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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Cancer, Health, Philanthropy, Private Independent Foundations, Technology

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 20 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, we work throughout Arizona; across the U.S. and all U.S. territories; 54 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

Community Stories

64 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Chuck C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

In January of 2003 my sister's daughter Claire was diagnosed with Glioma a type of Brain Cancer. It was a huge tragedy and everyone in the family was deeply concerned. Claire was only 14 at the time. Over the next year many things were tried to help her. I was introduced to Marcia Horn (CEO of ICAN) from Ted Rogers (president of the National Speakers Association in Arizona at the time). When I first talked with Marcia she said to me "We never give up on children!" We became immediate close friends.

ICAN was not involved in Claire's initial treatment, however when all else had not worked, (My sister is a nurse and her ex husband is a doctor and they had many resources). Anyway, Claire was getting treatments for her Cancer but nothing was working. When the time for the Hail Mary move came, ICAN stepped up to the plate and helped get Claire into an experimental program. Unfortunately, Claire passed away just after her 16th Birthday on March 23, 2004. She was a wonderful child with a great future ahead, but it wasn't meant to be.

I have been involved with ICAN ever since then and am on their leadership development council. Helpings others like Claire it is well worth the time.

Recent Activity:
Since I have been involved in Tango for several years, and have a bit of a creative brain, it somehow made sense to do a show. Currently I am the producer/director of a show called ICAN Tango and will be held on October 20th in Tucson Arizona. http://www.facebook.com/events/385522744843432/

Client Served

Rating: 5

My sister was diagnosed with lung cancer and kidney cancer. I didn’t know where to turn for answers. Another organization was nice, but they just gave me pat answers that sounded like they were reading them from a book. I felt like the person on the phone wanted to get rid of me. That was not the case with ASKICAN.ORG. They were, and still are, my most important resource to deal with my sisters terrible diagnosis. They are like angles sent from GOD!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have a dear friend who unfortunately has been diagnosed with recurrent colon cancer. I have been desperately trying to get information on where she can go for a second opinion. I happen to be a biotechnology recruiter so sent out a “Can you help” note on some of the life science groups for which I am a member on LinkedIn. Within a few hours I was contacted by a wonderful research scientist by the name of Scott Kahn, who immediately started networking with the many specialists that he knows in the NYC area. Shortly after, I was contacted by the CEO of AskICAN.Org, Marcia Horn, who spent at least an hour with me on the phone to get the facts of the situation so she could find me the resources needed. I now have a clear plan of action, thanks to this wonderful nonprofit that is filled with great people like Scott Kahn and Marcia Horn. I contacted another well known nonprofit here in NYC, and never received an answer. They deserve 10 stars!!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer I immediately contacted ican and they have helped me every step of the way! I truly would not have known what to do if it wasn't for ican!

Client Served

Rating: 5

When we found out that my sister had breast cancer, we started researching different organizations to find answers and help. ICAN was at the top of the list after speaking with a few people about their service! It was a relief to have someone explain the different types of breast cancer, the stage and what to expect. They provided resources, questions to ask the doctor and the best advice was to create a binder with all the patient information to have at all times. Especially when you're at the doctor. They took their time, never hurried us and made us feel very comfortable.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband read about ICAN in the December 2011 Newsweek article and encouraged me to contact them. We had just emerged from several months of intense treatment for metastatic Stage IV breast cancer (my original diagnosis and treatment was in 2006), including emergency spine surgery, and almost eight weeks of radiation treatment. When a Pet scan revealed there was no improvement but actually progression in my disease on hormone therapy, we were both stunned, scared and very disappointed. After a few days of processing this bad news, I pulled up the ICAN website and sent off an email immediately. Within a few days I was speaking to Marcia Horn, President and CEO of ICAN. Our conversation took almost an hour of Marcia's time, while I feverishly scribbled down notes. Before speaking to Marcia that morning, I was feeling terribly anxious and pessimistic. Marcia urged me to join the percentage of breast cancer patients who have survived their odds, suggesting names of exciting new treatments and specialists who would consult with me. Marcia urged me to consider taking a closer, more comprehensive look at my individual pathology and gave me information to follow up with Caris Life Sciences, a state of the art lab in Dallas doing some very exciting work. We are still waiting to determine if chemotherapy is next in line for me, but at Marcia's insistence we are now in the position to determine what might be the most effective step for me. And one that might save my life. I am only 48 years old and have two young daughters and a loving husband and family to live for. The next time I saw my doctor I came with a stack of notes and questions, and now the data of the Caris lab results. I am so grateful for Marcia and her team of volunteers at ICAN for giving me a sense of empowerment at this most critical time of my life.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I consider ICAN to be a very helpful breast cancer support network. They have taken the time to find information for me concerning a vaccine trial, as well they are looking into oncology services in my area which might fit my situation. I appreciate the assistance of Marcia Horn and ICAN.

Client Served

Rating: 5

After hearing the diagnosis of breast cancer and words/phrases that I did not understand, I called Marcia Horn, ICAN's Pres/CEO. Here brother urged me to call her and I am so glad I did. It was a couple of days before Christmas 2011. I do not remember much about Christmas and New Year's 2011. However, I remember every single conversation I had with her between December 23 and January 10 (and we continue to talk). Marcia's calm and reassuring willingness to share her expertise was our rock until we finally spoke to the team of doctors that are taking care of our daughter. I will forever be grateful to have Marcia explain every step of the way - what to expect good/bad/ugly. Because of Marcia and ICAN I am stronger through this "pink journey," as our granddaughter Nikki calls her mom's breast cancer diagnosis/prognosis.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My wife has Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer. It can be quite a challenge to figure out the best approach to take in dealing with it. Marcia at ICAN has been very helpful. We informed her with what procedures, drugs and doctors we were using, then advised and encourage us on what we could do further.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My experience with ICAN has kept me sane about a diagnosis that can send one spinning down a black hole because you are totally ignorant when you are first given such diagnosis. You do not think of breast cancer as coming to live with you and when it happens, it is a 24 hour nightmare from which you cannot wake up. Thanks to ICAN I was able to focus on what had to be done. The kind tone of an understanding voice that had answer after answer for me and my family has made the breast cancer diagnosis be what it is. We have faced it, we are working through it, and thanks to ICAN and its guidence, we have our lives back under control. Thank you, Marcia.