a haven of strength and hope for over 20 years
We Care for You:
Providing Hope, Strength, and Access

Dear Friends and Members of Cancer Connection’s Community,

“Life is a hard battle anyway. If we laugh and sing a little as we fight the good fight of freedom, it makes it all go easier. I will not allow my life's light to be determined by the darkness around me.” A resident of Northampton, Massachusetts, in the 1800s.

Cancer Connection, an organization in Northampton, Massachusetts, that has provided strength and hope for those facing cancer for more than 20 years, is crying. Citizens of our country have annihilated another American soul. To add to the millions of souls that have watered the grounds of our country.

Like many of you, we are crying and can’t stop. We’re shedding tears publicly and privately. We are angry and frustrated. We are in anguish. We are praying and meditating, consoling each another, taking action, and demanding change. Enough is enough.

We remain horrified by the murder of Mr. George Floyd by police officers in Minnesota, by the murder of Mr. Ahmaud Arbery by vigilantes in Georgia, and by the murder of Ms. Breonna Taylor in Kentucky by other police officers.

The Board and staff of Cancer Connection mourn for their families and are sending them our warmest condolences in our shared grief. We pray for their continued strength, hope, and healing, and stand with them.

We stand with the protesters and demand immediate reform to the justice system, followed by action to eliminate our country’s systemic racism and discrimination. We fully commit to the opening statements of our country’s Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men (and women) are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

As we move from anguish to action to implement change together, may we remember these words from the Northampton resident, “I am above eighty years old; it is about time for me to be going. I have been forty years a slave and forty years free and would be here forty years more to have equal rights for all.” 

WE ARE HERE. WE CARE.

At Cancer Connection we are talking about these issues, and we want you to know that it’s okay to talk to us about them, too.

If you have worries or concerns, please contact us at 413-586-1642 or email me at director@cancer-connection.org If you have suggestions, we want to hear those, too.

Are you thinking, “Why is Cancer Connection talking to me about this issue? Their job is providing services for those facing cancer and shouldn’t they stay there?”

Great question. And the answer is “no.”

Cancer Connection’s mission is to provide hope and strength for those with cancer, including their family members and caregivers. We stand with them during their diagnosis and along their life’s journey.

We’ve been standing with them during this pandemic as you have read in previous issues because persons facing cancer are vulnerable to this current virus. Sheltering in place or undergoing necessary surgeries. With family, friends, caregivers, and even alone. We are standing with them.

And Cancer Connection’s staff and Board are standing with them now as they too confront these devastating current events while trying to focus on their physical healing.

We are standing with them and with you to ensure residents have access to our programs, services, therapies, and peer support. We are trying to reach those who need our services, but do not know we are here.

Cancer Connection is here for them. We care.

DO YOU KNOW?

Tremendous disparities exist in cancer, as in other areas of life.

African Americans are more likely to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and multiple myeloma than other groups. They have higher death rates overall from most types of cancer. African American men are twice as likely to die of prostate cancer.

Although fewer African American women are diagnosed with breast cancer, more die from it. They are more likely be diagnosed with aggressive triple negative breast cancer, and not everyone has access to the improved treatments that are starting to be available. But still, all lives do matter.

Difficulties in accessing health insurance, health care, and racism in the medical system compound these problems. A friend of mine (an MIT graduate, an engineer, and very social) requested a test for prostate cancer. His father died from it and he was of the age where a test was necessary. His doctor refused telling him he was too young and he was not showing any symptoms. My friend knew he deserved quality healthcare and - to be taken seriously - and retained another doctor. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer and surgery was planned.Today he will outlive his father.



More information about cancer
health disparities is
available here:
CANCER CONNECTION IS ABOUT EQUAL ACCESS
While these outcomes are being studied and efforts made to change them, Cancer Connection is making sure that we do not replicate these disparities in the services that we provide to individuals and families affected by cancer. We strive to provide access to our programs to all those affected by cancer. Even during these uncertain times.

Equitable, unbiased, and equal access is part of our strategic plan.

We welcome those with different abilities and English is not required. If we do not have the necessary system to respond, we will.

This past year, a person who is deaf came for support. We learned about the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and retained interpreters. This new service (and also free to this individual) allowed this person to speak with a befriender and receive integrative therapies like acupuncture, massage, and Reiki. Next is our need for a cancer survivor interpreter so this person can join a support group. This person has specifically requested an interpreter for the support group; one who has the same cancer diagnosis so they can better understand one another.

In this time of physical distancing required by COVID-19, we are working to set up online and telephone access to our services and programs so that they are accessible to all participants who, at this time, cannot come to our Center. These technical resources will be the foundation for making our offerings more accessible going forward, even after the pandemic ends. And they will remain free of charge guaranteeing access to all who need them.

BE IN TOUCH WITH US: WE CARE ABOUT YOU

We will continue to communicate with you as we support our diverse communities and as we shape our services and programs to address racism and discrimination, overcome disparities, and increase access for all residents in our community.

Interested in a community forum in the fall? Let me know at director@cancer-connection.org

The Reverend Beverly L. Herbert, MDiv., Executive Director
on behalf of the Board of Directors and staff of Cancer Connection
Information about Cancer Connection
We are still here for you.
Know somebody who needs support?
Have questions about any of our programs and services?

Please call or email.

We are checking phone and email messages regularly.

We will call or email you back as usual.

Phone :
413-586-1642

General Email:    

Address:
41 Locust Street, Northampton, MA

For continued updates about our services, please visit our  website:

If you would like to make a gift to support our center, You can do that here.
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Cancer Connection Thrift Shop

Thrift Shop Phone: 413-587-9999

Thrift Shop Address: 375 South Street in Northampton, MA

Due to COVID-19, the store is closed thro ugh at least June 6th.

Visit the Thrift Shop's   Facebook page   or   web page   for updates.