Tuesday, August 17, 2010


As some of you may have noticed, I added a website to my favorites this morning.  http://www.cancergrace.org/ (listed as "Grace") is, in its own words:

GRACE is a nonprofit organization that we developed out of a commitment to improve the care that cancer patients receive by teaching patients and their families about their cancer and the best treatments. We can conquer the fear of the unknown by providing expert answers to questions directly from cancer patients and their families. Even with good oncology training, a general cancer physician can’t be an expert in every type of cancer. We don’t intend to replace your doctors - instead, we are experts in our own specialized corner of oncology, and we spend much of our lives on a narrow focus of a particular cancer. Now you and everyone who needs it can have free access to the latest information from experts on a particular cancer or aspect of oncology care. In addition to information about different types of cancer, we’ll provide expertise on topics that cut across cancer types, like radiation oncology, oncology social work, and complementary medicine.

While there is other information on the internet, this isn’t a static site with vague recommendations written by committee. We haven’t found there to be any other source for constantly updated, interactive, and expert-mediated discussion of the details of cancer management.
GRACE stands for "Global Resource for Advancing Cancer Education." It was begun by Dr. Jack West at Swedish Hospital in Seattle, and it  has a number of selected experts in the field of cancer who participate on the website from cancer centers across the U.S.

Cancergrace also hosts webinars, where you can phone in and listen to oncologists discuss topics of interest and email your questions to the panel.  At present Cancergrace focuses on lung cancer, which makes sense given that 219,000 people in the US are diagnosed with lung cancer each year, and 166,000 die from this.  However, there is good basic information about cancer, chemotherapy and radiation therapy in general on the website as well, and Dr. West has promised that with increased support, the information provided to the public should increase. 

So let's talk about support for http://www.cancergrace.org/.  I found this website earlier this year and it has been a lifeline for me where I've obtained information on my condition, diagnosis, and possible treatment alternatives that my treating doctors either did not know or did not have the time to explain it fully to me.  And the best thing about this site is that anyone can join and participate in the discussion and learn about what is a very complicated and terrifying disease.  The more you know, the less you have to fear.

So I have decided to do a fundraiser for Cancergrace this fall.  My office wanted to show their support for me and asked if there was a charity that I would like to designate.  And given my love of the internet, and the very open fashion with which cancergrace provides information and education to all who need it, it made sense to designate this wonderful website as the focus for the fundraiser.

So, here's the scoop.  On the evening of Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010, the rock group, the Approximations (9 attorneys and other professionals who love rock music, and supporting good charities) will perform at the Palladium at Hale's Ales on Leary Way between the Fremont and Ballard neighborhoods.  Times will be supplied later, but I hope that all of my friends in the Seattle area, and even those from further away will show up to dance, drink a few brewskis and donate to a fabulous cause.  Stayed tuned as we work out the details.

The Approximations

1 comment:

Dan Matyola said...

Cancergrace sounds like a worthy organization, and I applaud you in your continuing efforts to help others. I will be honored to contribute.

I hope you are still doing well on the current round of treatment. Is your hair holding up?

Hang in there. We will all continue to think of you and pray for you.