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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Cancer, Digestive Diseases & Disorders, Health

Mission: Esophageal Cancer Action Network's mission is to >SAVE LIVES by raising awareness about the link between Heartburn and Cancer > promoting early detection > supporting progress in medical innovation for the prevention, early detection, treatment and cure of Esophageal Cancer and > linking patients and families to compassionate support. Every 36 minutes, an American dies of Esophageal Cancer. ECAN is dedicated to fighting Esophageal Cancer, the fastest increasing cancer diagnosis in the U.S. Esophageal Cancer can be treated successfully if it's detected early. But usually it isn't. That's one of the reasons we founded ECAN. We want people who have persistent heartburn to know that they are at risk for this deadly disease. And we want those who decide how federal research dollars are spent to focus more attention on finding much more effective tools to discover and fight Esophageal Cancer.

Programs: Ecan's mission is to save lives by increasing awareness about the link between heartburn and cancer, promoting early detection, supporting medical innovation to prevent, detect, treat and cure esophageal cancer and link patients and families to compassionate support. This national non-profit organization, based in baltimore, is led by a board of directors of top physicians, business leaders, and families that have been touched by esophageal cancer. History: ecan was founded in 2009 by mindy mintz mordecai and an impressive group of dedicated professionals after she lost the father of her two young daughters, and her husband of 14 years, to esophageal cancer. Angry and frustrated because she believes that her husband and thousands more like him might never have died had they been aware of the link between heartburn and cancer, mordecai is determined to prevent others from suffering the pain esophageal cancer has caused her family. Accomplishments: over the past 6 years, ecan has made significant strides in the fight against esophageal cancer. Among ecan's successes:critical research: ecan successfully advocated with the national cancer institute to change course and include esophageal cancer in its genome mapping project known as the the cancer genome atlas (tcga). Mindy mintz mordecai is also a member of the national cancer institute's esophagogastric task force of the gastrointestinal steering committee as a patient advocate representative and the nci patient advocate steering committee. The focus of the task force is to improve the clinical research that impacts esophageal and gastric cancer patients. A guide for patients: with input from physicians around the country, ecan developed an innovative guide for patients providing comprehensive and clear information about the link between heartburn and cancer. The guide is designed to help patients advocate for their own health care and is available as a free download from the ecan website in both english and spanish. Esophageal cancer awareness month: esophageal cancer awareness month: ecan led the effort to have april designated as esophageal cancer awareness month in states throughout the united states. With ecan's support over the past 5 years, more than 150 gubernatorial declarations of ec awareness month have been achieved throughout the country and in some other nations, as well. April is now observed as ec awareness month by companies, organizations and governments across the nation - and the world. Legendary partnership: ecan has partnered with the estate of film icon humphrey bogart whose life was cut short in 1957 by esophageal cancer. In may 2013, the 3,000 guests of the first annual humphrey bogart film festival in key largo, florida witnessed the launch of screenings for screenings. In movie trailers produced by ecan and presented before each film, bogart's son stephen encourages those at risk for esophageal cancer to "get checked. " those trailers can now be seen at a variety of events, including the annual humphrey bogart film festival in key largo, florida. Events that make a difference: in april 2014, ecan presented the first esophageal cancer awareness event in professional sports at the staples center when the l. A. Clippers took on the dallas mavericks. Later that month, ecan sponsored the first esophageal cancer awareness race ever held in new york city; more than 1,000 attended the two day festival that included a 5k, 10k and half marathon. In april 2012, ecan hosted the first gala ever held in the u. S. To focus on esophageal cancer advocacy. Former california congresswoman and under secretary of state ellen o. Tauscher moved the crowd of nearly 300 with her story of survival of stage iii esophageal cancer. In 2013, the cancer dancer gala attracted a larger audience and raised more than $110,000 in support of ecan's life-saving mission. In 2014, the cancer dancer gala went hollywood with more than 300 guests and remarks by ecan spokesman stephen bogart. The fun night celebrated ecan's success as it approached its fifth anniversary. Seriously funny: in 2015, ecan launched its no laughing matter campaign - a public awareness effort that uses humor to help folks understand that reflux disease is a serious condition that should not be taken lightly. The highlight of the campaign was an evening with jeff foxworthy in arlington, virginia in april that brought a new audience to our message and entertained our supporters with a fantastic evening of fun and laughter. Leading up to the foxworthy event, ecan hosted competitions in comedy clubs throughout the us where comedians competed for the chance to be the opening act for jeff foxworthy. The winner of the competition, andy huggins of houston, performed a hilarious set before jeff foxworthy took the stage. Reaching for the sky: ecan took awareness to new heights in 2015 with its stories to save lives event in los angeles. More than 40 brave participants rappelled down 24 stories of the hilton universal city hotel on behalf of someone who has faced esophageal cancer. Two rappellers were ec survivors and a third is a patient currently battling esophageal cancer. This fun and moving day delivered a strong message about the importance of early detection and taking reflux disease seriously. Ecan sponsors and supports multiple fundraising and awareness raising events around the country including walks, runs, bike rides, golf tournaments, dinners, library outreach, speaking events, art shows and more. Ecan volunteers have hosted more than 60 events to raise awareness in cities and towns across the united states since 2010.

Community Stories

22 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I started at ECAN on August 1, 2016. In that time I've been amazed at how dedicated our volunteers are. I've learned so much in such a small amount of time and am so very lucky to be a part of this organization! Mindy works 24/7 to bring awareness to this awful disease. I may only be part time but my heart is in it full time and am so blessed to work with Mindy. Spread the word: Heartburn Can Cause Cancer!!!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ECAN punches way above it's weight! Such a small organization, with such a small staff, and yet it's been able to accomplish so much. For example, it was able to get esophageal cancer (EC) included in the national genome mapping project, despite initially being turned down. More generally, by raising awareness of the link between GERD/heartburn and EC, and encouraging people to get scoped (an endoscopy) it has literally saved dozens, hundreds, many even thousands of lives. Practically, and more specifically, it has put out a patient guide to help people have an educated conversation with their primary care doctor about EC, especially if they're experiencing GERD/heartburn, so that they just don't leave the doctor's office with a prescription for drugs but are sent to be scoped (if justified). All with one full-time employee and at most 2-3 part-time staff. Go ECAN!

alexcrew

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a proud ECAN Volunteer and would like to share that the Esophageal Cancer Action Network, Inc. (ECAN) has proven to be a very important part of my Esophageal Cancer journey. I was blessed to meet Mindy Mintz Mordecai, CEO and founder of ECAN in September 2012, just eight months after I was diagnosed with stage IV Esophageal Cancer. After completing successful chemotherapy, I was looking for ways to give back and I found ECAN. With the help of ECAN, I was able to host an amazing Awareness Event/5K called "Paint the Town Periwinkle" in April 2013. The main event was held in Athens, TN and branched out around the world. Working with ECAN has allowed me the ability to create EC Awareness and give hope to others for several years now. I have attended ECAN events each year and I cannot praise Mindy enough for all she does for ECAN - a truly great nonprofit. ECAN is very important to the advocacy, awareness and research of Esophageal Cancer - they are the voice for many - together wECAN make a difference!
- Stacy Alexander

Ted_12

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Good site to educate yourself on esophageal cancer and good support system from others.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This group is getting the word out. Heartburn can lead to cancer of the esophagus. They are saving lives.
My husband is the patient. ECAN has been Very kind to me, and offered any help I may need.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

ECAN saves lives! ECAN continues to meet its mission of raising awareness of early signs of esophageal cancer both among the general population and physicians, supporting medical research, and connecting patients, family and phycians with each other. The tireless efforts of Mindy Mintz Mordecai who has taken her pain and loss and combined it with her talents and passion has sustained ECAN for years. It has taken a local effort nationwide. She takes her passion and sparks the passion of others.

M Neal O.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My dad didn't know that the persistent heartburn he had would lead to Esophageal Cancer and eventually his death. I don't want other families to lose someone they love, especially just for lack of knowledge. This is why I support ECAN. Their primary mission is to make people with heartburn aware of the risk for Esophageal Cancer. With a small but very passionate staff, they accomplish many amazing things. They organize events to raise awareness, they provide fliers, posters, and other material (physical and electronic) to help supporters spread the information, and they support those with EC and their families with a community of support and information among many other things. I have been very impressed with the efficiency and passion of this group and its supporters.

Lisa541

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

ECAN provides life-saving information to the general public and wonderful support to those who have been diagnosed with esophageal cancer.

Former staff

Rating: 5

ECAN has supported so many people with esophageal cancer in my community. I am excited and encouraged by the work they do nationally to help patients and families. Additionally, their commitment to, and support for research, has an international impact.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Life is Fragile handle with Care. Its about the moments, and having people who care.
When my healthy husband got suddenly sick and was told he had Esophageal Cancer, there was no real group to turn to, and less then 10% of the people survive, the web was full of scary and hopeless information. Now after many battles ECAN has been formed. This small non-profit group , against all odds have made a rare cancer group. "give up" is not in their vocabulary. Now when you wonder what can heart burn lead to, or what is EC you can turn to ECAN for some answers. let's just say "they get it" its about surviving.