Thrive Through Cancer is seeking businesses, schools, families and individuals who want to support young adults with cancer this holiday season by donating to our Drive to Thrive!
Thrive Through Cancer gives newly-diagnosed young adult cancer patients gifts called Hope Totes – bags filled with thoughtful, comforting items to help them fight cancer. This winter we are hosting Drive to Thrive to collect items needed for this special program.
Want to help out? It’s this simple: While you’re out doing your holiday shopping pick up a few of the items on this list. Every little bit helps! Don’t feel like shopping? A $25 donation pays for one Hope Tote.
Items can be dropped off at the Swedish Cancer Education Center (1221 Madison St. Seattle) between Dec. 9 and Dec. 20. Or, shoot us an email at email@example.com to arrange pick up for items.
We are collecting the following new, unopened items.
- Gift cards – major grocery stores, department stores, Netflix
- Lotions, soaps, body wash, facewash (Sensitive skin, fragrance free)
- Herbal teas
- Nail polish
- Hard candy – ginger, peppermint, lemon drops
- Organic dark chocolate
- Cozy socks for men and women– super soft, fleece and/or with grippers
- Slippers for men and women
- Puzzle books
- Playing cards
- Lip balm
- Biotene mouthwash or toothpaste
- Toothbrush (soft)
- Rice pillows (Bucky)
- Hand sanitizer
- Books – NY Times best sellers
- Stress ball
- Notecards, stamps
- 2014 appointment books/planners
Remember, these items are for patients ages 18 to 40. Please try to keep gifts age-appropriate.
As always, donations to Thrive Through Cancer are tax deductible under the Swedish Medical Center Foundation 501c3. Checks should be made out to the Swedish Medical Center Foundation.
Thank you for your generosity! Together we can help young adults fight cancer and live amazing lives!
Rose Ibarra, director, Thrive Through Cancer
I am thrilled to introduce the first-ever Board of Directors for Thrive Through Cancer. The following volunteers will meet monthly through 2014 to determine the best direction for the organization.
Rose Ibarra, Director
After being diagnosed with Non-Hogkin Lymphoma, Rose founded Thrive Through Cancer in 2011 to help other young adults cope with cancer. Rose is a health reporter for KOMONews.com. She has been an ambassador for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and won the organization’s 2012 National Media Award of Excellence. She represented the American Cancer Society by running in the 2012 Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon six months after she completed chemotherapy. In 2013 she was named “Holy Rosary School’s Distinguished Alum” for service to others. One of Rose’s “post-cancer dreams” came true on August 3, 2013 when she married her husband Angel, surrounded by friends and family. They live together in West Seattle with their two cats.
Amanda Rubeck, Assistant Director
Amanda started her journey with Thrive as one of the first volunteers and has been hooked ever since. Amanda’s family has been deeply affected by cancer and most recently her grandfather who she lost to brain cancer. It was then she completely understood the importance of community support and comforting items/words in a time of struggle for positivity, hope and health. Continually she has been an advocate in her community in positions such as co-chair of fundraisers, volunteering for events and mentoring youth. Amanda lives on Lake Union in Seattle and enjoys traveling the world, the arts and spending time with her family, friends and new kitten Norman. She is excited to be the Assistant Director for Thrive and to keep the Thrive momentum going strong, supported and filled with compassion every step of the way.
Katie O’Leary, Survivor Events Coordinator
Katie O’Leary graduated with a Social Work degree and a strong passion to help others. Diagnosed in 2012 with Hodgkins Lymphoma only increased her will to become an advocate for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. She has volunteered at many organizations including Lifelong AIDS Alliance, New Holly, Providence Hospitality House, and tutored at Thurgood Marshall. Interests include photography and event planning. She is a nanny of two and absolutely adores kids. She lives in Capitol Hill with her boyfriend, Joe Yang.
Siobhan Stanton, fundraising coordinator
Siobhan Stanton was first introduced to Thrive after she was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2011 at the age of 26. Through her journey with cancer she noticed a lack of resources for young cancer patients and wanted to find a way to help those suffering from cancer in her age group. After undergoing treatment she has successfully beat cancer and since then has made it her mission to help other cancer patients by providing comfort and support as well as knowledge and guidance. Siobhan has co-chaired auctions and fundraising events for various organizations and helps raise awareness for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by annually participating in the Light the Night Walk every year. Siobhan enjoys traveling and spending time with her friends and family. She currently lives in Bellevue with her dog Isabel.
Janna Waldher, financial officer
Janna Waldher joined Thrive after reading an inspiring article in the Seattle Times about Rose Ibarra and her passion for helping young cancer patients. Immediately, Janna knew this was an organization she could whole-heartedly support. Janna too is a cancer survivor, a survivor of aggressive breast cancer. While battling cancer she earned her BS Accounting, raised two children, relocated, and lived with her in-laws, just to name a few. Janna’s devotion and compassion for young cancer patients is apparent through her deep understanding, personal struggle, and courageous personality. She is excited to be the Financial Officer for Thrive and looks forward to establishing Thrive as the go-to-resource for young cancer patients.
Lisa Johnson, strategic planning coordinator
Lisa Johnson was given an early Christmas gift in December 2012 of Breast Cancer at the age of 40. Having worked and/or volunteered around cancer for a number of years through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team-in-Training program, Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, Seattle Children’s, MultiCare and at Harrison Medical Center, she never thought it could happen to her. Living her “new normal” and working in the non-profit world for over 13 years has provided her with the commitment and passion to make an impact for those facing a cancer diagnosis. Lisa lives in Allyn, WA with her husband Scott, daughter Emma, and her “first born” dog, Fisher.
Brian Aylward, community outreach coordinator
Brian Aylward is a certified health education specialist at the Swedish Cancer Institute and has been working with the cancer community for many years. He provides education, support, and resources to community members throughout the greater Puget Sound. He has a passion for developing and establishing community partnerships, organizing fundraising energies, and writing educational materials. He serves on the Executive Board for the Pacific Northwest Society for Public Health Education as the Vice President Co-Chair and Membership Co-Chair and spends his time volunteering at many non-profit organizations in the Seattle area. Brian lives in Capitol Hill with his cat Sophie and enjoys good coffee, reading, cooking, practicing yoga, and traveling around the world.
Paige Pauli, digital media consultant
Paige Pauli was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma less than a week after graduating from Pitzer College in 2008, but has since been in remission after undergoing six months of chemotherapy (ABVD). Over the years she has been an active participant in Leukemia & Lymphoma Society events, fundraising thousands of dollars for research and patient support. Paige works as a User Experience Designer and Front-End Developer, helping technology startups create successful products for both consumers and businesses. She also serves as a member of the Seattle Academy Alumni Board and as a mentor for the Seattle chapter of Girl Develop It, an organization focused on empowering women by teaching them how to code.
John Albert was introduced to Thrive Through Cancer as a recipient of a Hope Tote during his first round of treatment for colon cancer. Since then he has been excited about being involved and giving back the same kind of support he received, and then some. John is a computer programmer for Costco Wholesale, but spends a lot of his leisure time doing much of the same.
Four months after completing chemotherapy for the second time, Owen Applequist found himself atop Mt. Kilimanjaro fundraising for cancer. That experience empowered him towards two distinct goals: play outside while sucking the marrow from life and find a means to enable other young adult cancer survivors to rediscover their lust for life. After attending a First Descents camp, he was asked to return as camp director. That opportunity combined his two post cancer goals. Life, REI, and his first post-cancer full-time job relocated him to Seattle. He has spoken at Leukemia and Lymphoma annual galas and before the Boy Scouts, raised awareness for young adult cancer issues on national media and fundraised actively for both cancer and solid organ transplant causes.
Amanda Clark is a 2011 graduate of Gonzaga University. While at Gonzaga, Amanda was on the Relay for Life planning committee for four years, serving on the board of the Colleges Against Cancer club as PR and Survivorship chairs. She was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in February 2012 and received a bone marrow transplant later that year in May 2012. She spoke about how leukemia has impacted her life and represented TeamAmanda at the LLS sponsored Big Climb in March 2013 and remains active in the organization. In her free time, Amanda enjoys travelling, reading, and recently got hooked on climbing after a First Descents trip to Moab, UT. She currently resides in West Seattle.
Zachary Gardner is a native of Southeastern Ohio and graduate of Ohio University. He was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2012 and joined Thrive Through Cancer in 2013. He currently works as a photojournalist for the United States Army at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
After undergoing treatment for Non Hodgkins Lymphoma at age 20 without anyone remotely close in age around, Andrea MacPherson made it her goal to help young adult cancer survivors connect and strive through their own treatment. She has fundraised and volunteered for several cancer organizations including the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, First Descents, and Puget Sound Blood Center. Andrea served on an advisory board for Seattle Children’s, helping design their new Adolescent & Young Adult Oncology Unit. She loves food, whitewater rafting, and traveling and lives in the Roosevelt neighborhood with her boyfriend and Boston Terrier, Judge.
Constance N. was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 31. She credits her family and friends for there support through the process. Constance was born and raised in Seattle and graduated from University of Denver for college. She was heavily involved in nonprofits in college. While going through treatment she and her husband went house shopping and found their current home. Constance works in real estate and lives in Seattle with her husband.
Ryan Smith is a chiropractor in Seattle’s University District. As a healthcare provider, he appreciates the importance of quality of life. Similar to many, Ryan’s family has been deeply impacted by cancer. By joining Thrive Through Cancer Board of Directors; he hopes to support the success of this organization by providing knowledge in healthcare, and his experiences as a small business owner. Ryan played baseball at Washington State University, and is a devoted fan of Seattle sports. Ryan and his wife live in Tacoma, and enjoy their two fun-loving golden retrievers.
Chelsea Teigen was first introduced to the Thrive Through Cancer foundation as a patient herself. She was inspired by Rose Ibarra’s passion for supporting cancer patients and has committed herself to the Thrive foundation ever since, including donating handmade items for the Hope Totes. She loves outdoor adventures, reading, and all things crafty. But more than anything, Chelsea is excited to help bring the joy of life back into the lives of young cancer warriors. Currently, she is attending school and working toward becoming a midwife. She lives in Olympia with her husband and daughter.
Want to be involved in the future of Thrive? Thrive Through Cancer is looking for people who want to be a part of our organization as Lead Volunteers or members of the Board of Directors.
The Board of Directors will ensure that Thrive Through Cancer stays true to its mission to help young adults fight cancer today and live amazing lives tomorrow. Members will meet regularly over the next year as Thrive applies for tax-exempt status and develops a 3-year strategic plan.
Lead volunteers will be given a key role in executing the organization’s strategic plan, such as event planning, fundraising, Hope Tote delivery or developing a digital media plan. Volunteers may lead a committee of volunteers and will report to the executive director.
A person can apply to join the board or volunteer, or do both.
To apply, please email a letter to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information by Sept. 15. An open advisory meeting will be held Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. at Uptown Espresso, 4301 SW Edmonds St. for all selected board members and anyone else who wishes to attend. Please try to attend this meeting if you are applying.
- Why do you want to be involved with Thrive Through Cancer?
- Have you had any experience with cancer or cancer patients?
- What skills/experience do you think you have that would benefit Thrive Through Cancer?
- Do you have any non-profit experience?
- Are you able to meet every other month in Seattle? (board applicants only)
- Can you commit to the board or volunteering for one year?
- What kind of volunteering would you like to do for Thrive? (volunteers only)
- What do you think Thrive Through Cancer should focus on in the future? How can we best help young adults with cancer?
I truly believe Thrive Through Cancer will change the lives of those facing this frightening disease, and I thank you all for your interest in joining that effort!
***Volunteer and board positions are unpaid.
Thrive Through Cancer’s first-ever Chemo Con expo was a wonderful success! We would like to thank everyone who helped make this event happen and everyone who attended! If you missed it….
The Swedish Cancer Institute was our wonderful partner and host. You can visit Brian and Kelsey in the Cancer Education Center for tons of educational materials and resources to help you in your treatment journey and survivorship. Connect with them on Facebook too!
We are so grateful to all our amazing community partners as well! Check them out -
- Cancer Lifeline
- Cierra Sisters Inc.
- First Descents
- Force: Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered
- Gilda’s Club Seattle
- The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
- Ovarian & Breast Cancer Alliance
- Team Survivor Northwest
- Young Survival Coalition
Let’s keep connecting! Check out the Thrive Through Cancer facebook page, follow us on Twitter or email us at email@example.com to learn about more opportunities to connect with young adult cancer survivors.
On June 18, 2013 Erika Bitzer celebrated another birthday after beating cancer as a young adult. On that same day, she lost her dear friend Aubrey Bean to colorectal cancer. She was kind enough to share these words about her amazing friend:
I am dedicating this birthday to my friend, Aubrey, who passed away today. It’s ironic that it happened on my birthday because Aubrey taught me how to live without fear and to take every moment life offers you. I met her three years ago through a young adults cancer group. I was “cancer free” and trying to figure out how to feel whole again. She was there with cancer still in her body, with a terminal diagnoses. But you would never know it. I was afraid of everything at the time – I was overwhelmed by life, travel, eating, getting sick again, never being as happy as I thought I had been before I had been sick. She was living as though she had nothing left to worry about. She was present, planned for the future and said yes to life.
The best way to understand how Aubrey lived is to hear about Italy. She had been told she’d need to start another round of intensive chemo in 6 months – she was currently undergoing maintenance chemo and on narcotics. She and her husband had been planning to go to Italy in a year. So they moved the trip up and went early. She had recently lost mobility in both of her legs so was now in a wheelchair too. I know you are thinking, poor girl, but you didn’t see any of this in how she showed up in life. She wasn’t dying, she was LIVING with cancer. They spent several weeks in Italy and she wheeled herself all over the cobblestone streets. She joked afterward that her butt was bruised from going over the big stones. It was an amazing trip even though it was hard for her.
When I last saw her, she was saying how much she loved that I say ‘yes’ to life and opportunities that come my way, even if they seem crazy. She told me what I was like when she first met me, how I was so afraid. And I realized that it was her that lifted that from me and taught me how to live…modeled by her attitude and actions, and through many long talks.
I often wonder why someone as incredible as Aubrey or Sarah (my peer supporter during treatments) has to leave us so soon. After my last visit with Aubrey, I reflected on this with one of my friends. He said that maybe my job was to carry forward the gift that Aubrey gave me. I think he’s right.
Thrive Through Cancer is pleased to host our first annual expo for young adults with cancer in partnership with Swedish Medical Center!
Thursday, June 20, 2013
Swedish Cancer Institute/First Hill – 1221 Madison Street, Seattle
5:30 – 6:15 p.m. | Exhibition tables open, social opportunity
6:15 – 6:30 p.m. | Rose Egge speaks about Thrive Through Cancer
6:30 – 7:15 p.m. | Session 1: Julie Herbst, RD speaks about healthy eating (recipe & sampling provided)
7:15 – 7:30 p.m. | Break, Exhibition tables open
7:30 – 8:15 p.m. | Session 2: Jacci Thompson Dodd, MA, MSSS discusses intimacy and cancer
8:15 – 8:30 p.m. | Q&A opportunity
Come meet Rose Egge, founder of Thrive Through Cancer and join us for two educational and interactive workshops focused on issues commonly experienced by young adults affected by cancer. Learn more about community partners, resources and services available in areas near you.
This is an opportunity for young adults who have been touched by cancer in the Seattle area to come together and network with a proactive and dynamic community!
If you have any questions about Thrive Through Cancer, contact Rose Egge at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Janna Waldher, a 30-year-old breast cancer survivor from Seattle shares her story with Thrive Through Cancer:
Ah, the healing powers of sunshine. The joy of smelling springtime flowers. Relaxing with a glass of wine while listening to your favorite tunes. These are all moments to be savored. Remembered. Repeated. To do this, it requires slowing down. Becoming aware of your surroundings. Inhaling and exhaling, slowly, with purpose. Looking out with your eyes and adjusting your viewpoint to become aware of life’s performance. I remember when my viewpoint broadened. I became much more aware of the life hustling and bustling all around me.
I was sitting in a waiting room. The smell of fear and unsurety were everywhere. I was afraid – the unknown was staring me straight in the face. Now the unknown is tailored to each of us differently, my unknown is not the same as your unknown. But that day my unknown dealt with cancer. Breast cancer. I’d already had a bi-lateral mastectomy and was now preparing to listen to my oncologist review my chemotherapy treatment plan. The unknowns of chemotherapy are scary! Side effects. Effectiveness. Sanity – would my mental where-with-all survive! I had no idea; no research to pull from, no life experience to compare this with, no nothing. My fears were overwhelming. I could feel despair creeping up me like a twisted vine, tears welled in my eyes. Read more…