In Honor of National Cancer Survivors Day: Recognizing the Researchers

June 1, 2008 is National Cancer Survivors Day! Learn how you can participate in the Celebration of Life in your community by visiting the official website for National Cancer Survivors Day. 

I recently read an impressive article on Cancer Survival Rates on the St. Jude Research Center website (http://www.stjude.org/). What impressed me the most was how far medical research has advanced in the last 60 years. And on National Cancer Survivors Day, it's important to recognize how fortunate we are today because of the research, sacrifices of our predecessors and time-tested cancer treatments that faced young children and teens a generation ago. 

The article goes on to say that currently, one in every 350 individuals in the U.S. develops some type of cancer before the age of 20. In the 1940’s and 1950’s, few children survived cancer. 

But in the 1960s, researchers discovered ways to design therapies using chemotherapy drugs and combinations of different treatment modalities such as chemo, radiation and surgery. These new approaches resulted in increasing numbers of patients experiencing sustained remission and cures.

In honor of National Cancer Survivors Day and the Celebration of Life, please don't forget to recognize the incredible researchers who have brought us this far and continue to bring us closer to a cure!


Yes, you can get financial help with college

You’ve endured cancer treatments and now you want to move on with your life. But, if you don’t have a college education, finding a good job and pursuing the career of your dreams may be difficult.

As a childhood cancer survivor, you now have options in finding financial aid for college. Not only does CCC help with $1,000 - $2,000 scholarship awards, but there are other organizations helping in this fight, as well.

The American Cancer Society, for example, is offering college scholarships for pediatric cancer survivors. There are some restrictions within the states served by this division, and there are several hundred scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 awarded each year. (Click here for more information.) 

Also, if you are first diagnosed with cancer while in college, talk with the dean of students and the director of student financial aid at your school. Many colleges and universities have contingency funds that can provide additional assistance and financial resources to you.

With so many options, the question is not how can you afford to go to college, but how can you afford to not to go to college. And who knows, maybe you’ll be the one to discover the cure for cancer!


A Site to Blog About :)

No blogs in a LONG time... I apologize :(. An incredible friend passed away this week so it has been difficult to type anything. I don't want to "blog" about Matt, but you can visit his memorial site if you would like to learn more about this incredible man (mattortiz.legacy.com). 
I also set up a scholarship in memory of Matt: Matt Ortiz Leadership Scholarship. Please donate $10 to this scholarship fund so that we are able to award it this summer. You can donate by visiting: www.change.org/ccc, and clicking on the "Matt Ortiz Leadership Scholarship." 
I am in the middle of doing a million things, but had to share an incredible website/blog with you! If you are like me, you are inundated with new information on various topics every 5 minutes. It can be a bit overwhelming! I love this new site: alltop.com. Here is the full description of their "purpose" off of their website:

"We help you explore your passions by collecting stories from “all the top” sites on the web. We’ve grouped these collections — “aggregations” — into individual Alltop sites based on topics such as environment, photography, science, Muslim, celebrity gossip, military, fashion, gaming, sports, politics, automobiles, and Macintosh. At each Alltop site, we display the headlines of the latest stories from dozens of sites and blogs.
You can think of an Alltop site as a “digital magazine rack” of the Internet. To be clear, Alltop sites are starting points—they are not destinations per se. The bottom line is that we are trying to enhance your online reading by both displaying stories from the sites that you’re already visiting and helping you discover sites that you didn’t know existed. In other words, our goal is the “cessation of Internet stagnation” by providing “aggregation without aggravation.'" 

Okay... I'm obsessed! 
Best wishes for health and happiness,

A picture from my computer while blogging with my love -- Lila. She does the typing :)


a look back...8 years ago

Today I spent a large chunk of time going through old computer files. I came across a file with a movie in it from eight years ago. I was 15! It was really strange to see it again after a few years.

It was my first television interview so I was a bit nervous. I had a little microphone attached to my shirt and I was supposed to NOT TOUCH IT! Well, you'll notice I didn't follow that rule too well. And I learned a valuable lesson from the experience, never flip your hair back during an interview. It's a big no no! Of course, I learned this lesson after the fact.

I can't believe it has been eight years since that taping. I feel more passionate about CCC now than ever before. And I was pretty passionate back then. To be honest, I'm proud of myself. I never let go or turned in another direction -- even though I could have at any point. It has been a difficult journey, but I wouldn't change anything. Thank you to everyone who has supported the mission of CCC from day one-- primarily, my family. And thank you to everyone who supports CCC today. Your presence is never forgotten.

Best wishes for health and happiness,


Care. Commit. Change. Video

In case you haven't seen (or want to watch again!) our Care. Commit. Change video, check this out.

The video is a tribute to our message, and highlights a few of our past recipients.

The purpose of this video is to spread the message that people need to CARE about the difficulties faced by childhood cancer survivors. We hope you find it inspiring, and are able to take the message that you personally draw from the video and put it into action.

As always, you can check us out at multiple social networking sites listed to the side...We hope you will join with us together and help make a difference in a child's life.

Ben Spoont


exciting news... introducing jamie corder!

I feel extremely honored and blessed to introduce myself as the Executive Director of Carolyn’s Compassionate Children. In both my life and career I have had the opportunity to work, play, laugh and cry with young adult cancer survivors. You have taught me that we must demand increased awareness, research, treatment and quality of life for young adults with cancer. With CCC it is my commitment to carry-on this lesson.

What you have told me both personally and in studies is that after facing the indignity of a cancer-diagnosis in your prime years, you feel lost in the world between pediatric and later-adult oncology. With little access to support groups and post-cancer quality of life care, your population is left alone to navigate the difficult transition into life after cancer. And because your demographic is less likely to have health insurance or high income, you are faced with the difficult decision to postpone or forego a college education.

It is our (CCC) goal to not allow financial barriers to prohibit you from attending college. By allocating funds annually through our college scholarship program, we provide access to education, a vital stepping -stone in the path of a promising future.

Thank you again for allowing me to be a part of your journey. I look forward to working with you.

Jamie Corder

Executive Director, CCC


unfiltered thoughts begin... now

Confession: I’m a recovering perfectionist. It has taken me about a month to post this first blog. Why? I wanted to become an expert blogger. And well, I'm not. I didn't research lots of blogs or learn the cardinal rules of blogging. I put on a little timer and said to myself, write a blog—now! And so.... I am -- real time picture below.
So, here are my unfiltered thoughts for post number one.

1. Who is Carolyn Rubenstein? Two facts (to get us started.. more to come as we get better acquainted) …
Number One: 
I’m 23 years old and graduated one year ago (on Mother’s Day) from Duke with a BA in psychology. I love everything academic and actually miss studying (it’s sad… I know). Fortunately, I get to start studying again in the fall when I begin graduate school at Harvard. I will be a first year PhD student in clinical psychology.

Number Two:
I want to help everyone with everything. Sounds like a positive quality—it’s not! It has taken years for me to realize that it’s not possible to help everyone without feeling a constant sense of guilt. I guess that’s why I’m going into psychology! It is this quality that probably accounts for the reason that I started a non-profit for children with cancer at age 14. It is this non-profit, Carolyn’s Compassionate Children (CCC), that you will be hearing lots about through this blog!

2.  How do I thank a class of middle school students who have blown me away with their generosity?

I received an email out of the blue from Anthony Lamb, a Language Arts teacher at Ramblewood Middle School in Coral Springs, Florida. He writes:

I recently assigned a "Community Project" to one of my classes. The students needed to choose a charitable cause in South Florida and a fun, interesting, and unique way to raise money/awareness for the cause.
The students presented the ideas, then we, as a class, voted on our favorite. We decided to choose CCC as our charitable cause.

The way we are currently raising the money is called "The First Annual Shave-off!" The event pits a teacher versus an administrator. Students have to donate to the person that they would rather see with their head shaved (this event has no ties or relevance to CCC; it was just a unique way to get middle school kids interested).

Wow! I can’t believe what an incredible thing these students have done for CCC. They raised $650! A simple “thank you,” is not going to cut it! Suggestions…? They definitely should have been on Oprah’s show, The Big Give!
My timer just went off!! Wheeew! First blog-- done! 
Some quick thoughts before I submit... exciting news to share tomorrow... and last check -- 190 applicants for CCC's 2008 College Scholarship Program!
Time for YOU to take action.
  • Set your timer for 5, 10, or 15 minutes. 
  • Join CCC on our new MySpace community: www.myspace.com/cccscholarships
  • Ask 5 friends to support the mission of CCC + join the community as well
Thank You!!
Best wishes for health and happiness,