We’re Here For You – Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
As 2018 draws to a close, we’ve been reflecting on everything that’s happened at Illinois CancerCare (ILCC) and within the cancer community overall. While we miss those we lost this past year and our hearts ache for their family members, we are also optimistic about what the future holds for cancer treatment. We wanted to share a few highlights of 2018 before we head into a new year filled with hope.
Chemo No Longer Necessary for All Breast Cancer Patients
People often dread getting chemotherapy as part of their cancer treatment, which is understandable. But now we’re finding that many breast cancer patients can safely skip chemo without compromising the effectiveness of their treatment.
ILCC was part of a landmark, worldwide trial that studied the necessity of chemo for breast cancer patients—100 women from Central Illinois participated in this study. In the United States alone, these results will have an impact on 70,000 to 80,000 patients! Learn more below:
New Hope for Lung Cancer Patients
In addition to our groundbreaking work with breast cancer research, we also had a role in the early development of durvalumab (imfinzi), which is used to treat certain types of lung cancer.
In clinical trials, this immunotherapy treatment was shown to reduce deaths from stage III lung cancer by half. After being approved by the FDA, this drug has become the new standard of care for non-small cell lung cancers diagnosed at stage III. Watch as Dr. Jane Liu tells us more about the study and its exciting results.
Do Unto Others…
Although people come to us for healing, our patients and their families often reach out to other patients. Meet two of these wonderful women who have been paying it forward for many years.
With Santa gearing up for his annual ride, thoughts turn to milk and cookies. We’re blessed to have our own generous elf who has made and delivered nearly 120,000 cookies—but Marianne Waldman doesn’t leave her cookies out for Mr. Claus. Instead, Marianne (whose husband was an ILCC patient) has made and delivered 12-15 dozen cookies to the Peoria Clinic nearly every week for the past 14 years. Recently, two third-grade classes from St. Thomas Elementary School got involved by donating baking supplies and grocery gift cards. See some pictures here.
After being diagnosed with cancer on November 17th, 2011, Candace Dunbar fought hard against the disease and multiple complications she encountered. During treatment, Candace lost her hair and wanted to feel “normal” again—for her, this meant adorning herself with hats and scarves. She wanted other patients to feel this way too, so she created Hats for Healing in 2012. Every year on November 17th, she dropped off hats and scarves for men and women at designated locations and also hand delivered hats to each patient who was receiving treatment that day. Although Candace passed away last summer, we’ve continued to carry out her tradition by delivering Hats for Healing on November 11th. Even in death, her kindness lives on.
Leading the Way
Every single day, we’re focused on helping our current patients achieve the best possible outcomes and conducting research to find even better solutions for tomorrow. In addition to being honored by the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) Certification Program for outpatient hematology-oncology practices that meet the highest national standards for quality cancer care, ILCC’s nationally-recognized research program received several other honors including the ASCO Clinical Trials Participation Award. This short video tells you more about our award-winning research.
Committed to providing patient education, helping to fund research and offering patient support, the Illinois CancerCare Foundation is an invaluable partner in the fight against cancer. Dedicated volunteers and generous donors are a key reason why ILCC is ranked among the nation’s top enrollers in clinical trials, even out-ranking leaders like the Mayo Clinic and Dana Farber.
One of the programs offered through ILCC is Trust in Hope, which provides compassion and support to cancer patients and their families who are experiencing financial need during the holidays. This outreach delivers fully cooked meals at Thanksgiving and gifts for children at Christmas. Over the past nine years, nearly 2,000 meals have been prepared and almost 300 children have received holiday gifts through Trust in Hope.
One Last Thing…
We are grateful for the opportunity to care for cancer patients and support their families. You matter to us. And you inspire us to continue digging for answers in our quest to cure cancer. Happy holidays and best wishes for the new year!
* This should not be construed as financial advice. Contact your tax professional before making a contribution.