HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The numbers are stark. An astounding three out of every four U.S. families include one family member diagnosed with cancer. Worldwide, 28 million people – more than 12 million people in the U.S. alone – are now living with cancer. While the survivor population continues to grow, few public resources exist to promote the exchange of education and experiential information among survivors. After years of championing the cause, Beth Sanders Moore, a nationally recognized cancer-related fundraiser and advocate for the development of cancer survivorship support, announces the launch of CancerForwardTM: The Foundation for Cancer Survivors. Cancer co-survivors Albert G. “Bo” Bothe, Jr. of Houston and Brian Cruver of Austin join Moore as co-founders of the organization.
CancerForward is dedicated to connecting, educating and sharing information among cancer survivors at no charge, first, virtually, and eventually, through programs at healthcare institutions and community organizations. Like no other not-for-profit currently in existence, CancerForward will offer a highly integrated web-based networking and educational resource that exclusively supports cancer survivors, including those in remote areas without access to support.
“Surviving cancer has now become an expectation, rather than a delusion, for millions of patients. As a cancer survivor, I’ve learned that life after cancer is more than just surviving and is drastically different than before the diagnosis. That is why an organization like CancerForward is so essential,” said Dr. Andrew C. von Eschenbach, former director of the National Cancer Institute and former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. “This opportunity to share experiences, learn from others, raise issues, and obtain accurate information can be a crucial ingredient in adapting to this life-changing and live-saving experience. Through the power of the internet, cancer survivors can now engage with others on more personal level.”
CancerForward acknowledges and addresses the lifelong effects of cancer to not only those living with the disease, but also to those surrounding them. Its broad-brush definition of cancer survivors – now the conventional medical norm – is comprised of those living with, through and beyond cancer diagnosis, along with family members, friends, and caregivers. CancerForward’s mission has been embraced by a prestigious group of community and philanthropic leaders from across the U.S. tapped to guide its boards of directors and advisors.
“Cancer survivorship can be an isolated, dark place,” said Beth Sanders Moore, founder of CancerForward. “Once treatment stops, many survivors have no means to access and share information about physical, emotional or practical issues. With the launch of CancerForward, we intend to facilitate and support information exchange among and for cancer survivors. By providing the platform for survivors to connect, become better educated and share information, CancerForward is building and nurturing a community that will always be there for survivors.”
CancerForward’s website technologies will include multiple highly integrated social platforms which will support the interactive exchange of information within survivorship communities comprised of individuals with matching interests. Rich content, articles and videos will provide additional education and support. Available 24/7, the CancerForward site gives those who wish to remain anonymous a safe haven to participate in support groups or in communities of survivors in similar situations.
To ensure editorial integrity and relevancy of web-based content, CancerForward has recruited a diverse 30-member national advisory board that includes survivors, physicians, nurses, social workers, psychosocial oncology experts, health and wellness experts, theologians and medical health writers.
The advisory board includes former Texas Governor Mark White, celebrated chef Robert Del Grande, author and pastor Suzette T. Caldwell, New York fashion designer Carmen Marc Valvo, and investment advisor David Solomon, all of whom are cancer survivors. Also serving are Bobby Kapur, MD, MPH, of Baylor College of Medicine and Dr. Massimo Christofanilli of Fox Chase Cancer Center. Medical writers include Boston physician, author and chief editor of Harvard Health Publications, Julie Silver, MD − a cancer survivor herself − as well as Elizabeth T. Peabody, LMSW, a psychosocial therapist at New York’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Rabbi David Lyon and The Reverend Dr. Russell J. Levenson, Jr. will join Pastor Caldwell in providing guidance on spiritual needs of cancer survivors.
The formal announcement follows closely on the heels of National Cancer Survivors Day, a worldwide celebration of life held annually each June in hundreds of communities. As CancerForward matures, it will award grants supporting educational and resource survivorship programs at healthcare institutions and community-based organizations throughout the U.S. In this capacity, CancerForward will encourage clinical surveys and research studies to promote the development of new interventions and best practices in the field of cancer survivorship.
CancerForward: The Foundation for Cancer Survivors is a public charity whose mission is to connect, educate and share information among cancer survivors, empowering them to improve their day-to-day lives.
CancerForward will utilize a variety of web-based communication and social networking technologies to build interactive communities of individuals with similar interests in cancer survivorship. CancerForward will be the primary non-profit support and information resource for cancer survivors from the moment of diagnosis through all stages of treatment, recovery and beyond. Addressing survivors of all ages and all cancer types, CancerForward also exists as a source of non-profit funding for local cancer support programs within health care institutions and community-based organizations throughout the U.S. More information about the organization can be found at www.cancerforward.org.