Aug 2021



At Fran’s Place we know the importance of a “cancer support community” to each cancer patient we serve, and to their family members and caregivers as well.  A good support community comes together like a family, helping the cancer patient to face the overwhelming emotions that a cancer diagnosis brings. In addition to facing emotional, physical, and lifestyle challenges, the cancer patient  may need help dealing with the side effects from treatment, transportation and accompanying to medical appointments, finding and organizing essential information, dealing with insurance companies and the enormous amount of paperwork associated with it, suggestions on how to improve or simplify personal responsibilities and care routines, like medication and doctor schedule calendars, even simple things like household chores, shopping for groceries, and  meal deliveries. The patient’s family members also need support, adjusting to the emotional struggle, increased responsibilities and the disruptions in the family routine.

Good support can have a profound effect on maximizing the patient’s quality of life and minimizing stress and distress.

Sometimes the people closest to a cancer patient don’t know what to do, or how to be supportive. They are sad and frustrated for their friend or family member, and the sadness, shock and frustration can immobilize them. Becoming a supporting part of the cancer patient’s community takes courage, initiative, and strength. Some of the most important and useful qualities needed by a cancer patient include: being a good listener, taking initiative to be available and to do things before you are asked to, providing companionship and encouragement. Some of the best things to say are: “I’m here for you to help and support you in any way I can; you are not alone.”

Fran’s Place helps cancer patient, family members, and caregivers by providing no-charge counseling services. Just like the community surrounding a cancer patient, the Fran’s Place community comes together to support us. All of our internal functions (like accounting, day-to-day operations, marketing, web site, media management, etc.) are performed by volunteers at no charge to the Center. Our recent Walk-a-Thon fundraiser is also a great example of our community coming together. Because we could not safely plan an in-person Monte Carlo Gala fundraiser this year, we created the Walk for Frans Place to give people a chance to join together, support us, and participate in helping us make a difference in the lives of cancer patients and their family members.

Here are some of the things our walker/volunteers said about their motivation to help Fran’s Place:

  • “After losing my dad to cancer, I found The Center for Cancer Counseling, and I quickly fell in love with its mission of providing a safe home where cancer patients and their families could receive education, recovery tools, and the steps to reenter their lives. I knew this was the non-profit for me.  Fran and the team are some of the most amazing people I have ever met. Their hearts and intentionality for those they counsel is something to be admired. The foundation they are setting for families now and for the future will play a life-changing role in finding a sense of peace in the chaos of cancer.”
    • Fran’s Place Board Member, survivor of loss of parent to cancer.
  • “Fran’s Place gave me counseling services while I was going through my own cancer treatments. Dr. Baumgarten and her team helped me as a mother with very young children at the time, to handle the emotional, mental and physical toll cancer took on my body and my family. They were there for the long haul, giving me and my family hope about life after cancer as well. I want to see them reach more patients and families.”
    • Fran’s Place Volunteer, cancer survivor.
  • “As I think of the people I’ve lost to cancer, and those who have survived cancer, I know that those who received therapy were able to better cope, reduce stress, and achieve a higher quality of life.”
    • Fran’s Place Volunteer, survivor of loss of parent to cancer.

Forming a community that works for the good of the patient, and for the good of a non-profit organization, are keys to success for both.

UPDATE: The Walk for Frans Place had 21 Walker/Volunteers, 143 donors, and raised almost $21,000!!  Thanks to everyone for this great success.  We awarded Amex gift cards and a restaurant gift card in a raffle drawing for donors, and much to our surprise, the winners donated the Amex gift cards back to us!  What a generous support community we have.

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