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Learn how to prepare healthy meals on a budget

Positive Community Kitchen

Oregon Cancer Foundation is partnering with Positive Community Kitchen (PCK) and Whole Foods Market to offer free monthly classes on healthy eating and nutrition to cancer survivors and their families.

“Cancer treatment can be hard on a patient’s body and eating nutritious food is important for good health and for healing,” says OCF’s executive director Amy Johnston. “We want to make it easier for patients, survivors and their families to choose healthy foods by teaching them how to prepare them and how to shop for seasonal, fresh items on a budget.”

Shanna Hutton

Positive Community Kitchen board president Shanna Hutton leads the nutrition classes at Whole Foods Market

Positive Community Kitchen board president Shanna Hutton 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. As a former head chef for the organization, Shanna is excited to provide these classes in the local community.

“Our main goal is to bridge what’s healthy with what tastes good and educate people who may be intimidated or unsure about how to prepare healthy foods,” she says. “Our hope is that these classes will make cooking more accessible and leave people feeling more welcome and comfortable in the kitchen.”

Upcoming classes will be held on the third Wednesday of the month through December, with the exception of the August class which will be held on the fourth Wednesday, Aug. 23. The classes will run from 6:30-7:30 pm in the upstairs meeting room at Whole Foods Market, located at 353 E. Broadway in Eugene.

“At Whole Foods Market, we believe that eating real food is vital for optimum health and well-being,” says Sarah Heth, Marketing and Community Relations Liaison for Whole Foods Market Eugene. “By partnering with Oregon Cancer Foundation and Positive Community Kitchen, we are providing an opportunity for patients, survivors and their caregivers to learn more about the positive impact food choices can have to maximize personal health and long-term wellness.”

The classes are free to attend, but due to space limitations, registration is required.

 


Celebrating and supporting cancer survivors

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The Oregon Cancer Foundation is embarking on an exciting season, filled with events and activities that will engage the community and help support cancer patients in Lane County.

The first Sunday in June marked National Cancer Survivors Day, an annual observance to honor and celebrate the millions of Americans living with cancer. Oregon Cancer Foundation (OCF) was privileged to host an event at Lively Park in Springfield.

“Cancer is a scary word,” said Amy Johnston, OCF’s executive director. “But the truth is that more people are living longer, and they’re living better lives after cancer than ever before. It’s important to celebrate this new reality in cancer survivorship.”

Survivor Bonnie Settera addressed the crowd at the Survivors Day celebration and shared her personal perspective on coping with cancer and embracing the healing power of hope.

“Cancer has helped me truly understand the meaning of the word ‘believe,'” Bonnie told those in attendance. “OCF has been a lifesaver for me. I like the fact that this organization is local, and it’s here when we need it.”

“Cancer is an emotionally and financially difficult process, and many people are not prepared for that,” said Dr. Winnie Henderson, a surgeon with Northwest Surgical Specialists and OCF board member. “The money that OCF raises stays local and helps those receiving cancer treatment in Lane County.”

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Dr. Winnie Henderson and cancer survivor Bonnie Settera addressing the crowd at the National Cancer Survivors Day Celebration in Springfield

Survivorship is increasing
According to the American Cancer Society, there are 15.5 million cancer survivors living in the U.S. today, and that number is expected to grow to more than 20 million by 2026. The number of cancer survivors is rising due, in part, to earlier detection and better treatments. As the number of cancer survivors continues to grow, it’s more important than ever to address the unique needs of these individuals.

This fall, Oregon Cancer Foundation will again be offering its free, 10-week Series on Surviving Cancer, which will address several topics, such as:

  • Understanding how relationships are impacted while on the cancer journey
  • Learning how to eat and exercise to 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

Participants meet once a week from September 14 to November 16. To learn more and to register, click here.

Upcoming fundraisers benefitting OCF
Community members and businesses are invited to participate in several upcoming fundraisers that support cancer patients through Oregon Cancer Foundation.

The Eugene Pro Rodeo will again be donating to the Foundation proceeds from its Tough Enough to Wear Pink night on Saturday, July 1. Celebrate the opening day of the rodeo with games, giveaways, fireworks and more!

Want to spend a day on the beautiful McKenzie River? Reserve your seat on the FUNdraising Float, a 16-mile guided rafting trip on Saturday, July 29. Cost is $110 per person and includes roundtrip transportation and a riverside picnic lunch.

Planning is underway for the colorful and creative Bras for a Cause campaign. The fun kicks off September 15 with a NEW Girls Night Out celebration and more categories for entries. Click here for details.

Are you a local business leader? Mark your calendar for November 15 at 7:30 am, and join us at Valley River Inn for our annual Neighbors Helping Neighbors with Cancer Breakfast. The event showcases the work of the Foundation in the community and raises funds for its Financial Assistance Program, which provides immediate, direct financial assistance to local cancer patients. Show your support and reserve a table for your business, or become an event sponsor! For more information, call 541-632-3654 or email megan@oregoncancerfoundation.org.

We look forward to an exciting summer and a fabulous fall. We hope you’ll join us!


Cancer survivors have much to celebrate

Bonnie Settera

The Oregon Cancer Foundation believes survivorship should be celebrated. And on Sunday, June 4, a special event will be held in Springfield to honor cancer survivors in Lane County. Survivors including Bonnie Settera.

If you ask Bonnie about living with cancer, she is quick to tell you she is blessed and thankful—blessed that she is responding well to treatment, and thankful to those who have offered her help since her diagnosis.

Bonnie’s cancer journey began nine years ago when she noticed changes in her right eye. “My granddaughter said I looked like a koi fish, because my eye was so bulgy and red,” she says.

Bonnie was diagnosed with an orbital pseudotumor, a swelling of tissue behind the eye in an area called the orbit that acts much like a tumor but is not cancerous.

She received radiation treatments at Willamette Valley Cancer Institute and Research Center, and the condition appeared to go away. Four years later, in 2012, Bonnie’s symptoms returned and tests determined that she had a rare form of cancer called neuroendocrine carcinoid that began in her colon, then metastasized to her right eye.

Bonnie underwent surgery to remove the cancer in her colon and since diagnosis, she has been receiving a type of chemotherapy that requires a shot in her hip once a month. This week, she will receive her 62nd injection.

“There is no remission from this cancer and no cure. This is something I will have to manage as long as the treatment keeps working. It’s not fun, but I’m doing well,” Bonnie says. Although, she admits, she gets nervous each time her next six-month check-up approaches.

“I do a lot of praying, and I’m very fortunate. Although the tumor lays on my optic nerve, my vision has remained unaffected. I’m thankful for that.”

Now retired, Bonnie spends a great deal of her time each week volunteering as a senior companion at Sweet Briar Villa, an assisted living and memory care facility in Springfield.

“I’m a people person, and I couldn’t just sit home and worry and wonder about what’s going to happen with my cancer,” she says. “But I can help others by putting a smile on their faces.”

Despite her positive outlook, Bonnie says her cancer has taken a toll financially, but she’s found support from Oregon Cancer Foundation (OCF).

Through OCF’s Financial Assistance Program, Bonnie was able to receive new eye glasses when her Medicare plan would not cover it. OCF has also provided her with prepaid minutes for her cell phone, so she can make her doctor appointments.

“The help that Oregon Cancer Foundation offers is immediate, and they understand what I’m going through. It’s such a blessing to have this organization in our local community,” Bonnie says.

On Sunday, June 4, in honor of National Cancer Survivors Day, Oregon Cancer Foundation is hosting a special event to celebrate Bonnie and other cancer survivors in the community. The event, which will be held from 12:00-2:00 p.m. at Lively Park in Springfield, is an opportunity for cancer survivors to connect with other survivors, celebrate milestones and acknowledge the contributions of family, friends and healthcare providers who have supported them along the way.

The event is free to attend. Learn more here.


Volunteer spotlight: Couple finds harmony in music and supporting cancer patients

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Photo credit: Athena Delene Photography

Since they were kids, Jackie and Jason Cowsill have each been drawn to music, so it’s fitting that music is what first brought them together.

“One night, I was playing at the old Jo Federigo’s in Eugene. I was performing a Beatles song and Jackie walked up and said, ‘I want to sing with you’,” Jason recalls.

“Yeah, I basically crashed his show,” Jackie says. “He was singing the John Lennon part and I knew the Paul McCartney part, so I jumped up on stage and told him I wanted to harmonize with him. Once he finally agreed to sing with me, it was kind of magical,” she laughs. “But when the song ended I just thanked him, threw $10 in his tip jar and disappeared. I didn’t even give him my name!”

Jackie and Jason managed to reconnect a few months later, started performing together regularly, and they eventually married in 2010. They now perform as the duo Jackie Jae and Jason Cowsill, singing what they call ‘harmony-driven hits from the past, present and future’: encompassing a wide range of cover songs, from Dean Martin to Adele, as well as their own original songs, which they release under the pseudonym “Troupe Carnivàle,” that fall under the genre of Dark Americana.

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Photo credit: Jayme & Russ Photographers

They are part of the Cowsill family’s musical legacy. Jason’s father, Bob, performed alongside his siblings and his mother in the 1960s, as part of the internationally acclaimed band The Cowsills, which was the inspiration for the 1970s television show The Partridge Family.

Giving back
Jason and Jackie were first introduced to Oregon Cancer Foundation (OCF) a couple years ago when Jason joined some of his co-workers as a member of Team Endure, a group that brings together people of all different fitness levels to train for endurance events, while raising money for OCF.

“When people are going through cancer treatment, they often can’t work and their income suffers,” Jackie says. “Cancer affects so many aspects of a person’s life and Oregon Cancer Foundation’s Financial Assistance Program is there to help.”

“Giving back and helping others has always been an important part of what music is all about,” Jason adds. “You don’t have to be famous to support people in your own backyard.”

The couple performs about twice a week at a variety of venues and events, from wineries to wedding receptions. Having both been personally affected by friends and family dealing with cancer, they are passionate about using their music to lend a hand. They’ve performed at several events for Oregon Cancer Foundation, including last year’s Grow Your Mo Community Celebration and Ninkasi’s Pints for a Cause. This year, they will be entertaining attendees at OCF’s National Cancer Survivors Day Celebration on Sunday, June 4 at Lively Park in Springfield.

“When we play music to support Oregon Cancer Foundation, we encourage people to stay longer, and perhaps become a little more invested. Maybe they don’t consciously attribute that to us, but we help create a fun vibe that connects them,” Jason says.

“I feel incredibly blessed to have the gift and ability to make music,” says Jackie. “I get to do it with the person I love most in the world and help enrich the lives of others. I can’t ask for anything more.”

 


Local tea company offers cancer patients a cup of comfort

Yogi Tea Donation

Oregon Cancer Foundation is thankful for the opportunity to partner with local businesses in ways that make the cancer journey easier for patients.

Recently, when Yogi Tea Company learned its ginger teas, which support digestion and calm nausea, were being served to patients at Willamette Valley Cancer Institute, it donated a supply of tea through Oregon Cancer Foundation.

“The folks at Yogi were very gracious and very happy to make the donation, and we were thrilled to be able to make the connection and let patients know that there’s lots of folks in the community that are pulling for them,” says OCF executive director Amy Johnston.

A cup of comfort
Patients undergoing chemotherapy often spend hours in the infusion room at Willamette Valley Cancer Institute. And something as simple as a cup of tea can offer comfort.

“When patients are receiving their infusion, the room can feel cool to them,” says WVCI oncology nurse Rebecca Gores. “We do offer them heated blankets, but tea is another option to help them warm up.”

For patient Ruby Glazier, who has been receiving chemotherapy since November, a cup of Yogi tea eases the nausea she often feels after treatment.

“It’s just so helpful and it makes me not afraid to eat, because I don’t eat when I get that awful feeling,” she says.

Supporting the local community
Yogi Tea was first developed and introduced to the local community decades ago by Yogi Bhajan, a teacher of holistic living. Today, Yogi Tea is available in 60 varieties, many of which are made using five traditional Ayurvedic spices: cardamom seed, cinnamon bark, clove bud, ginger root and black pepper. And Yogi Bhajan’s philosophy of helping others remains one of Yogi Tea Company’s core values.

“What he believed is a business exists to serve. If the business is not doing something on purpose, if it’s not giving back, if it’s not making a difference, why should it exist?” says Sat Bir S. Khalsa, Yogi Tea Company’s Director of Global Community Relations.

“Our teas are meant to be able to help people, and in whatever form that is we’re happy to make sure that we can be a part of that experience for people.”

Oregon Cancer Foundation is entirely funded by donations from individuals and businesses, but it’s also the donation of products and services—things like tea and comfort measures—that go a long way toward helping patients. Our sincerest thanks to Yogi Tea Company for its generosity.


Team Endure recruiting new members

Team Endure

 

Are you considering ways to get in shape in the new year? Want to make 2017 the year that you can finally check off “triathlon” on your bucket list?

Joining Team Endure is the first step in making it happen, and you’ll be supporting Oregon Cancer Foundation at the same time.

The team gives people with different fitness levels an opportunity to come together and experience something extraordinary—to push themselves out of their comfort zone and test both their physical and mental endurance, as well as their will and determination.

“This team is smartly coached. It doesn’t seem possible that I should be able to do a triathlon, but the training goals have been achievable,” says Dan Johnston, who competed in his first triathlon with Team Endure last June. “Without the support from this incredible team, I don’t think I’d have had the gumption to do it on my own.”

Team Endure trains year-round, participating in events like century bike rides, triathlons and half marathons, but its primary focus is the Pacific Crest Weekend Sports Festival, which will be held June 23-25 in Sunriver, Oregon. Team members compete in the Olympic Distance triathlon, consisting of a .9-mile swim, a 28-mile bike ride and a 6.2-mile run, or can choose the Half Ironman triathlon—a 1.2-mile swim, a 58-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run.

Team members don’t take on this challenge just for their own benefit. They do it to lend a hand, raise awareness and support patients undergoing cancer treatment in Lane County. Since 2014, Team Endure has raised over $50,000 to support Oregon Cancer Foundation’s Financial Assistance program.

Most team members have a personal connection to cancer—a family member, friend or co-worker who’s had the disease—and they understand that people diagnosed with cancer often find themselves in a financially tough place.

“Patients often have to make really hard life choices, like whether to buy groceries or figure out how to pay the rent,” says OCF’s executive director Amy Johnston. “And those are situations where we can step in, and we can provide them with funding that will help them, to pay their rent, to pay their utility bill or to pay for their groceries.”

“Cancer touches everyone in some way,” says Jackie Jae Cowsill, who got involved with Team Endure after her husband, Jason, joined in 2015. “I’ve lost six family members and a beloved high school teacher to cancer, and I’ve watched other friends and family members successfully beat it.” As administrative support, Jackie provides information and tools to help team members meet both their physical and fundraising goals. In addition, as the musical duo Jackie Jae and Jason Cowsill, Jackie and her husband have volunteered their time to perform at other OCF fundraising events.

“Aside from the great cause we’re supporting, everyone involved with Team Endure has huge hearts and gives of themselves generously. It’s life enhancing just to be surrounded by such positive spirits. I think anyone joining the team will feel the same way,” Jackie says.

Team Endure will begin training in late January, meeting for runs on Saturday mornings. As the season progresses, they will add opportunities to swim and bike as they build strength and endurance.

“Many people join the team with their only physical goal being, ‘I just want to finish,'” Jackie says. “You don’t have to worry about holding anyone back or letting anyone down—each person has their own goals and strives to do their personal best. It doesn’t matter how that compares to anyone else. The whole team is there supporting you and cheering you on. You’re running your own race, but you’re never alone.”

If you’re interested in joining Team Endure, please email info@TeamEndure.org. To make a donation, click here.