[MOL] Veterns Helping Rookies [01140] Medicine On Line

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[MOL] Veterns Helping Rookies

Veterans Helping Rookies

A decade ago while living in Oakland, Calif., Brad Zebrack proposed to bike around the United States to promote a vibrant and productive life following a cancer diagnosis. “I wanted to be a model for other young cancer patients,” said Zebrack, a veteran of Hodgkin’s disease. A friend steered him to the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS), and a mutual partnership began. While out on the road, he distributed coalition flyers and brochures, did a little fund-raising and was a visible symbol of the survivorship movement.

Founded in 1986 in Albuquerque, New Mexico by 25 dedicated cancer survivors, NCCS is a nonprofit organization that addresses the needs and interests of people with cancer, their families, healthcare professionals and cancer organizations. Through their basic philosophy of “the veteran helping the rookie,” NCCS has grown dramatically over the past 10 years and is now based in Washington, DC.

Ellen Stovall, NCCS executive director, was recently elected to be on the President’s National Cancer Advisory Board and has testified before several senate panels on behalf of cancer survivors. Along with 2,500 individual members across the country, more than 350 cancer organizations are part of the coalition. This includes all the national comprehensive cancer centers, such as the U-M Cancer Center.

“It is so exciting to have been associated with the organization for 10 years,” said Zebrack, a NCCS board member who now lives in Ann Arbor. “There is an organization out there working to represent your rights and your health, and we welcome your input.” Zebrack’s grassroots effort has helped to provide a voice for all cancer survivors.

For more information about the National Coalition of Cancer Survivalship, you can request a general information packet by calling their office at (301) 650-8868 or see www.cansearch.org.

If you would like to know more about the Cancer Survivors Network of Southeastern Michigan contact Karen Baker at snickers@ismi.net.