Resources

Many resources exist to support young people diagnosed with
breast cancer. In addition to the support BAYS provides, we’ve
compiled a list of other resources below.

Financial Assistance

  • Breast and Ovarian Cancer Emergency Fund – Now part of Bay Area Cancer Connections. Provides low-income Bay Area residents in San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties with emergency financial assistance while receiving treatment for breast cancer to help pay rent, utilities, and uninsured medical expenses during treatment.
  • CancerCare – CancerCare offers limited financial assistance for cancer-related costs such as transportation and child care, and their oncology social workers can help you find resources. To be eligible, you must meet their eligibility guidelines of 250% of the Federal Poverty Limit.
  • Genevieve’s Helping Hands Genevieve’s Helping Hands is dedicated to helping young women with breast cancer live their lives to the fullest. They provide personalized help to find needed financial resources, connections to other groups, family and care giver support groups, other cancer patients, nutritional support, and more. More specifically, they provide small financial grants to young moms that extend and enhance their recovery from any type of breast cancer treatment, including at the start of treatment, a respite during or between treatments, or at the end of treatment.
  • SAMFund – The SAMFund is a unique non-profit organization created to assist young adult survivors of cancer with a successful transition into their post-treatment life, by providing financial support through the distribution of grants and scholarships. If your grant application is accepted, the SAMFund will pay for medical bills, yoga, therapy, anything that will help you survive and move forward.
  • Social Security Disability Help – A useful resource for applying for Disability Benefits with breast cancer. Deanna Power, Director of Community Outreach, prepared this short guide for BAYS about how to apply for SSI and SSDI benefits for women with breast cancer.
  • The Pink Fund – The Pink Fund provides financial support to help meet basic needs, decrease stress levels and allow breast cancer patients to focus on healing while improving survivorship outcomes.
  • The Provision Project – The Provision Project provides financial relief to women in active treatment for breast cancer.
  • Remember Betty – Remember Betty provides direct financial support to breast cancer patients and survivors by paying bills directly and, in certain cases, providing gift cards, gift certificates, and chemo care packs. Grants are reviewed on an on-going basis.
  • Grants for Single Mothers – This is a non-cancer specific database full of granting agencies and organizations for California single mothers.

Free Beauty and Hats

  • American Cancer Society – National organization with local offices that provide free wigs to women with breast cancer. Use their online search tool to find a location near you.
  • Good Wishes – Good Wishes’ mission is to provide one beautiful scarf free to anyone experiencing the thinning or loss of hair as a result of illness or treatment.
  • Great Clips – Great Clips offers “Clips of Kindness” – a free haircut for anyone about to undergo chemo.
  • HairToStay – HairToStay is a national non-profit organization dedicated to increasing access to scalp cooling and improving the patient experience. They offer need-based grants to offset the expense of scalp cooling systems for chemotherapy patients being treated in the United States.

Free Cleaning Services

  • Cleaning For A Reason – National organization that links cancer patients with local cleaning services. Fill out their online form and get four free general cleanings – one a month for four months.

Free Complementary Care

  • Charlotte Maxwell Complementary Clinic – Provides free and sliding-scale complementary and alternative medical treatments to low income women with cancer, with locations in Oakland and San Francisco.

Cancer and Legal Resources

  • Cancer and Careers – Cancer and Careers empowers and educates people with cancer to thrive in their workplace by providing expert advice, interactive tools, and educational events.
  • Just Great Lawyers – Comprehensive site with legal resources for cancer patients.

Free Meals

  • Ceres Community Project – Provides delicious and nourishing meals to people in Sonoma County who are in crisis due to life-threatening illness such as cancer. Meals are free for three months, then a small donation is requested.
  • Meals of Marin – Prepares and delivers healthy, home-cooked meals to people with life-threatening illnesses living in Marin County. The meals and delivery are free of charge to those who qualify.
  • Project Open Hand – Offers free-meals to breast cancer patients undergoing treatment (including hormonal therapy) who live in San Francisco or Alameda County. There are no other qualifying criteria.

Free Medical Care and Advice

  • CancerCare – CancerCare’s oncology social workers help you cope with the emotional and practical challenges of breast cancer.
  • The Second Opinion – A non-profit agency whose mission is to provide free multidisciplinary second opinions and related services to adults in California diagnosed with cancer. Unlik e Tumor Boards, which are convened to answer questions from physicians (not patients), The Second Opinion boards are convened to answer questions from patients and their family members.
  • California State Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program – The BCCTP provides needed cancer treatment to eligible individuals diagnosed with breast and/or cervical cancer and who are in need of treatment, and who have monthly gross family income at the time of screening and diagnosis that is at or below 200% of the federal poverty level for the family size, and have no other health insurance including full-scope no share-of-cost Medi-Cal or Medicare.

Free Wellness and Yoga

  • Healing Partner – Healing Partners provides free Healing Touch sessions to men and women diagnosed with cancer, regardless of where they are being treated, and at any stage of treatment or post treatment. Each participant is paired with a highly trained Healing Touch volunteer who provides these free sessions.
  • Imerman Angels – Sometimes the best therapy for cancer is just talking to someone who’s been there. Imerman Angels One-on-One Cancer Support was created on the belief that no one should face cancer alone. While Imerman Angel recognizes that each cancer and life situation is unique, they connect cancer fighters, survivors and caregivers with “Mentor Angels” – a cancer survivor or caregiver who is as similar as possible in age, gender, and most importantly, cancer experience. Mentor Angels give cancer fighters and caregivers the chance to ask personal questions and receive support from a peer who has been down the same road before. The service is absolutely FREE and helps anyone touched by any type of cancer, at any stage, at any age, living anywhere in the world.

Free Support for Patients, Families, and Children

  • Cancer Support Community – Located in Walnut Creek, Cancer Support Community provides support groups for patients as well as caregivers with any type of cancer, classes (like yoga and tai chi), and also holds workshops on a variety of topics.
  • Camp Erin – In addition to providing support services for all persons going through end-of-life issues, Kara sponsors Camp Erin, a free, weekend grief camp designed for children ages 6-17 who have experienced the death of a family member or friend.
  • Camp Kesem – National organization led by passionate college students that provides free summer camps to support children through and beyond their parent’s cancer.
  • Little Pink Houses of Hope – Little Pink Houses of Hope provide week-long retreats in North and South Carolina for breast cancer families. They provide the food and beach house lodging, as well as daily activities, but participants need to provide their own transportation.
  • Living Beyond Breast Cancer National breast cancer support organization that sends free children’s books to parents with cancer, including ‘Butterfly Kisses and Wishes on Wings,’In Mommy’s Garden’ (geared for preschool aged children), and ‘My Parent Has Cancer and It Really Sucks’ (teens).

Free Transportation

  • American Cancer Society – National organization with local offices that provide free cabs to women with breast cancer. Use their online search tool to find a location near you.
  • Lifeline Pilots – Provides free airline transportation for those seeking the best medical treatment or that have a compassionate need.

Spiritual Wellness

  • Commonweal – Offers a week-long retreat for people with cancer, with the goal of helping participants live better by providing balanced information on choices in healing, mainstream and complementary therapies; exploring emotional and spiritual dimensions of cancer; and experiencing genuine community with others facing a cancer diagnosis. Scholarships are available, including the Deb Mosley Scholarship (in honor of BAYS’ co-founder) for young women with metastatic breast cancer.
  • Spirit Rock – Hosts a year-round schedule of residential retreats, daylong retreats/workshops, benefit workshops, and weekly classes for beginning and experienced meditators (instruction is in Vipassana meditation).

Tattoos (Temporary and Permanent)

  • Tata Tattoos – Temporary areola tattoos manufactured to meet all FDA requirements for non-toxic vegetable dyes.
  • Dragonfly Ink – Located in San Francisco, Dragonfly Ink specializes in customized works of art for the human canvas. Sasha has 10 years of experience in doing “art for scars” (including mastectomy scars and flap scars) and in cosmetic tattooing (nipple/areola pigmentation after reconstruction).
  • Henna Guru – With a fine arts background, Darcy Vasudev at Henna Lounge uses fresh, homemade henna blended with aromatherapy-grade essential oils to create beautiful designs for hands, feet, head, and more. Darcy promotes using henna as a wonderful way to “dare to go bare” during chemo.
  • Ritual by Design – Born in America but raised in a traditional South Asian household, Sabreena Haque is a versatile artist who is now based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • Shannon Archuleta Tattoo – A private studio located in San Francisco’s Mission District. Shannon has been tattooing since 1994. She comes with high praise from BAYS members who have used her.

Beauty and Hats

  • A Woman’s Touch – Located inside California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) in San Francisco, this boutique offers wigs, hairpieces, and hats in a private setting.
  • Friend to Friend – Located inside UCSF’s Mt. Zion Hospital, the Friend to Friend cancer boutique carries a nice selection of hats, turbans, scarves, and wigs, as well as wig consultation. F2F also offers complimentary wig trims and Look Good, Feel Better beauty makeovers.
  • 100% Pure – This is an awesome place to get beauty products without having to check labels.

Complementary Medicine

  • Amitabha Medical Clinic & Healing Center – Located in Sebastopol, the Amitabha clinic embodies Eastern and Western medicine practices to focus integrated treatments on patients with cancer.
  • Charlotte Maxwell Complementary Clinic – Provides free and sliding-scale complementary and alternative medical treatments to low-income women with cancer, with locations in Oakland and San Francisco.
  • CPMC Institute for Health and Healing – Located in San Francisco, offers physical therapies such as massage and bodywork; mind-body practices such as yoga, mindfulness meditation and guided imagery; nutritional counseling, herbal remedies and supplements; a health research service and more.
  • Sloan Kettering’s About Herbs Database – Determining whether herbs, vitamins, and other over-the-counter dietary supplements would be helpful or harmful to you can be challenging. Will a substance work as the label states it will? Is it likely to interact with your cancer medicines? Is it worth the cost? Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s About Herbs database, is a tool for the public as well as healthcare professionals that can help you figure out the value of using common herbs and other dietary supplements.
  • Smith Integrative Oncology – Located in downtown San Francisco, Smith Integrative Oncology offers massage therapy, alternative and complementary medicine, and nutrition counseling, along with traditional oncology services.
  • Pine Street Clinic – Located in San Anselmo, the Pine Street Clinic offers alternative medical services as well as a variety of herbs and supplements.
  • UCSF Osher Center – Located in San Francisco, the Osher Center offers lectures, classes, workshops, and therapeutic programs for the public as well as UCSF patients, emphasizing patient empowerment, prevention, and whole person healing.

Food and Nutrition

  • Natalie Ledesma – Affiliated with both Smith Integrative Oncology (see Complementary Medicine, above) and UCSF Cancer Resource Center (see Resource Centers, below), Natalie provides invaluable nutrition assessments and recommendations for people with cancer.

Resources

  • Stupid Cancer News Aggregator  – National nonprofit aggregates news and blogs on all types of cancers. The grant application is online, and applications are reviewed weekly. If accepted, funding will be provided that can be used to help with medical expenses, utilities, gas/travel, or general living expenses.

Genetic Resources

  • BRCA Initiative, V Foundation for Cancer Research – The mission of the BRCA Initiative of the V Foundation for Cancer Research is to accelerate research and foster collaboration to prevent and cure BRCA cancers.
  • FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered) – FORCE is the only national nonprofit organization devoted to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. Its mission includes support, education, advocacy, awareness, and research specific to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.

Lymphedema

  • Lymphedivas – Founded by two young breast cancer survivors, Lymphedivas offers an array of stylish and comfortable compression sleeves and gauntlets for women with lymphedema.

Resource Centers

  • Bay Area Cancer Connections – Located in Palo Alto, Bay Area Cancer Connections is a non-profit dedicated to providing information and support to people dealing with breast cancer or with breast health issues.
  • Cancer Support Community – Located in Walnut Creek, Cancer Support Community provides support groups for patients as well as caregivers with any type of cancer, classes (like yoga and tai chi), and also holds workshops on a variety of topics. “Our family has found the monthly Kids’ Circle group to be extremely helpful. Everything is free and the people there are lovely.”
  • CPMC Women’s Health Resource Center – Located in San Francisco, CPMC’s Women’s Health Resource Center offers a Boutique for Women with Cancer, Massage Therapy Services, Support Groups, and the Look Good…Feel Better Program.
  • Living Beyond Breast Cancer – LBBC provides a helpline staffed by survivor volunteers as well as a wide variety of free resources for women who are newly diagnosed, metastatic, coping with lymphedema, or have financial concerns.
  • Marin Cancer Institute Cancer Resource and Recovery Center – Located in Greenbrae, the Cancer Resource Center offers library services, support groups, and recovery/survivorship programs. Contact Diane Brandon, Cancer Resource Specialist, at 415.925.7920 for more information.
  • UCSF Patient and Family Cancer Support Center – Located in San Francisco, UCSF Patient and Family Cancer Support Center offers free programs such as Healing Through Dance, Knitting, Meditation and Guided Imagery, Qi Gong, Restorative Movement, and more. Most programs open to the general public.
  • Women’s Cancer Resource Center (WCRC) – Located in Oakland, WCRC offers free programs such as Gentle Yoga, Writing for Wellness, Yarn Divas, Cooking Club, Nutrition, Creativity and special offerings. Also offers support groups, educational events, and more.

Physical Adventures and Retreats

  • Casting for Recovery – National not-for-profit program that provides an opportunity for women whose lives have been profoundly affected by breast cancer to experience physical, emotional, and spiritual healing through retreats in a beautiful natural setting and to learn fly-fishing, a sport for life, as part of a free two-day retreat.
  • Climb Against The Odds – Breast Cancer Fund offers an annual mountaineering expedition for breast cancer prevention. The climb represents both a personal endeavor to honor the courage it takes to face breast cancer, and a collective effort to stop the disease before it starts.
  • Epic Experience – Epic Experience offers adventure camps in Colorado for adult cancer survivors to ski, paddle, and ride past those three words, “I have cancer.”
  • First Descents – First Descents is committed to curing young adults of the emotional effects of cancer and empowering them to regain control of their lives by offering free outdoor adventure therapy through kayaking, rock climbing and other outdoor adventure sports.
  • Healing Therapies Foundation They are a nonprofit that provides extreme sport and eco-adventures to cancer fighters/survivors and their loved ones. The trips are free, with participants paying only for their transportation there/back.
  • Image Reborn Foundation – Image Reborn Foundation provides no-cost healing retreats to women diagnosed with breast cancer to empower them to live fully beyond breast cancer. Founded with the understanding that surgeries and treatments alone do not heal a woman with breast cancer, Image Reborn’s retreats include pampering, education and discussions, camaraderie, stress-reduction and other activities in Park City, UT. Stage IV retreats and retreats for Hispanic women are also scheduled throughout the year.
    The Send It Foundation – The Send It Foundation creates outdoor adventures for young adult cancer fighters and survivors, removing them from their cancer experience and creating the space to play, sweat, connect and have fun outdoors. Send It programs are multi-day adventures in Lake Tahoe and the San Francisco Bay Area, and are designed around activities such as biking, skiing, surfing, and most of all the community created through shared experience. All food, lodging, gear and activities are included, and free of charge for participants.
  • True North Treks – True North Treks harnesses the big medicine of nature, peer support, and mindful awareness practices to help young adults diagnosed with cancer get connected again after the disconnecting experience of cancer. Participants go on free backpacking and canoeing treks to remote and beautiful backcountry wilderness destinations where they connect with nature, connect with others who’ve been through something similar, and connect with themselves through mindfulness meditation and yoga.

Written for BAYS by BAYS

  • Chemo Tips – Tips to get through Chemotherapy, as compiled by BAYS members.
  • Vaginal Dryness – Tips to for Vaginal Dryness, as compiled by BAYS members.

Arts

  • Arts for Healing – Located in Santa Rosa, Arts for Healing uses the healing power of art to support people coping with cancer in Sonoma County. In free painting support groups, people touched by cancer create wild and wonderful art while they share a lifeline of camaraderie and caring with each other.
  • Art for Recovery – Located in San Francisco, UCSF’s Art for Recovery provides a safe environment where adults can express the intense feelings that arise in life-threatening illnesses. BAYS members have participated in The Firefly Project and other Art for Recovery programs.
  • Cactus Cancer Society – Formerly Lacuna Loft. Cactus Cancer Society encourages, empowers, and connects young adult cancer and chronic illness survivors and caregivers throughout the globe, 24/7. As a 501(c)3 registered, web-based nonprofit organization, Lacuna Loft provides online access to wellness resources, lifestyle encouragement, and peer support community that young adults need to overcome their challenging health and life circumstances, and thrive. Beyond brick and mortar. Here comes Lacuna Loft, because we are #StrongerTogether.

Advocacy and Action

  • Army of Women – National organization started by Dr. Susan Love with the goal of signing up one million healthy women of every age and ethnicity, including breast cancer survivors and women at high risk for the disease, to partner with breast cancer researchers to find a cure for breast cancer.
  • Breast Cancer Action – Bay Area-based national organization that advocates for policy changes in the treatment of breast cancer, for decreasing involuntary environmental exposures that put people at risk for breast cancer, and for rectifying inequities that lead to disparities in breast cancer outcomes.
  • Breast Cancer Fund – Bay Area-based national organization that focuses on identifying the environmental causes of breast cancer and preventing the disease.
  • Stupid Cancer – National organization devoted to building community, improving quality of life, and providing meaningful survivorship for young people with cancer (all types). Stupid Cancer has a big annual conference and has great links on their website. They also have their own radio show called “Stupid Cancer.”
  • Young Survival Coalition (YSC) – National organization with local branch that works with survivors, caregivers and the medical, research, advocacy and legislative communities to increase the quality and quantity of life for women diagnosed with breast cancer ages 40 and under.
  • Zero Breast Cancer – A Marin-based organization that is dedicated to finding the causes of breast cancer through community participation in the research process. ZBC has helped initiate a number of research projects in the Bay Area and participates in advocacy and education (including piloting a prevention program designed for adolescent girls).
  • The Breasties – A community for survivors, previvors, thrivers, and carevivors impacted by breast and gynecological cancers .

    For Underrepresented Groups

    • Shanti’s Margot Murphy Women’s Cancer Program – Shanti offers services to mitigate the barriers women face after a cancer diagnosis. Their care navigators provide multilingual, culturally competent services, offering patient advocacy, language interpretation, help applying for social services, in-home support, appointment accompaniment, and transportation assistance. The staff meets with clients in their homes, hospital rooms, or in our office. Shanti also provides health and wellness groups and classes. They work with anyone newly diagnosed, in survivorship, or in palliative care in San Francisco.
    • Asian American Cancer Support Network (AACSN) – Asian American Cancer Support Network seeks to become a community resource network for Asian Americans affected by cancer in the Bay Area through social programs and creative fundraising. AACSN programs are made available to everyone, not just the Asian Community.
    • National LGBT Cancer Network – National LGBT Cancer Network is a community resource for the LGBT community, which is disproportionately affected by cancer. They offer articles, research, and support for how to navigate cancer treatment.

    Fertility and Sexuality

    • Blossom Organics Cancer treatment often has adverse effects on libido and intimacy. Blossom Organics creates safe, naturally pure intimate care products to help reduce these effects.
    • Fertile Hope – Most people aren’t aware of the impact that cancer treatment can have on fertility. Fertile Hope provides information and financial support for cancer survivors who want to pursue their fertility options.
    • Livestrong’s Fertility Services – Livestrong provides financial support to cancer patients going through fertility treatments.
    • UCSF Center for Reproductive Health – Among local medical centers, UCSF has been especially proactive about making sure young women with breast cancer know their reproductive options before they begin cancer treatment.

    Bras and Prosthetics

    • Friend to Friend – Located inside UCSF’s Mt. Zion Hospital, this “cancer boutique” carries a limited selection of mastectomy bras and swimsuits and provides expert prosthetic fittings.
    • Ana Ono – Bras designed specifically for people who have had breast cancer, founded by breast cancer survivor Dana Donofree. Includes bras for all types of reconstruction, flat closure, and recovery from surgery.
    • Misty’s Precious Crochet – Online “etsy” purveyor of hand-crocheted “breasts” that are lightweight and great for hot summers or work outs. You can also find a pattern for knitting your own “tittie” here: http://knitty.com/ISSUEfall05/PATTbits.html.
    • Nordstrom – National department store with local branches offers in-person fittings for prosthetics and mastectomy bras, as well as complimentary “pocketing” of any non-mastectomy bra. Call to make an appointment.

    Fitness

    • Sunflower Wellness  - Non-profit organization dedicated to offering custom-tailored programs to meet cancer survivors’ needs, including free exercise counseling for UCSF patients and special classes at the Bay Club (Marin and SF locations). Limited scholarships available.

    Photographic Inspiration

    • The SCAR Project – A series of large-scale portraits of young breast cancer survivors (including two BAYS members!) shot by fashion photographer David Jay. The primary purpose of the project is to raise awareness about breast cancer in young women.