Category: Cancer Care News

Cancer Care News is about recaps on events, updates about staff/ the organization, and outreach efforts.

Celebrating Love

A couple slow dances at Cancer Care's Valentine's Dinner 2024.

Valentine’s Dinner 2024 Recap

“Will you be our Valentine?” 41 cancer patients, survivors, and their loved ones said “yes!”

A couple poses for a Valentine's themed photo booth at a Cancer Care Services Connect Night.

Cancer Care shared the love at our annual Valentine’s Dinner (generously hosted by AHUMC) with intentional couples/family bonding sessions and a freshly prepared gourmet dinner with live piano accompaniment. The night concluded with a dance party featuring a command performance by our very own VP of Programs, Tracey, as the DJ!

A group of women dance at the annual Valentine's DInner.

Newly engaged couples and long-time partners were present, in addition to singles and friends. Couples answered guided questions to strengthen their relationship while our singles gathered to discuss topics based on conversation hearts!
A couple laughs at Cancer Care Services' Valentine's Dinner 2024.
One of our clients, Therese, was “…bound and determined to make it out tonightI have not been out of the house since my surgery, but really wanted to come tonight to share this experience with my husband, son, and grandson. I am so glad I came. We made wonderful memories.”

The dinner and dancing were a welcome break from the challenges of cancer, and parents were able to enjoy this rare one-on-one time thanks to free childcare. Everyone experienced moments of joy and connection with their loved ones – reminding them that they don’t have to cope with cancer alone.

A couple dances at Cancer Care's Valentine's Dinner.

Wondering how to support cancer patients and their families all year long?

Valentine’s Day may be over, but you can spread the love all year long. Join our monthly giving club so that cancer patients like Therese can continue to make special memories with her family. Every amount makes a difference, even just $10 a month (the cost of a nice box of chocolates!):

New Board Member Spotlight

Jonica, Scott, and Carlos join the 2023 Cancer Care Services Board of Directors.

Meet our new Board Members – Jonica Gillings, Scott Morikawa, and Carlos Valencia!

Jonica Gillings is a new board member of Cancer Care Services.
Jonica is a Customer Service Representative at Higginbotham.

Why did you say “yes” to being on the Board of Directors for Cancer Care?
I said yes to joining the Board of Directors because I wholeheartedly identify with the mission of Cancer Care Services and the impact the organization has on the community.

Which area of the Cancer Care mission impacts you the most?
The Social Connection that Cancer Care creates among those affected by cancer. My father is a cancer survivor, and it meant a lot for me to be able to meet individuals that share a similar experience.

What do you hope to accomplish through your Board service with Cancer Care?
I hope to empower the community at large to take control of their health and advocate for those impacted by cancer.

Scott Morikawa is a new board member of Cancer Care Services.

Scott is a Lead Associate & Analyst at CME Consulting LLC and Leadership Coach at Simple Leadership Strategies.

Why did you say “yes” to being on the Board of Directors for Cancer Care?
I have been connected to Cancer Care in some form or fashion for many years, and I am honored to be asked to serve in this greater capacity to help sustain and further the mission.

Which area of the Cancer Care mission impacts you the most?
The focus also on the care for caregivers and family is something I’ve always appreciated to help ensure all parties involved are healthy physically and mentally.

What do you hope to accomplish through your Board service with Cancer Care?
Use my gifts to impart what little wisdom I have to help maintain, sustain, and grow the organization while uncovering any blind spots that may be lurking in the shadows. If I can swing it I hope to have a good time in the process. 🙂

Carlos Valencia is a new board member of cancer care services.

Carlos is a Faith Community Health Coordinator at Baylor Scott & White and Senior Pastor at Iglesia Bautista Victoria en Cristo

We are so thankful to Jonica, Scott, and Carlos for joining the Cancer Care Services Board of Directors!

View our Board of Directors here.

Apex Capital Supports Cancer Care Services: How Chemo Jackets Started a Fundraising Tradition

Blog header that has a strip of different color cancer ribbons and text that says "Apex Capital Supports Cancer Care Services"

by Mario Tarradell, Apex Capital
October 27, 2023

This article first appeared on the Apex Capital News Blog and is republished here.

Nearly a decade ago, 2014 to be exact, Apex Capital added Fort Worth-based Cancer Care Services to the list of local charities that we support. At Apex, we have an active Social Responsibility program that fundraises and donates money as well as goods to local non-profit organizations dedicated to making our community a better place. Apex’s core values perfectly align with the mission to make our community a better place.

We also believe in taking care of each other because we are a family. So, it was in 2014 when a co-worker was going through chemo, that her Apex family immediately responded by raising money to buy her a chemo jacket so that her treatments would be more comfortable. From there sprang the idea to help others going through cancer with chemo jackets. Another Apexer at the time was a Cancer Care Services board member and he suggested it would be the perfect organization to donate money or chemo jackets.

Chemo Jackets Were the Catalyst

“I contacted Cancer Care and started the process,” says Vicky Sauer, an Apex Account Executive and a longtime member of the Corporate Citizenship Committee. “We started with donations to buy them chemo jackets, which they loved. Then we did a Goods Drive to buy things for the center such as supplies. Before long, we did another drive and made enough money to purchase a new couch and loveseat for the center’s living area.”

Nine years later, all of us at Apex remain proud of our relationship with Cancer Care Services, an organization that supports cancer patients, cares for caregivers, and empowers survivors to reduce the impact of cancer in Tarrant County. The non-profit serves all cancer types and provides emotional, financial, and practical support to those impacted by cancer at no cost.

Chemo jackets Cancer care Apex Capital

We Make the Fundraising Fun

How does Apex raise funds for Cancer Care Services? We make sure to organize fun events that include the entire staff. Here are a few examples:

  • T-shirt donations: Apexers donate for the privilege of wearing a T-shirt to work once a week. At the end of the quarter, we tally up those donations and send off a check.
  • Virtual garage sales: We encourage Apexers to clean out their closets – gently-used clothing, cookware, shoes, even furniture – and then create an online garage sale to raise funds. It’s a blast to watch Apexers outbid each other.
  • Bake sales: Can Apexers bake? Oh yes, they can! These bake sales are always a huge hit. We get bakers in double digits and buyers in triple digits. Because who doesn’t like sweet treats?
  • Apex donations: As if that isn’t enough, Apex donates annually to Cancer Care Services.

“What a gift Apex is to Cancer Care,” says Rhea Jackson, Director of Community Engagement at Cancer Care Services. “I have seen many exciting events over the past five years on their social media, creating engagement with their employees all to benefit Cancer Care. The continued support of Apex employees and company help ensure Cancer Care can continue to provide services to cancer patients and their families at no cost to them.”

Apex’s Corporate Citizenship Committee, a robust part of Apex’s company culture, consists of 50 members. We currently support a dozen local non-profit organizations. The Corporate Citizenship program at Apex includes at least one event a month to raise funds for these organizations.

Fall in Love with Camp Connect

A father and son sit at the top of the zipline at Camp Connect.

Camp Connect 2023 Wrap-Up

Welcome to Camp Connect! Cancer Care Services’s overnight weekend retreat saw families create lasting memories and form meaningful bonds with other families who have a shared commonality…cancer.

The weekend started with a lively game of musical chairs that had everyone laughing as they raced for the nearest seat. After icebreakers, families worked together to overcome challenging teamwork games like Chocolate Lava River Monster (say that three times fast!) and deepen their bonds.

Families play a game at Camp Connect 2023. A dad and son zipline at Camp Connect 2023.

Camp Connect would not be complete without archery, canoeing, fishing, hayrides, and the challenge course! Everyone had a chance to push themselves out of their comfort zones by swinging through the air on the giant swing and speeding down the zipline. One of our young campers even convinced Miss Megan to join him on the zipline!

Megan and a young camper pose by the zipline.

A breast cancer patient whose children attended CampCARE and the Teen Retreat this past summer got to experience the magic of Camp for herself. She shared, “I now get why my kids LOVED this place this summer because I now love it also.” 

The families at Camp Connect gave each other strength, support, and endless smiles. We are so grateful for the many moments of connection and healing!

Check out our upcoming events on our events calendar!

Help Stabilize Those Impacted by Cancer

Give for North Texas Giving Day 2023

You are the foundation upon which those impacted by cancer can thrive. Just like our clients rely on the unwavering strength of our social workers, we rely on you to ensure that no one has to cope with cancer alone.

Join others in giving help & hope on North Texas Giving Day.

This year, we are already seeing an increase in clients, similar to last year’s 17% increase. Here is a snapshot of the crucial cancer support services provided as of July 2023:

  • Over 101,500 miles in transportation to and from treatment
  • Over $267,000 in financial assistance
  • 276 emergency fund payments for utilities, groceries, and other basic needs
  • 644 cases of nutritional supplements
  • 592 medication copays covered
  • 11 community health screening events hosted in medically underserved communities

Your donation will directly bolster critical financial, emotional, and practical support programs that stabilize cancer patients and their loved ones in a time of distress.

Community screening partners pose outside of Cancer Care. Photo Credit | Krys Williams
Community screening partners pose outside of Cancer Care. Photo Credit | Krys Williams

Here’s how you can make a difference on North Texas Giving Day:

  1. Donate: Visit our North Texas Giving Day page and make a donation that fits your heart and budget.
  2. Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: Consider creating a personal fundraising page and inviting your network to contribute. You can inspire even more people to make a positive impact!
  3. ShareSpread the word about our campaign on your social media platforms and encourage your friends and family to join you in supporting those impacted by cancer.
With your support, we can prevent isolation and create a resilient support system for every person who comes our way.

Empowering children impacted by cancer

Group photo at CampCARE 2023

CampCARE 2023 Wrap Up

CampCARE was “out of this world” (this year’s theme)! 75 children, ages 5-12 who have a loved one with cancer, attended Cancer Care’s week-long day camp. We were thrilled to welcome 31 new campers this year!

The campers hiked, canoed, fished, swam, fed horses, tried archery, met Fort Worth firefighters, conquered the ropes course, and, most importantly – shared their cancer experiences with their peers and learned healthy ways to cope, thanks to our therapists on staff. By the end of the week, each child KNEW they were not alone in their cancer journeys.

One of our priorities during CampCARE is to provide creative ways for the children to express their thoughts and feelings. This year, every child decorated a t-shirt in honor or memory of their loved one with cancer. One of the campers honored her dad, who has cancer, by writing, “My dad is a warrior.So empowering for them both!

A young girl at CampCARE 2023 shows the front of her decorated t-shirt. A young girl at CampCARE 2023 shows the back of her decorated t-shirt.

Because finances shouldn’t mean that a child has to cope with cancer alone, CampCARE is always FREE to attend.

One mom shared, “I just wanted to say thank you so much for inviting our children to Camp Carter! It was such a blessing to be able to have them attend and there was no way we would have been able to send all 3 of them for a whole week. So, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you so much! They loved every minute of it and made some wonderful memories!”

CampCARE in the News

NBC 5 featured CampCARE in their #SomethingGood segment! Check out the video below or view the segment on the NBCDFW website.

Sharing Gratitude

Lastly, we would like to thank the many people who made CampCARE an out-of-this-world event. We are proud of our Camp Director and counseling team for making every child feel loved and heard! The CampCARE crew leaders did a fantastic job guiding their groups and encouraging bonding. We were blessed with many volunteers that decorated the retreat center, helped the camp run smoothly, and cleaned up. To the Sportsmen’s Club of Fort Worth and our donors – we could not bring help and hope to our campers without you! Thank you!

Empower Children Impacted by Cancer

If you would like to support life-changing programs like CampCARE, please consider joining our monthly giving club. The Hope Collective ensures that those impacted by cancer receive financial, emotional, and practical support all year round.

Cancer Care Services Wins Best of Fort Worth 2023

Best of Fort Worth 2023 logo overlayed on background of a mom and adult daughter hugging.

Best of Fort Worth 2023 – Service Organization Award

Best of Fort Worth 2023 Award

Cancer Care Services is honored to announce that we have been named the Reader’s Pick Best of Fort Worth – Service Organization for 2023! This award is a testament to the dedication of our staff, volunteers, and donors, who are committed to providing compassionate, quality care to our clients and their families.

Cancer Care Services is a non-profit organization that has been providing cancer support services to Tarrant County since 1946. We offer comprehensive financial, emotional, and practical support at no cost to those impacted by cancer. 

Thank you to the Fort Worth community for making us the Reader’s Pick for Fort Worth’s best service organization! We are committed to providing local cancer patients, caregivers, and survivors with help and hope.

A Special Thanks to Our Staff

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our entire staff for their commitment to the Cancer Care mission. Without them, this award would not be possible. A special thanks goes out to our Program Team, who provides compassionate and knowledgeable support to patients and families! 

Thank You, Fort Worth!

We are so grateful for the support of the Fort Worth community. Cancer Care is proud to be a part of this city, and we look forward to serving Tarrant County for many more years.

To learn more about ways you can support the mission of Cancer Care Services, please visit our website at www.cancercareservices.org/ways-to-give.

The Financial Impact of Cancer

A couple sits on the ground surrounded by bills due to the financial impact of cancer.

Cancer can cause financial distress for many already struggling to afford their basic needs. In 2022, 79% of our clients who reported their annual income made $42,000 or less, and 6% reported having ZERO income. Cancer Care Services exists, so no one has to choose between paying for their basic needs and cancer-related bills.

What does the financial impact of cancer look like?

The financial impact of cancer infographic in englishThe financial impact of cancer infographic in spanish 

 

Where can I find resources to reduce financial distress?

Cancer Care Services offers financial assistance for transportation, emergency needs, medication co-pays, and more for those who qualify. We also have a financial navigator who can look over medical bills, insurance, and budgets to reduce financial toxicity and distress for those impacted by cancer. Our online resources page contains many organizations and programs that provide financial assistance to cancer patients and their families

How can I support those impacted by cancer?

There are three things you can do to support cancer patients, caregivers, and survivors.

  1. Volunteer your time! Cancer Care needs volunteers for Connect and supporting events, general office duties, and the infusion rooms at Texas Oncology. Start by filling out our online volunteer application.
  2. Spread awareness! Attend a community #CancerCareAWARE Tour or host your own (we will help you every step of the way) to learn more about our services and how you can help with our greatest needs. This is one of the best ways to spread the word about our free, wrap-around services for individuals and families impacted by cancer. Sign up for a #CancerCareAWARE Tour.
  3. Give a gift! Your donation ensures financial, emotional, and practical services to those impacted by cancer in our community. Your donation brings help and hope.

Introducing our 2023 Volunteer of the Month!

Jackie Gibbons poses with flowers for National Volunteer Month.

It’s National Volunteer Month, and we’re celebrating with a special recognition of Jackie Gibbons – volunteer extraordinaire and Cancer Care board member! You may have seen Jackie welcoming clients with a smile, heard her bring hope to a cancer patient on a phone call, or even eaten one of her delicious cookies at our events.

Jackie Gibbons poses with flowers for National Volunteer Month.

Jackie has shared her insight about volunteering at Cancer Care Services:

  • Tell us about yourself:

 I’m a mom of 2 high schoolers, a boy and a girl. I have been married for almost 19 years. I have 2 dogs, and I love to take them for walks/hikes. I love to bake.

  • What brought you to Cancer Care Services as a volunteer?

I wanted to do more than just donate money to the organization. I wanted to donate my time. I believe in the mission and don’t think that anyone should go through cancer alone.

  • What is your favorite thing about volunteering with Cancer Care Services?

Interacting with clients and seeing the changes in their lives that the services are providing. 

  • What has been one of your most memorable moments volunteering with Cancer Care Services?

During one of the luncheons, a speaker had the guests stand up based on their experience with cancer (personally going through it, a caregiver, a family member, a friend, etc.). There was not a single person left sitting when he was done. Cancer affects everyone.

  • How has your experience with cancer impacted your volunteering?

Every client that walks through the door, or calls on the phone, would probably prefer to be doing anything else. Nobody wants to deal with cancer, so when I am volunteering, I want to make sure the client feels special.

  • What would you say to someone who is thinking about volunteering with Cancer Care Services?

Donating time can be as much or minimal as you want. But seeing what Cancer Care Services can do for our community makes it so rewarding.

And to all our wonderful volunteers – the Cancer Care staff have some words of gratitude for all that you do year-round!

“Volunteers are the lifeblood that keep non-profits running and moving forward. All the things you do make it easier for us to spend time with the clients, and we couldn’t do it without you! Thank you!”

– Amy Laude, LBSW | Clinic Social Worker

“Thank you for your commitment to Cancer Care Services and our clients. You are often helping behind the scenes but your help does not go unnoticed. It is both seen and felt whether that’s covering the reception desk, assisting/donating to our Connect events, assisting in the infusion room at Texas Oncology, decorating our building for the Christmas season, or a number of other ways you fill in the gaps where we can’t. This week, we celebrate you but hope that you’ve felt our appreciation all year because we understand your service comes from the heart and not a paycheck. Thank you from the bottom of our heart.”

– Christi Jackson, LMSW | Clinic Social Work Manager

“I appreciate that the volunteers provide a needed refreshment for the front office staff, while also supporting the program team in directing calls and checking in on how we are doing. Their care for the clients is an encouragement to me also!”

– Joy Rong, LMSW | Community Social Worker

Visit our Facebook and Instagram to see our National Volunteer Month posts happening all month long. You can thank Cancer Care’s volunteers in the comments!

Cancer Care could not serve the community without the hard work of our volunteers! If you would like to become a Cancer Care volunteer, fill out our Online Volunteer Application to start bringing help and hope to those impacted by cancer.

2022 Highlights and Impact

2022 was a big year for Cancer Care! Thanks to supporters, volunteers, and advocates like you – over 3,500 individuals impacted by cancer received financial, emotional, and practical support at no cost to them.

Service highlights of 2022:

  • 186,121 miles in transportation assistance to get to and from treatment
  • $371,000 in emergency funds and financial assistance
  • 47,649 action to help our clients lessen their financial burden

“I had a cancer patient who canceled all his appointments after finding out what his total cost was going to be. I was able to help find a lot of resources to cover those medical expenses so that he was comfortable rescheduling his cancer treatment without accumulating as much debt as he would have had.”

– Cancer Care’s Clinic Social Work Manager

Read Cancer Care’s 2022 Impact Report

Click here to discover how cancer patients, caregivers, and survivors received HELP & HOPE in 2022. Also, don’t forget to scan the QR Code on the second page to learn about the financial distress cancer often causes (or click to view the English version or the Spanish version)!

Cancer Care Services 2022 Impact Report page 1Cancer Care Services 2022 Impact Report page 2Cancer Care Services 2022 Impact Report page 1 in Spanish Cancer Care Services 2022 Impact Report page 2 in Spanish