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


The Oregon Cancer Foundation (OCF) recently received a $10,000 tier-one grant from the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute Community Partnership Program 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

  • 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 or call the Oregon Cancer Foundation office at 541-632-3654.

New office space means new classes and support groups in 2019



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

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 celebrates her last chemotherapy treatment with her mom.


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 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, 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 All proceeds raised benefit patients through OCF’s Financial Assistance Program.



Bras for Cause stories of hope: Voting begins Oct. 1

Bras for Cause

When Haylee Hardin discovered a suspicious lump, friends and family tried to reassure her that she was too young to get cancer. Unfortunately, those encouraging words didn’t prevent the 25-year-old from being diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer.

To make matters worse, Haylee’s diagnosis came just two months after her boyfriend learned he had testicular cancer; and the young couple found themselves in a difficult position.

“We were not financially prepared for cancer,” she said, sitting at a table in Center Court at Valley River Center in Eugene, surrounded by craft supplies. Haylee is one of dozens of people who have decorated bras as part of the Bras for Cause fundraiser to support patients through Oregon Cancer Foundation (OCF).

“When the bills began to pile up, OCF was the first place we were able to receive help.”

Haylee talks openly about her experience with cancer, because she now understands the difficulties that arise and how vital it is for patients to have access to financial assistance, education and support, which OCF provides.

A colorful expression of support
This is the seventh year for the Bras for Cause fundraiser. Earlier this month, participants gathered at two community Build-a-Bra events—the first at Valley River Center and the second at Along Came Trudy in Springfield—and decorated bras that are as unique as their creators, who range from children to adults.

Kurt Petersen and his family have participated in Bras for Cause for three years, but this year’s bra might just be his most unique: a hot pink bra, sporting a stuffed ferret, appropriately titled “Ferret Out and Cure Cancer.”

“We have family members who have been affected by cancer, and this is a simple way that we can show our support,” he said.

Kelly Barton, who is currently undergoing cancer treatment, is helping to create two bras this year—one for her employer, Timber Products Company, and the other on behalf of the “My Breast Friends 5K,” a community event she organized in June to raise funds for OCF.

“It’s not just the financial assistance that OCF provides that is so important. It’s knowing that the foundation is there to help in other ways, though its Survivorship Series and classes,” she said. “If you’re not sure where to find resources, they will help you with that. And that’s huge when you’re dealing with cancer.”

As a cancer survivor, Laura Winner said she’s touched by the community’s involvement in Bras for Cause.

“We all know somebody who’s being affected by this disease. And, for the community to come out and support that, they’re saying, ‘Hey, we’re here for you. We’re here to support you on your journey,’ and I think that’s amazing,” she said.

Coming up next
Now that all the bras have been created for this year’s Bras for Cause fundraiser, it’s time to rally the community to vote for their favorites. Voting happens Oct. 1 – 31 online at $1 = 1 vote and you can vote as many times as you’d like.

Creations revealed
Come see all the colorful bra entries on display at the annual Reveal Party at Dandelions Flowers & Gifts on Monday, Oct. 1. This event is free to attend and fun for the whole family.

Don’t miss the fun finale
Bras for Cause culminates with the Girls Night Out celebration. Grab your girlfriends and celebrate at this woman-inspired event and enjoy dinner, music, a silent auction, games and a fashion show, featuring local cancer survivors.

  • When: Friday, Nov. 2, 6 p.m.
  • Where: Venue 252 at 252 Lawrence St., Eugene
  • Tickets: $50/each. Tickets available at

Haylee Hardin, Kelly Barton and Laura Winner, along with seven other survivors, will be featured in the Girls Night Out fashion show. Through it all, the ups and the downs, these women exude a positive attitude and inspirational strength that they hope to share with others.

“Every day is a gift, and going through cancer has helped me see that,” Haylee said. “Now, I want to do what I can to show other survivors that they don’t have to do this alone. There’s help available through Oregon Cancer Foundation.”


Breast cancer survivor Haylee Hardin works on her Bras for Cause entry.


Kurt Petersen models his bra creation, titled “Ferret Out and Cure Cancer.”


Survivor Kelly Barton and friends pose with her “My Breast Friends 5K” bra.


The Breast Care Team at Northwest Surgical Specialists create their bra, worn by survivor Charity Crosby.