Who CAN Helps
Who We Are
Who CAN Helps
One of CAN’s most important functions is to provide for the needs of individuals in our community dealing with cancer. In almost every case, these issues would remain unattended if not for CAN’s assistance.
Annette, age 40 diagnosed with Stage III Breast cancer in July of 2018. She discovered a painful lump but had no insurance and told herself what she had always heard, “Cancer doesn’t hurt”. Finally, she went to the doctor and learned about her diagnoses. Double mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation were just the beginning of her treatment. She later discovered through genetic testing that she would need further surgery and chemotherapy as she was at high risk for ovarian cancer. She was expecting a one-year illness and treatment, but 18 months later she’s still fighting for her life. In addition, she’s a single mother of three and cares for her two young grandchildren. CAN stepped in quickly with assistance; helping to avoid electricity shut off, paying for her vehicle that was on the repossession list, as well as ensuring that her car insurance was current so she wouldn’t lose her license. CAN continues to support her by locating additional resources through different foundations. Also, ensuring her family was sponsored for the Holidays, and inviting them to family fun events like ZooCAN. Annette still struggles; however, she has been able to breathe a little easier knowing she has the support of CAN.
Lily, age 5 diagnosed with Medulloblastoma at the age of two. Lily is the youngest of six children in her blended family. She enjoys singing and dancing and loves anything Disney or Peppa Pig. She was diagnosed after her daycare called her parents to tell them that Lily had been vomiting. She went home and was fine, then began vomiting off and on again and having balance issues. Mom quickly made an appointment and took Lily to the doctor. The neurologist ordered an MRI and discovered a two-centimeter tumor that had to be removed. Following the surgery, a chemotherapy regimen began. After Chemo was finished, Lily’s doctor discovered the cancer cells had spread to her spine. Lilly had to complete an additional six weeks of daily radiation. She continues to battle this disease, often finding herself staying overnight at the hospital because her blood cell counts are too low. CAN assisted the family by paying toward their mortgage to ensure they are able to stay in their home. Lily and her family were also able to benefit from CAN’s annual Beach Bash at the Naples Beach Club this past summer.
Francisco, age 18 diagnosed with B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in July of 2018 at the age of 16. Francisco, “Cisco” for short, is the oldest of five siblings. At the time of his diagnosis he was dual enrolled at Florida Southwestern State College (FSW) and Immokalee High School. Francisco was headed to an appointment when he had a seizure in the car. He was quickly transported to North Collier, then directly to Golisano Children’s Hospital. It was at Golisano that the diagnosis came, Leukemia. Chemotherapy began immediately. While inpatient at Golisano, Francisco and his mom filled out the CAN application at the urging of their social worker. CAN was able to quickly assist, paying for utilities, food and gas cards. Since then, Francisco graduated from High School and is attending Florida Gulf Coast University full time, after receiving the 2019 KidsCAN Scholarship. He is still dealing with his disease but says he is doing “quite great”. He goes biweekly for blood draws, monthly for chemotherapy and every three months for lumbar puncture. His future aspirations are to become a Registered Nurse in the Oncology field. He says he wants to follow in the ‘footsteps of his medical team who work so hard to treat and cure so many patients’. He and his family continue to be a part of CAN by participating in CAN outings, such as the annual Beach Bash and the Holiday party.