It’s the end of the year, when we think of gifts for the people who make a difference in our lives and donations for the organizations that are helping the world. This year, Dr. Jared Weiss and moderator Janine Thompson are chairing our Annual Appeal campaign. Here’s their letter that went out to our prior donors, but we’d also like to reach others who might consider a donation to help us provide the support and education that enables so many people to manage better with their cancer.
Dear Friends of GRACE,
“I wonder if you realise how you touch people’s lives” – Delialolly1
Imagine that you or a loved one has been newly diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. You meet an oncologist who tells you that the cancer is incurable, but is treatable. He then spends an hour describing your options, but all that you can think about as he talks is “incurable.” You return home confused and overwhelmed. Imagine now, if there were a lung cancer information source that explained the basics of lung cancer that you could review at your leisure. Imagine if it were written in plain English. Imagine if world experts wrote the content, so that you could trust it. You don’t need to imagine further—we are describing GRACE.
Now envision that you have a more complex question. You want to know about all this new molecular stuff that’s driving targeted therapy. Or, maybe you’ve even heard on the news about the newest results of a clinical trial that was reported at a major cancer conference. You’re a smart, educated person and you’ve made yourself an educated patient (or loved one)—you want to review the detailed results, but translated into lay English. Again, look no further—GRACE will be there with a podcast or post.
What if this new targeted agent gives you a rash that itches? You want information not only from a doctor, but also from others who have gone through it. Enter the GRACE community and forums. Here, you can post your question and will receive input from fellow patients, their caregivers, and even thoracic oncologists. For some patients, GRACE provides information that can be reassuring.
“…thank you …. For making this whole experience make more sense. I don’t think I would be doing very well right now if not for you and this site, and the great people who give their support”- Double Trouble
“I can’t tell you enough how much your help meant to us all. Without GRACE, my sister would not have had those three extra years which were so valuable to all of us” - Fortmyr
Often, GRACE offers additional options to think about that can directly improve your care. While other websites offer very general information, GRACE offers specifics (i.e., “Chemotherapy is the main treatment for advanced lung cancer. Your doctor may talk with you about this approach”). While other websites exist to subjectively sell particular treatments or cancer centers, GRACE is a non-profit organization whose only goal is to provide information as a means of improving the overall medical care for cancer patients.
When GRACE was founded in September of 2007, one lung cancer expert ran the site. Now, in 2012, almost every major international expert on lung cancer has contributed to GRACE. We are now expanding to serve other cancers further. Please spread the word, let everyone know that we’re here to help and interact with them. Last year, we tackled head and neck cancer and we introduced a new breast cancer blog. We’re now planning on launching a new blog on pancreatic cancer. But continuing to serve our current community, and extending to broader cancer communities, requires funding and your support to spread the word.
As a moderator and user of GRACE, and as a proud supporter and board member of GRACE, we are honored to serve as co-chairpersons of this year’s annual fundraising campaign. This is the one and only time a year that we push and ask people for support. The continuing support from individual donors allows GRACE to help the tens of thousands of cancer patients and caregivers that visit GRACE throughout the year. We absolutely need your help to accommodate this growth and continue helping people. Our goal is to raise $50,000 to bring in more expert oncologists to cover other different types of cancers, to improve the website and its functionality for visitors and users, and to increase the number of podcasts and our overall reach. Please consider supporting us by visiting us online at www.cancerGRACE.org/donate to donate securely. And help us reach out to those who you think would benefit from GRACE.
Dr. Jared Weiss
GRACE Board Member and Faculty
GRACE Moderator and Community Member