Learn Well Contest Winners

Advocacy Group Winners

Patient Resource acknowledges those advocacy groups whose educational programs, outreach and community have inspired and empowered cancer patients on their journey. It’s our way of recognizing these groups' invaluable contributions to patients and their families. Congratulations to all of our past winners!


Reel Recovery
Reel Recovery is a national, nonprofit organization that conducts free fly-fishing retreats for men recovering from all forms of cancer. It was founded in 2003 by a group of avid fly-fishers who were inspired by their fishing buddy’s ongoing battle with brain cancer. Combining expert fly-fishing instruction with directed “courageous conversations,” the organization provides men with all forms of cancer a unique opportunity to share their stories, learn a new skill, form lasting friendships and gain renewed hope as they confront the challenges of cancer.


Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation
The Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation is dedicated to researching the cause of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC), an advanced and accelerated form of breast cancer usually not detected by mammograms or ultrasounds. The Foundation’s mission is to facilitate research that will improve understanding, diagnosis, treatment and survival of IBC, while providing education about the disease to both the lay and medical communities.


National Lung Cancer Partnership
The National Lung Cancer Partnership is the only lung cancer advocacy organization founded by doctors and researchers working together with survivors and advocates to increase lung cancer awareness and research funding. The Partnership’s mission is to decrease deaths due to lung cancer and to help patients live longer and better through research, awareness and advocacy. The organization directly funds research, provides patient and health care professional information, and reaches communities nationwide through awareness and advocacy initiatives, including the Free to Breathe event series.


Sisters Network® Shreveport
Sisters Network® Shreveport is a local chapter of the Sisters Network Inc., the only national African American breast cancer survivorship organization in the United States. Founded in 1994, the group is committed to increasing local and national attention to the devastating impact that breast cancer has in the African American community. The Shreveport, La., chapter was founded in 2011 and has recently hosted two annual breast cancer high-heel walks with more than 600 participants, which raised funds for patient assistance programs.


GIST Support International
GSI is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization of patients, family members, friends and interested professionals, forming an online community dedicated to the support of those with gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST cancer). Focusing solely on GIST patients, the group seeks to create a place where both patients and caregivers can interact and feel comfortable sharing thoughts, ideas and experiences while working through the journey of living with cancer. GSI also promotes and encourages ongoing research in the quest for a cure for gastrointestinal stromal tumors.


Foundation for Women's Cancer
The Foundation for Women's Cancer, founded in 1991 by the Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO), is the preeminent resource dedicated exclusively to advancing awareness, education and research on behalf of women facing "below the belt" reproductive cancers. The Foundation embraces the philosophy that “knowledge is power” and urges women to LEARN the symptoms, LISTEN to their bodies and ACT by seeking care from a gynecologic oncology specialist for the best outcomes. The group’s major fundraising event, the National Race to End Women's Cancer 8K/1 Mile Walk, will be held Sunday, Nov. 4 in Washington, D.C.


The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders
At The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, the focus is on cancer support programs to restore health to the patient’s entire life— physically, emotionally and spiritually. Four patient navigators connect patients with resources that they may need during their cancer journey, such as financial counseling, support groups, nutrition classes and complementary therapies. These navigators are trained to address patients concerns, help patients overcome barriers to care and to guide them through the health care system during a very difficult time.


COLONTOWN is the wild and wacky approach to survivorship with diseases of the lower intestine, including cancers. The group is serious about surviving these diseases but also wants to have fun with them. COLONTOWN is a community where people can connect with others who share their specific condition and/or consequence of their disease, including colon cancer, rectal cancer, Lynch Syndrome, familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), living with a stoma, and being a caregiver.


Lung Cancer Alliance
Lung Cancer Alliance is a national non-profit organization that provides support, education and advocacy to those who are at risk for or are living with lung cancer –along with their friends and family. Founded in 1995, with chapters across the country, Lung Cancer Alliance’s numerous resources include a free Information Line and clinical trials matching service. The group is based in Washington DC, and is committed to ending injustice and saving lives through an alliance of advocacy, education and support.


West Islip Breast Cancer Coalition
Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the West Islip Breast Cancer Coalition (WIBCC) on Long Island, New York provides practical assistance and emotional support to women and men affected by breast and gynecologic cancers. The WIBCC promotes cancer awareness with education, advocacy and outreach. Its programs include “Lend a Helping Hand” and “The Women’s Program,” which offer services to relieve stresses of daily life for those undergoing treatment or post-operative care.


Formed in 2005 by nationally renowned oncologist Archie Bleyer, MD, DEFEATcancer (Diet, Exercise, Family, Education, Attitude and Thriving) is a flourishing survivor empowerment program of St. Charles Cancer Center in Bend, Oregon. Cancer survivors and caregivers or family members attend DEFEATcancer’s regular session – a free monthly dinner that focuses its central themes: education, inspiration, fellowship, helpful exercises and nutrition. Other activities include camp experiences, outdoor activities, workshops and exercise classes.


Guam Cancer Care Assistance Foundation
Guam Cancer Care Assistance Foundation (Guam Cancer Care) provides free professional support services to any Guam resident adversely affected by cancer. The organization was founded in 2011 and is comprised of nurses and lay navigators who work to bridge gaps in services and provide access to treatment. This includes patient navigation and advocacy, screening, counseling, support groups, education and transportation assistance. This can also entail helping patients and their families find and afford services on the U.S. mainland.


Faye's Light
Vicky Weis founded Faye’s Light in 2005 in honor of her mother, Faye, who died of cancer in 1995. The not-for-profit organization offers weekly spa services and holistic therapies to complement cancer patients’ medical care and to give relief from the anxiety of their disease. Located just south of Chicago, Faye’s Light professional technicians provide massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, Reiki healing, aromatherapy and therapeutic art at no charge to men and women who are in active treatment for cancer.


Wisconsin Chapter – Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
With education, research and advocacy as its three pillars, the Wisconsin chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is committed to helping meet the needs of individuals diagnosed with blood cancers in Wisconsin. For more than 20 years, the chapter has held meaningful events that include The Scenic Shore 150 Bike Tour, Team in Training and Light the Night. They have also distributed high-quality free information concerning blood cancers, offered free conferences for nurses and patients alike, provided research grants, and assisted patients in financial need.


Y-ME Breast Cancer Organization
Beginning with a conversation at a kitchen table between two breast cancer survivors in 1978, Y-ME Breast Cancer Organization has grown to become a national organization that is committed to providing support and information to all those who are impacted by breast cancer. Y-ME’s core program is its Y-ME Hotline, which is staffed 24/7, year round, by breast cancer survivors who are trained and certified peer counselors. The hotline is in English and Spanish – with availability of more than 150 languages.


Extra Mile Program – McLaren Cancer Institute
The Extra Mile Program provides basic necessities for patients in need at McLaren Cancer Institute in Flint, Michigan – including nutritional supplements, gas and grocery cards, bus ride passes and prescription co-pays. Founded in 2009, Jean Battles, LMSW, ACSW, Radiation Oncology Social Worker, facilitates the program. The entire Radiation Oncology staff participates in raising funds through bake sales, donations, making and selling holiday gift baskets and home décor items. A local motorcycle club also hosts an annual fundraiser for the program.


Breast Cancer Bridge Program at South Jersey Healthcare
The Breast Cancer Bridge Program at South Jersey Healthcare in Elmer, New Jersey provides personalized support, education and complementary therapies for women facing breast cancer. The award-winning program was created in 2000 by cancer survivor and program coordinator, Doris Moore, RN. It also pairs women who are in the midst of their cancer journey – those with abnormal mammograms, newly diagnosed breast cancer, in active treatment and survivors – with nurses who serve as health care advocates.


Hampshire County Relay for Life
The Hampshire County Relay for Life of West Virginia is one of hundreds of American Cancer Society Relay organizations whose purpose is to raise funds to help find a cure for cancer and honor those who have been diagnosed with the disease. The dedicated Hampshire County group also provides educational cancer information and hosts survivor receptions. The group's efforts culminate in a 24-hour relay walk and this year, the Hampshire County Relay reached their fund raising goal of more than $97,000.


The West Island Cancer Wellness Centre
The West Island Cancer Wellness Centre (WICWC) is located in Quebec, Canada. Since 2009, this unique center has provided wellness resources that support and augment traditional medical services for more than 3,000 cancer patients, their families and friends. WICWC's psychosocial care and programs address the mind, body and spirit-from the moment of diagnosis. Participants have access to staff oncology nurse for information, support groups, exercise classes, nutrional advice, massage therapy and much more.


Ephrata Community Hospital Breast Cancer Support Group
The Ephrata Community Hospital Breast Cancer Support Group meets once a month under the leadership of Sue Auxier, RN, BSN. This support group has helped so many women that it is one of the first contact numbers given to newly diagnosed patients. Located in Ephrata, Pennsylvania (45 miles east of Harrisburg), current patients, breast cancer survivors and supporters are all welcome. Participants are continually encouraged by the on-going support and education offered by the group.


LUNGevity Foundation
The LUNGevity Foundation is committed to funding promising research for early detection and treatment of lung cancer, and providing a community for those impacted by the deadliest cancer killer. In 2002, LUNGevity created its Lung Cancer Support Community (LCSC), which is now the largest online lung cancer support network. It provides online community interaction, lung cancer information, advocacy opportunities and 24-hour telephone support. Membership is free and LCSC draws praise for its support of patients, family members and caregivers alike.


Vital Options International & Selma Schimmel
Vital Options International was launched 1983 when Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Selma Schimmel, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Selma initially targeted this not-for-profit cancer communications, support and advocacy organization for young adults with cancer. Vital Options later expanded to people of all ages and in 2000 became international with the mission of facilitating a global cancer dialogue. Since 1996 it has hosted The Group Room – the first cancer talk radio show of its kind.


Breast Cancer Resource Centers of Texas (BCRC)
The vision of the Breast Cancer Resource Centers of Texas (BCRC) is that no woman goes through breast cancer alone. This non-profit, grassroots organization was founded in 1995 by seven women who met during chemotherapy and together created BCRC to offer women and families the support they had needed. Their Certified Patient Navigators, including Marjorie Gallece, consult with women (for free) after diagnosis to educate and guide them through the wide variety of support and treatment options.


Cancer WellFit™
The Sports Club of Greenville, South Carolina offers The Cancer WellFit™ fitness program free of charge for cancer survivors. In this 10-week, small group program, class trainers assist participants to build muscle strength, increase endurance, improve functional ability and help reduce the severity of therapy side effects. Merry Johnson heads up this beneficial program and participants not only appreciate the many physical benefits, but note that their self-esteem grows through their participation as well.


Oklahoma Project Woman
Oklahoma Project Woman began in 1998 to help low-income or uninsured women with breast by offering health information, no cost mammography, diagnostic procedures and surgical services. Since the beginning of the program, it has provided breast health care for more than 17,000 uninsured Oklahomans, 360 of whom were diagnosed with breast cancer. The organization is privately funded and survivors have noted that caring volunteers even made homemade pillows for them for their recovery from surgery.


Beyond Boobs Inc.
Beyond Boobs supports young women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer before reaching menopause and has a vision of breast health with a focus on health and wellness. Formed by two survivors who found a lack of resources devoted to young women, the organization addresses the serious issue of cancer in a light-hearted manner. The dual mission of this group is to save lives through education and to support and encourage young women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.


ACS Relay for Life - Mt. Clemens & Claudia Makowski
The American Cancer Society Relay For Life is a life-changing event that gives everyone in local communities a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease. At Relay, teams of people take turns walking or running around a track or path. At Mt. Clemens, Michigan, survivor Claudia Makowski has led the way volunteering for their relay team and assisting newly diagnosed patients.


Wellspring Resource Center
A service of Winchester Medical Center in Winchester, Virginia, the Wellspring Center provides supportive services and programs to meet the needs of the “whole” person surviving cancer and other chronic diseases. Opened in 2006, the center has a full-service hair salon including wig fitting, massage therapy, prosthesis fittings assistance and a small gift shop. Each month they offer activities such as support groups and educational classes to help patients and caregivers live with all types of cancer.


Hospitality Homes
This unique hospital housing option in Boston helps families who are dealing with cancer – regardless of diagnosis, age or place of treatment. Through the host housing program, cancer (and other serious medical) patients and their families, receive free housing from families in the area. They also provide support, understanding and the chance to leave the clinical atmosphere of a hospital. Since 1983, more than 158,000 guest nights have been provided.


Research Advocacy Network
The Research Advocacy Network (RAN) is a non-profit organization that brings together all participants in the medical research process to improve patient care. RAN focuses on education, support and connecting patient advocates with researchers. It sponsors programs to match trained volunteers with opportunities in the research community, and also equips advocates to understand research studies in order to communicate with patients and researchers.


Sisters Network Inc.
Sisters Network Inc. (SNI) is the leading national voice for African American breast cancer survivorship in the U. S., promoting breast health through nationally recognized outreach. The purpose is to save lives by empowering women through education, advocacy, increasing the number of women obtaining mammograms and clinical trial recruitment. SNI has over 3000 members, 40 affiliated chapters and impacts approximately 2 million individuals each year.


Prostrate Conditions Education Council
PCEC provides patients (in Denver) with a large number of resources, organizes the largest national free screening for men’s health and is well respected throughout the Denver community. PCEC is one of the nation’s leading sources for prostate health information. It is committed to raising awareness and education through early detection, promoting available treatment options and by helping to conduct nationwide screenings. Since its founding in 1989, PCEC has screened nearly 5 million men in the U.S.


Man to Man Prostate Cancer Support Group
Man to Man is a program sponsored by the American Cancer Society to help men obtain information and support through community-based education, particularly with support groups. This local group is sponsored by Onslow Memorial Hospital, which serves Jacksonville, Onslow County and coastal North Carolina. Among other projects, the Man to Man prostate cancer support group gives lectures at any event that they are called on to help in throughout Jacksonville.


ACS Cancer Survivor's Network – Colorectal
The Cancer Survivors Network (CSN) – sponsored by the American Cancer Society ¬– brings survivors and caregivers together in a "virtual community" of mutual care and support. The online feature of this network helps patients connect to other survivors during times in which they are cut off from community and friends because of their illnesses. One of their colorectal cancer groups has a wonderful sense of humor and refers to themselves as the “semicolons.”



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