CanCare News

August News from CanCare

Dear CanCare Family,

As the summer sun sets and a new school year begins, we find ourselves reflecting on our purpose and mission at CanCare. We remain determined to provide unwavering support, empathy, and understanding to those facing the challenges of cancer.

This year, we are on track to match more clients than ever before! Change and growth can be daunting, but together, we have the courage and optimism to tackle it head-on.

Our volunteers, donors, and clients are the driving force behind our progress, creating a space where empathy flourishes and hope is rekindled. Thank you for being a part of our journey. Let's strive towards the mission that unites us all!

Warmest wishes,

Darcie Champagne Wells

President and CEO, CanCare Caregiver Volunteer

Coping with Cancer - Together

By: Kris Kerlin, Director of Mission Impact

At a time when many people are going on vacation and enjoying summer adventures, coping with cancer can feel particularly lonely.  If your summer “plans” include a cancer journey – you are not alone.  CanCare volunteers are available for 1:1 support and online support groups can connect you with others dealing with cancer.

Just knowing that you don’t have to do this alone can be a tremendous boost  - sharing the load helps to lighten it.  Volunteers, you know the challenges of cancer, you have experience coping with it and you want to help others deal with it – Thank you!

For a full list of ideas for coping with cancer, generated by our CanCare volunteers – click HERE. For more ideas please request a CanCare volunteer, or join us for an online support group,

Happy Birthday, Anne Turnage!

Happy Birthday, Anne Turnage!

On this special day, we celebrate not only the passing of another year but also the incredible journey you've undertaken. Your vision, dedication, and unwavering commitment have led to the creation of CanCare, a beacon of hope for countless cancer survivors. As you blow out the candles, remember that each flicker represents a life touched, a heart uplifted, and a spirit renewed through the work of CanCare.

"It is a blessing to live this long to see what CanCare has done for thousands of cancer survivors." These words resonate deeply as they encapsulate the profound impact you've had on countless lives. Your compassion and resilience have paved the way for a brighter future, one where cancer survivors find solace, strength, and camaraderie through your remarkable organization.

May your birthday be as radiant as the smiles you've brought to those you've touched. Here's to you, Anne, a visionary, a trailblazer, and a true inspiration. May the years ahead continue to be filled with joy, health, and the fulfillment of seeing your vision thrive.

Happy 96th Birthday, with gratitude and admiration!

Volunteer Spotlight

By: Daniella Martinez

Meet Sarah, a CanCare volunteer from Hudsonville, a small town in Western Michigan.

After attending business college in NYC, Sarah moved to Chicago and met her soulmate, Gus. Now they've made their home in Houston, TX, closer to Gus' family.

In 2012, Sarah's life took an unexpected turn when she was diagnosed with Appendix Cancer. Fortunately, she found the support and treatment she needed at MD Anderson, one of the few medical centers in the US treating this rare disease.

Through CanCare, she was able to connect with fellow survivors who provided comfort, shared experiences, and answered her questions. Driven by her desire to help others facing the same illness, Sarah now works as a Patient Service Coordinator at MD Anderson.

In addition to volunteering with CanCare, Sarah enjoys swimming, engaging in various community services, and indulging in a good movie in her free time. Sarah believes that CanCare offers an invaluable service in today's world. The ability to connect with someone who has gone through a similar diagnosis is truly priceless, both for those facing a devastating diagnosis and for herself.

We are so grateful for Sarah and all that she has done to make a positive difference in the lives of those affected by cancer!

Introducing the Fabulous CanCare Class 119!

Know Someone Who Would Make A Good Volunteer?

Know Someone Who Would Make A Good Volunteer?

Our online training allows people to become volunteers from all over the country.  Class 119 had participants from seven different states over three time zones!

If you know someone who you think would be a good volunteer, invite them to join us for our Introduction to CanCare Volunteer Information Session to learn more about the CanCare family, ask questions, and hear directly from our volunteers.  We would love for them to join the CanCare family and make a positive impact on our cancer community!


June News from CanCare

CanCare Family,    

June holds a special significance in our hearts as we come    together to honor and celebrate National Cancer Survivors Month.

At CanCare, we have the privilege of witnessing cancer    survivors' remarkable strength, resilience, and determination every day.    Your stories of triumph over adversity serve as beacons of hope, inspiring    us to continue our mission of providing unwavering support to those    affected by cancer.

National Cancer Survivors Month is a time for us to reflect    on the journeys we have witnessed and the countless lives that have been    touched by our CanCare family. It is a moment to acknowledge our incredible    progress in advancing cancer care and to recognize the indomitable spirit    that fuels the fight against this disease.

To all the survivors, volunteers, caregivers, and supporters    who form the tapestry of our CanCare family, I extend my deepest gratitude.    Your dedication, compassion, and unwavering support are the heart and soul    of our organization. Your willingness to lend a listening ear, offer a    comforting embrace, and walk alongside those navigating the difficult path    of cancer is nothing short of extraordinary.

Thank you for being an integral part of the CanCare family,    for making a difference, and for reminding us all that there is strength in    unity. May this National Cancer Survivors Month be a source of inspiration    and a testament to the power of the human spirit.

With gratitude and admiration,

Darcie Champagne Wells
President and CEO
CanCare Caregiver Volunteer

Sharing Survivorship - National Cancer Survivors Month

By: Kris Kerlin

There is power in sharing your experiences with others, particularly when you have had an experience that someone else is just beginning. CanCare is founded on the power of sharing survivorship. In hospital treatment centers, patients light up when they realize the person they are visiting with is a cancer survivor or someone who has been on the cancer journey as a care giver. On the other end of the phone, volunteers listen empathetically, having experienced their own cancer journey. CanCare volunteers are symbols of hope. “Hope on feet”, as our lifetime board member Pat Hogan-Korge taught us.

During this month of National Cancer Survivors Month it has been a true honor to be out in the cancer community sharing the news of CanCare, celebrating survivors and those who love them, in hospitals around the city, churches around the country and synagogues. It has been a time of reconnecting with volunteers and community partners and introducing CanCare to people who didn’t know that there is emotional support available and that they don’t have to go through cancer alone. 

Eachof you reading this has a connection to cancer. You have some journey ofsurvivorship to share. Please let people who need us, know aboutus. Share your own journey and let them know about CanCare. Our brand new CanCare website is a good way to introduce CanCare tosomeone. We also have brochures and a postcard available to help you shareCanCare with your workplace, doctor’s office, church, synagogue, or anyonetouched by cancer that you can find HERE.  Wedo not want anyone to go through cancer alone and many people facing cancerstill do not know they have a choice.

Together, we are bringing hope and healing to the cancer community.

Please share your survivorship story with us at CanCare. Send us an email at to let us know what being a survivor or supporting a survivor as a caregiver means to you.

Volunteer Spotlight

By: Daniella Martinez

For National Cancer Survivors Month this year we are honoring our volunteer Mike Deitch, who is a brain cancer survivor of over 60 years. He embodies perseverance and is incredibly vibrant with our clients. Here is a bit about him:

Mike grew up in Long Island, New York. He works in sales and is a musician. Outside of volunteering for CanCare, he is an avid reader. Currently he is enjoying "A Gathering of Angels" by Moris B. Margolis.

Mike doesn’t exactly remember how he heard about CanCare, but he does remember the feeling of wanting more people to know that cancer does not mean it's over. He believes that CanCare helps people to grow and unify, "Our common welfare comes first", he shares. When asked what he felt the gift was that cancer gave him he expressed “True awareness and amazement. Not only about what has been achieved regarding treatment but realizing at depth a spiritual connection. As said in recovery, my 'Higher Power' is not cancer. The love, devotion and efforts from God, family, friends, and practitioners is what was and still is given. I know I am part of this as well.”

Thank you Mike for all that you are and do for our clients! You are wonderful and we are lucky you are a part of the CanCare family.

UPCOMING: Virtual Information Session

Welcome to the CanCare Team - Lauren

The CanCare Family is excited to announce Lauren Hamilton has joined our team as a Project Manager! Lauren is excited to further our mission of ensuring anyone facing cancer has a survivor by their side. In her new role, Lauren will lead and manage a variety of technology, strategy, and business operations projects across the organization.

Prior to joining CanCare, Lauren served as Chief of Staff at Perry Homes where she became well versed in leading mission critical projects for the executive team. She also helped support the Perry Homes Foundation while serving in her role. She spent six years as a management consultant before joining Perry Homes, where she built and honed her project management skills.

Welcome to the CanCare Team - Beatrice

The CanCare Family is excited to announce Beatrice Arbuckle has joined our team as our new Client & Volunteer Relations Specialist! Beatrice looks forward to bringing new perspectives and fresh ideas to further our mission of ensuring anyone facing cancer has a survivor by their side. In her new role, Beatrice will help make impactful connections between clients, volunteers, and our health care systems.

Beatrice has served in non-profit organizations for over ten years and has a passion for bringing hope to others. She graduated from Houston Baptist University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology, and she currently serves as the Youth Ministry Chair at her church. Prior to joining the CanCare team, she worked for a local credit union as a client relations specialist. Beatrice believes CanCare’s purpose & mission aligns with the impact that she strives to make in her community and the world.

Online Support Groups

We offer online support groups for cancer survivors and caregivers every month.

Find the right group for you on our events page. Click the link below for more info:

Support Group Info

May News from CanCare

CanCare Family,

As we prepare for the observance of Memorial Day, we lift up the brave men and women who have fought courageously for our country and thank them for the freedoms they have afforded us!

We are grateful for the freedom and privilege to dedicate our time and talents every day to serving our cancer community!

In May, we also observe Mental Health Awareness Month. CanCare is dedicated to supporting the mental and emotional health of those facing cancer by providing a survivor by their side. In this issue, we include tips on handling the emotions of cancer.

We want to extend our deepest gratitude to all the incredible individuals who made the 29th Annual Survivorship Luncheon this month an extraordinary success! From our generous sponsors and honorees, to our dedicated volunteers and attendees, each of you played a vital role in the success of the event and our mission to provide a survivor by the side of anyone facing cancer.

Together, we are fostering a community of strength, resilience, and HOPE. Thank you for your incredible support!

Darcie Champagne Wells

President and CEO

CanCare Caregiver Volunteer

2023 Hope Survivorship Luncheon

May 10, 2023 | River Oaks Country Club - Houston, TX

Huge thanks to our incredible supporters and congratulations to our phenomenal honorees for the 29th annual CanCare, Inc. HOPE Survivorship Luncheon!

Chaired by Stephanie Tsuru with Honorary Chair Frank Tsuru, the event raised a record $425,000 for CanCare's mission to provide a survivor by the side of anyone facing cancer!

At center stage for this year's event were Honorees:

Roslyn Bazzelle Mitchell, Community Honoree

Dr. Esmaeil Porsa, Healthcare Honoree

John L. Nau, III, Survivor Honoree

The event culminated with a moving interview with Ashley Dedmon- cancer previvor, advocate, author and speaker.

We thank everyone who had a roll in making the event a phenomenal success, providing critical funds for CanCare's mission to provide a survivor by the side of anyone facing cancer!

What Is Emotional Support?

By: Kris Kerlin

People sometimes find it difficult to understand 'emotional support'. There are few places where we can focus on the emotional part of ourselves and fewer where we can learn about emotions, how to identify them, express them and manage them.

CanCare is a safe zone for emotions and a place where you can be as you are – mad, sad, glad, afraid, or any other emotion. Emotional support looks like listening with the heart, hearing the feelings underneath the words and extending non-judgmental empathy.

As we celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month this May, allow yourself to attend to the emotional part of yourself. Reach out for support, express your feelings, share them with someone who will listen and wants to understand, a CanCare volunteer. Give support, attend to feelings in yourself and others, be kind and empathetic, make yourself a safe place for someone else.

To join the CanCare family please consider becoming a volunteer. Join us for our Information Session on June 5, at 5PM Central Time to learn more about the CanCare family. Click HERE for more information!

Click HERE for a handout on 'Dealing with Emotions'.

Volunteer Spotlight

By: Daniella Martinez

This May we are highlighting a generous and caring volunteer that has a true heart for caregiving, Sharon Kimble-Kramchack. Sharon was a caregiver to her husband who survived stage 4 lymphoma and is also a CanCare volunteer. Here she is sharing a bit about herself and what makes her so unique:

"I was born and raised in San Antonio, TX and moved to Houston to finish my degree and became an accountant/tax analyst. When I am not taking on CanCare clients to support, I enjoy cycling and sewing.

We learned about CanCare after my husband's first cancer diagnosis from two of his co-workers who were involved with CanCare. Cancer taught me and my husband what really matters in life. We lose too much time worrying about things that don't really matter. Cancer teaches you to prioritize and move forward on items that really matter.

I wish that other people knew that CanCare is here to help the patient as well as the survivor. So many times, people have a large circle of friends, but they or their friends do not know how to reach out and speak to them regarding their illness, or how to be a caregiver for a loved one dealing with cancer. We at CanCare have firsthand experience! No matter your type of cancer; if you are personally fighting this disease, odds are there is a CanCare Survivor who can speak directly to you about your illness. A lot of people can listen, the CanCare Survivors can RELATE. There are also CanCare Caregivers who are ready and willing to speak to the new caregiver about how to take care of their loved one."

Sharon is a fierce champion of the CanCare mission, and we are blessed she is a volunteer for our clients. Thank you for all you do!

UPCOMING: Virtual Information Session

Welcome Volunteer Class 117

Last month we welcomed 16 new volunteers from class 117 to the CanCare family! Welcome new volunteers to the CanCare Family!

If you are interested in joining us, click HERE to apply and register for one of the upcoming training dates.  

Online Support Groups

We offer online support groups for cancer survivors and caregivers every month.

Find the right group for you on our events page. Click the link below for more info:

Support Group Info

April News from Cancare

Hello CanCare Family!

As we celebrate CanCare's 33rd Birthday, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to each and every one of you for being a part of this incredible journey. Your unwavering commitment, dedication, and hard work have made CanCare a beacon of hope and strength for countless individuals and families who have been affected by cancer.

For more than three decades, CanCare has provided support, care, and comfort to those who needed it the most. Your tireless efforts have helped to ease the burden of cancer and have made a real difference in the lives of so many people, and for that, we are forever grateful.

Thank you for all that you do, and for your continued commitment to our mission. Together, we will continue to work towards our mission - to provide a survivor by the side of anyone facing cancer!

Darcie Champagne Wells
President and CEO
CanCare Caregiver Volunteer

CanCare 2023 Hope Survivorship Luncheon

At CanCare's Annual HOPE Survivorship Luncheon, we're reminded of the power of community and support in the face of cancer. Let's come together to celebrate and uplift our survivors and their caregivers, as well as those who courageously faced cancer and are no longer with us. We hope you will consider joining us on Wednesday, May 10th at River Oaks Country Club in support of CanCare’s mission of providing a survivor by the side of anyone facing cancer!

For more information on sponsorships and ticket prices click HERE!

Candle Lighting Ceremony

Every year at CanCare's annual Survivorship Luncheon, we light Candles of Hope in honor of those who have been impacted by cancer.

Please help us make this year's candle lighting ceremony special by lifting up the name(s) of those impacted by cancer you would like to honor. Their names will be scrolled during the candle lighting ceremony on May 10, 2023.

To submit your names, click HERE!

CanCare: Celebrating 33 Years

This month CanCare Inc. celebrated 33 years of serving the cancer community!

Founded in Houston in 1990, CanCare has provided personalized, emotional support to more than 25,000 cancer patients and caregivers; conducted more than 200,000 in-person visits in healthcare facilities; and trained more than 2,000 cancer survivors to provide personalized support to cancer patients and caregivers.

On April 12th we joined together with some of our wonderful volunteers, donors, and staff to celebrate the incredible impact and mission of CanCare to provide a survivor by the side of anyone facing cancer! Thank you to all who were able to join us as it made the event even more special and memorable. We appreciate your unwavering support and commitment to our cause of helping cancer patients and their families.

CanCare Volunteer Information Session

We are growing and looking for people to join our CanCare family. If you, or someone you know is a caregiver (loves someone who has cancer) or is a cancer survivor who is 6-12 months post-treatment, we would love for them to become a CanCare volunteer. We will have our next CanCare Information Session for people interested in learning more about volunteering at CanCare as a celebration of Survivor’s Day, on Monday, June 5 at 5PM Central time. Click HERE for more information and to RSVP!

Our next training is scheduled for July 20-21. Please click HERE to complete the volunteer application to find out more.

National Volunteer Appreciation Month

By: Kris Kerlin

Across this country April is celebrated as National Volunteer Appreciation Month. Established in 1991 by President George H.W. Bush who launched the 1000 Points of Light campaign, April is a celebration of the joy of people helping people and people giving of their time and talents to make a difference in the community.

We want to express our deepest gratitude to you, our CanCare family. CanCare is a special volunteer community because we are a survivorship community of people who have experience with a cancer journey. Not only do our volunteers have experience with cancer, but they freely and generously choose to offer that experience to others who are newly embarking on their own journey. When you’ve dealt with cancer, you don’t owe anyone anything and yet, our volunteers pay it forward and make something good come from something life changing. You are making a difference in the lives of people. Thank you so very much!

What started with one volunteer, one woman, Anne Turnage, a stage 4 colon cancer survivor, wanting to lessen the despair of the people she met while she was going through cancer, has become a national support to hundreds in its 33-year history.

It was an absolute delight to celebrate CanCare’s birthday at the place that it all began, Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church on April 12. Our first in-person volunteer event since the pandemic began, we had volunteers from class number 2 all the way through to the most recent class 116 represented among the guests. Thank you for coming together!  

Volunteer Spotlight

by Daniella Martinez

This April, in honor of testicular cancer awareness, we are highlighting our volunteer, Scott Ruse. He is a 24-year testicular cancer survivor who is new to the CanCare family and is always willing to take on a new client. Scott shares a little more about his background and what makes him such a special part of us.

"I was born and raised in Boulder, Colorado. I graduated from the University of Colorado and I am currently the Chief Financial Officer for a global forestry company managing land and manufacturing in 8 locations around the world supplying wood products globally.

When I’m not volunteering for CanCare I love spending time with their kiddos. I have a son who is a recent college graduate, a 14-year-old boy, and an 8-year-old girl. Aside from family, I love playing golf, mountain bike riding, and traveling.

I stumbled into CanCare because I had served as a client mentor for Boulder Community Hospital's Oncology wing 20 years ago and perhaps with the onset of Covid, it was heavy on my heart to again give back, support, and just be with so many that needed it. I had to wait for Covid to pull back before I could start looking around. I was drawn to CanCare by their mission and the staff dedication. That stood out to me. Just the sheer amount of love and care that comes from the entire organization. The approach that they are there to serve drives their efforts. The resources and volunteer staff bring out the best in CanCare's mission, vision, and values.

A gift that cancer gave to me was that I was able to step back and really examine who I was and who I wanted to be - personally, professionally, and spiritually. The realization that this battle was a clear reminder no one is guaranteed tomorrow. It's what you make of right now that shapes who you will be because of this journey and what powerful impact you can have with others."

Thank you Scott for all that you are and do for our clients! You are wonderful and we are lucky you are a part of the CanCare family.

In Memory and Celebration

Beloved Cancare volunteer, Shirley Ebow passed away on March 5, 2023. Shirley joined CanCare in 2014 as a stage 4 breast cancer survivor. During her time as a CanCare volunteer she supported many through 1:1 support and the Stage 4 Support group.

Shirley will be remembered for her sweet disposition and gentle spirit. She will be deeply missed.

CanCare Brochures are available to print!