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Esophageal Cancer Action Network, Inc. (ECAN)

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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

43 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

ECAN provides great exceptional work and support for patients and relatives - outstanding and awesome

Professor Björn Brücher

Lindarose

Donor

Rating: 5

I found ECAN when my 55 year old husband was diagnosed with stage 4 Esophageal Cancer 4 years ago. We had little to no knowledge or facts of this deadly cancer and ECAN became a credible, caring resource of up to date information, directing us to articles, research, therapies and testing that we could bring to our providers in Western New York to discuss. Jim sadly passed away in 2015 and ECAN has become even more important in my life as I feel a responsibility to share ECAN’s tireless message that heartburn can cause cancer and the immediate need for funding, research, earlier and non invasive screenings and treatment is so desperately needed - and ECAN is dedicated to this mission. Their campaign to mandate warnings on acid reflux medications will save lives. Their lobbying and influence to increase Esophageal Cancer funding will save lives. Their collaboration with oncologists and providers, sharing the story of our loved ones will save lives. The President and board of directors of ECAN represent the voice of those who lost their battle to this fast growing, under funded relentless cancer and speak for those diagnosed everyday. I donate to and support ECAN. I share their message of education and prevention to help others understand the risks of Esophageal Cancer. They make it easy through their social media campaigns. ECAN is a wonderful non profit that I will be eternally grateful for.

Donor

Rating: 5

So grateful to this group for helping bring more awareness to Esophageal cancer

Donor

Rating: 5

ECAN is an amazing organization that supports patients with education and resources, and fights to secure funding for research for esophageal cancer.

Board Member

Rating: 5

ECAN is an outstanding organization focused on raising awareness of esophageal cancer. The organization goes above and beyond most patient action networks and provides a mutlitude of excellent resourses for patients, families, and health care professionals to battle this deadly disease

Donor

Rating: 5

The Esophageal Cancer Action Network, is a leading source for information and support for people diagnosed with esophageal cancer. As an esophageal cancer survivor; I volunteer with a cancer awareness and assistance group in my community. ECAN has provided us with information and awareness supplies on several occasions. We use these materials at informational presentations and local health fairs to increase knowledge about the risks, early warning signs, and treatment options for esophageal Cancer.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Has accomplished much and saved lives on minimum resources. Could accomplish much more with more support.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I became aware of ECAN in 2010 when a loved one was diagnosed with Esophageal Cancer. Over time I've seen ECAN grow and I've been amazed at how much they have done with little resources. I'm proud to have joined the the Board of Directors in 2016 and amazed at the passion that every member of ECAN has in the fight against EC. ECAN is an incredible organization and certainly a worthwhile organization to donate to.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Great charity that advocates for a rare cancer that needs more attention. They have done a lot to raise awareness with the little money they have.

Ashley R.5

Donor

Rating: 5

My father passed away form esophageal cancer 8 years ago. ECAN has helped me through a great support network as well as a way to help fight back against this terrible disease and educate others about the risks of heartburn.

Board Member

Rating: 5

It was an amazing opportunity for me to get involved with ECAN. I think they are doing a phenomenal job in spreading awareness about esophageal cancer. As a clinician who spends most of his time taking care of patients with esophageal cancer, I wholeheartedly support ECAN’s mission and look forward to working with them!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

When my husband was first diagnosed with esophageal cancer, ECAN came to me and helped me through everything -- they anticipated my questions and guided me through every step of the way. They were also with me after he passed away and have continued to show me support throughout the last 6 years. It is my honor to work with them as much as I can.

Nola C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

ECAN has provided posters and pamphlets for my auto business every year for several years now. I put them in our service waiting area. Having those posters there has really gotten me out of my comfort zone and encouraged me to talk to people about my experiences with my husband’s GERD and his cancer. I feel like it opens people up to ask questions and talk about their own symptoms with me so I can guide them to seek help. ECAN is always a great online resource for these customers who want extra information. I know we’ve saved lives through these private conversations that all started with a simple poster. I’ve had lots of customers who’ve come back to thank me for talking to them about it, because they’ve sought treatment. Truth is I never would have talked to anyone if I didn’t have great resources from ECAN.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

ECAN, and in particular Mindy, has pioneered thought leadership about the risks of heartburn turning into esophageal cancer. ECAN educates through events, a stellar website, networking with related industry professionals (physicians, hospitals, cancer centers, device and pharma companies). ECAN shines a light on how heartburn is not just managed with OTC medications, but should be a red flag for sufferers and their families, despite many in the GI community suggesting it is very low risk. Yet ECAN works hard to save lives by making every life matter. I'm a medical device professional, a Barrett's esophagus patient, and a committed partner to supporting ECAN.

Catherine M.2

Donor

Rating: 5

Appreciate how genuine and generous this group is! Truly creates an environment of support, education and advocacy.

Jedd J.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This organization is truly committed to raising awareness and keeping its members abreast of the latest developments in treatment options. This is extremely important to me as a survivor of this terrible cancer.

Board Member

Rating: 5

ECAN is passionate. Works hard to support all patients with education, resources, and the fight to secure funding.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 4

Dedicated to increasing awareness about the signs and symptoms of esophageal cancer, providing patient resources, and funding for advocacy, ECAN is shining a light on a growing disease to help detect and improve patient outcome. ECAN takes on big initiatives with a modest budgets and is making a difference.

1 Michele91

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a four year survivor I joined the board to end this horrific Deadly Cancer.

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I could not of gotten thru my cancer without ECAN. Every charity should learn from them. They treat you like your the only one. The most trusting charity around 100%.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

ECAN provides information, support, and a listening ear for families who have a loved one afflicted with esophageal cancer. They are dedicated to raising awareness of this awful disease.

Donor

Rating: 5

I first heard of ECAN when my 65 yo husband, Tom, was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 2010. He survived just two more years. The saddest part of this is that Tom had suffered for years and years with GERD. It was treated with prescriptions and over the counter medication and other recommendations such as no late meals and keep the head of the bed raised. He was not referred to a gastroenterologist until he had great difficulty swallowing. He went through radiation, chemo, and multiple surgeries and suffered greatly.

ECAN works to educate physicians and other caretakers. ECAN provided us with so much information during the process. They have guides for patients and facts about esophageal cancer. They have a Facebook page that distributes information on research and treatments as they are published. They have worked hard with the FDA to get over the counter medications to carry a warning of heartburn can cause cancer

After Tom’s death I started a small monthly donation in his memory. I also support ECAN by distributing literature every April to many businesses with which I associate. April is support esophageal cancer month. I'm relatively certain my friends and family are very aware of this disease. I continue to tell Tom’s story as a two time cancer survivor myself. I join ACS’s Relay for Life and our daughter’s sorority donates in her father’s memory at every local Relay forLife. It is a wonderful educational organization.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

I make a monthly donation to this organization in memory of my husband. He was diagnosed with Esophageal cancer in 2010. He had radiation, chemo and surgery, but the cancer took his life in 2012. We were married for 46 years. Just today, (3-4-17) our daughter, with tears in her eyes said I wish Dad was still here, I have so much to tell him. I get the word out as often as I can with brochures and social media, in the hopes that another person's life can be saved.