“Having cancer is hard. It’s physically difficult, financially straining and psychologically draining. The last thing you need or want to do is hunt and peck online looking for assistance to make the situation easier,” says Casey MacDonald, executive director and founder of the Hudson Valley Cancer Resource Center. The Orange County based, not-for-profit began with a frustrated search for a shower chair after MacDonald’s husband underwent a stem cell transplant for multiple myeloma. After calls to national cancer organizations yielded little assistance while caring for her husband and father, both diagnosed with incurable cancers within six weeks of one another in 2007, MacDonald realized the need for a comprehensive guide to resources in the Hudson Valley for cancer patients and their families.
In September 2012, she launched HudsonValleyCancer. org. The website is a navigational tool for locating specific national, regional and local resources that can ease the cancer burden such as financial assistance, prescription assistance, insurance and legal services and co-pay assistance. Support services, including support groups, retreats, camps, legacy trips, bereavement services and organizations for caregivers also are listed.
The organization recently hosted the Cancer Survivorship Summit, Hudson Valley’s first all-day conference devoted entirely to living life during and after cancer. Held at SUNY Orange, keynote speaker, Dr. Maureen Killackey, Deputy Chief of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Regional Network kicked off the Summit, which provided attendees with workshops filled with innovative tools and practical resources in getting back to life after cancer.
Location: Hudson Valley Cancer Resource Center, 100 Ward St., Montgomery. For more details, call 457-5000 or visit HudsonValleyCancer.org.