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CancerCare

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Cancer, Counseling, Mental Health

Mission: to help people facing a cancer diagnosis cope with its emotional and practical concerns. CancerCare provides free counseling, education and financial assistance services through its staff of professional oncology social workers. Our services are available in person, over the telephone and online, and are completely free of charge.

Target demographics: People with cancer, cancer survivors, children and teens with a parent or sibling with cancer, young adults, caregivers, health care providers, the bereaved

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 100,000

Geographic areas served: U.S.

Programs: Counseling and support - telephone, online and face-to-face. All support services are provided by professional oncology social workers.

financial assistance provides funds for treatment-related costs, such as otc pain medication, transportation, homecare, childcare and lymphedema supplies.

education - teleconferences led by experts in the field provide cancer patients and caregivers with the opportunity to listen and ask questions on a variety of cancer-related topics.

info & pub (cancercare inform tm)

Community Stories

18 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

The New Jersey office of this priceless organization has supported me through my 6 plus years (three cancer recurrences) of conquering Ovarian cancer. They are at the ready to provide various means of support to anyone whose life has been touched by cancer in any way. My counselor is an angel on earth, who provides me a safe place to express the trials of my journey and to build emotional strength . I am continually impressed by their efforts of out reach to the community. I am grateful to be able to donate to CC and be a small part in supporting the good work they do.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My CancerCare experience was started just after my wife was diagnosed. She went one-on-one with Sonia and I went one-on-one with Claire. My wife loved Sonia and I so with Claire as counselors. When my wife passed, I became very sad - then a group started in early Spring. I felt as though I could speak with Cindy and the group members. I felt safe. Then another group started and I felt confident my grief lessened and the one-on-one with Claire helped me tremendously to get me through.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband was diagnosed with cancer in November 2008. He was only 45 years old and our child was just 5 years old. Our entire world was shattered in a moment. To say that we were lost and scared would be an understatement. Our first thoughts were how do we help our child her through this? I searched the internet for resources to help us and Cancercare was the only one that had social workers for children.
From the first phone call I made, I knew there was help for us. Everyone at the Cancercare in Ridgewood were kind and compassionate through our journey. There was support for my child and for me throughout my husband's battle. Sadly my husband passed away shortly after his diagnosis and the grief support we received from Cancercare was so critical to our healing. We have attended the Healing Hearts Camp and many other functions. We share our grief and healing with the other families there. Nothing will ever take away the pain of our loss but knowing that we are not alone in our struggle makes a world of difference.
This is an amazing organization that helped restore hope in our lives.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I can't say enough good things about Cancer Care. When my oldest son died at 9 years old from leukemia, I didn't know how to breathe let alone live. Cancer Care was like a life preserver. It was so helpful to meet with my grief counselor each week to just talk. She helped me to navigate my daily life and cultivate healing tools. My youngest son also met with a social worker at Cancer Care for play therapy. I've since become a volunteer at Cancer Care and continue to see what a difference this wonderful organization makes in the lives of families who've lost a parent, child, sibling. Cancer Care helps us to learn how to smile again.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was blessed with finding my way to CancerCare upon my first diagnosis of ovarian Cancer in 2010. As a BRCA I carrier, I have since had a prophylactic mastectomy. I was diagnosed with a recurrence of ovarian cancer in 2012. I continue to receive ongoing maintenance treatments with the hope of avoiding another recurrence. My relationship with CancerCare is in its 6th year and I consider it to be a priceless gift for which I am extremely grateful. My counselor Claire and the CC staff provide me with a safe and comfortable place to express the challenges and concerns that I have living “my new normal”. They continually impart valuable information and resources that inspire hope. The journey is long, but faith, the love of family and friends, and the continued support that I receive from CancerCare empowers me to live my life happily, beyond the fear of a cancer diagnosis.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've attended the Healing Hearts Family Bereavement Camp in 2015 with my teenage son. My mother passed away from Ovarian Cancer, so sudden that I tried my best to cope with the grief. I then was introduced of the retreat by my wonderful sister, and I have to say I had such a great experience. I was able to learn how to cope with such a great lost with other wonderful families who have gone through the same experiences. My son have made new friends, and together we've enjoyed the events the Ranch, and the staff have prepared for us. I learned how to make a necklace with a pendant with my mother's picture, created a awesome piece for the quilt. So much fun, and a great way to keep the memory of a loved one alive.
Since, I have been able to move past the grief, and more towards acceptance.... Thank You My Cancer Care Family!

Client Served

Rating: 5

CancerCare staff are nothing short of "lifesavers". I refer to them as grief "EMT's". When my 19 year old son died of Ewing sarcoma, Kathy Nugent and her staff helped my family learn how to live again. I remember telling Kathy how I felt hopeless. She said she would help me redefine hope. I could not believe that was possible, With seemingly bottomless patience and empathy Kathy helped me find a path to find peace. Sadly, other friends have experienced loss from cancer, and I have sent them to find hope at CancerCare. They too credit this wonderful organization with restoring hope.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was given Cancer Cares information at the Cancer Center my husband was being treated at for Glioblastoma brain cancer. I was welcomed at the organization very quickly and have been going for counseling and attending support groups provided. This organization has been a life line for me as my husband has passed away from his cancer and if was not for cancer care the difficult times would of been unbearable. I am so thankful and feel so blessed to have found this amazing and giving organization.

Advisor

Rating: 5

CancerCare is dedicated to ensuring that all people who contact us receive our services. As a national organization, we make every effort to accommodate everyone in a timely manner, as we did in this case. Our experts – professional oncology social workers – conduct an assessment of every individual seeking counseling in order to direct them to the most appropriate counseling method. Everyone deemed appropriate for a support group is assigned to one. Our website clearly states the waiting period as 5-7 business days. While results of the assessment process may sometimes not meet a person’s expectation, this process is clinical best practice.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I contacted this organization to seek support as a caregiver during my wife's cancer ordeal. I filled out the surveys but was never added to a support board. I contacted the COO, John Rutigliano, as well as the Program Director of Online Client Services, Erin Columbus. They both apologized for the lack of service and stated that they take 5-7 business days to process. Still, I was never added to a group. This organization may at one time have been very good, but they are now not worthy of your donations. Stay away.


Review from CharityNavigator

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002, was in a support group for a while and then co-facilitated a support group for lesbians with cancer for several years. But I really hadn't dealt with my personal problems stemming from a cancer diagnosis and treatment. I was fortunate to find out about Cancer Care's individual counseling services and have found my experience invaluable to my health and well-being. I feel cared for, understood and supported.

Review from CharityNavigator

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer at the age of 38. As anyone with this disease knows your first thought is, am I going to die. Well after getting a great team of doctors, chemotherapy and radiation 3 years later I am still here. Now no one warns you about how angry this disease makes you once your treatment is done. I was first introduced to Cancer Care when they sent me a check which bought my first wig. Then one day I was looking at there website and joined the online counseling because I thought it would be good for me to express my fears with someone that understood. I then made an appointment with Robin who was a good person to talk to but I still couldn't open up because the word cancer was ignored at my home. My mom couldn't accept that fact that her baby daughter was sick and my son who was a teenager couldn't deal with the added pressure of taking care of his mom. Since I was a single mother I had to be strong and act like I could handle it with no problem. Then the company that I worked for went out of business, I lost my job and my health insurance this added to the anger I was already experiencing well Robin suggested that I should join a group to see how other women were dealing with this same issue. I joined a really good group with Julie who I must say made me feel very comfortable and helped me open up. There were 4 ladies each with a different type of cancer but we all shared similar fears and anger. Cancer can destroy your spirit but a place like Cancer Care gives you the hope and faith you need to survive.

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

CancerCare saved my life. My son and dearest friend died in November 2005. Life ended for me the same day that Nick died. But I had two children who needed me, I had to live even if there seemed to be no way I could. Even breathing was an effort. My children saw Susan after meeting with them she said, I didn't know Nick but I can tell he was a special boy, he is alive in both your other children. What a gift. My counselor Kathy helped me to learn what I thought was impossible, how to live again.

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have found comfort and a safe haven in CancerCare. My daughter passed away at age 21 from lymphoma. In the almost three years that have passed since then I have benefited from my experiences with CancerCare in more ways than I can relay. Three weeks after her passing in addition to the sadness and sorrow I felt, I was numb, confused, and barely able to function. I don’t even recall how I found out about the services that were available through CancerCare in Ridgewood, NJ. I do remember my initial phone contact and how professional and caring everyone was when I made my first appointment for grief counseling. Now almost 3 years later I still look forward to seeing my counselor at least once a month. I do not know anyone that has not shared my experiences first hand who has the understanding, empathy, and depth of knowledge that she does. She knows exactly what to say and she knows when there is nothing to say. She remembers everything I tell her, even conversations that occurred almost 3 years ago. To say that I am grateful for all that CancerCare has done for me does not begin to convey my feelings. It is a place of warmth, with a caring, dedicated staff that put their hearts into everything they do. The work that they do so well makes a difference in so many lives. My experience has shown me that there is no other organization that I have dealt with that does what they do with the expertise and compassion they do it with.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm ALIVE today, Thanks To Cancercare. I'm a male in my mid-40's, divorced father of two. In 2001, I was diagnosed with a rare form of male cancer. At the time, no one has ever heard of the type of cancer I was diagnosed with. I was angry , disappointed and scared. I was told by the doctors that I had a 25% chance of living if not treated. Their method of treatment was extremely radical and would devastate my quality of life, in other words, my manhood would be comprimised in the most devastating way. On top of that, I was broke busted and disgusted. Unemployed, terminated because of the disease and my wife at the time abandoned me when I needed her the most. Cancercare was there to help me sort out the madness. They provided one on one counseling which helped me to sort out my feelings of fear. They helped me build a team of caregivers and ask the right questions. With their help, I was able to take control of my life and fight. They helped find a doctor who knew what I had, and with three aggressive surgeries, I was finally cancer free! Most of all, my manhood was still intact, and my quality of life was not compromised. Hallelujah!!! In short, if it wasn't for Cancercare, I wouldn't be here to be a father to my children today. They help me find a doctor, when I was broke, helped finance for medicine which was very expensive. Lead me to an attorney for legal counseling. Cancercare Counseled me, consoled me helped me bounce back after cancer. If you have cancer or was recently diagnosed with cancer, and need help, I recommend and suggest that you contact CancerCare, they will go thru great lengths possible to help you understand what your going thru and will help you fight. Your not alone. I should know, I'm a cancer survivor today, thanks to CancerCare.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Within a month after my husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was whammy but through m faith in God, good doctors and a strong support system I was able to cope. I underwent breast cancer surgery in August of 2005 and opted not to have chemo and radiation because I knew my husband was dying and I would be unable to take care of that while undergoing that type of treatment. He died in November of 2005. I had the breast reconstruction in May 2006; after searching long and hard, found Cancer Care's office in Millburn and the counsellor there helped me go through my grieving process, the process of dealing with my cancer and the implant. I thought I had gotten through the worst when in November of '06 I was diagnosed with a recurrence. The Cancer Care counsellor encouraged me to get treatment and supported me with both e-mail consultations and office visits. In addition, I am phobically challenged by driving highways and I was able to get to her by local streets which much to my dismay changed in '08. She helped me get through the radiation, chemo, a 10 day hospital stay, herceptin treatment and every day challenges which can somehow seem insurmountable. When she had to move to Morristown, she understood my needs and continued to talk to me over the telephone and via e-mail. We found that I had not adequately dealt with the grieving process in my effort to deal with my own illness, let alone the impending knee surgery and getting back into life. She even made her move from Millburn to Morristown less traumatic for me and when she had to leave, she arranged for me to have a new counsellor. I tried to do without counselling for a few weeks and found I continued to need it. When I contacted Cancer Care the new counsellor took the time to get to know my background and understand my need for continued therapy. While on paper, I should be ready to move on, I am not and appreciate the continued support of Cancer Care.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I cannot say enough good things about Cancer Care. I was in my mid-20s with a new degree, insurance that covered very little, looking for work, and recently diagnosed with melanoma. With all my family on the other side of the country, I had surgeries, worked at a full-time and soon another part-time job to pay my increasingly outrageous medical bills, and continued to look for work in my field. I was hustling and staying afloat, but had no one to talk to about the fear and anger my brush with cancer had left me with, becoming increasingly isolated from friends and family. Who knows how long that would have gone on if a chance run-in with a Cancer Care staff member hadn't introduced me to this amazing organization? Cancer Care has a variety of services for those dealing with cancer and its after-effects, including caretakers of those with cancer, available throughout the country. I attended the free young adult post-treatment support group, facilitated by a generous and expert social worker, along with receiving financial assistance to ease the burden of cancer treatment and follow-up. The relief I experienced in that support group- from hearing and being heard by my peers who could understand me in a way no one else could- cannot be articulated. Oncologists and surgeons technically rid me of cancer, but it was Cancer Care and its staff that truly allowed me to come to terms with my experience and move forward. I hope that Cancer Care has the support it needs to provide that relief to all those who need it.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I received services from Cancer Care while I underwent treatment for a blood cancer and when I had a brain tumor. Both times Cancer Care was able to provide financial assistance, helped navigate the insurance maze and most importantly, held a support group for other young cancer survivors that was invaluable in getting me through that very difficult period in my young life.