Every day, patients with cancer and their families find paths to healing at the Pamela and Edward Taft Healing Space, which was built with gifts to El Camino Hospital Foundation. Programs like Laughter Yoga, Art & Soul, Healing Partners, support groups, lectures, and nutrition classes, funded by ongoing donations, “help us unlock the positive emotions that keep our patients’ hearts, minds, and bodies working together,” says Shane Dormady, MD, medical director, medical oncology. “They fuel the will to keep fighting, without which we could not beat cancer.”
For Mo O’Meara, the variety of these programs is invaluable because they touch so many aspects of her life as a patient. “Laughing is not the first thing people associate with cancer, but for 45 minutes in Laughter Yoga, people can laugh and forget about their cancer journey. The lectures help me get answers. Knowing what I face, I can face it. The nutrition class was also a huge help, and the support group is a safe place to let it all hang out.”
O’meara and other patients being treated for cancer at El Camino Hospital benefit from the community’s philanthropy in other ways as well. Donations to the Foundation provided initial funding for a variety of programs, including palliative care, clinical trials, and patient navigation, all of which the American College of Surgeons commission on cancer specially commended when it accredited the cancer center in 2013. Donations also seeded and sustain the survivorship program, designed to meet the needs of those who have completed treatment, and the cancer prevention and early detection program, which improves diagnostic tools to determine who is at greatest risk and how to avoid the disease or catch it early when it is easiest to treat.
For some patients, the anxiety caused by cancer is further exacerbated by worries about paying for costly treatment, transportation to medical appointments, child care, rent for temporary accommodations, groceries, and other burdens. The Foundation’s Cancer Patient Assistance Fund enables them to focus on getting well instead of stressful finances and logistics.
You, too, can make a lasting difference for patients with cancer. Donate now or learn more.
This article first appeared in the Summer 2016 edition of the El Camino Hospital Health Beat magazine.