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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

ICAN, International Cancer Advocacy Network

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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

5 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.