Services

One-to-One Information & Support

Helping people on a one-to-one basis is one of our most fundamental services. Every cancer and every situation is different. Staff members and trained volunteers offer support and comfort to persons who have cancer or who are otherwise affected by the disease (including family members and caregivers).

 

We answer questions, make referrals and help clients understand their options. We tailor our services to what you need. Assistance is provided by phone or in-person at our Resource Center (612 West State Street) and at the Cancer Resource Room on the Campus of Cayuga Medical Center.

 

It’s best to make an appointment to be sure that someone is available (277-0960), but drop-ins are welcome. Questions can also be e-mailed to info@crcfl.net.

 

Resource Center Hours:

Tuesday – Friday, 9:00 am– 5:00 pm. Other hours by appointment.

 

CRC also recruits, trains, supervises, and schedules volunteers who staff the Patient and Family Lounge at Cayuga Medical Center and provide support to cancer patients and their families at the hospital's main and East campus locations.

Connecting with others who have or have had cancer is often helpful. Some people come for information, some for support, and others for a sense of community. All of our groups have different personalities. Brief descriptions of each group are provided below.
 

Due to current COVID-19 health considerations, our support groups are meeting online via Zoom (a free, interactive online platform) for residents of the Finger Lakes. Please call us at 277-0960 or email info@crcfl.net to learn which group might be best for you.  


CRC Support Groups

  • Men’s Breakfast Club: Meets every Friday 8-9am.
    For men with any type of cancer, at any stage of treatment or recovery.
  • Women’s Wednesday Group: Meets every Wednesday 1-2:30pm.
    For women with any type of cancer, at any stage of treatment or recovery.
  • Women’s Friday Group: Meets every Friday 12-2pm.
    For women with any type of cancer, at any stage of treatment or recovery.
  • Living Well with Cancer Workshop (co-sponsored by Cayuga Medical Center) Meets on the 3rd Tuesday of each month 5:30-7pm.
    A monthly educational program on a topic related to cancer &/or general well-being. Open to the public.
  • Pat’s Group: Living with Cancer as a Chronic Disease:
    Meets the 1st & 3rd Thursday of each month 12-1:30pm.
    For people with more advanced cancers. Caregivers welcome.
  • Caregiver Group: Meets on the 2nd Tuesday of each month 5:30-7pm.
    Open to family, friends, and caregivers of those with cancer.
  • Beth’s Group (Young Adult): Meets the 2nd & 4th Tuesday of each month 5:30-7pm. For people under 50 with any type of cancer, at any stage of treatment or recovery. Partners welcome.
  • Prostate Group: Meets the 2nd Thursday of each month 7-8pm.
    Offers support, education programs and discussions related to prostate cancer.  Open to men & their caregivers. (Men with prostate cancer are encouraged to attend the Friday Men’s Breakfast Club as well.)
  • Colorectal Group: Meets on the 1st Tuesday of each month 5:30-7pm.
    For people with any type of colorectal cancer, at any stage of treatment or recovery.
  • Lymphedema Group: Meets the 5th Tuesday of each month 5:30-7​pm (2020:  9/29 & 12/29) For people affected by lymphedema.
  • Cornell Cancer Support Group (co-sponsored by Cornell Work/Life): Meets on the 2nd Wednesday of each month 11:45-12:45pm. Open to faculty, staff, students and retirees with any type of cancer, at any stage of treatment or recovery. 

For more information about any of the above groups, call us at 277-0960.

Bald Girls Get Together (Tioga County): A group for women with cancer that meets in Owego, NY. For more information, contact  Kate Whittemore at dendfarm@gmail.com. **Note: NOT meeting during pandemic**


Online Support Groups

*CRC Closed Facebook Groups
  How do I join a CRC Closed Facebook Group?

From your Facebook News Feed:

  • Click Groups in the left menu
  • In the search bar at the top, enter keywords for group you’re looking for
  • Select the group, then click + Join Group below the cover photo
  • Select whether you’d like to join as your profile or your Page
  • Click Join Group
 
Our closed groups:

Other Online Groups

There are hundreds (if not thousands) of online support groups that serve all cancers, specific cancers, and specific situations. Here is just a sampling:

For more options, search online for “online cancer support” or “online breast cancer support” etc.


Also of interest:

Cancer Research Seminar:
Meets the second Wednesday of each month from 4:30-5:30pm. Click here for more information, or contact Bob Riter at rnr45@cornell.edu. Open to the public.  #CornellCancerPartnership #CancerResearchSeminar

Visit our calendar for event and support group schedules.

The Peer to Peer Program is a free confidential service that connects patients and caregivers with mentors who provide the perspective of “someone who’s been there.” The program is open to all patients and caregivers touched by any type of cancer.

 

Mentors listen, extend emotional support, and offer practical advice. They do not provide medical advice.

Looking for support?

Please call the Cancer Resource Center at 277-0960 or fill out this application.

Want to become a mentor?

You should:

  • Be mentally and physically able to take on the mentorship role. It’s not about you – it’s about the person you’re helping.
  • Adhere to the guideline of not giving medical advice. It’s ok to say what you did. It’s not ok to say what someone else should do.
  • Be emotionally prepared to participate in a mentoring relationship.
  • Maintain confidentiality.
  • Be willing to be an active match for 6 months.

 

The Cancer Resource Center will provide training focused on listening skills, the mentorship role, confidentiality, problem solving, and how to handle difficult situations.

 

Are you looking for support or interested in being a Peer Mentor?  Please contact the Cancer Resource Center at 277-0960 and ask for Monica or email her at monica@crcfl.net or fill out this Peer Mentor Application

CRC’s wellness programming includes educational classes as well as exercise and mindfulness support. We also collaborate with Island Health And Fitness to offer Gentle Yoga at no cost and Water Exercise classes for a reduced cost.  

Our collaboration with Ithaca Community Acupuncture allows cancer patients to receive low-cost acupuncture treatment.

We provide wigs, hats, scarves, mastectomy products, and other personal care items to our clients free of charge, with personal assistance from staff or a volunteer. Call our office to schedule an appointment to browse our selection.

 

Boutique items are given in memory of Emily Virkler and our boutique is supported by the Emily Virkler Memorial Boutique Fund. 

 

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CRC has a team of financial advocates who are a dedicated group of volunteers to assist clients with financial concerns so that they can focus on healing.  They can help reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed with medical bills, insurance issues, or “lack of insurance” issues. Specific areas they can help with include:

  • Organizing your bills and insurance statement
  • Identifying resources that might help with some medical bills and/or living expenses
  • Appealing denials from insurance companies

To schedule a consultation, call 607-277-0960 or email rocio@crcfl.net.

Local Resources:

The Health Benefits Representatives for Fidelis in Tompkins County are available to meet with you and process applications via phone for those individuals who are uninsured. Many are suffering from loss of employment as well which potentially makes them Medicaid eligible. The Health Benefits representatives are available to help individuals who are in need immediately for free or low cost insurance. For more information please contact Jaime Siemon (607) 237-2101 or Nicole Argetsinger at (607) 222-5739.


Financial Toxicity

We know that cancer is a health issue. It can also be a financial issue. The link between a cancer diagnosis and financial stress is real. Recent studies have shown that the financial stress caused by cancer can negatively impact a person’s health and their treatment outcomes. The term for this impact is called Financial Toxicity. The articles below describe the negative impacts of financial toxicity.

 

To help address these issues, the OncoLink Team has a series of webinars to help you make informed decisions about your health insurance options.  The series includes six, free webinars available for you to listen to at your convenience, on demand.

Topics include:

  • Health Insurance Essentials
  • Medicare A and B
  • Medicare Part D
  • Medicare Advantage Plans
  • Medigap Plans
  • The Affordable Care Act

Facing cancer when there are small children and teens in the household provides unique challenges. How do you tell your children about your diagnosis? When should you tell them? How do you involve their teachers, if you choose to? The CRC Cares About Families Guide (see link below) helps with these issues. We also offer a support group for young adults (under the age of 50). Please contact us for support and resources as you share information with your family and confront the challenges.  

Reading a book together is one way to open a conversation about cancer, talk about the feelings your child may have, and learn some coping strategies. For a limited time, receive a gift book,  thanks to the Saryn Emily Overby Koretsky Memorial Fund. CRC also carries an extensive library collection of books specifically for children.


CRC Cares About Families Guide_v3


CRC Cares About Families Book Gifts


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For Younger Children

Good Sources of Information

Summer Camp Resources (free)

Good resources for a Teen with a Family Member with Cancer

Cornell University and the Cancer Resource Center partner to connect scientists-in-training with the cancer community. Together they host monthly seminars where researchers and patients interact and learn from each other. Some months, a graduate student may give a lay-language presentation about an important aspect of cancer research. Other months, community members describe their experiences of living with cancer. There are also informal activities that promote patient-researcher dialogue, such as lab tours, book clubs, and participation in cancer support groups. 

Cancer Research Seminar

Meets every Wednesday 5:15-6:30pm at Cornell Vet School Classroom 6 (free parking after 5pm). Join with Cornell doctoral students engaged in cancer research and those directly touched by cancer for a discussion about the science of cancer (presented in lay language). Click here for more information, or contact Bob Riter at rnr45@cornell.edu. Open to the public. Light refreshments provided. #CornellCancerPartnership #CancerResearchSeminar


Cornell Support Group

Support group meets on the 2nd Wednesday of each month 12-1pm at 321 Weill Hall, Cornell. Open to faculty, staff, students, and retirees with any type of cancer, at any stage of treatment or recovery. This provides an opportunity to meet one another, create a community of support, and learn about the resources available on campus and in Ithaca.

For more info: Monica Vakiner monica@crcfl.net or Bob Riter rnr45@cornell.edu.

 

For more information about any of the above groups, call us at 277-0960.

 

Link to YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFbRkzx9qsk&feature=youtu.be

Link to Cornell site: http://blogs.cornell.edu/cancercommunitypartnership/

Our staff and volunteers can help connect you with local transportation services, parking permits, and to the American Cancer Society “Road to Recovery” program.

Local Travel Assistance Resources 

  • Gadabout (607-273-1878) is a nonprofit, door-to-door service for people aged sixty or older and for disabled residents of Tompkins County. Service runs from 8:30am – 4:30pm, Monday through Friday. Ride reservations must be made no later than 11:00am the business day prior to the requested trip.
  • Friends in Service Helping (FISH) provides transportation within Tompkins County for elderly, handicapped, and low-income individuals. This is offered primarily for medical related trips. Please call several days in advance. There is no charge, but donations are accepted. Dial 211 for assistance.
  • Ithaca Dispatch has a wheelchair-accessible taxi that can be ordered like any other taxi by calling 277-7777.
  • Volunteers from the American Cancer Society Road to Recovery Program (800-ACS-2345) are sometimes available to take patients to treatment and appointments. This program is especially helpful for people who need to travel into or out of Tompkins County. (Gadabout and FISH only travel within the county).
  • TCAT (Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit) offers routes 19 and 21, which serve Cayuga Medical Center on a regular basis. Schedules are available on-line at www.tcatbus.com or by calling 607-277-RIDE.
  • Zimride is an online resource to share rides to and from Tompkins County.
  • Cayuga Lake Limo (607-279-9027) has offered to take cancer patients to Syracuse, Rochester, etc., for reasonable rates. Please call them for cost information.

Click here for more information about out of town travel assistance.

Parking Permits

Note: The transportation resources contained in this booklet are based in Tompkins County. If you live elsewhere, good sources of information are the local County Office for the Aging and/or organizations that serve people with disabilities.

Travel Assistance to New York City

In partnership with Cornell University Transportation Department, CRC makes reservations for free trips on the Cornell Campus-to-Campus Bus for patients and a support person traveling to NYC for medical appointments and treatments. Call us for more information: 607-277-0960

 

Click here for CRC’s Bus Reservation Policy