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Why Team Kent Supports Cancer Services

Team Kent - LapperWhen Kent passed away in October of 2008, he was only 62. He left behind his wife, Denise, and three daughters: Erin, Anna and Ashley. He had four sisters, one brother and countless in-laws and friends. Most participate in Cancer Services’ Lapper each year. Many come together physically to walk, others walk with them by contributing financially. They even have family members contribute to the Lapper and walk in North Carolina the same morning they walk in Fort Wayne.

Kent was able to remain at home largely because of the emotional and financial support given to the family from Cancer Services.

“CSNI’s staff was empathetic and made us feel like we were the only client they had,” Denise said. “Peter was Kent’s advocate. When we would stop to pick up tube feeding supplements, Peter would ask how much we needed and then carry them out to our car without delay. The tube feeding pump was a big help when Kent left the hospital. He eventually was able to give himself bolus feedings of which Cancer Services provided the supplies. When you have a family member affected by cancer, you need help from someone who understands.”

The Lapper is one way for all who loved Kent to honor him and to pay it forward to Cancer Services so they can help other families in need.

Kent’s daughter, Erin, summed it up beautifully: “I think about my dad every day — for no reason and for every reason. I don’t think about having good days and bad days anymore. Some days are just different. The day of the Lapper is one of those different days. His birthday, any holiday, and even the anniversary of his death are also different. Different isn’t good or bad, my life just isn’t the same as I knew it before cancer.”

Team Kent participates in the Lapper because it is an annual day that is all about Kent. It gives them the opportunity to come together in support of a good cause and in remembrance and honor of a great man. It is important to them that his life and the loss in his death are never forgotten by those he loved. That Saturday once a year, helps to ensure that it doesn’t.

“Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana did a great deal to help my dad and our family during his illness,” Erin said. “Their positive impact on our family continues every summer when they provide us with our very own special Kent Day. Thank you to everyone who makes this event possible.”

Client Story: The Saunder’s Family

by Michele DeVinney

Although Joel Saunders sought medical attention as soon as he found a lump in his neck in February 2009, it was almost six months before a diagnosis of cancer was made. Surgeries and difficult treatments followed, with perhaps the most difficult challenge coming from the interferon treatment recommended to attack the cancer. Discovered to be a rare melanoma – which appeared in his body rather than from a skin source – a PET scan discovered that despite the interferon and radiation treatment, the tumors had spread to his brain, leaving Joel and his wife Kimberly fearing the worst.

Kimberly, Joel’s sturdy caretaker in illness, fortuitously looked up the Mayo Clinic online and was thrilled when a trip to Rochester, Minnesota, was recommended. While the news they got while there wasn’t always good – and the trips back and forth from Fort Wayne were financially and emotionally depleting – Kimberly now feels blessed to have found the caring, competent staff of professionals at the Mayo Clinic and Hospital as well as the strength and support she, Joel, and their daughter have found from family, friends, and their church. They also found another important friend at Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana.

“My sister had had breast cancer, and her advocate was Brandon so she suggested we go there,” says Kimberly. “Cancer Services provided us with $500 to help with medical expenses. Our co-pay for the Keppra alone was $100 a month, so that was a tremendous blessing. But Brandon has been the biggest blessing of all, and Cancer Services has given us so much. The massages for both Joel and for me as his caretaker, the exercise classes which have helped Joel regain his strength, and just knowing that, should there come a time when we need a wheelchair or a hospital bed for home, it will be made available to us has given me such peace of mind.”

While the Saunders faith and their gratitude for the help they’ve received through the Mayo Clinic Hospital and Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana have helped them through some very difficult times in the last two years, it was another act of kindness that provided great joy and wonderful family memories.

“Brandon submitted our name to the Allen County Christmas Bureau in August 2009, and with all of the bills we had mounting, we really had no thoughts of a big Christmas celebration. But they provided us with so many wonderful gifts and tags with our names on them. Our daughter got a bicycle! We were all like kids that day, and it was so emotionally uplifting. We’re just so grateful, so thankful for everything Brandon and Cancer Services have done for us.”


Sign Up: Nutrition Seminar This Week

Join us Thursday, March 10, for a free nutrition seminar: Food Demo-Healthy Foods to Promote Cancer Prevention and Recurrence Prevention

Presenters: Mischa Story, RD & Jessica Bird, dietetic intern from Lutheran Hospital


Healing Arts Center of Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana, 6316 Mutual Drive, Fort Wayne, IN 46825

Call reservations to 260-484-9560 or 866-484-9560

Living with Grief Seminar

Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana and Dignity Memorial present Hospice Foundation of America’s 18th Annual National Program- Living with Grief: Spirituality and End-of-Life Care, Wednesday, April 13th from 12-4pm

The program will be held at Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana, 6316 Mutual Drive, Fort Wayne, IN 46825.

This free program will discuss differences between spirituality and religion, while also addressing spirituality during illness, death and grief; spiritual assessment and empowerment, and life review. Lunch provided and registration required.

Registration deadline April 8, 2011. Please call our office to register.

Low-cost continuing education contact hours (CE’s) will be available on-line through the Hospice Foundation of America for nurses, social workers, counselors, funeral directors, clergy, psychologists, physicians, EAPs and nursing home administrators.

Featured Panelists: Kenneth J. Doka, PhD, MDiv; Gary S. Fink, DMin; Carolyn Jacobs, PhD, MSW; Betty Kramer, PhD, MSW; Reinette Powers Murray, MSN, CNS, RN; and Martha Rutland, DMin, BCC, ACPE


East Noble & Wawasee High Schools Stick It to Cancer

The East Noble and Wawasee High School Gymnastics teams joined forces in January to host “Sticking it to Cancer” and donated the proceeds to our organization. Team members sold purple t-shirts to advertise the event and solicited sponsors for the meet. Earlier this week, they came by for a site tour and delivered the proceeds. Thank you ladies! We could not do what we do without generous supporters like you.

A Stroll Down Bourbon Street Was a Success!

by Dianne May, President & CEO

What a great weekend! Got to stroll down Bourbon Street with 350+ of our friends… eat good food, see a parade, have my fortune told with tarot cards, all to raise money for Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana.

Many thanks to the sponsors, donors and volunteers who put on a great party! No doubt, having cancer is tough so it’s good to remember that life goes on. Parties can still be fun and helping others is always a great thing. Check out these photos—

It’s Not Too Late

There are still tickets available for our event on Saturday. Join us for a Stroll Down Bourbon Street- food, fun, entertainment, and auction for Cancer Services. Click HERE to get your tickets.

It’s Okay to Be Real

by Gail Hamm, program director

I sometimes hear people say, “It’s all about attitude. You can’t be negative.” But do you always have to feel “up,” or have a positive attitude at all times, for fear that any painful feelings will make the cancer worse? No.

While attitude can make a difference, life is not about the tribulation, but about how we react to the ordeal. Feelings are neither good nor bad…they just are. It is healthy to allow yourself to feel the whole realm of feelings, both painful and joyful. It is far better to feel the feelings and then release them, than to try to avoid the feelings, stuff them, or reject them. That is because feelings have a way of sneaking up later and catching you off guard. No matter how much you struggle to avoid painful feelings, they will eventually appear…as out-of-control behaviors, migraines, ulcers, and so forth. Freely expressing your feelings in socially acceptable ways can actually be helpful to the immune system and assist in healing.

A Cancer Services’ Client Advocate or support group, a trusted friend, counselor or spiritual leader are all resources for healthy living. Go ahead, it’s okay to doubt, risk, whine, celebrate …be real!

Registration Now Open 9th Annual Lapper

We will host our annual fundraising walk, Lapper, on Saturday, May 21, 2011, at Foster Park, located in southwest Fort Wayne. Lapper 2011 is a fundraiser for Cancer Services designed to honor or memorialize those touched by cancer.

When Lapper founder Jill Burnett first organized this event 9 years ago, she encouraged people to test their own endurance and push past their comfort zone just as people with cancer do every day. That tradition continues today, and each Lapper participant is encouraged to walk as many laps around the paved 2-mile trail at Foster Park as they can.

Bring a friend, form a team and help us raise money to provide support and services to people with cancer in our community. Our goal is to raise $60,000 at this year’s event. All proceeds benefit Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana and help support programs for people with cancer in our community.Registration is now open.

There are two ways to register: online at, or by downloading the registration forms at

Forms are also available at Cancer Services. Walkers who register by May 1 and raise a minimum of $25 will receive a tee shirt. Water and fresh fruit will be provided and the walk will take place, rain or shine.

CONTACT: Amber Recker, (260) 484-9560 or

We will host Survivors Day immediately following the Lapper at Foster Park on Saturday, May 21, at 11:00 a.m. This free celebration of life and survivorship will include food, fun, and games for the entire family.

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