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 inaugural Swallows 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 Monday, April 2, 2018.

Recipes for health and healing


When we put good food into our bodies, it aides in health and healing. To help cancer survivors and their families learn new and tasty ways to prepare nutritious meals, Oregon Cancer Foundation continues to partner with Positive Community Kitchen (PCK) and Whole Foods Market to offer free monthly classes on healthy eating.

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.

Check out the class video above as Shanna prepares Vegetarian Lentil Meat”less” Balls with Marinara Sauce, and enjoy the recipes below.

The NOURISH: Food for Life classes are held on the first Thursday of the month and run from 6:30-7:30 pm in the upstairs meeting room at Whole Foods Market, located at 353 E. Broadway in Eugene. The classes are free to attend, but registration is required.

Vegetarian Lentil Meat”less” Balls

Makes about 40 small “vegetaballs”

1 c dried brown lentils
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
½ onion, finely chopped
1 zucchini, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 carrot, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
½ lb mushrooms, chopped (about 2 cups)
½ c gluten-free bread crumbs
½ c Parmesan, grated
½ c ricotta cheese
2 eggs
¼ c chopped basil leaves
¼ c chopped parsley leaves
salt and pepper, to taste


  1. To prepare lentils: Rinse lentils and put into a large saucepan with 1¼ cup water or broth and 1 tsp salt. Bring to boil, then reduce to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 20-25 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed into the lentils. Turn off heat and let the lentils sit for 10-15 more minutes, covered. The lentils will be tender when done, but should still hold their shape.
  2. Meanwhile, use a knife or food processor to finely chop garlic, onion, zucchini and carrot. Place processed vegetables in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. With a knife or food processor, coarsely chop the mushrooms. Add them to the raw vegetables. (The mushrooms add a meaty texture to the meatballs, so don’t chop them as finely as the rest of the vegetables).
  4. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
  5. Place lentils in food processor and process for about 1 minute. (They should have the crumbly appearance of cooked ground beef).
  6. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to sauté pan on med-high heat. Add vegetables and sauté for about 3-5 minutes, releasing some of the moisture from the vegetables. Once cooked, place vegetable mixture and lentils into large bowl.
  7. Add bread crumbs, parmesan, ricotta, basil and parsley; mix to combine.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  9. In a small bowl, whisk eggs and add to the lentil mixture until completely incorporated.
  10. With a 2-tbsp scoop, shape mixture into small balls and place on baking sheet.
  11. Bake in oven at 400F about 15 minutes, until lightly golden.
  12. Serve on a bed of noodles or zoodles, with Marinara Sauce.

Marinara Sauce

1 tbsp olive oil
1 c chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
1½ teaspoons minced garlic
½ c vegetable, chicken or bone broth
1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes, or plum tomatoes in puree, chopped
1 tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet.
  2. Add onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent, 5-10 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.
  4. Add broth and cook on high heat, scraping up all the brown bits in the bottom of the pan, until almost all the liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes.
  5. Stir in tomatoes, parsley, basil, salt and pepper.
  6. Cover and simmer on the lowest heat for 15 minutes.

Check out these activities in 2018


From tango and triathlon training to cooking classes and survivorship support, the new year brings fantastic opportunities to get involved with Oregon Cancer Foundation.

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:

Tango for a Cause
Interested in learning the fine art of Argentine Tango? Instructors Charles & Wella Augustine offer classes every Sunday at Northwest Fencing Academy, with proceeds benefitting 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. They are drop-in friendly and you do not have to come with a partner. Learn more here.

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:

Cooking healthy
Oregon Cancer Foundation continues to partner with Positive Community Kitchen (PCK) and Whole Foods Market to offer free monthly classes on healthy eating and nutrition 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 on the third Wednesday of the month and run from 6:30-7:30 pm in the upstairs meeting room at Whole Foods Market, located at 353 E. Broadway in Eugene. The classes are free to attend, but registration is required.

Spring Survivorship Series
If you’ve finished treatment, consider signing up for the OCF’s spring Series on Surviving Cancer.

This unique, 10-week survivorship series will be held April 5 – June 7 and covers a broad range of topics that address the questions and challenges that arise after cancer treatment, including: 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.

There is no cost to attend. Survivors may participate on their own, or they can ask a spouse, partner or caregiver to attend with them. Get more information here.

Supporting survivors when they need it most
Patient assistance is the core of OCF, providing stopgap funds to patients undergoing cancer treatment in Lane County. Patients can apply for assistance by calling 541-632-3654, or email

Community support for OCF provides hope to patients


When Brenda Mills was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016, her diagnosis came with fear and a lot of questions.

“What was chemo going to be like? What was surgery going to be like? Would I be able to continue working? I didn’t know how to react,” Brenda says.

She quickly learned that she was facing more than just medical issues.

“There are a lot of unforeseen bills that arise in this journey. I worried about paying my rent and other expenses. For someone else facing this diagnosis, they may need gas in their car; they may need groceries,” says Brenda. “Knowing that I had come to that point of needing assistance was extremely hard. Knowing that I couldn’t do this on my own, that I couldn’t make it on my own, was tough.”

Brenda found the help she needed through Oregon Cancer Foundation’s Financial Assistance Program—assistance that helped her stay in her apartment.

“For me, it was just having that person who cared on the other end of the phone say, ‘Let me help you. Let us help you.’ And knowing that was coming my way, gave me hope. It meant the world to me.”

A life changing gift
When you make a tax-deductible donation to Oregon Cancer Foundation, your contribution stays right in Lane County and will make a difference today. Your gift not only helps patients financially, but it also gives hope and says, “Someone cares.”

Donations can be made directly online or by downloading our donation form and mailing your contribution to: PO Box 11004, Eugene, Oregon 97440.

Inquiries regarding financial assistance can be emailed to

Banner year for Bras for Cause campaign


Thank you to everyone who participated in and supported the 2017 Bras for Cause campaign to benefit Oregon Cancer Foundation’s Financial Assistance Program. We set a lofty goal of $75,000 and we not only reached it, we exceeded it, raising $79,000!

A year of firsts
This was the sixth year for the Bras for Cause community fundraiser and the first time we kicked off the effort in September, holding the annual Build-a-Bra event, in an effort to build momentum and allow more time for voting.

The Build-a-Bra event was held at Along Came Trudy in Springfield. It was a night of comradery and laughter, as creativity and craft supplies were transformed into works of art, displaying messages of hope and support.

“It’s touching to see so many people come together to support cancer patients in our community,” said OCF executive director Amy Johnston. “The room was filled with people who have seen how cancer changes lives, physically and financially, and they gathered in solidarity to make a real impact.”

When October arrived, voting began online and in-store at Dandelions Flowers & Gifts with the annual reveal party. Throughout the month, 44 individual bras and 17 business bras competed for votes in the form of donations.

We wrapped up Bras for Cause in style with another first—the inaugural Girls Night Out at Venue 252 in Eugene. The crowd at this sold-out event enjoyed games, entertainment, a silent auction, dinner and a program that included a fashion show that featured local cancer survivors, and the highly anticipated BRA-VO awards.

And the award goes to…
Taking home the prize for the top fundraising bra in the individual category was Kristina Frank for her creation, titled “Thousand-Petaled Purple Lotus.”

The award for Most Creative bra went to “Ro-Bra-T” by Jeremy Wilken.

Julie Fadden’s bra, titled “Kicking Cancer Out of the Galaxy,” won the award for Best Name.

Debbie Greene’s creation, titled “Key Points,” earned the award for Best Cancer Support.

The award for the Most Humorous bra went to “Monkey See, Monkey Boobs,” created by Amanda Burd with 104.7 KDUK.

In the business bra category, the voting was fierce, but in the end, the bra that raised the most money overall was “Epic,” created by the Breast Care Team at Northwest Surgical Specialists, earning them the coveted “My Cup Runneth Over” trophy, along with bragging rights.

This year’s Bras for Cause campaign was one for the record books and we look forward to seeing what 2018 brings!


Local businesses participating in Bras for Cause

When you step into local businesses during the month of October, look for a colorful bra on display. Seventeen Lane County businesses are participating in this year’s annual Bras for Cause campaign to support cancer survivors through the Oregon Cancer Foundation (OCF).

Creativity for a Cause
When it comes to playing with materials, these businesses went all out. From Creswell DQ’s use of ice cream in a playful theme called “Two Scoops CUPside Down,” to the whimsy of “Under the C” by Pacific Women’s Center and elegant creations by Curves and Along Came Trudy, each business participating in this year’s campaign is dedicated to raising money to support OCF’s Financial Assistance Program.

When Dave Bakke, the president of Chambers Construction and an OCF board member, rallied his team to participate in Bras for Cause, he was met with a resounding ‘Yes!” In fact, Chambers created two bra entries: “Hammer Out Cancer” and “Bra-lesque Marquee“—both with, you guessed it, a construction theme.

“There aren’t many folks here who haven’t been affected by cancer in some way,” said Chambers Construction project engineer Cassandra Dare. “It’s our pleasure to get involved and help out. It was great fun!”

Cancer has also touched the owners, employees and customers of Dari Mart, which is a driving force behind the company’s participation in Bras for Cause. Dari Mart’s creation, titled “On the Moo-v to Cure Cancer,” depicts a farm-to-store theme and represents the company’s commitment to support cancer-related philanthropic events.

“I was looking for an avenue to help people financially with expenses, not covered by insurance, and Oregon Cancer Foundation was a perfect fit,” says Pat Straube. “We already have a theme for next year!”

Messages of hope
In support of cancer patients and the arts, Turell Group pays homage to iconic painter Bob Ross. Titled “Boob Ross,” this Eugene marketing agency’s creation channels his positive, uplifting spirit, which is reflected in the many “happy clouds” and “happy little trees” that inspired generations of artists. The hope behind this bra is that every cancer patient may find strength and hope in nature, creativity and activities that bring them joy.

With a flair for florals and assistance from breast cancer survivor Brenda Mills, the Breast Care Team at Northwest Surgical Specialists based their bra creation around the movie “Epic,” channeling themes of nature, strength and courage.

Willamette Valley Cancer Institute and Research Center’s design, titled “Thanks to the Girls for Supporting Us All,” represents Oregon Cancer Foundation’s mission to offer assistance to patients with all types of cancer.

A community that cares
When The Duck Store gets behind a worthy cause, it’s sure to make a bold statement, and this year’s Bras for Cause entry, titled “Ducks of a Feather,” is right on par.

“Strength in unity is a big part of what we do every day, and we understand the power that can come from that,” said Eric Breitenstein, The Duck Store’s Marketing Team Leader. “Whether it’s wearing pink in solidarity, donating or volunteering, we are excited to do our part to encourage our community to support this unique cause.”

Constructed from feathers (duck-inspired, of course) decorative paper and words of encouragement, this bra is currently on display at The Duck Store’s Valley River Center location through the month of October.

KMTR NBC 16’s feathery design reminds people to get their annual cancer screenings. KOOL 99.1 FM designed a bra inspired by Prince’s Purple Rain, while Creswell Coffee used burlap coffee bags as part of its design “Because Life’s Too Short for Marginal Coffee.

Truly inspired
Many businesses created bras that reflect who they are and how they serve the community.

Oregon Imaging Centers’ bra depicts a colorful Wonder Woman theme, which represents their role in the fight against cancer.

“Every day, we strive to be superheroes in caring for our patients, supporting them and fighting with them—from our schedulers to our technologists and patient navigators,” said Jennifer Cantu. “But the true Wonder Women are our patients.”

This is the fifth year that Jewell Plastic Surgery has submitted a bra, supporting Oregon Cancer Foundation and bringing awareness to breast reconstruction. Their design, titled “Team Approach,” reinforces the importance of all breast cancer patients knowing their options for reconstruction prior to treatment.

“Breast Cancer is a very personal journey,” says Stacy Breaux with Jewell Plastic Surgery. “Your treatment plan should involve all of your providers, from your primary care provider to your surgeon, plastic surgeon and oncologists. Knowing all of your options prior to treatment will provide you with optimum care, improved outcomes and quality of life.”

Valley River Inn, which is new to Bras for Cause this year, did not hesitate to join the campaign.

“As a place of comfort, warmth and celebration, we want to extend that outside our doors and help bring awareness to the efforts Oregon Cancer Foundation puts forth daily,” said Keri Brown, Valley River Inn’s Senior Catering Manager.

That sentiment transpired into a beautiful turquoise Tiffany-style bra, sparkling with rhinestones and representing the beauty of survival, the richness of love and support, and the elegance of perseverance.

“To all who are battling a health concern, don’t give up hope. We are a community, here to help fight with you!”

Join the celebration
Have you voted for your favorite bra? $1 = 1 vote and voting runs through Oct. 31 at

And don’t miss the first-ever Girls Night Out Celebration, a fun finale to the Bras for Cause campaign. It will be held on Friday, Nov. 3rd from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. at Venue 252 in Eugene.

There will be dinner, music, a fashion show featuring local cancer survivors, a silent auction, and this year’s Bras for Cause winners will be announced.

Tickets are $35 and can be purchased here.