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Lazarex Cancer Foundation

Rating: 4.99 stars   165 reviews 9,185

Address:

P.O. Box 741 Danville CA 94526 USA

Mission:

At Lazarex Cancer Foundation we improve the outcome of cancer care, giving hope, dignity and life to end stage cancer patients and the medically underserved by providing assistance with costs for FDA clinical trial participation, identification of clinical trial options, community outreach and education. We are a resource for cancer patients who've been told they have no other options and are seeking life through FDA clinical trial participation.

Results:

Since Inception in 2006: Our founders cover our overhead costs annually so 100% of every additional dollar received from our donors goes directly to our patients. As of 12/31/14 - Dollars expended on program services: $6,592,807; Assisted patients from 4 to 83 years of age, all ethnic backgrounds, 49 states , 7 countries, with 88 different types of cancer on 399 different clinical trials; Provided community education, outreach and advocacy for 56,800 people; Provided over 1,000 patients with patient navigation and financial assistance for FDA clinical trial participation; Relationships with 31 of the 41 Comprehensive Cancer Centers and 40 additional cancer centers nationwide; Percentage of donations applied directly to program services: 85%

Target demographics:

advanced stage cancer patients of all ages, from all walks of life, with all types of cancer.

Direct beneficiaries per year:

Last year we directly provided 300+ cancer patients with financial assistance for costs related to FDA clinical trial participation.

Geographic areas served:

the USA

Programs:

* financial assistance (directly reimbursed to the cancer patient) for out of pocket expenses associated with FDA clinical trial participation; *assistance with identifying clinical trial options; * community outreach and education.

2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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925 820-4517
www.lazarex.org

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Reviews for Lazarex Cancer Foundation

Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

The past 5 years of cancer for my husband have been difficult. The past 2.5 years he has traveled 240 miles round trip every other week for treatment in a drug trial. Lazarex has been the one bright spot.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

How Lazarex Cancer Foundation Helped Us
By Mike & Sarah Snyder

My cancer journey began with a sore left knee in the mid-90s while living in Denver. After a variety of tests and minor surgery to correct the problem, I was diagnosed with a specific type of bone cancer called chondrosarcoma. My doctor told me it had come from the bone disease that had me in and out of Shriner’s Hospital as a kid. The treatment for the bone cancer would be a knee joint replacement for my left leg.

The surgery was done in August 1996. It seemed to work and I enjoyed four pain-free years with no worry about the bone cancer returning. Then in early 2000, my doctor determined that my artificial knee was coming loose, not an uncommon occurrence, and she would need to do a resection, which involved removing the old artificial knee components and replacing them with new ones. The operation was successful and once more, we thought we were done with bone cancer.

After a series of job-related moves, we ended up in Albuquerque, New Mexico in late 2004. We had been long-time visitors to the state over the years and were thrilled to finally call it home. In early 2005, I returned to the doctor, concerned about a persistent tenderness and swelling in my left ankle. The news wasn’t good. The swelling was from another cancer tumor. This time, the surgery would be the amputation of my left leg below the knee.

The amputation below the knee eventually became the amputation above the knee as several infections made keeping the remaining part of my artificial knee a painful waste of time. The battle wasn’t over and I endured several more tumor removals from what remained of my left leg. Things got worse when additional tumors showed up in my right elbow and my lungs.

Every time my doctor removed one malignant tumor, it agitated the benign tumors nearby and they started growing. In the spring of 2011, my doctor said there wasn’t anything else he could do. He recommended I switch to hospice-type care, because the tumors were growing too fast for him to successfully remove them surgically. He told me I needed to accept the fact that bone cancer would likely take my life. He estimated I had about 5 years to live. It was an answer I couldn’t accept and a path I wouldn’t take.

The search for treatment options was made more difficult because my cancer is so rare. There are about 1.6 million new cases of cancer diagnosed each year resulting in more than 580,000 deaths; approximately 1600 each day. Out of those 1.6 million cancer cases, roughly 2000 will be bone cancer and of those, only 250 will be Chondrosarcoma-my type of bone cancer; amounting to a little more than one-one hundredth of one percent of all new cancer cases each year.
Despite the long odds, we dove in and began searching for alternative treatment options. After four months of research, I found myself at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, enrolling in a clinical trial for a drug called IPI-926 for my chondrosarcoma.

There was one catch to being a clinical trial patient that we hadn’t really counted on. The initial phase of the trail would require me traveling to Houston every two weeks for blood work and exams. Every other visit would require overnight stays for CT & MRI exams. Under the FDA guidelines for the clinical trial, ALL of the work had to be done at MD Anderson to ensure the study’s integrity.
Quite simply, if I couldn’t travel to Houston, I couldn’t participate in the trial. The initial rounds of travel nearly wiped us out; requiring a 2nd mortgage on our house and causing us to go through our savings and an inheritance my wife Sarah had received from her Mom. Friends held some fundraisers for us, but that only covered a month or so.

If we couldn’t find some help paying for the travel, I would have to withdraw from the clinical trial. Since surgery was no longer an option for me, giving up the trial would mean giving up period. We couldn’t move to Houston and no other options existed anywhere close to home. There didn’t seem to be any choice left except walk away from treatment that was literally saving my life.
Then a friend referred me to the Lazarex Cancer Foundation. Lazarex’s mission was unlike any other cancer-related organization I knew about. Rather than raising money for research, Lazarex dedicated itself to helping people on clinical trials travel to the treatment they needed; people just like me.

I nervously went through the application process; filling out the paperwork and connecting my clinical nurse at MD Anderson with the Lazarex staff to get specific questions answered about my treatment. And I anxiously waited to hear back from them.

About a week later, my cell phone rang. Lazarex had approved my application for assistance. They would cover my travel expenses so I could continue my treatment. I couldn’t completely believe it. They were going to help me. I could still go for my clinical trial. I didn’t have to surrender to cancer after all.
As soon as I got off the phone with Lazarex, I called my wife, Sarah, and shared the news. We were both fighting back tears of relief. My treatments could continue and it wouldn't ruin us financially because the travel would be covered.

And it would continue to be covered, regardless of where I was being treated. When I had exhausted all treatment options at MD Anderson, we were able to look for other clinical trials. We began focusing on ones with promising outcomes that the big cancer treatment centers were ignoring. But we needed the trial to focus on my specific type of cancer. With the help of the folks at Lazarex and a local oncologist in Albuquerque, we found just such a trial.

The drug being tested focused on a gene mutation called IDH-1, which can cause regular cells to mutate into cancer cells. The drug was supposed to stop the gene mutation from happening and based on that, would also prevent the healthy cell from changing into a cancer cell.

The drug is called AG-120 and its method of seeking out specific cells is a brand new treatment approach called targeted therapy; meaning the drug only attacks cancer cells, not healthy tissue. This method is being used across several different types of treatment for a variety of cancers. So far, the results are very promising.

For me personally, AG-120 has slowed down the growth of my tumors to a point where my doctors tell me my tumors are stable. They're not shrinking, but they're not growing either. It's no small step to go from a terminal diagnosis to one that says my tumors are stable, but I've been able to make that step, thanks to the help of research from clinical trials and the travel help from Lazarex enabling me to get to those trials.

There are now options for different approaches and types of care that can take away cancer, but not your dignity. These options include clinical trials for new drugs and treatments; options that mean hope and a chance for a future that didn't exist before.

Because of those options and the hope they offer, Sarah and I must thank Lazarex Cancer Foundation for helping me and so many others get to those clinical trials for new treatments. The help they offer isn't just saving my life and the lives of others. It's giving our lives back so we can live. Because cancer doesn’t get to win; not now, not ever. Thank you, Lazarex Cancer Foundation for making that possible.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I have a rare bone cancer called Chondrosarcoma. Three years ago, it progressed to the point of being inoperable and was spreading. My doctor at the time said I had five years or so to live. Thanks to Lazarex, I've been able to participate in several clinical trials of new drugs designed for my type of cancer. The medicines have extended my life expectancy a lot and the latest trial drug I'm taking has the potential to completely stop my cance from spreading.

The trials I've been enrolled in have all been out of town and required regular travel from my home in Albuquerque to hospitals in Houston and San Antonio. Without Lazarex's help, I would have had to stop the treatments because the cost of travel was bankrupting us. Stopping treatment would also mean losing my life to cancer, since there were no other treatment options.

But thanks to Lazarex, I can continue participating in clinical trails that are literally saving my life. We have hope and the chance for a future that includes living a long life. Thanks to Lazarex, my cancer doesn't get to win, I do.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I cannot say enough great things about Lazarex and its unmatched work in connecting advance stage cancer patients to viable FDA approved clinical trials proven to extend lives. Their recent participation in Vice President Biden's "cancer moonshot" was testimony to the power of a Foundation deserving of my donations and yours!

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I was first exposed to the work of Lazarex Cancer Foundation nearly three years ago. By connecting end-stage cancer patients to FDA clinical trials and facilitating participation by covering travel costs for each patient and a companion, Lazarex has to date helped extend the lives of more than 1,000 people. Amazing! When I am considering a non-profit to support, I look for the ones that have little or no administrative costs. Thanks to the generous support of an anonymous donor, 100% of the monies donated to Lazarex directly benefit patients. In the past year, I've referred two friends and family members to Lazarex. Given the dire circumstances of their diagnoses, I am thrilled to note that the staff at Lazarex could not have been more responsive. It is my intention to give generously to Lazarex on an ongoing basis and I invite others to join me.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I am a staff member and donor to Lazarex and get an inside look daily at what an awesome organization this is- full of integrity, dedication, and unwaivering focus on the goal of being the last hope of advanced-stage cancer patients, and closing the gap in access to cancer care. Patients will always be treated with the utmost respect and dignity, and donors can be confident every penny is being stewarded wisely and carefully, and that because of our generous founders, every penny goes directly to patient services. My husband and I personally give of our time and finances to Lazarex because we couldn't be more confident of the value of the services and the integrity with which the organization is run. If I could give 10 stars, I would!

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I have worked extensively with Tami K. @ the Lazarex Cancer Foundation. With my "chemo brain" always lurking around, she provides me with the utmost tender care via the phone. I'd like to recognize Tami for her outstanding work with cancer patients and the services Lazarex provides us.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

A great non-profit that actually helps patients access cancer treatment. Very few like this one!

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Lazarex Cancer Foundation serves the needs of all patients and their families at a time of great emotional and economic burden due to very serious illness. Through the visionary leadership of its president, Dana Dornsife, Lazarex has placed itself in the forefront of efforts to help the most resource-challenged members of medically underserved communities, by educating them about novel treatments, identifying clinical trials for those treatments, creating a roadmap to enrolling in those trials, and providing funding to support the significant costs of maintaining participation. Ms. Dornsife is tireless in pursuing these goals and in enlisting clinicians, researchers, and others to create the most effective means for achieving them. She is a powerful advocate within all levels of government for these patients and their families. Lazarex' innovative programs are already on the path to success and the partnerships it has been establishing with universities, hospitals, industry, and governmental agencies will transform the way society helps those most in need.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I have known Dana Dornsife and seen her in action for many years. At Lazarex, she combines a tender heart with hard-headed strategic know-how for getting things done. The Lazarex Cancer Foundation continues caring and works tirelessly to remove barriers and give support to those suffering with cancer when others have given up.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

The Lazarex Foundation and its dynamic Founder, Dana Dornsife, are unparalleled in their commitment to helping patients beat cancer! From helping a person get the right treatment, at the right time at the right location - making sure that happens even when cancer devastates a family and its resources - to advocacy in Washington to make sure our government is investing in research and novel therapies and making those available to those who have run out of options - Lazarex is an incredibly valuable organization and resource to our communities. Lazarex offers unwavering hope to us all in their tireless effort to making cancer victims cancer survivors! We are all fortunate and blessed to have Lazarex working for us.

 
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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

Hello,

I have a friend who has been helped by Lazarex for many years and would probably NOT be
alive without their research and help with medicine. She raves about the professionalism
of this organization and is a spokesperson for them because of all they have done for her.
She tells me many stories of the people they have helped and are helping. I have donated
to Lazarex because I believe in what they do and how they do it.

This nonprofit is a genuine group of people who truly care about those they serve.

 
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