By Jill Byrd
No one understands the impact that a cancer diagnosis can have on your life until it happens to you.
Kris Rangel, 49, lost her husband, Michael, to hyper-aggressive prostate cancer in early 2019. She spent the rest of that year in a fog of loss and heartache, and then endured the loneliness that many people felt throughout the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I knew at some point I would want to do something to help others fighting cancer – patients, caregivers, and family members who are on a cancer journey with their loved ones,” Kris said. “Michael was just 44 years old and was 7.5 months from diagnosis to death. I need to make sense of what happened to my husband, so helping others is part of that journey and an important part of that process.”
Caroline Rose is a three-time, highly aggressive stage 4 cancer survivor. At 27, she was diagnosed with an incurable form non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. After countless rounds of therapy and two bone marrow transplants, Caroline is celebrating ten years of being cancer-free this year.
“When I was going through all of my treatments, we saw how hard it was for so many, who were not even able to have loved ones by their side when they were fighting for their lives because someone had to work to put food on the table for their children,” Caroline said. “I made a promise to myself that if I were to live and get to a point in my life where I could give back and help, I would. I saw firsthand the difference that it made, and that is why I am so honored to be a part of the SA Cancer Council.”
The SA Cancer Council was formed in 1984 when a group of pioneering women in San Antonio came together to make a difference in the fight against cancer. The all-volunteer, non-profit organization provides financial resources for patient assistance and cancer research at the Mays Cancer Center, home to UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson, the only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center in San Antonio and South Texas.
The Council’s legacy of helping local patients, their families, and researchers is only achieved through the dedication of its members who contribute to the mission by donating time, money, and other resources for fundraising events, community outreach, and education. The Council also offers members like Kris and Caroline an outlet to help others who are navigating the cancer journey. New members are always welcome and encouraged to help increase awareness and support for those impacted by cancer in our community.
The SA Cancer Council is changing the story of cancer for the more than 4,000 newly diagnosed cancer patients and the more than 1,500 patients enrolled on clinical trials at the Mays Cancer Center each year.
If you or someone you know has been impacted by cancer and you want to become involved, please visit SACancerCouncil.org to learn more about membership, donations, and event opportunities. You can also connect with the SA Cancer Council on Facebook (@SACancerCouncil) and Instagram (SA Cancer Council).
SA Cancer Council Fast Facts:
Learn more at sacancercouncil.org.
Value of Membership:
- Interact with world-renowned San Antonio-based cancer researchers
- Learn firsthand about recent discoveries in cancer research therapies
- Receive early invitations to events and special programs
- Build upon our commitment to change the story of cancer
- Fundraising proceeds helped establish:
- Patient Assistance to operate a food pantry, purchase wheelchairs and stretchers, offer prescription co-pays, secure grocery gift cards, and other general patient necessities.
- $1M SA Cancer Council Distinguished Chair for Oncology
- $1M Radiation Therapy Suite
- $750K Patient Education Suite
- $450K to fund 18 Circle of Hope Cancer Research Pilot Projects
- Purchase of two transportation vans
- Valet parking and curbside assistance services
2021 Events – learn more at sacancercouncil.org:
- Beacon of Hope Luncheon, September 28
- Cure Cancer Card, October 22- 31
- Free Lunch and Learn events with health experts