Tag Archives: practical support

Wellist’s Story

This is a guest blog post by Wellist, an online directory of 3,500+ (and growing) services in Boston.

The moment you or a loved one hears the news, time stops. No matter who you are, getting sick was not part of the plan. We know that with any kind of diagnosis, life can become more complicated. There are the obvious lifestyle complications, like appointments to get to, prescriptions to be filled, and symptoms to be monitored–the things that make up the “medical” part of a diagnosis.

But then there is the impact that being sick and dealing with a diagnosis has on one’s life. Tasks that once were easy, like picking up around the house, cooking a family dinner, or shoveling the steps after another snowy winter, suddenly are overwhelming. The to-do list can pile up, leaving patients and their families feeling flat out exhausted.

Every day, we see people shoulder this incredible burden without enough support. And we also know that person has their own journey, and their own unique needs. This is the reason Wellist, an online directory of 3,500+ (and growing) services in the Boston, exists. We also understand that in times of challenge, finances can be tight. Wellist is completely free to use thanks to our partners, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Quest Diagnostics.

We help young mothers who have just been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer find someone to watch their kids after school. We’ve helped men living alone to find someone to mow the lawn, and we’ve helped daughters who no longer live with their parents to make sure Mom and Dad are eating properly and that the house is kept clean. No matter what your story is, we have solutions to help.

We have spent months working with nurses, clinicians, and social workers from top healthcare providers, as well as patients and families, to create a directory of services to help those who are battling and recovering from illness. We provide recommendations and our users choose what’s helpful to them, whether it’s a financial assistance program to help with bills, or oncology-specific massages. With Wellist, users can set preferences for price range or location, and can then save those to their profile.

In addition to providing this directory, Wellist helps patients and their families find the support they need from people who care about them and want to help in a meaningful way. “I don’t want to ask my friends to clean my house but it’s what I really need,” is a phrase we hear over and over again. Friends and family want to help, but usually don’t know quite what to do. Wellist’s Wellistry, a shareable gift registry, allows patients to make a list of what services would be most helpful and a family member or that patient can share it with others who want to help.

Wellist’s team is deeply dedicated to the mission to make life easier for those undergoing health challenges. Every team member has come from a place where they have experienced the need for Wellist in their own lives. While our services primarily cover the greater Boston area, we are looking forward to partnering with even more healthcare providers, growing our team, and expanding our service range so that we are able to help as many as we can.

wellist-we'd love to help

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Meet Laura, a Cancer Support Helpline counselor

This is a guest blog post by the Cancer Support Community (CSC). 

Are you newly diagnosed with cancer and unsure of what to do next? Or a longtime survivor looking for new resources? CSC’s toll-free Cancer Support Helpline (1-888-793-9355) is available to help you navigate every step of your cancer journey. Professionals like Laura, one of the Helpline’s licensed mental health professionals, are equipped to help you find the support you need!

CSC spoke with Laura to learn more about how she got involved with the Cancer Support Helpline and how it makes a difference in the lives of people touched by cancer.

Laura-CSC-Helpline

Laura, a Cancer Support Helpline professional

CSC: How did you become so interested in the cancer experience?

Laura: I found my passion for oncology work when I did my internship for my Master’s in Social Work degree at the Cancer Support Community (then The Wellness Community) in 1999-2000. While co-facilitating support groups and working one on one with cancer patients and their support persons, I began to understand how enriching this work really is. I’ve worked in the field of oncology social work ever since.

CSC: What type of training did you receive to become a call counselor for the Helpline?

Laura: First of all, I had my Master’s in Social Work degree and am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I also have extensive experience in the field of oncology social work, including pediatric oncology, support group facilitation, program development and evaluation as a former Program Director, and hospice experience. Once hired, though, I went through a specific and intensive training to become a call center counselor. We continue to be trained on some of the more technical aspects of the job, but also learn more of the clinical pieces, as we continue to expand on the services that we provide (i.e. Distress Screening, Open to Options, etc.)

CSC: What services does the Cancer Support Helpline provide?

Laura: We provide support for callers, in general. What that looks like from one call to the next, though, may vary. Some people are looking for resources. We try to assess their needs and educate them about both national and local resources that they could benefit from. Others are just looking for someone to talk to and process with. While we do not provide ongoing intensive counseling, we can provide people with compassion and understanding and sometimes just talk them through a difficult moment and then try to link them to those resources that will help them in the long term.

Outside of the “general”, we also have some more specific things that we can provide for callers. We can offer distress screening, which is a brief tool that is done online and helps identify where people are experiencing the most difficulty. That allows the caller to have better insight about their own distress and also allows us to more appropriately intervene. We also can provide our Open to Options program to those who have an upcoming doctor’s appointment where they will be deciding on some aspect of their treatment. The Open to Options tool is designed to help “fine tune” their questions and help them feel more organized for their appointment, in hopes of maximizing the time they have with the doctor.

CSC: What are some of the most common questions you receive on the Helpline?

Laura: There isn’t a specific question, per se, that comes to mind. What’s common, though, is the underlying “theme” of the questions, which is often the idea of “normalizing.” People need to know that what they are experiencing is “normal.” That alone seems to decrease anxiety and the sense of isolation that people feel when going through cancer.

Sometimes even reframing their perceptions can be helpful. For example, someone may express feeling “depressed.” While this can be “normal” depression, it might also be grief. Sometimes it helps people to think about things in a different way that doesn’t seem as “diagnostic.”

CSC: What do you find most rewarding about working for the Helpline?

Laura: To me, it’s the fact that people share their story and feelings with me during such a difficult time. It’s also the fact that, whether it’s through sharing information, offering support, or just listening, I might have some sort of positive impact on a person’s cancer journey. In a nutshell…it’s the connection with people that’s most rewarding.

CSC: Can you tell us about a particularly rewarding moment from working on the Helpline?

Laura: It may sound simple, but the most rewarding thing was when someone said to me, “My anxiety level has decreased significantly after talking to you.” I think this statement underscores the importance of people having a place they can call into where they feel safe and where they feel heard.

CSC: What is your favorite piece of advice to give to those who call the Helpline?

Laura: One piece of advice that would apply to everyone would be to simply give themselves “permission.” Whether that’s permission to grieve the many losses that come with a cancer diagnosis, permission to ask a question multiple times until they really understand the answer, permission to feel OK about getting a second opinion, permission to care for themselves in a way they never have before (such as join a support group or set limits with others)….the list goes on. I think people begin to cope better when they give themselves “permission.”

CSC: Why is the Cancer Support Helpline so important?

Laura: Because it gives people access to information and support who might not otherwise have access to it, knowledge of it, or feel comfortable reaching out in person.

Hopefully we can not only educate people about resources, but also help to “normalize” what they’re feeling in such a way that it helps them feel OK about seeking out the support that can help them along the way.

CSC: Who should call the Helpline?

Laura: Anyone who is touched by cancer in any way.

About Cancer Support Community: The mission of the Cancer Support Community (CSC) is to ensure that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action and sustained by community. As the largest, professionally led nonprofit network of cancer support worldwide, the Cancer Support Community delivers a comprehensive menu of personalized and essential services including support groups, educational workshops and social activities for the entire family at more than 100 locations and online. To learn more, call the Cancer Support Helpline at 888-793-9355 and check out the CSC blog.

Cancer-Support-Helpline

 

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6 Things I Wish I’d Known About Cancer

This week’s blog post is by Robyn Stoller from CancerHawk. An inspirational blogger, patient advocate and “cancer matchmaker,” Robyn Stoller created Cancerhawk.com to guide people through the cancer experience and help them avoid the frustration she and her late husband went through while navigating his disease. Her relentless patient advocacy has helped to uncover hundreds of resources – ranging from financial and travel assistance to incredible survivorship and support networks to cutting-edge research that might benefit a particular person’s cancer.  She now shares this information and advice with others through Cancerhawk.com, connecting cancer patients and caregivers to a wealth of resources and organizations that offer assistance to anyone touched by cancer.  “You can’t Google something if you don’t know what you are searching,” she says. Robyn has also co-founded a nonprofit research organization, Peregrine Cancer Foundation.  You can connect with Robyn on Twitter and Facebook.

Wrapping your head around the fact that you or a loved one has cancer is no easy task. After my 46-year-old husband was diagnosed with a very rare and aggressive cancer in 2009, we were in a state of shock and paralyzed with fear. Nevertheless, we had to research treatment options, meet with doctors, schedule multiple surgeries and start chemotherapy all in a matter of days. Talk about overwhelming! Below are six things I wish we had known at the beginning of our cancer journey:

  1. Always, always get a second opinion. No ifs, ands or buts about it: When it comes to cancer, two heads are better than one. Second opinions will either confirm what you’ve already been told or present different options to weigh. Regardless, second opinions can help to reduce the chance of misdiagnosis and provide greater peace of mind. If the two opinions you’ve received differ, get a third one. Remember, it is a patient’s prerogative to speak with as many professionals as he or she chooses. If you’ve been diagnosed with a rare cancer, I urge you to also seek recommendations from doctors who specialize in that particular cancer.
  2. Be choosey. Being best friends with your doctor is not required. You don’t even have to like your doctor. But you do have to trust their care and feel comfortable talking to them about anything related to your health. If you don’t, find a new doctor immediately. For us, it was also important that our doctor be both a realist and an optimist. Eventually, we left our first oncologist for these reasons.
  3. Talk to your doctor about molecular profiling.Two people with the same cancer can and do respond differently to the exact same treatment regimens. Why? Because each person’s cancer is unique. Identifying unique genes, proteins and other molecules (called cancer biomarkers) can provide information about how your particular cancer functions and can be used to help identify potential treatment options. Molecular profiling is especially key if your doctor is choosing between multiple recommended treatments, or if your cancer is particularly aggressive or rare or has limited treatment options, or if your first-line treatment isn’t working. To learn more, visit MyCancer.com and IsMyCancerDifferent.com. Both sites have loads of helpful information on personalizing cancer treatments.
  4. Visit a dentist prior to starting cancer treatments. It’s important to see a dentist who really understands cancer before beginning treatment or as soon after diagnosis as possible. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy and immunosuppressive treatments like bone marrow transplants and stem cell transplants can exacerbate existing dental and oral problems, as well as create new painful and potentially dangerous ones like mouth sores, ulcers, infections, bleeding, etc. Dentists who are knowledgeable about cancer and its effects on oral health can help minimize these risks before they pose serious problems.
  5. Understand the goal of your cancer treatment. Make no assumptions when it comes to your health or treatment plan. Not all treatments for cancer are given with the intent to cure. Treatment can also be given to help prevent disease recurrence, to minimize symptoms of disease, or to simply prolong survival. Knowing the goal of your particular cancer treatment and the potential risks associated with that treatment will enable you to make the most informed decisions possible about your care.
  6. If you don’t know where to turn for help, talk to an oncology navigator. Until recently, I had no idea there existed professionals who can help a cancer patient navigate their way through this diagnosis. Oncology navigators are skilled in helping cancer patients overcome obstacles to treatment (financial challenges, insurance and employment issues, managing daily life, evaluating treatment options, etc.). They work to help patients get the best care possible. Where can you find an oncology navigator? Some hospitals and private oncology practices have an oncology navigator on staff. Another option is the LIVESTRONG Cancer Navigation Center, which provides free one-on-one support to anyone touched by cancer, regardless of age or type of cancer. The National Coalition of Oncology Nurse Navigators can also help connect patients to a free navigator in their area. Navigators are very helpful in uncovering resources that you may not know about otherwise.

Although I have no regrets in how we managed Alan’s care, I do wish we had fully understood the extent of what we were dealing with at the beginning of our cancer journey. I wish we had understood the importance of the six tips I wrote about above.

What do wish you had known at the beginning of your cancer journey?cancer-tips

You’re Not Alone. A Patient Advocate Can Help.

This week’s guest blog post is brought to us by the experts at Patient Advocate Foundation. Patient Advocate Foundation is a nonprofit providing professional case management services to those with life threatening and debilitating diseases by acting on behalf of the patient.

As most of us know, navigating the healthcare realm isn’t always easy. It can become especially difficult when a patient not only doesn’t know their options; they don’t even know where to begin. Often times when patients are diagnosed with a serious illness, they might not be familiar with available resources and payment avenues available to them.

That’s where a patient advocate comes in. Professional patient advocates support patients by working on their behalf to alleviate healthcare road blocks and barriers. Many professional

Professional Case Managers at Patient Advocate Foundation assist patients 8 AM-8PM EST Monday thru Friday.

Professional Case Managers at Patient Advocate Foundation assist patients 8AM-8PM EST Monday thru Thursday and 8AM-7PM EST on Fridays.

patient advocates specialize in a particular area of expertise, allowing them to further benefit the patient.  Patient advocates can be also found in the form of a caregiver, family member, or close friend who acts as a liaison on behalf of a patient dealing with healthcare issues. With the help of an advocate, patients and their families are able to focus primarily on the medical recovery process.

There are many different avenues an advocate can use to help a patient. By researching the specific skills and services offered by various advocates, the patient will be better informed in their decision to choose which private advocate or advocacy group is right for them.

Patient advocates will commonly help patients address healthcare barriers by:

  • Mediating payment options between patient and providers including debt reduction and payment plans,
  • Navigating complex healthcare processes like the insurance reimbursement system,
  • Exploring opportunities for drug coverage, including connecting patients with the appropriate resources,
  • Ensuring patients are informed about their employee rights as related to their healthcare,
  • Assisting with insurance appeal submissions after coverage is denied,
  • Providing educational resources regarding patient options,
  • Evaluating eligibility for various insurance coverage options for uninsured patients,
  • Matching patients with potential clinical trials applicable to them.

Depending on the advocate or advocacy group, there may occasionally be a fee associated with these services. Patients should ask the advocate up front how fees are calculated before using their services to avoid financial surprises and ensure a line of communication is open at the start of the relationship.  A good patient resource to consult before hiring a paid advocate is The Alliance of Professional Health Advocates or the Professional Patient Advocate Institute. The Alliance of Professional Health Advocates provides patients with the average cost when hiring an independent patient advocate or navigation service.  The Professional patient Advocate Institute provides a search tool to help you find private for-profit patient advocates in your local area.

Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) is another option to consider when searching for patient advocates. PAF helps those with cancer or other chronic, life threatening, or debilitating diseases with issues involving access to care, maintenance of employment and preservation of their financial stability.  By helping the patient navigate through their healthcare obstacles, they can maximize their physical and emotional well-being. All services are offered free of charge, and can be initiated by the patient, caregiver or even a patient’s provider.  PAF’s case managers are skilled mediators and assist patients of all ages, including pediatrics, no matter what insurance status they have, nor where they are located in the country.

No matter which option you choose, a patient advocate has the knowledge to guide you through complicated and difficult healthcare roadblocks. You are not alone in your fight. A patient advocate can help.

For more information about Patient Advocate Foundation please visit www.patientadvocate.org/gethelp or call toll free at (800) 532-5274.

PAF

 

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Got Oncology Social Work?

This blog post is by Ann Fairchild, LCSW and member of the Oncology Advisory Council for MyLifeLine.org.

The Oncology Advisory Council is comprised of professionals in the field of Oncology including Oncology Doctors, Nurses and Social Workers. This group provides advice and guidance on our program offerings to people affected by cancer, vets our cancer resources to ensure the information we are providing is from solid and appropriate resources and offer education  and awareness about the trends in the area of Oncology, so we may better serve the patients, friends and families using MyLifeLine.org.

“I wish I had known you were here sooner.” That was an oft heard heartbreaking message I heard from patients and family members as an Oncology Social Worker. Here is the deal: (start eerie music..) Oncology Social Work is shrouded in mystery in many cancer treatment centers. I could have neon posters, flyers and brochures promoting Oncology Social Work (OSW) services and they were too easily passed over for the medical information available in a resource room. That was my rude awakening when I was lucky to score a full-time job in a physician practice in Austin in the late 1980′s. Cancer treatment was just moving out of inpatient settings for many patients, and physicians discovered the need to have a Social Worker on site to address the issues that often fall through the cracks in a medical setting. I quickly developed a lot of humility recognizing that people were not at the oncology clinic to visit me! The much more urgent medical needs trumped my offerings for good reason.

Who needs an OSW, anyway?

At the risk of academic boredom, Social Work theory views a person within the multiple systems that define their lives. We view a person’s constitution as a result of their communities, homes, families, schools, spirituality, job status, financial situations, friends, etc. When making an assessment, a SW cannot separate a person from his/her environment. This is the most important distinction one can make about how a social worker can be of help in a medical setting. Cancer can devastate one’s life upon diagnosis. Even if a person is feeling well, most of the treatments they will undergo will create challenges in their day to day lives.

There are significant emotional reactions as well, for a patient and their loved one. There are practical concerns like managing to continue in ones role prior to diagnosis: Will I be able to work? Will I be able to take care of my children? Will I be able to stay in school? How will my family cope with my illness? How will my illness affect my financial situation? Will I be disabled? Will I be disfigured? Am I eligible for any support services? What if I cannot drive myself to treatment? What if I have no insurance? Should I apply for disability? Will my doctor discontinue treatment if I cannot pay? These are concerns that can be addressed by an OSW. As well, a good part of my practice is spending time with caregivers and loved ones of patients. Matter of fact, there was a consensus among the couples I worked with that posited that the cancer experience is harder on the caregiver/loved one than it is on the patient.

Can we talk about that Elephant in the Room?

“I am not satisfied with my doctor but I am afraid if I change doctors he/she will be mad.” “I intend to live to 100, but just in case, can we talk about what my disease will be like at the end?” “I want to create a legacy project for my infant daughter, should I not survive.” “My sex drive is on a road trip somewhere, how can I get it back?” “I am so exhausted, I am thinking of quitting treatment.” “Would you help me write my will and get power of attorney documents?” “My friends say I look great since finishing treatment…. Why don’t I feel so great?”

Oncology Social Workers are counselors. Most have a master’s degree in Social Work and a tremendous amount of expertise in therapy and counseling. Due to heavy caseloads, most OSW’s focus on brief format counseling and group work which is most compatible with people with cancer. The shock, anxiety, fear and grieving can be addressed by an OSW. Should more significant needs arise, your social worker can refer you to a professional in the community. Good news is that most OSW’s salaries are covered by the physician practice so there are no charges for OSW services.

OSW

One Day at a Time

Tricia, Post Author

When you are diagnosed with cancer, one of the first things you do is to try learn everything you possibly can about the heart-wrenching news you have received.  You have so many questions and you want the answers to all of those questions NOW.

What is a fine needle aspiration and core biopsy?  How much does it hurt (needle = pain!)?  How is a biopsy performed?  Will they use anesthesia?  What is pathology and what do all the results mean?  What does Stage 2B mean?  What is a lymph node?  How do cancer cells grow and more importantly, how do I stop them?  Did I cause the cancer?  What is a lumpectomy?  If I have surgery, will it get all of the cancer?  Will I need chemo?  If I do, will I be sick or lose my hair?  What is radiation?   What is a port?  Does it hurt when it is installed in your chest?  How is blood drawn from a port?  What??  There is a needle in your vein??

Then you start asking the even harder questions of yourself.  WHY ME? I have been kind, generous, loving and joyful.  I am a good wife, mom and friend. I have dreams to finish.   I want to see who my children will become.  I want to see them graduate, go to college, marry, raise a family, and experience the joy of grandchildren.  I want to retire with my husband, travel, spend time together after raising a family.  Will I die before my dreams come true?  Do I need to write down the “Bucket List” and start crossing things off TODAY?  Why did I wait to do the things that I always said I was going to do?

Cancer gives you more questions than answers.  My oncologist nurse, Tammy, gave me the best advice.  Tammy said to enjoy the things that I can, when I can and to take it ONE DAY AT A TIME.  She told me to not get ahead of myself or to insist that I know all of the answers immediately.   Pray, meditate, laugh, cry, research carefully, talk, love, hug, but most of all, one step, one day at a time.   Learning this helped me at doctor appointments, before and after surgeries, through chemo, radiation, reconstruction and even today, 4 years later as a “survivor”.  I always have the fear that my cancer will return but I don’t allow that fear to overwhelm me.  I accept that it will always be with me but I take it one day at a time, enjoying my life with my husband, my children as they grow, marry and bless us with grandchildren!

One day at a time.

 

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Tell Someone About MyLifeLine.org

Earlier this week we posted an article about social media and how it benefits cancer patients and their caregivers.

We put the article in our latest newsletter so you can forward it to anyone you know who has been affected by cancer. Check out our July Newsletter MyLifeLine.org’s July Newsletter and be sure tell a friend about MyLifeLine.org

 Tell a Friend about MyLifeLine.org

 There are many ways to share our service so that those affected by cancer can create an online support community and begin benefiting from the connections and inspiration.

  • On our homepage click on “Tell a Friend” in the bottom left corner. This will send them an email about MyLifeLine.org.
  • Forward this newsletter to them, so they can read the article mentioned above and learn about the benefits of social media.
  • Like us on facebook and share our page with your friends. On facebook we’ll post tips, event news, resources, and more
  • Follow us on twitter and you’ll find tips to help someone with cancer, event announcements from MyLifeLine.org and other cancer non-profits, resources for cancer patients, and much much more.

New Cancer Center Partner – Premiere Oncology Foundation

premiere oncology foundation

MyLifeLine.org is proud to partner with the Premiere Oncology Foundation to provide their patients with free, personal websites.

The Premiere Oncology Foundation (POF) provides services that address the physical, mental and emotional needs of patient and caregivers. In addition to individual and group counseling, POF’s programs include a full range of integrative medicine services. All of these services are not only provided for patients, family members and caregivers, but are open to the community at large.

We are here to serve our patients and our community. We believe every person who battles cancer is unique and must be treated as a whole person. We believe that every cancer patient deserves access to the best and most innovative treatments available. We believe in the science of research and the art of medicine. We are here to help cancer patients and their loved ones live their lives to the fullest. We believe in integrative medicine by providing patients with easy access to a complete range of support services. Most of all we believe in hope.  We will never ever give up the fight to find a cure. We are the Premiere Oncology Foundation.

While many other oncology centers provide some of these programs, POF is the only community-based center providing all these services in one centralized location, creating a continuum of care that is unique among local and national cancer centers. POF aims to provide a “single stop” experience for patients. Everything surrounding their care and treatment is conveniently located on one floor in one location, including a resource library, treatment rooms, hair solutions salon, workshop facilities, exercise facilities and counseling areas. A continuum of care is provided with a team of professional always accessible.

POF programs provide cancer patients with access to a full range of health care practitioners, and other oncology-related professionals that are unavailable in most practice settings. Access to these resources is vital to the health and welfare of these individuals.  

A panel of oncology experts comprised of Hematology & Oncology News & Issues’ editorial advisory board recently selected the Premiere Oncology Foundation as their HOPE(Hematology & Oncology Practice Excellence) award winner in the category of “Integration of Care.”  The award recognizes the importance of the intersection between the oncologist and practice manager, serving as the foundation of benchmarks tailored specifically for the community-based oncologist.

Premiere Oncology Foundation
2020 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 600
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Phone: 310 570-1474

www.premiereoncology.org

Patients from Premiere Oncology can sign up for their own website at https://www.mylifeline.org/page.cfm?page=getstarted&ref=POF

If you are interested in partnering with us, please contact kim@mylifeline.org

I Wouldn’t Go Back – poetry by a two time cancer survivor

I Wouldn’t Go Back to me without Cancer

 

Before I had cancer I had no idea

How precious this life is

How fragile and fleeting

That all for some cells not behaving themselves

Can be snuffed out and finished

Like blowing a match

 

Before I had cancer I had no idea

How people can rally

And gather around you

Compassion, encouragement, meals and prayer,

Fresh food from the garden

Surrounded by care

 

Before I had cancer I had no idea

What strength lay within me

Deposit of power

Available now as much as I need

To  find in the battle

My peace and my joy

 

Before I had cancer I had no idea

How deeply involved

In each other we are

The sweet bonds of love binding us all together

A glimpse of God’s heaven

Right here on earth

 

Don’t take it for granted, you’re not here for ever

This beautiful world

And the wonder of life

Cancer has shown me just how great my love is

I can only be grateful

And never look back

Another piece by Lynette. Has your experience with cancer inspired you to write?  Post your comments.

The Wedding Pink-A Wedding Give-a-Way for Someone Affected by Breast Cancer

In honor of my own wedding coming in up a week in a half, I found it fitting to promote the “The Wedding Pink” this week.

The Wedding Pink is an annual, heartfelt wedding giveaway package presented to a couple whose lives have been recently touched by breast cancer.

Cheryl Ungar, the founder of The Wedding Pink, is a 20-year breast cancer survivor and a wedding photographer. In addition to Cheryl donating her own wedding photography services, she has put together an extraordinary team of some of Colorado’s top wedding vendors — all of whom have generously agreed to donate their services and products to ensure The Wedding Pink is a spectacular event for one very special couple.

One of my favorite couples was the recipient of the first annual Wedding Pink. You can watch  video footage  or browse pictures from The Wedding Pink

Melissa + Jeff, the recipients of the first  The Wedding Pink

If you’ve been touched by breast cancer recently and just got engaged, submissions are being accepted from July 1, 2011 to August 15, 2011.

From The Wedding Pink Website:  We are beyond thrilled to announce The Wedding Pink – 2012 to be held on May 17, 2012 in beautiful Vail, Colorado. We are teaming up with one of the premier venues in the heart of Vail, the Donovan Pavilion and the award-winning wedding planner, JoAnn Moore of Mountains & Meadows. Submissions will be open nationally this summer. You may find all of the details here, we will be providing more information as it becomes available.

-Christi