Resources for those with throat cancers and laryngectomies

For cancer patients who have had a laryngectomy and are looking for resources to find needed equipment, there are several organizations that can provide assistance.

  1. Support for People with Oral , Head, and Neck Cancer (SPOHNC) produces a newsletter and has supportive care resources available on its website.
    800-377-0928
  2. International Association of Laryngectomees (IAL) has an extremely helpful FAQs section for general inquiries as well as a section for first timers that addresses questions such as various types of speech, the speech process, and stoma care.
    866-425-3678
  3. WebWhisperers is now the largest support group for individual laryngectomee survivors of larynx and other throat cancers. They provide useful resources for common concerns, stoma care, food and nutrition as well as information for caregivers.
  4. The Oley Foundation provides tools for people living at home on IVs and tube feedings with a wide range of resources available on their website.
    866-454-7351 or oleyequipment@aol.com
  5. Patient Resource is another useful site that provides information and resources for patients and their families indexed by cancer type.


These organizations may also be contacted for financial assistance as well.

If you have any questions about dealing with a laryngectomy, would like additional resources or need help utilizes the resources above, please contact me, Phyllis Ruja Tell, MSW at the Ronnie Lippin Cancer Information & Resource Line at 877-752-2120. We also provide resources on our website for those affected cancer at www.lacancerinfo.org

August 18, 2011 at 6:05 pm Leave a comment

Video Legacies for Terminally Ill Patients

Some patients diagnosed with terminal cancer may want to create a video before they pass away to give to their children or family.

Patients may want to create videos specific for when a child reaches a milestone in life, such as a birthday, graduation, marriage, first grandchild, etc. Some patients might want to read a story on a video for their future grandchild.

There are several services available to allow a terminal ill patient to create a video memoir for their family.

  • Recordable story books can be found at Hallmark. They can be purchased online or in store.
  • Life Chronicles is an organization created to help with making these legacy videos. They are located nationwide however services are not available in every location so it is important to check the details for your area.
  • If a patient is on hospice, the pastoral care or social work departments may also have experience with creating videos as memoirs.
  • Just So You Know is another organization providing resources for patients to record their oral history on video. Simply contact Just So You Know to find a recording location near you and set up a time to record your oral history
  • If you would like additional information regarding end-of-life issues and resources, please contact me, Phyllis Ruja Tell, MSW at the Ronnie Lippin Cancer Information and Resource Line. I can be reached by phone at 877-752-2120 or online at http://www.lacancerinfo.org.

    July 26, 2011 at 8:49 pm Leave a comment

New Social Security Administration Resource: The Disability Planner

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has changed their website content and there is something new: the disability planner. Through a series of links, you can very clearly see how many quarters a person needs at age increments, the amount of money earned that constitutes a quarter, and who is eligible for benefits. I think this will be especially helpful with young adult patients who have dependents and who are not always certain if they have paid enough FICA to receive Social Security Disability Income (SSDI).

Historically, many oncology social workers helped patients sort this out by asking if they get Social Security Administration (SSA) annual benefit statements each year before their birthday. Most patients were able to remember if they got this statement and generally had it filed at their home or office. It was just an estimate, but having that confirmation of their eligibility was enough to help prioritize the SSA application process when a young adult was suddenly diagnosed and worried about income in addition to everything else. SSA is no longer mailing these annual benefit estimates nor printing estimate statements either. You can now find them online with the SSA benefits estimate calculator.

June 23, 2011 at 4:46 pm Leave a comment

General Assistance for Cancer Patients

Many cancer patients needing general financial assistance can benefit from the organization LOVE INC. (Love in the Name of Christ).

This is an agency that invites local churches to work together to meet the needs of people in their local community. They have over 150 affiliates in 30 states, including 14 locations throughout California. Primary qualification is living in the area served by a local affiliate. They do not have an agenda of religious conversion. They are an organization that has all denominations, and they don’t try to make you connect to any denomination or church attendance. You do not have to attend services or go to one of their churches to get the aid you need. They just serve social needs for the love of Christ. They have volunteer Spanish speakers at local Love Inc locations for patients who do not speak English. They have been very helpful with providing transportation and concrete supportive services to patients in many communities.

To find a location near you, click here

For more information and referrals to available resources for cancer patients, please contact Phyllis Ruja Tell at Ronnie LIppin Cancer Information and Resource Line 877751-2120 or fill out our request form online.

June 17, 2011 at 12:49 am Leave a comment

California State Breast Cancer Resources

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is pleased to announce the Cancer Detection Programs: Every Woman Counts (CDP: EWC) is open to enrollment for eligible women age 40 and older for breast cancer screening and diagnostic services.

The Cancer Detection Programs: Every Woman Counts (CDP:EWC) provides free clinical breast exams, mammograms, pelvic exams and Pap tests to California’s underserved women.

You may qualify for free Breast Cancer Screening Information services if you are:

  • 40 years old or older
  • Meet CDP:EWC low income criteria
  • Have medical insurance that does not cover breast cancer screening
  • Have a high insurance deductible or co-payment
  • Are not getting these services through Medi-Cal or another government-sponsored program
  • Live in California

Cervical Cancer Prevention Information

You may qualify for free services if you are:

  • 25 years old or older
  • Meet CDP:EWC low Income criteria
  • Have medical insurance that does not cover cervical cancer prevention screening
  • Have a high insurance deductible or co-payment
  • Are not getting these services through Medi-Cal or another government-sponsored program
  • Live in California

Call 1-800-511-2300 Monday – Friday from 8:30 AM to 5 PM.

If you qualify, you will be referred to participating doctors in your neighborhood.

If you don’t qualify, the CDP:EWC representative for your area may know of other low-cost screening programs that might be available to you. The Regional Contractors are also your link to support groups, advocacy groups and the latest information on what’s happening in your community.

Treatment Information

If you are diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer:

Free treatment is available to all Californians who qualify through the Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program. Information on this program is available on Medi-Cal’s website or call 1-800-824-0088 to speak with an eligibility specialist.

Contact the social worker at Ronnie Lippin Cancer Information and Resource Line, 877-RLC-2120, or online for more referrals to breast cancer resources.

June 14, 2011 at 12:58 am Leave a comment

Resources for Spanish speaking breast cancer patients

The following resources are for Spanish speaking breast cancer patients who would like to be linked up with another Spanish speaking breast cancer survivor:

  1. The best cancer organization dedicated to Latinas is Nueva Vida, based in Washington, DC. (866)986-8432
  2. La Organización Nacional Y-ME de Cáncer de Seno (Mama), (800)986-9505 (Se contestan llamadas sólo en español) Y-ME also has a dedicated 24 hour helpline. You can also contact Marjorie Gallece, Senior Certified Patient Navigator of Breast Cancer Resource Centers of Texas at mgallece@bcrc.org or (512)248-2645
  3. Living Beyond Breast Cancer Survivors’ Helpline (888)753-5222 (Responds to calls in English and Spanish)
  4. Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC) aims to empower all women affected by breast cancer to live as long as possible with the best quality of life. LBBC provides specialized programs and services for the newly diagnosed, young women, women with advanced breast cancer, women at high risk for developing the disease, and African American and Latina women. The LBBC Survivors’ Helpline is a national, toll-free telephone service staffed by trained volunteers affected by breast cancer. Helpline volunteers offer guidance, information, and hope. Spanish-speaking helpline volunteers are available too.

  5. American Cancer Society Program called, “Reach to Recovery” (Aspire a la Recuperación) (800) 227-2345
  6. Bosom Buddies Latino Support Group: Entre Amigas,in Georgia (770) 455-7637 & (770) 623-0913

    This organization speaks with women all over the U.S. and they have a Spanish speaking Latina survivor/certified patient navigator on staff, Jessica who can be reached at jjones@bcrc.org or (512)-324-7992. Aside from being a survivor herself, Jessica facilitates support groups for Spanish speaking women who are newly diagnosed and in treatment.

  7. Cancer Hope Network, a program which provides a matching service for Spanish speaking cancer survivors but is not a specific breast cancer organization (800) 552-4366

If you have any questions regarding information and resources for Spanish speaking cancer patients or their families or other cancer related information and resources please call The Ronnie Lippin Cancer Information and Resource Line at (877)752-2120.

June 2, 2011 at 5:26 pm Leave a comment

Dream and Wish Fulfillment Resources for Cancer Patients

The following resources fulfill “dreams’ or wishes” of adult cancer patients:

  1. Adult Wish Foundation
  2. The Dream Foundation
  3. First Descents is an adventure/river rafter program in Colorado for people with cancer
  4. The Jack & Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation is a national resource providing WOW! experiences for children and families who have a Mom or Dad with late stage, limited life expectancy cancer.”

Jack & Jill Foundation eligibility requirements for all referral candidates:

  1. Late stage limited life expectancy cancer
  2. At least one child age between the ages of three and eighteen. Only one child must meet the age requirement
  3. A life expectancy over two months
  4. Referred by an approved referral agency or treating oncologist.
  5. Referrals must NOT have previously participated in an adult dream, wish or any other similar program.

April 19, 2011 at 6:08 pm 1 comment

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