I am in awe of what Ann Fonfa has done to bring complementary and alternative treatments for cancer into the public eye and what she has done to support cancer patients and their families. She is tireless in putting her vision into action and she has paved the way for many to make choices they might not otherwise have known were available, through her comprehensive website and through personal interactions. She also holds a torch for truth and balance by seeking out and drawing attention to new research that may challenge prevailing mainstream perspectives or assumptions about treatment. The beneficial repercussions of her work travel far through her website, and through regional as well as national conferences.
I participated in the 2008 Annie Appleseed Conference and was impressed, both by the level and array of speakers Ann Fonfa had gathered to present information that is not always readily available through mainstream medicine. The popularity of the conference was such that I’m sure a larger venue will be necessary for patients and practitioners hungry for reliable, intelligent presentations. There was a great sense of cooperation and Ann Fonfa took great care to see that the food available at the conference was in tune with the theme (i.e.- delicious organic, healthy meals and snacks). Ann does not pay lip service to health. She acts on her beliefs and knowledge at every level. I am a cancer survivor, health care professional and author. Ann Fonfa was extremely supportive so that I could make my book "After Shock: From Cancer Diagnosis to Healing – A step-by-step guide to help you navigate your way", available to participants. Her staff was also very helpful. I would not hesitate to recommend this conference to professional and patient alike.
Numbers of studies have shown that social wisdom is worth its weight in gold. Anne's site provides a special kind of social wisdom, developed over years of carefully examining input from cancer patients and resources from all over the world. Its vital that this foundation and web site be recognized, supported, and held up as an example for the right way to make positive impact on our struggling healthcare system, where caregivers struggle with red tape, and have just a few minutes to spend with each patient. Patients, even those with insurance, suffer. My own particular story with Anne's foundation relates to alternative therapies used to improve patient outcomes in stem cell therapies at Stanford Hospital. Stem cell research holds great promise for future cancer treatments. However, what is missing from the research and treatment picture is patient care. Outcomes of stem cell treatment depends a great deal on how well patients can survive the side effects and keep their spirits up while undergoing continued horrendous discomfort and beating the odds. Typical hospital stays are 45 - 53 days post transplant. Most of them, by the time they receive this kind of treatment, have been through chemo/radiation at least once. So its even more important that they receive support for their patient centered challenges, in order that this promising technology is used optimally, now and in the future. The alternative methods we used with patients with autologous stem cell bone marrow transplant at Stanford Hospital enabled our patients not only to recover on average 2 weeks ahead of expected hospital stays, but also to quickly head off fevers, nausea, mucositis, and a number of problems that often lead to failed treatment. In addition, the patients had good spirits. Although we did publish an abstract about our experiences in Psychoneuroimmunology 2003, there is currently not a good vehicle to share the story of these patients with other patients. Anne's site fills this gap. One patient described it as "When you receive a diagnosis of cancer, when they tell you have the big C, its as if you have been hit by a semi truck. The news itself is enough to make your life feel like confetti being tossed up in the air." Its up to the patient to figure out how to pull the confetti back into a new life, with healing. Each person is unique, and our spirit and emotional life are a big part of our healing journey. Anne's site provides a wide range of carefully screen and checked stories to encourage patients and give them control over their healing journey, despite the lack of time our physicians may have for them in their stressed day. More generally, Anne's site provides one stop shopping for anyone with cancer who wants to investigate alternative ways of coping with side effects, treatments, and/or find others who might be emotional or spiritual support. By last count, her site was pointed to by over 5 million people. Its obviously useful. We in the U.S. live in a medical culture where many physicians treat patients only by the books they used in medical school. If you are a thinking individual, and not influenced by politics/money but are rooted in patient centered thinking, Anne's site provides a unique, strategic, and necessary bridge between what our current medical system IS and what it can be. Numbers of studies have shown that social wisdom is worth its weight in gold. Anne's site provides a special kind of social wisdom, developed over years of carefully examining input from cancer patients all over the world. Its vital that this site be recognized, supported, and held up as an example for the right way to make positive impact on our struggling healthcare system. Cindy Mason, CMT, Ph.D. Research Associate, Stanford University Founder, www.21stcenturymed.org Virtual Faculty, Future Health Technology Institute
I am a nutritionist who specializes in helping women with breast cancer create a "cancer hostile" terrain in their bodies to reduce risk of occurrence or recurrence. In this capacity, I have found the Annie Appleseed Website to be an invaluable source of information for me as I work to support my clients in making informed choices about treatments, trials and alternatives. Annie's comprehensive set of resources also helps me to constantly update my own knowledge and skill set in this ever changing field.Bravo to Ann Fonfa and her team for the contributions they are making to both patients and clinicians!
This sirminar was jointly conducted by IOMP and AAMP in the General Hospital in yaounde-Cameroon. This program was initiated by Afric-med USA an Washington DC based NGO. We had participants from three African contries. Cameroon, Congo and Chad.
I meant to write a much, much longer article, but since I seem to be procrastinating, I'll shorten it. My summary: I am a doctor of optometry and a licensed acupuncturist. This organization is astoundingly impressive, especially since for a relatively small volunteer-run group. The persons involved are generous with their time, driven by a wish to help others, and pretty darned competent. They also seem very, very good at connecting individuals, groups, and information. My first exposure to them was at their January conference, which was superb and extremely useful. Since it was organized by non-professionals and registration fees were minimal, my expectations were low - but it was quite well-done, and the material, information and connections I gained are something I find useful at minimun several times monthly. I learned a lot not only from the speakers, but also from the many knowledgeable and interesting exhibitors. After the conference I had several occasions to email them back and forth, and they provided me with a lot of very useful information - always friendly despite the demand on their time. Their only request was that I use it to be of use to others; simple enough. Since then I have referred several persons recent cancer diagnoses to them, as they are a rare, warm and useful resource when one is searching for information or simply needs someone who understands to talk with or to listen. It is astounding to me that to date so few persons have written about them. I can go on and on about this group and should you wish to contact me by email or otherwise, it would be my great pleasure to do so. I should state also that I am not personally connected with this group or any of the individuals involved - but I do have a markedly positive impression of them and am definite fan of this group. This is what I started to write previously: My first experience with the Annie Appleseed Project was a bit prior to January, 2009, when the PathUSA.org group sent out a notice about the upcoming conference. The speakers looked good, the cost was nominal, and the location was relatively convenient. I also found a very positive review of the group's first (2008) conference in the Townsend Letter, and this stimulated my curiousity. 2. how nice they were on the phone and by email. 3. Helpfulness at the conference. Wonderful info from the speakers. Dr. Block. Mrs. Block. Susan Silberstein. More. 4. The set-up and lunch. 5. The exhibitors. Salvestrols. Medicinal mushroom derivatives. Lots of science; my head swimming. More, more. 6. Speaking with Ann Fonfa, her husband, and some of the other AnnieAppleseed organization. Ann's talk: her experience with being diagnosed with cancer and how she was helped; remembering and wanting to pass it on. (Boy, has she ever succeeded!) 7. The goody bag. Great book enclosed on dying with grace; brought me to tears. 8. Post-conference. Such friendly communication. Willing to send tons of information as long as I use it - and, despite the time demand and some technical difficulties, did so. 9. Have been giving their information to appropriate friends, clients and patients. Really a great resource. 10. Constructive feedback?: I'm not really in a position to say much here, as I don't really know the workings of the organization. I just know that what I've experienced externally has been very positive. Perhaps they could've used one member with A/V experience to troubleshoot projection systems, microphones and the like; maybe someone else to coordinate speaker time and manage audience queries a bit more tightly. And I would've liked to have been able to stay and talk more and more with some of the exhibitors, but I understand that an hour after it's over everyone needs to go home. If this organization is still being evaluated next January, consider sending a "mystery shopper" to the conference. To me this whole group had such a down-to-earth, how-can-we-help, caring, humble-yet-very-competent feel to it; you could see if you find the same.
I met Ann Fonfa at her organization's annual conference in Florida, 2 years after completing aggressive breast cancer treatment. As a cancer survivor and patient advocate, I was immediately inspired by her intelligence, fearlessness, and compassion. It was after the conference that two major htings occurred: I became an advocate myself, and, I found the circle of professionals and friends that I had been looking for in my quest to eliminate cancer from my life in ways that were healthy and sensitive to my personal needs. I have continued to eductae myself, and to share my information with those who desire a holistic approach to cancer treatment. Ann's emphasis on the basics; nutrition, exercise, mind-body therapies, and detoxification, offer cancer patients realistic, affordable, and approachable ways to address their post cancer lifestyles. Ann personally connects with her followers, has made herself an enviable presence at nearly every major medical and integrative conference in the US, and still finds the time to fundraise, sponsor, and inspire others to engage in education and advocacy. Her website is exhaustive and comprehensive. This is an organization that intelligently questions traditional therapy and offers education and support for those seeking alternatives.
this is an stellar non-profit with an excellent annual conference with national and internationally respected speakers. a wonderful resource for men and women dealing with cancer of all types but especially breast cancer. this project focuses on evidenced based complementary medicine not just dreams or ideas. conference was very well run, on time, clean, and truly helpful to patients and professionals alike.
I have known Ann Fonfa for some 8-9 years, first as a breast cancer activist and colleague, and for the last 4+ years as a breast cancer survivor. Throughout this time frame Ann has been an invaluable resource. Her very comprehensive website is one that I have used on innumerable occasions and have referred others to countless times as well. Her Integrative Conference in West Palm Beach, which I attended in 2008, was one of the best I have ever experienced, both for the quality of the presentations and the networking opportunities it presented. I am still making use of the resources that I learned about at the conference. I consider Ann to be one of the foremost and trusted authorities in the field of Integrative Medicine, enhanced by the fact that she is a survivor herself. I am so pleased that she is now dividing her time between Florida and Long Island, NY where I live. She has already organized one impressive and successful conference on Long Island, and is rapidly becoming a presence in the Integrative health community here.
The Annie Appleseed Project is a stunning example of what motivated people can accomplish, that can act as a beacon of hope and truth. I presented at a seminar entitled Evidence Based Natural Therapies for Breast Cancer sponsored by this group, and look forward to doing the same at upcomin events. The professionalism and heartfelt compassion was palpable, both among the speakers and the totally 'sold out' enthusiastic audience. In addition, specific, scientifically validated information was shared, that allows people to make an educated choice in terms of dealing with illness, or better yet- preventing it!
I am a health care practitioner and have attended the first two conferences held in West Palm Beach. The knowledge I gained about cutting edge integrative cancer therapies has really helped me in my practice. I look forward to attending Jan. 2010 to listen to the top rate international lecturers in the field of oncology & complementary therapies. Dr. Marcelle Miller