CancerForward Rolls Out New Free National Program to Connect Cancer Survivors
CancerForward: The Foundation For Cancer Survivors today announced the creation of ConnectToForward, a fundamental initiative of the Foundation’s three-prong mission to connect, educate and share information among cancer survivors through its website, cancerforward.org. ConnectToForward is a national outreach and partnering program developed to introduce CancerForward’s virtual cancer survivor community to constituents of the 300 U.S. nonprofit cancer-related organizations and the after-treatment patients of theNational Cancer Institute’s 65 designated cancer centers and other national leaders in cancer care.
On April 1, 2011, CancerForward will roll-out the new program, making available to cancer survivors, caregivers and healthcare professionals free memberships to The Survivor Network on CancerForward. Funded by The Dan L. Duncan Family, The Survivor Network is a unique online platform that provides survivors and caregivers a virtual community to connect and share experiential information.
“Many cancer organizations do not fully-address the needs of cancer survivors, their family, friends and caregivers beyond delivery of a last treatment,” said CancerForward volunteer founder, Beth Sanders Moore. “By partnering with CancerForward, those organizations can at no charge, immediately offer their patients a quality option to plan and begin cancer rehabilitation.”
Moore continued, “Because CancerForward is virtual, we can serve anyone in the world. We recognize we may be supplemental to existing bricks and mortar survivor support communities. We know that for survivors and groups of survivors limited by geography and budgets, we will be their initial or primary support group resource.”
ConnectToForward is the first step in the integrative partnering process. Once in community forums on CancerForward, survivors can find or create support groups, exchange experiences and seek information from leading health, wellness and rehabilitation experts.
Website content includes articles and help tips developed by leading cancer rehabilitation experts from across the U.S. It also includes editorial features about high-profile cancer survivors, considered by the medical community a valuable tool for dispelling myths about cancer and stimulating open-communication among traditionally-reticent survivor populations.
“Cancer survivors and their families need to be able to communicate with someone who has been through the same illness they have faced,” stated Randa Duncan Williams on behalf of The Dan L Duncan Family which underwrote ConnectToForward. “They need a resource to help answer questions and provide current, unbiased information. CancerForward does that and our family is proud to be a part of its growth.”
In line with its new ConnectToForward initiative, CancerForward has recruited as bloggers on its website oncologists who are preeminent cancer survivorship and rehabilitation experts familiar to its prospective partners. Among them are Dr. Julie Silver, assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and co-founder of Oncology Rehab Partners, an innovative healthcare company breaking new ground in the field of after-cancer care. Also joining CancerForward as a contributing writer and blogger is Michael J. Fisch, MD, MPH, Chairman of the Department of General Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
CancerForward board chair, Stewart Smith emphasized the unique ability of CancerForward to facilitate its planned initiative, ConnectToForward. “The quality, speed and sophistication with which CancerForward can distribute resources to an infinite number of survivors are rooted in the sophistication of The Survivor Network. We have been able to achieve momentum in our program delivery because of the foresight and financial support of The Dan L. Duncan Family.”
Smith continued, “Our capacity nine months into existence also reflects the visionary leadership of Beth Sanders Moore, 20 years a studied and respected national advocate for cancer prevention and survivorship issues. For cancer survivors, the CancerForward site is now functionally-equivalent to the offerings of the American Cancer Society, LIVESTRONG ® and the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship. We intend to continue molding CancerForward to our users’ needs. We are confident of the long term significance of ConnectToForward.”
CancerForward’s announcement today follows the recent bellwether report on cancer survivorship statistics and instructive projections issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI). That report states the number of cancer survivors in the United States is increasing by hundreds of thousands a year, and now includes roughly one in 20 adults. Further, it advises the immediate need for the development and implementation of programs to provide optimal care and support for all cancer survivors.
Tags: cancer survivors, CancerForward, ConnectToForward, Dan L. Duncan Family, Dr. Julie Silver, Michael J. Fisch MD MPH, National Cancer Institute, Randa Duncan Williams, The Foundation For Cancer Survivors, The Survivor Network, U.S. Centers for Disease Control