Ican, International Cancer Advocacy Network

Rating: 4.99 stars   140 reviews

Issues: Technology, Health, Philanthropy, Cancer

Location: ICAN Program Services (by appointment at our Metrocenter Phoenix offices) 27 West Morten Avenue Phoenix AZ 85021-7246 USA

Mission: ICAN provides Personalized Medicine Cancer Case Management Programs, through its customized patient advocacy services, to Stage IV patients who have been written off by their oncology teams. The organization specializes in complex and rare diagnoses, whether pediatric or adult cancers. ICAN, given years of experience with oncology issues and the anticancer drug pipeline, assists patients in the battle to extend life with high quality of life through physician referrals, cutting-edge information and advocacy services, clinical trials research, compassionate use analysis, molecular profiling services, and palliative care program services. ICAN has been profiled in Newsweek based on the still enduring complete remission of one of its breast cancer patients and in Pharmaceutical Executive Magazine (where ICAN was viewed as the exemplar of cancer patient advocacy--out of 5000 organizations to choose from). ICAN has also been featured in the Robert A. Nagourney, M.D.'s pivotal book "Outliving Cancer" and is featured in the upcoming biography of anticancer drug discoverer G. Robert Pettit, PhD (published in June 2015).
Results: When you are dealing with individual cancer patients and their specific cases, the metrics are extending time to progression and working toward disease-free survival. The question becomes "compared to what?" since no cancer patient is like any other cancer patient. The one metric that counts at ICAN is an overwhelming number of our patients, given the countless accolades we have received over the past 19 years, testify to ICAN's pivotal assistance in making a critical difference in life prolongation and quality of life issues. On the metric of "Was there a stone left unturned in the patient's journey with cancer?", our ICAN patients and their families resoundingly answer "No."
Target demographics: All ages, all socioeconomic backgrounds.
Direct beneficiaries per year: more than 1000 patient/spouse advocate/care partner/public inquiry cases at ICAN.
Geographic areas served: While we are headquartered in Phoenix/Scottsdale, we work throughout the USA and US territories; 53 countries worldwide
Programs: Our Personalized Medicine Cancer Case Management Programs and our Cancer Patient Advocacy and Clinical Trials Advocacy Programs--as well as ICAN's more than one hundred Named Programs (named by families in memory of or in honor of a loved one in the battle)--may be found on our website at http://askican.org
2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 86-0818253
602-618-0183
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I've said it before and I'll happily say it again: in my sixteen years volunteering for ICAN (including about eight years serving as Chairman of the Board), I continue to see miracles happen ... lives being extended with the best possible quality of life. Because of the extremely worthy work done by all those on Team ICAN, I become recommitted - every day - to that team and to those patients who count on us. With day-to-day eyewitnessing of ICAN's small but mighty staff and its more than 1000-strong volunteer base working around the world and around the clock, I am convinced that ICAN is THE most patient-friendly and helpful cancer organization on the planet. With more funding dollars, we would be able to help that many more desperate patients, and if I were to win the lottery, I would put a little away to take care of my family and then donate the rest to ICAN.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Find 'angel' donors whose financial support would allow this organization to help all those who come to our doors, without ever having to put any patient on a waitlist.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

As Chairman of the Board of ICAN, I am the organization's lead volunteer and cheering squad for our very small staff and hundreds of volunteers around the world! In the thirteen plus years during which I have volunteered for ICAN, I have witnessed the amazing work done by this organization, along with the gratitude of countless patients and their families. I truly believe that of all the cancer organizations on the face of the planet, ICAN is the only one that actually “goes to bat” for patients and their families … extending lives and improving patient quality of life along the way. Every day, I am reminded by grateful patients that all volunteer efforts and donor support for ICAN could not go to a more worthy organization.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

hearing from grateful patients and their families, many of whom had not been helped by some of the more high profile cancer organizations.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

find some wealthy people who could give us the support we need to help even more patients around the U.S. and around the world.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

How did you learn about this organization?

In 1998, my cousin's 29-yr-old daughter was dying of melanoma. At that time, I read an article in Phoenix Magazine about an anticancer drug developer (Dr. George Pettit), who went into the rainforests and the oceans around the world, looking for anticancer compounds, which he would then try to replicate in the lab. The article mentioned that if readers wanted more information, they should contact Marcia Horn at IFADD (International Foundation for Anticancer Drug Discovery, which was the organization's name until several years ago when we changed it to ICAN). At that time, I called Marcia who immediately did research for this cousin of mine and was able to provide the family with some critical information (that none of us could find elsewhere). I was so grateful to Marcia and inspired by the help and resources that she and the organization provided to us that I offered my help. And now, more than thirteen years later, I am more inspired than ever.

What is this organization's top short-term priority?

For cancer patients, our most critical priority today is molecular profiling, which will give doctors the most complete information on exactly what might best fight that patient's particular cancer, bringing about THE most effective "personalized medicine" treatment for every cancer patient. For ICAN, our most critical priority is to have the funds that will allow us to act as an advocate for every patient who might benefit from our services.

What is its top priority in the long run?

Exactly the same priorities as short-term (above).

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

Speaking as an ICAN (International Cancer Advocacy Network) insider, I can personally vouch for the fact that whatever donors and volunteers put in to this organization, be it donations and or time, they get back twice as much in satisfaction and gratification that their efforts are truly helping cancer patients fight for their lives. How do I know? I’ve been a very active ICAN (formerly IFADD) volunteer since 1998. At that time, Marcia Horn - ICAN's heroic leader - researched my cousin's cancer at my behest and was able to present some critical information (that we could not find elsewhere) to the family. I was so grateful to Marcia and inspired by the help and resources that she and the organization provided to my cousin that I offered my help. And now, more than twelve years of just about full time pro bono work for ICAN, I am more inspired than ever.

Of all the cancer organizations on the face of the planet, I believe that ICAN is the only one that is truly "in the trenches" with patients and their families … extending lives and improving patient quality of life along the way. It’s become sort of “legend” around ICAN circles that if I were to win the lottery tomorrow, I’d reserve a little for my family and then give the lion’s share to ICAN, as it could not go to a more worthy organization that literally works 24/7 to be a virtual lifeline for proactive cancer patients.
Sherry Weinstein, Chairman
ICAN Board of Trustees

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Having met - in person, on the phone, or via email - many grateful cancer patients (or their families) who say that ICAN is greatly responsible for the "extra years" they've gotten, or for enhancing their quality of life. That's all the proof I need to keep me motivated to continue my work with ICAN for the next twelve years!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

The only change I'd make is to try and find more "angel donors" so that ICAN would be able to provide its unique services to an ever-greater number of patients around the world.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have continued gratitude to ICAN for its role in my late mother's battle with Ovarian Cancer. Although this terrible disease did take her life in May 2010, she outlived her expected prognosis and lived well and happily until just weeks before she died. ICAN CEO Marcia Horn did so much for Mom - from fielding her calls in a sensitive way to helping refer her to specialists. I believe Marcia truly cares. I have been in the presence of other families who feel the same. ICAN is worthy of accolades, grants, and more. I am proud to be volunteer member of its Board and I also consider Marcia a dear friend.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

I am proud to be a Founding Trustee of ICAN and to have underwritten the first paycheck of its CEO, the first IRA bequest, the first corporate donation, the first matching funds donation, and the first Will and Trust beneficiary clause. I have been involved with the organization since day one. Most of the members of our ICAN boards and councils have witnessed some of the desperation of the cancer patients who first call our office in terms of the uncontrolled sobbing and anguish of patients’ family members. And we have also witnessed the euphoric relief at the end of that first conversation that they’ve finally found an organization who will never let them down and which will chart out strategic options for them that their first medical team overlooked. Personally, I have referred cases to ICAN, ranging from lung cancer to bladder cancer to mantle cell lymphoma to rare brain tumors to benign tumors. I even refer cases outside the cancer area when no other organization has a handle on the patient's diagnosis.

No one has named or identified any other organization that does what ICAN does, and many of our patients initially had sought help from multiple cancer organizations--whether nationally known breast, lung, myeloma, brain, pancreatic, melanoma, leukemia and lymphoma, colon, prostate, or thyroid organizations to name just “the majors.” The telling tribute to us is that our patients stay with ICAN for the duration of their battle or recovery. One Ohio patient, who had been written off as a hopeless case six years ago, recently e-mailed ICAN that her latest scans showed the much-coveted “No Evidence of Disease” status. ICAN had played a huge role in outlining the strategic options she chose in her battle for life and in encouraging her to choose the combination chemotherapy that ultimately has prolonged her life.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

its life-saving provision of patient advocacy services in every kind of diagnosis imaginable and in the well-run operations of this world class organization.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

shout from the rooftops that ICAN needs major funding from all possible sources to be able to reach the millions of cancer patients worldwide who could benefit from these top-notch advocacy services, physician referrals, and clinical trials research. ICAN serves Stage IV patients, and it would be great to have the organization have the resources to expand to cover all cancer patients no matter what stage.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

How did you learn about this organization?

I was a lead founder of it.

What is this organization's top short-term priority?

Fundraising, fundraising, fundraising to be able to expand its waiting-listed services.

What is its top priority in the long run?

Reaching millions of patients with its unique advocacy services.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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