Who We Are

The folks at Cancer Care Services have a tremendous commitment to help - and even bigger hearts!

Daniel Wessel, Volunteer

  • Our Staff
  • History
  • Board of Directors
  • Financials
  • Donors




Cancer Care Services Staff


Melanie Wilson

Marilyn Garretson
Executive Assistant

Melanie Lara, CPA
Chief Financial Officer

Todd Cooper-Dalton
Director of Operations

Kim Fulk
Development & Finance Support Coordinator

Jocelyn Calderon
Office Coordinator


Deanna Stuart
Senior Development Director

Laura Misuk
Director of Grants & Advocacy

Rhea Jackson
Donor Relations Manager

Katherine B Ware
Development Marketing Coordinator


Social Workers & Client Activities

Tracey Willingham, LMSW
Senior Program Director/Social Worker

James Earl, LBSW, MPA
Director of Programs/Social Worker

Margaritta Jackson, LBSW
Director of Programs/Social Worker

Annie Presley, LCSW, OSW-C
Community Counselor

Niels Falk,LMSW
Community/Clinic Social Worker

Blanca Mendoza, LBSW, MSW
Program Manager/Bilingual Social Worker

Fernanda Valadez, BSW
Bilingual Community Social Worker

Christian Moore, MS, LPC Intern
Child, Teen and Young Adult Counselor

Megan Clifton
Client Connection Manager

Tori Mudge
Volunteer and Activity Coordinator

Precious Harris
Community Outreach Coordinator

Danni Howard
Intake Coordinator

Dacia Whitaker, LMSW, OSW-C
Lead Clinic Social Worker

Erinn Anderson, LMSW
Clinic Social Worker

Brittany Thornton, LBSW
Clinic Social Worker

Renata Liggins, BSW
Clinic Social Worker

Christi Jackson, LMSW
Clinic Social Worker

Lindsey Graham, MSW
Rural Counties Clinic Social Worker

Registered Dietitians

Lisa Hall, RD, CSO, LD,
Oncology Dietitian Manager
lisa.hall@usoncology.com or lisa@cancercareservices.org

Caryn Fields, MS, RD, LD, CNSC
caryn.fields@usoncology.com or caryn@cancercareservices.org



Organizational History and Mission.


Mission Statement: Cancer Care Services supports cancer patients, cares for the caregiver, and empowers survivors to reduce the impact of cancer in our community. It is our vision that everyone who is affected by cancer in our community will partner with Cancer Care Services to CONNECT, COPE, and THRIVE.

Cancer Care Services originated in 1946 when Fort Worth physicians observed the non-medical challenges that low-income cancer patients faced while undergoing treatment, such as loss of health insurance, lack of transportation to treatment, and the inability to afford prescription medications. In response, a group of compassionate physicians and community leaders created a unique and inventive organization for cancer patients. For more than 70 years, Cancer Care Services has been continuously providing financial and emotional support services to cancer patients, caregivers and survivors in Tarrant County.  (We received tax exempt status from the IRS as a registered nonprofit organization in June, 1965.)


Community Need.


According to the American Cancer Society in 2017, 116,200 individuals living in Texas were expected to be diagnosed with cancer per year, and 40,260 will die of the disease (more than 100 people per day). According to 2017 data from the Texas Department of State Health Services, 8,380 people will be diagnosed with some form of cancer in Tarrant County alone. At the outset of a cancer diagnosis, cancer patients and their families must endure the stresses caused by physically demanding treatments and the health impairment, disability, fatigue and pain that can result. However, a cancer diagnosis can also lead to financial, emotional and mental distress that affects the overall quality of life of the cancer patient and their caregivers. Individuals with limited income may experience financial stress as they worry about how to access or keep from losing the health insurance coverage they need to pay for their treatment and other health-related expenses. In turn, the ongoing impact of cancer treatment can create emotional distress and mental health issues among cancer patients and caregivers, particularly for those who have a weak or absent social support system. As they intertwine, physical, psychological and social stressors decrease a patient’s quality of life and in turn their ability to survive cancer.

In fact, according to the findings of an observational study presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology, financial distress resulting from out-of-pocket cancer treatment costs increases the risk of death by 79%. The Association of Oncology Social Work conducted a survey of cancer patients in which more than half indicated cancer treatment costs negatively impacted their focus on recovery. Of those patients with major financial challenges, 66% reported suffering from depression and anxiety. Altogether, these “hidden costs” of cancer create a substantial economic burden for the entire community through financial loss, lost productivity, ongoing health problems, reduced quality of life and premature death.

According to a recent study, one in three people diagnosed with cancer end up struggling with a mental health disorder, the most common affecting cancer patients being anxiety disorders (including PTSD) and adjustment disorders. Population-based data suggests that cancer survivors are more than twice as likely to have disabling psychological problems compared with adults without cancer, and individuals who have both cancer and other chronic illnesses have a risk of psychological disability that is nearly 6 times higher than that of adults without cancer. The family members of those going through cancer are at an increased risk for depression and anxiety, particularly in the case of those who are acting in a caregiver role. According to the National Cancer Institute, depressive symptoms in caregivers can be similar to, or even higher than in patients with cancer.

Cancer Care Services partners with cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers to improve their quality of life and empower them to care for their overall health. We accomplish this by providing case management and financial assistance to access critical health care services, as well as coordinating emotional/mental health and psychosocial support services that help clients improve their overall well-being, both short and long term.

Board of Directors

Stevie Dawn Blakely, PhD
Founder | Orange Compass

Jesse Booher, CPA
Shareholder | Alexander Booher & Assoc.

Peggy Booher
Community Volunteer

Cameron Brown, D.Min.
Staff Care Chaplain| Cook Children’s, TCU, FW Fire Dept.

LaRhonda Brown-Barrett
Attorney | BNSF Railway

Nanny Christie, PhD
Psychologist – Retired

Rosemary Galdiano, RN
Manager, Mobile Health Unit | Texas Health Fort Worth

Karen Garcia, CPA
Audit Supervisor | BKD

Ann Greenhill
Community Volunteer

Travis Hopkins, MBA
HR Consultant/Producer | Frost Insurance

Deloris Hummel
Investment Manager | Bank of Texas

Sally King, RN
Nurse | TCU Health Center

Bill Lemond
SVP | ACME Brick – Retired

Cristy LePori, RN
Thoracic Oncology Navigator | Texas Health Network

Betty Nethery 
Community Volunteer

Ann-Margaret Ochs, D.O.
Medical Oncologist | Texas Oncology

Jane Oderberg, LMSW
Project Coordinator | UNT Health Science Center

Patsy Parr
Community Volunteer | Hood County

Brant Ring, MBA 
AVP, Intermodel Hub Operations | BNSF Railway

Sue Shields, RN | Board Chair
Director, Cancer Program | Texas Health Fort Worth – Retired

Louann Schulze, D.Ed.
College Administrator/Counselor – Retired

Michelle Squires, CPA 
Tax Manager| Pedersen Jones Hughston Poage & Graham

Robert Sturns, MBA 
Director, Economic Development | City of Fort Worth

Steve Troy
OwnerTroy Financial

Misty Wilder
Community Health | UNT Health Science Center


Thank you to the following foundations and organizations for helping us further our mission through their generous financial support during 2018.

Aegon Transamerica Foundation
Alcon Foundation
Paul E. Andrew Foundation
Arlington Tomorrow Foundation
C. B. Baird Foundation
BBVA Foundation
BNSF Foundation
The Capper Foundation
Amon G. Carter Foundation
Colleyville Women’s Club
Joe and Jessie Crump Foundation
Ken W. Davis Foundation
M. S. Doss Foundation
The DuBose Family Foundation
Genentech Foundation
Jeanne and Roy J. Grogan Charitable Fund
HNC Living Foundation
The Hodges Foundation
The Hyde Foundation
Lockheed Martin AERO Club
The Lowe Foundation
Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Texas
The Morris Foundation
Network for Good
Pfizer Foundation
Marty Potishman Lard Trust
R4 Foundation
Ed Rachal Foundation
Sid W. Richardson Foundation
The Ryan Foundation
Guido and Ruth Shumake Charitable Trust
The Sportsmen’s Club
United Way
The Walsh Foundation
Gil and Dody Weaver Foundation


Thank you to the following corporations for helping us further our mission through their generous financial support during 2017.

 Allstate Insurance Company
Apex Capital Corporation
Federated Insurance
Fellfab Corporation
Fit Body Boot Camp
Fort Worth Country Day School
Junior League of Fort Worth, Inc.
Oakline Floors
Quilters’ Guild of Arlington
Sigma Lambda Gamma Omicron Beta
SourceHOV Tax
Southlake Women’s Club
Susan G. Komen Greater Fort Worth
Takeda Pharmaceuticals
Texas Oncology
The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders
Troy and Associates LLC
Unity Church of Fort Worth
UNT Health Science Center

Heroes of Hope Corporate Mission Partners: