. Today, CSNI volunteer Stephanie Beck, Financial Manager Kathy Ryan, and Development Director Amber Recker, visited the facility and were presented with a check for $1,469.

(Back: L-R) Sharon Lock, Tina Kimmell, Emily Shilling, Michele Goudy, Jessica Schultz, Trudy Miller Longhenry

(Front: L-R) Stephanie Beck, Amber Recker, Kathy Ryan

Choose Hope

by Dianne May, president & CEO

Peter, one of our client advocates, shared this quote at a recent staff meeting: “In facing the unknown, hope is as reasonable as despair.”

It seems to me this is a great response to those people who put a lot of effort into interpreting cancer statistics and trying to figure out how it applies to them or their loved one. I can’t count the number of times I have heard oncologists say they wish their patients wouldn’t pay so much attention to mortality rates and survivorship statistics. They are quick to point out, each patient is different and likewise, cancers can vary a great deal. There is little to be gained by an individual patient trying to fit the statistics to his or her own situation.

Instead, imagine making hope your choice.

I’m not advocating wearing blinders during the cancer journey. It is important to see and understand what is going on around you and what is happening to your body. Patients need to be active participants in their healthcare and recovery. And that active participation can also mean deciding for yourself that you will have hope. Hope for recovery. Hope for better days. Hope for joy and laughter.

Hope for deeper and stronger relationships. Hope for tomorrow. Go ahead, choose hope.


Cancer Does not Define Her

by Lynette Fager

On Oct, 8, 2009, Sally Garrett Smith’s life changed—she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Less than a month later, she had surgery and soon after, she began radiation treatments. As a hair stylist, one of the things that hit the hardest about cancer for Sally was the almost certain reality that she would lose her hair.

But Sally’s response? “Get over it, girl!”

She was determined that cancer would not define her, so she decided to give back. During her radiation treatments at Parkview Hospital, someone mentioned Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana and its Wig Salon. Sally told her husband, “When I get through this, maybe I can go over and help with the wigs or something.”

And help she did. After she completed radiation, Sally contacted Cancer Services and said she wanted to be a volunteer, particularly in the Wig Salon. Cancer Services jumped at the opportunity because at the time, no one was in charge of the Wig Salon.

Sally spends a few hours a week styling wigs and “making them look great so that when women who have lost their hair come in, they can see the style, colors and options available.”

But Sally understands that there is more to this journey than just finding a pretty wig; a woman’s self-esteem is at stake. That’s why she makes sure that anyone entering the Wig Salon knows that they can come to the salon where she works and have their hair cut or shaved and their new wig styled and fitted for free. Not only does this make it easier for women going through a cancer journey to feel better about themselves, but Sally also points out that this gives her a chance to build relationships with these women.

“I didn’t lose my hair and I thank God for that, but I want to spare the women that do lose their hair as much pain as I can,” says Sally. “I want to help them keep their dignity.”



Volunteer & Make a Difference

Have you ever wanted to make a difference in your community but didn’t know where to start? Volunteering is something that everyone can do and it can be very rewarding, especially when your time and talent are matched with tasks and projects that help further an organization’s mission. Cancer Services likes to meet with interested volunteers one-on-one to find out who they are and what they enjoy doing.

We have a variety of volunteer opportunities available for individuals who are task oriented, project oriented or prefer direct client contact. We know that when a volunteer has a heart for our organization and it matches up with a volunteer role they enjoy, it becomes a win-win!

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Cheryl Dafforn at, or visit our website and fill out the volunteer application HERE.

East Noble Swim Team Paints the Pool Pink

Late last year, East Noble High School’s swimming team hosted “Paint the Pool Pink,” to benefit Cancer Services. All swimmers wore pink caps and raised over $400 through a bake sale, raffle and admission.

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