Joan E. Cooper Cancer Caregiver and Patient Education Center

Joan E. Cooper Cancer Caregiver and Patient Education Center

From Roshaunda Cade

We're raising money to create a system that provides enhanced education & support for the caregivers of cancer patients. A better prepared and better supported caregiver creates an enhanced experience for all involved.

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Expectations help shape the experience and the Fighting Cancer journey is an experience to say the least. We're raising money to create a system that provides enhanced education & support for the caregivers of cancer patients. A better prepared and better supported caregiver creates an enhanced experience for all involved. An opportunity exists to better educate, better prepare and better support the newly diagnosed cancer patient and their caregivers for the road that lies ahead. 

Education on the disease state and the specific cancer that they are fighting, education on how the treatments work and what type of side effects can be expected, but also what those side effects 'look like', how they play out and potential impact to the patient and family on a day to day basis. Education on not only the clinical & physical impact that the various medications & underlying disease can have, but also education on the emotional & phycological impact. Counseling will be made available to patients & caregivers to help them more effectively manuever through their journey. Also additional support, love, encouragement & care specifically for the caregiver will be provided and perpetuated. 

Often if someone passes away, the church community and/or community of friends will put together visitation schedules, meal preparation/delivery schedules, etc, etc, etc; however, very seldom if ever are those same things done while the family is actively on their cancer fighting journey. The Caregivers & Patients need some assistance, and far too many are taking on this journey essentially alone. Under prepared, under informed, under equipped and under supported.  We are committed to create a system to help ensure that this phenomenon doesn't continue. 

Joan E Cooper, my mother, was a 5 time cancer survivor. . .25 year Breast Cancer survivor. . . 7 year Stomach Cancer survivor. . .2.5 year Lung Cancer Survivor. . . And also a survivor of multiple myeloma and brain cancer. Vocationally she spent over 40 years as an educator in the public school system. She was a fighter and took pride in being able to successfully 'beat' cancer. The journey was tough as expected; however, it was more difficult than it needed to be primarily because of a lack of education and support provided for the caregivers. . .which play the most integral role in the patients journey to healing post cancer diagnosis. 

The patients' success is based on their experience and their experience is driven primarily by the consistent caregiver or loved one that is by their side day in and day out. The level to which the caregiver is educated and supported, directly impacts and ultimately determines the success of the experience for the patient. The funds will go toward pulling together, ordering and at times creating educational material that is specifically designed for the caregiver (versus a medical professional) and focuses on a real-world, practical application of the content shared. In addition to identifying, securing and creating top notch educational resources (print, video, interactive, electronic, etc), the funds will also go toward identifying and helping to fund dedicated staff and dedicated spaces at various cancer centers so that the patient & patient caregivers are very clear as to where they can go to get supported. The areas could be called Now What, or Next Steps or What's Next or simply Expectations & Support.

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