From the Executive Director

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From the Executive Director

Dear Friends of Cancer Lifeline,
“No one should go through cancer alone.” This is the theme of our current campaign. It’s the core reason why Cancer Lifeline was founded in 1973 and it has everything to do with why we continue to work to expand our footprint throughout the Puget Sound and online.
People are living longer with cancer which is an enormous source of hope. And that makes our programs more important than ever. While medical advances are resulting in increasingly longer lives for cancer survivors, especially notable for patients with metastasized cancers, this further underscores the importance of quality of life issues for survivors. The transition from treatment to continuing care, fear of recurrence and new cancers, management of pain and other effects of cancer and its treatment, changes in relationships, caregiving, financial hardships, and the emotional toll – all of these issues that cancer survivors face affect the quality of their lives and health outcomes. This makes it even more important that Cancer Lifeline meets our clients where they are and continue to offer free and accessible programs to all.
2019 has been a very busy year with many highlights:

  • Our annual Metastatic Cancer Retreat at the Rainbow Lodge in July with our partners at EvergreenHealth was at capacity with a waiting list. This program served over 45 metastatic cancer patients and their caregivers at a free overnight retreat, with folks coming from all over the Pacific Northwest for this unique and invaluable opportunity.
  • We expanded our web presence with the new Lifeline Chat, an instant messaging platform available through our website. Clients can connect in real-time to our network of trained Active Listeners. We are pleased this service offers translation services for 140 languages.
  • We broadened our area of support for in-person programs to include patients and caregivers in Burien, First Hill and Federal Way with new partnerships at Highline Cancer Center and Virginia Mason Medical Center, respectively.
  • We reaffirmed partnerships with Valley Medical Center in Renton, and Overlake Hospital in Bellevue and provided new programs ranging from workshops for metastatic patients and their caregivers to introductions in Equine Therapy.
  • We were able to realize these highlights and so much more thanks to two generous donations at the end of 2018 which made it possible for Cancer Lifeline to remain headquartered here at the Dorothy O’Brien Center.
  • Thanks to the vision and generosity of Monica Adams and the late Patricia Giuliani, we have been able to make critical improvements to our Green Lake home, including an upgraded HVAC system. With the addition of our new upstairs neighbors, The Orion Center for Integrative Medicine, the building is alive with activity. Several classes and support groups have returned to hold regular sessions and we’ve added two new support groups to our roster – the Young Adult Caregivers Support Group and the Ovarian Cancer Support Group.

The Dorothy O’Brien Center is also home to new programming: Expressive Art Therapy, led by therapist in training Pamela Krueger. Expressive art therapy is a therapeutic process that is guided by an exploration of creative arts according to a client’s needs and preferences. We are also pleased to bring back Open Studio.

As 2019 comes to close, I’d like to acknowledge the steadfast work of our board members under the leadership of President Ben Hicks, and our Advisory Board, under the leadership of Chair, Lynn Behar. These teams have actively supported our fundraising and friend-raising efforts, bringing new friends and donors into our circle, and helping us surpass our goals.

Thank you to all of our extraordinary volunteers for sharing countless hours of their time, energy and ideas.

Finally, thank YOU for all your support in 2019 and for ensuring that all of Cancer Lifeline’s programs remain free and accessible to all and ensuring that no one goes through cancer alone.
In gratitude,
Joseph Yurgevich, Executive Director