Blog

Get connected with these OCF events and activities

Connect

From new support group opportunities to preparing freezer meals for patients, and even learning to dance the tango, there are fun and exciting things happening to support patients through the Oregon Cancer Foundation.

Classes and support groups
The following support groups and classes are hosted by Oregon Cancer Foundation at our office at 2296 Oakmont Way in Eugene.

Spring Survivorship Series
Registration is now open for OCF’s Spring Survivorship Series, a 10-week series of classes that provide information and support to manage the challenges that arise after cancer treatment. Topics include: managing anxiety about cancer recurrence, sadness, depression and other emotions; understanding how cancer impacts relationships; and learning how to eat and exercise to be healthy and reduce risk of recurrence. Each session includes an expert presentation, followed by a facilitated group discussion.

When: Every Thursday, April 4 – June 6
Time: 6:00 p.m.
This series of classes is free to attend, but registration is required. Learn more and sign up here.

Alumni Support Group
When: Second Monday of the month
Time: 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
This group is for anyone who has attended Oregon Cancer Foundation’s Survivorship Series in the past.

Breast Cancer Support Group
When: Second Wednesday of the month
Time: 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
This group is for anyone who has been diagnosed with Breast Cancer, at any stage: newly diagnosed, undergoing treatment, and survivorship. All are welcome.

Coffee, Tea & Cancer
When: Second Thursday of the month
Time: 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
This group is for anyone diagnosed with cancer, at any stage of their journey.

GYN Support Group
When: Fourth Wednesday of the month
Time: 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
This group is for anyone who has been diagnosed with any form of gynecological cancer, at any stage: newly diagnosed, undergoing treatment and survivorship. All are welcome.

Volunteer Opportunities
We are so thankful to local groups and individuals who donate their time and efforts to raise funds to support OCF’s mission. Consider getting involved in these fun events:

Monthly Freezer Meals
Each month, Oregon Cancer Foundation partners with a local Wildtree representative, Erin Cunning, and prepares 100 meals for the month. Ten families each receive 10 prepared and packaged freezer meals that are ready for the slow-cooker. These meals are a source of help and comfort for patients undergoing treatment and their caregivers.

For this project, OCF has reserved the incubator kitchen at Hummingbird Wholesale once a month. This fully-stocked commercial kitchen provides the space needed to prep the meals in a safe and sterile environment. The kitchen is located in the Stellaria Building, also the home of Hummingbird Wholesale, at 150 Shelton McMurphey Blvd. in Eugene.

No cooking experience is required when you volunteer. If you can chop vegetables, measure spices, open canned foods and fill storage bags with prepared meal ingredients, you’re qualified! All that we request is approximately two hours of your time, that you wear closed-toe shoes for safety purposes and bring your favorite kitchen knife to cut the vegetables. OCF will provide you with an apron, all the instructions and food. Enjoy a great time helping others!

If you or your group is interested in volunteering in our monthly freezer meal preparation, please reach out to katie@oregoncancerfoundation.org.

Have fun and get active

Tango for a Cause
Interested in learning the fine art of Argentine Tango? Instructors Charles & Wella Augustine offer classes every Friday at Celebrations Belly Dance and Yoga Studio, with proceeds benefiting OCF. “Argentine Tango is very different from the Tango in International and American ballroom dancing,” says instructor Charles Augustine. “It’s an improvisational social dance. There’s no competition involved; it’s really about everyone’s own personal style, despite their skill level.” Classes are offered for beginners, intermediate and advanced dancers. These are drop-in friendly classes, and you do not need to come with a partner. Learn more about upcoming classes by following Dance for a Cause on Facebook.

Team Endure
Looking to get active and physically stronger? Team Endure is currently recruiting members. This local group brings together people with different fitness levels—beginners to seasoned athletes—to train for endurance events. But they don’t just take on the challenge for their own benefit; they do it to support cancer patients through OCF’s Financial Assistance Program. Team Endure trains year-round, participating in events, like century bike rides, triathlons and half marathons, but their main focus is participating in the Pacific Crest Weekend Sports Festival each June in Sunriver, Oregon. For more information, email: teamendure@oregoncancerfoundation.org.

Cooking healthy
Oregon Cancer Foundation continues to partner with Positive Community Kitchen (PCK) to offer free monthly classes on healthy eating and nutrition, provided for cancer survivors and their families. Shanna Hutton, PCK’s board president and a former chef for the organization, leads the classes, offering nutrition information and demonstrating tasty ways to prepare meals that are gluten-free and feature seasonal ingredients. PCK is a nonprofit in Eugene that prepares and delivers nutrient-rich, organic meals to people fighting life-threatening illnesses. The NOURISH: Food for Life classes are held at various locations throughout the community each month. For the complete schedule, click here.

Supporting survivors when they need it most
Financial assistance is the core of Oregon Cancer Foundation, providing stopgap funds to patients undergoing cancer treatment in Lane County. Patients can apply for assistance by calling 541-632-3654, or email requests@oregoncancerfoundation.org.


2019 Wings of Hope Award Nominations

2/27/19 UPDATE: Due to the unexpected snowstorm and subsequent power outage, the deadline for submissions has been extended until March 4th to allow for those affected by the storm to submit their nomination.

Nominate those who provide hope for cancer patients

Awards 2018

 

Cancer is not an easy road to travel. Fortunately, there is no shortage of people willing to dedicate their talents, skills and time to making the cancer journey easier through their efforts to heal, support and advocate for patients and their families.

Oregon Cancer Foundation is now accepting nominations for its Wings of Hope Awards, to honor individuals who demonstrate extraordinary caring and compassion to those in our community affected by cancer.

“Cancer touches us all in some way and we all know someone who is extraordinarily compassionate; who gives his/her time freely to help others as they battle cancer,” says OCF executive director Amy Johnston. “It could be a doctor, nurse or medical assistant, or perhaps a friend, sister, brother or neighbor. Each patient I speak with has their own story of someone who has provided unwavering support during their battle with cancer. We want to recognize these beacons of hope in the community and say ‘thank you.’”

If you know an outstanding individual in the health care field or a community member who is making a difference to support cancer survivors in our area, please fill out our nomination form here and tell us more.

All nominations must be submitted by Friday, March 1, 2019.


OCF receives grant to help identify the needs of caregivers

Caregiving

The Oregon Cancer Foundation (OCF) recently received a $10,000 tier-one grant from the Knight Cancer Institute to help identify and address the needs of caregivers in Lane County.

The reality is that cancer affects more than the person diagnosed with the disease, says Oregon Cancer Foundation Executive Director Amy Johnston. Caring for a family member or friend with cancer can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. Unfortunately, there is a shortage of support and educational resources available to caregivers in our community.

“Often, it’s their village that goes through the experience with them—their family members and friends who are caring for them. If we can identify what types of resources they need and then provide a roadmap on how and where to access that support, we can make the caregiving experience a little easier,” she says.

Supporting caregivers in meaningful ways
To help improve the situation, we will use the grant funding to identify what caregivers need and figure out ways to meet those needs through the following process:

  • Information gathering
    We will gather information from social workers, patient navigators, doctors and nurses in the community who work to guide patients and caregivers from diagnosis through survivorship. We will also speak with caregivers to gather information about their personal experiences and challenges. We will then create focus groups to further explore the most pressing issues.

  • Creating and conducting a caregiver survey
    Once the needs analysis is complete, we will compile the information to create survey questions, then distribute the survey to caregivers in the community. The goal is to receive 300 or more completed surveys. If you are a caregiver willing to participate in the survey, please email andrew@oregoncancerfoundation.org

  • Building solutions
    Once the completed surveys are analyzed, we will move forward on creating solutions to address caregivers’ needs.

“We may discover that we can formulate a program or pieces of a program aimed at addressing specific issues, either with existing funding or additional grants,” Amy says. “Or, it might be that some of our partners in the community are in a better position to do that. By working together, we’re pooling our expertise in finding the best solutions.”

Get involved
The entire process—from information gathering to solution planning—is expected to take about a year. If you are currently a caregiver or have been a caregiver to a cancer patient in the past and are interesting in completing the survey, please email andrew@oregoncancerfoundation.org or call the Oregon Cancer Foundation office at 541-632-3654.


New office space means new classes and support groups in 2019

OCF-office

 

This holiday season, the Oregon Cancer Foundation (OCF) is thankful for an incredible gift that is allowing us to better serve cancer survivors in our community—new office space!

Our new 2,000-square-foot office on Oakmont Way, in Eugene, originally served as the field office for Chambers Construction, while the company was building the Hyatt Place Eugene hotel at Oakway Center. As that project neared completion, Chambers Construction president and OCF board member Dave Bakke contacted Steve Korth at McKay Investment Company, which owns the office space.

“I asked him what he was going to do with the space after we left,” Dave says. “He told me they had no plans for it, so I asked if he would be willing to donate it to the foundation. Steve took a short pause and then said, ‘Absolutely.'”

McKay Family Investments gifted OCF the office space rent-free for two years, giving OCF our first brick and mortar home. Chambers Construction generously donated time and materials to spruce up the space, installing new carpet and giving the walls a fresh coat of paint.

“This project aligns perfectly with our company’s core purpose, which is to build things that are important in people’s lives. Providing this space to the foundation is going to allow OCF to help more people in more ways,” Dave says.

The new OCF office is in a convenient location and offers plenty of parking. Executive Director Amy Johnston says she couldn’t be more grateful for this incredible gift.

“The office includes a large open space that is perfect for classes and support groups. We will be able to serve more patients with more programs and resources. This is more than we could have ever hoped for,” she says.

New space brings new classes and support groups
Beginning in January 2019, Oregon Cancer Foundation will offer new support opportunities for cancer survivors and caregivers at its office, located at 2296 Oakmont Way in Eugene:

Coffee, Tea & Cancer
When: Second Thursday of the month
Time: 9:30 am – 10:30 am
This group is for anyone diagnosed with cancer, at any stage of their journey.

Alumni Support Group
When: Second Monday of the month
Time: 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
This group is for anyone who has attended Oregon Cancer Foundation’s Survivorship Series in the past.

Breast Cancer Support Group
When: Second Wednesday of the month
Time: 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
This group is for anyone who has been diagnosed with Breast Cancer, at any stage: newly diagnosed, undergoing treatment, and survivorship. All are welcome.

GYN Support Group
When: Fourth Wednesday of the month
Time: 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
This group is for anyone who has been diagnosed with any form of gynecological cancer, at any stage: newly diagnosed, undergoing treatment and survivorship. All are welcome.

I finished treatment, now what?
Registration is now open for OCF’s Winter and Spring Survivorship Series, a 10-week series of classes that provide information and support to manage the challenges that arise after cancer treatment.

Over the course of 10 evening sessions we will feature a variety of topics including:

  • Understanding how relationships are impacted while on the cancer journey.
  • Learning how to eat and exercise to help stay healthy and reduce risk of recurrence.
  • Managing anxiety about cancer returning, sadness, depression and other emotions.
  • Exploring mindfulness, meditation, spirituality and other forms of self-care and healing.
  • Discussing cognitive and behavioral strategies to increase well-being and resiliency.
  • Learning about integrative care and alternative healing methods, such as naturopathy, acupuncture, massage and other complementary approaches and how they can improve your cancer journey.

Winter Survivorship Series
When: Every Tuesday, starting Jan. 15 – March 19
Time: 6:00 pm
This series of classes is free to attend, but registration is required. Learn more and sign up here.

Spring Survivorship Series
When: Every Thursday, starting April 4 – June 6
Time: 6:00pm
This series of classes is free to attend, but registration is required. Learn more and sign up here.

Supporting survivors when they need it most
Patient assistance is the core of Oregon Cancer Foundation, providing stopgap funds to patients undergoing cancer treatment in Lane County. Patients can apply for assistance by calling 541-632-3654, or emailing amy@oregoncancerfoundation.org


Cancer survivor grateful for community’s support

 

If you want to know what it’s like surviving a cancer diagnosis, ask Charity Crosby. Since she learned she had breast cancer in November 2017, she’s been an open book, sharing her experiences with the hope that she can make someone else’s journey a little easier.

“Cancer is scary and you’re going to be scared, there’s no other way around that,” Charity says. “But it does get better. The hard part doesn’t last forever.”

As a real estate broker in Lane County for 21 years, Charity is very much a people person.

“What I love about my job is the relationships,” she says. “I’m selling homes to people and then their children, then their grandchildren. Or, I sold someone their first house and they’re ready to have kids. It’s really about following people’s lives, and they’re following mine, too.”

Unexpected news
Charity’s life took an unexpected and devastating turn when her younger sister Fawn was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer.

“She had chemotherapy and radiation in the beginning, and it didn’t work. It just kept spreading, and she passed away,” Charity says. “I found out two days after my sister’s funeral that I had breast cancer.”

Charity, who naturally exudes positivity, began to experience the physical and emotional toll of her own cancer diagnosis.

“I have good days, and I have bad days. There are days that I just stay in bed. I’m tired, I’m nauseous, there’s pain. But you have to tell yourself it’s not going to last forever.”

Since her diagnosis, Charity has shared her journey on Facebook and discovered that posting updates is a good way to keep family and friends informed of her situation. It also spurs others to send her positive thoughts and support.

“When I have bad days, I will go through those posts and I will read the comments people have left me and they give me hope,” she says.

Cancer’s financial toll
The oldest of seven siblings, Charity is surrounded by family; her mom and her daughter are by her side during every medical appointment. But when her medical bills began to impact her finances, Charity realized she needed a different kind of support.

Her care team at Willamette Valley Cancer Institute and Research Center connected her with Oregon Cancer Foundation’s Financial Assistance Program, which provided Charity with gift cards for groceries and gas, so she could continue to get to and from work and treatment.

“People have other things to worry about, like getting better, keeping positive—versus worrying about paying their bills, putting food on the table, wondering how they’re going to get to their next medical appointment,” she says. “Having these resources available really changes the outlook of cancer, and you don’t feel like you’re alone. That changes a bad day into a good day.”

Focusing on the future
Since Charity was diagnosed, she has completed chemotherapy, underwent surgery and is currently receiving radiation therapy. She was one of 10 Red Carpet Survivors honored at the Girls Night Out celebration, the finale to the Bras for Cause campaign that raised $108,000 for Oregon Cancer Foundation this fall.

“More and more people are being diagnosed with cancer. It’s a scary place to find yourself. To have the community come together to help and support people when they really need it—it’s truly an amazing thing to witness.”

 

Charity-last-chemo

Charity celebrates her last chemotherapy treatment with her mom.

Charity-GNO

Charity was one of 10 Red Carpet Survivors honored at OCF’s Girls Night Out Celebration.


Local companies mean business with Bras for Cause

 

Chambers-Construction

Chambers Construction is known for building impressive projects, from the Hyatt Place Eugene hotel and Ninkasi’s administration building to Western Beverage’s distribution center and the Pete Moore Hospice House. The company’s employees are also proving themselves to be mighty fine bra builders.

Chambers Construction is one of more than a dozen businesses displaying colorful bras they created as part of the Bras for Cause annual fundraiser to support Lane County cancer patients through Oregon Cancer Foundation (OCF).

“Everyone has their own story of how cancer has affected their life,” says Cassandra Dare, a project engineer for Chamber Construction who lost four relatives to cancer in a span of 12 years. “Seeing what cancer does to people and knowing the financial impact of the disease, participating in Bras for Cause gives us a way to help.”

Chambers has created two Bras for Cause entries—”Screw Cancer” and “Save the Hooters“— to raise money for OCF and to provide a fun team-vs-team competition within the company. In addition, employees are raffling off prizes, including a $50 iTunes gift card, a gift basket of goodies from Dutch Bros., and several gift boxes of wine. Raffle tickets are $2 each, three tickets for $5, or 7 tickets for $10 and can be purchased at Chambers Construction’s main office on Judkins Road in Eugene.

“What drew me to the foundation is that it’s local,” says company president and OCF board member Dave Bakke. “I like knowing that the money raised locally helps people locally.”

Dave is a survivor of melanoma. He was able to work during his treatment, but he knows that many patients are sidelined from their jobs, creating financial hardship for individuals and families. “A cancer diagnosis hits you so hard and so fast—you don’t know what to think. The foundation is there to help make that time in your life a little less stressful.”

This year’s Bras for Cause goal is to raise $100,000 to support OCF’s Financial Assistance Program, which helps patients with real, in-the-moment needs, like buying groceries or paying utility bills or rent.

Creativity for a Cause
This year, more than a dozen area businesses have built bras and are raising funds to support Oregon Cancer Foundation throughout the month of October. View these bras online at brasforcause.org, or see them in person at these locations:

View in person, along with individual bra entries, at Dandelions Flowers & Gifts:
McDonald Wholesale: “Cheers to Stomping Out Cancer
Willamette Valley Cancer Institute: “Waves of Recovery
295 Tactical: “You Got This

“Over the last several years, we have had more and more businesses get involved with Bras for Cause, which has been fantastic. It’s a win-win for organizations and nonprofits, alike, when businesses support the organizations that matter to them and their employees,” says OCF executive director Amy Johnston. “Our business partners have contributed significantly to our overall fundraising efforts, which, in turn, allows us to serve more patients and expand our programs. We live in an incredibly generous community, and it’s wonderful to see so many area businesses give back and get involved in local fundraising efforts.”

Join the celebration
Have you voted for your favorite bra? $1 = 1 vote and voting runs through Oct. 31 at brasforcause.org. All proceeds raised benefit patients through OCF’s Financial Assistance Program.

Bras2

NWSS