CancerCare®, the leading national nonprofit organization providing free, professional support services to anyone affected by cancer, and Amie’s Place Foundation, a New York not-for-profit corporate foundation, which is dedicated to funding no-fee programs to support people who may need help caring for their pets, risk losing them in times of crisis, or face barriers limiting access to their pets when they most need each other, are excited to announce a diverse array of educational resources available on the CancerCare website www.cancercare.org/paw to provide people undergoing cancer treatment who have pets with the critical information they need to care for themselves and their pets.
With a one-year grant from Amie’s Place Foundation for CancerCare’s Pet Assistance and Wellness Program, CancerCare has created educational fact sheets, videos, and a discussion guide for people with cancer, all of which will directly impact the lives of those living with cancer and their pets. In addition to funding educational resources, the support from Amie’s Place Foundation allowed CancerCare to form a panel of multi-disciplinary experts to collaborate with CancerCare to create these resources for people undergoing cancer treatment regarding how they may safely care for their pets.
Launched in 2019, the CancerCare Pet Assistance and Wellness Program currently provides financial assistance and related support services to those affected by cancer who face challenges related to caring for their pets. This helps to enable individuals undergoing treatment to keep their pets when they might otherwise be forced to give them up due to financial or practical challenges related to their cancer diagnosis.
Since its inception, the CancerCare Pet Assistance and Wellness Program has helped thousands of people undergoing cancer treatment continue to safely care for their pet and benefit from the special relationship they share. People undergoing treatment from cancer can also apply to receive assistance for pet-related expenses including pet food, vaccinations, veterinarian visits and more.
“We could not have been more delighted to work with Amie’s Place Foundation to provide this unique and innovative education resource for people with cancer who have pets. I know first-hand how important a furry friend can be during a cancer diagnosis,” says CancerCare’s Chief Executive Officer Patricia J. Goldsmith, who came up with the concept for the Pet Assistance and Wellness initiative after her own diagnosis. “Pets can clearly play a crucial support role to our clients as they undergo cancer treatment, and in fact we learned that 34% of CancerCare clients who received financial assistance from CancerCare’s PAW Program report living alone with only their pet for support and companionship. Thanks to Amie’s Place Foundation, our organization has been able to create easy-to-understand educational materials using the expertise of our panel of dedicated experts to help people undergoing treatment for cancer to help address their challenges related to caring for their pets.”
The esteemed panel of multi-disciplinary experts has included (among others) a veterinarian, a medical oncologist, a radiation oncologist and a master’s-level oncology social worker who have provided insights and guidance in the development of educational content that will address the ongoing needs expressed by clients.
The full list of panelists is: Fumiko Chino, MD, Radiation Oncologist, Memorial Sloan Kettering; Camille DeSantis, Executive Vice President, Group Head, Corporate & Biotech, Edelman; Rachel Herman, Executive Director, PAWS NYC (Pets are Wonderful Support); Haleigh Mistry, Physician Assistant, MD, Anderson Cancer Center; Sondra Oliver, DVM, Bayside Animal Medical Center; Victoria Puzo, LCSW, Clinical Supervisor and Online Support Group Program Director, CancerCare; Lidia Schapira, MD, Professor of Medicine (Medical Oncologist), Stanford University School of Medicine; and Connie Wong, DMV, Medical Education Librarian, Stanford University School of Medicine.