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ASTRO selects 2 California cancer patient support organizations to receive Survivor Circle grants

Fairfax, Va., August 26, 2014The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) has selected two California-based cancer patient support groups, Kids Konnected and the Breast and Gyn Health Project, to receive ASTRO's 2014 Survivor Circle grants. Each organization will receive $8,500 to recognize their efforts and provide direct support for their organization's work assisting cancer patients and their families. The two organizations will also be featured in the Survivor Circle at the ASTRO Resource Center during ASTRO's 56th Annual Meeting, September 14-17, 2014, in San Francisco's Moscone Center. Since its inception in 2003, ASTRO's Survivor Circle has provided more than $250,000 to patient support organizations nationwide.

"These two organizations, Kids Konnected and the Breast and Gyn Health Project, demonstrate the importance of providing support to our patients and their families and caregivers," said Bruce G. Haffty, MD, FASTRO, president of ASTRO's Board of Directors. "ASTRO is proud to recognize and to support these organizations' efforts and to promote their work to our Annual Meeting attendees. ASTRO applauds their dedication to supporting the cancer community through their programs."

Based in Laguna Hills, California, Kids Konnected's mission is to provide friendship, understanding, education and support for children and teens who have a parent with cancer or who have lost a parent to cancer. The organization's programs include age-appropriate support groups in several states, bereavement workshops and summer camps, cancer educational books available for purchase and "Hope" the Bear care packages mailed nationwide. Kids Konnected also offers support sessions for parents to give them the tools to help their children identify and cope with the emotional issues they are facing. Since its founding in 1993, the organization has distributed more than 2,750 care packages and served 25,000 children and teens through its support groups. Kids Konnected will use the Survivor Circle grant to serve approximately 40 clients through its Santa Cruz Support Group this year and to send care packages to children in the San Francisco Bay Area.

"The Survivor Circle grant will allow Kids Konnected the opportunity to reach our goal to reduce the negative effects experienced by families coping with a parent's cancer," said Jackie Bauer, executive director of Kids Konnected. "When a parent starts to see the positive effects Kids Konnected has on their child, there is a sense of relief and gratitude that comes over the parents. When a smile reappears on their child's face, that is the magic of Kids Konnected. We are thankful for ASTRO's Survivor Circle grant to help us continue to provide these important resources for children, teens and parents in California and across the country."

The Breast and Gyn Health Project (formerly the Humboldt Community Breast Health Project) provides a variety of information and support services for patients and families facing breast or gynecologic cancers. Based in Arcata, California, the organization has supported more than 2,300 people since its founding in 1997. The Breast and Gyn Health Project also offers four bi-weekly support groups for individuals with any kind of cancer, a community lending library with information on the clinical aspects of cancer and wellness, and assistance to help patients navigate the medical system. The Survivor Circle grant will help provide transportation for radiation therapy patients, lodging assistance and radiation therapy kits with information and tips for patients undergoing radiation treatment.

"In our rural community, people sometimes travel two hours or more over treacherous, long and winding mountain roads to receive their cancer treatment. People facing cancer who do not have reliable transportation or loved ones to drive them will sometimes opt to not get treatment," said Rose Gale-Zoellick, MSW, MPH, executive director of the Breast and Gyn Health Project. "We will use the Survivor Circle grant to offer transportation or housing support to patients facing challenges during their radiation therapy treatment. Thank you, ASTRO for supporting our efforts to provide hope to these cancer patients."


Contact: Michelle Kirkwood
American Society for Radiation Oncology

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