Notes of Hope for December

Program Spotlights

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

In addition to the strenuous treatments that go along with childhood cancer, another main concern many caregivers face is the struggle to ensure proper nutrition for their families. Inspired by his best friends’ cancer experience, Chef Ryan Callahan finished his second book to specifically help families adjust their cooking to be more appealing and appetizing for loved ones during and after cancer treatment. We are pleased to announce, thanks to a donation from the Walmart State Grant Foundation, that we will be able to stock our library with copies of his books! Here’s a sneak peek at Chef Ryan’s top 3 tips:

Palate cleansing –

  • This technique will help with smell-induced nausea and metallic taste, both of which can turn people off to certain foods. Chef Ryan suggests adding 1-2 T red wine vinegar and 1-2 T sugar to the dish while preparing the meal.  Vinegar works its magic by lightening the perceived weight of the dish, leaving a clean feeling in the mouth. Following this with a subtle taste of sugar masks flavor and smell of vinegar so you get the benefits without the aftertaste.

Understanding concept of pungency –

  • Our nose is 90% of the tasting experience.   Pungency is less about the character of the smell and more about the quantity or strength of smell. It plays a major factor in one’s ability to eat, and can turn off someone’s appetite faster than anything else. Chef Ryan encourages families to be aware of what different foods smell like. He reminds caregivers, “Remember you are NOT cooking for yourself.  Sit down together and smell a bunch of different herbs, spices, meats, etc.   Have the kids describe reactions to each one and take notes about what affects them in what ways.” This process can be very empowering because kids are making the choice themselves and feel listened to. 

Roundness of flavor –

  • This is a culinary theory that Chef Ryan invented about the whole-istic way of looking at cooking. Chemotherapy affects all senses, leaving a cancer survivor extra sensitive to textures, aromas, and flavors. The ‘roundness of flavor’ concept has to do with relearning flavors that they like now, then balancing them with the sense of smell, sight, and texture. Chef Ryan suggests helping kids identify what they specifically taste on the tongue (salty, savory, spicy, sour, and sweet) and bringing those five different tastes into balance with the rest of the body.   

For more information, also check out his recent article here in CONQUER magazine.

And stay tuned for the arrival of his books later this month!

Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month

In observation of Gynecologic Cancer join us for a screening of the movie Someone You Love, The HPV Epidemic on Tuesday, September 27, 5:00 - 7:30 pm at LVHN 17th & Chew Street, 2nd floor auditorium. This powerful documentary features five cervical cancer survivors sharing their experiences about relationships, concerns during and after treatment, and emotions surrounding their own mortality. A panel discussion and refreshments will follow the video. Gynecological cancer survivors are encouraged to bring family members and friends to help spread awareness about this important health issue. This program is also open to anyone interested in learning more about prevention and detection. Offered in conjunction with Lehigh Valley Health Network. RSVP to 610-861-7555.

We are also excited to share an invitation to the Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Oncology Fair: Resources and Services for The Mind, Body and Spirit. Wednesday, September 14, 4:00 - 7:00 pm. Location: Middle Level of the Health and Technology building, GSRH. 850 S. 5th St., Allentown, PA. This is an educational event for the cancer community to highlight programs and services in our surrounding neighborhood. Survivors, caregivers and medical professionals are invited. To register, call 1-888-44-REHAB (73422) or email

Jen Sinclair, Program Director

Our resource library has a wide selection of books for children, tweens & teens, parents, and professionals on dealing with cancer in the family and the loss of a loved one.

How to Cope Better When You Have Cancer by Dr. William Penzer - this book is divided into five key sections pertaining to the various stages of accepting and understanding the land called “Cancerville”, Dr. Penzer’s advice includes how to calm fears and anxieties, how to deal with emotional ups and downs, how to manage anger and communication, how to keep relaxation and laughter in one's life, and how to draw from both realistic and unrealistic optimism depending on the circumstances.

Cancer Etiquette: What to Say, What to Do When Someone You Know or Love Has Cancer by Rosanne Kalick - A guide on how to respond when someone says, "I have cancer." Two-time cancer survivor Roseanne Kalick helps readers communicate caringly with the cancer patient. She discusses the distressing comments that are often made to people with cancer and offers helpful advice on what should be said instead. Rosanne Kalick shares many of her own stories as well as dozens of others' anecdotes. The book is intended for patients, caregivers, family members, and friends.

Help Me Live, Revised Edition: 20 Things People with Cancer Want You to Know by Lori Hope - Following her own treatment for cancer, Lori Hope created a survey for cancer survivors addressing issues they wanted their families, friends, and caregivers to understand. The results of the newly expanded survey are presented with honesty, insight, and humor, and complemented by scores of compelling personal stories from survivors of diverse ages and backgrounds. If you are a caregiver, this book will help you communicate more effectively and respond more compassionately. And if you are a survivor, it will help you feel validated, empowered, and, ultimately, hopeful.

Special thanks to our volunteer librarian, Kathy Moyer, for her monthly featured reading selections and other resources from our educational library.

If you would like to find out more about us, visit or call 610-861-7555.

Click here for our Program Calendar.

Our programs are free to participants, thanks to the generosity of a caring community. Financial donations received throughout the year are as important as those we receive year-end to sustain our vital services. Small or large, your gift is always very much appreciated!

Board of Directors

Sara George

Ginny Voros
Vice President

Pam Kennedy

Joan Lardner Paul

Board Members
Susan D. Lee
Sheri Leo
Suzanne Mason
Daniel J. McCarthy
Tom Neuhaus
Uday Parekh
Dr. T. Kumar Pendurthi
Rebecca Rij-Flynn
Judith Savchak
Dale Schmelzle
Elizabeth Scofield
Kim Spotts-Kimmel, Esq.

Please visit the Donate.Local.Simple website for a more detailed list of needed items.

We are grateful for your donations throughout the year. Inkind contributions of items on our Wish List are very much appreciated, and can be dropped off during normal business hours.

Join the 24th annual
Women’s 5K Classic
October 1, 2016

The Breast and Gynecological Support Programs at the Cancer Support Community are made possible in part by a grant from the Woman’s 5K Classic. This event has contributed to our programs since we opened in 2004, and we appreciate all they do to support us and others in our community. Click here for more information.

The 9th Annual
Wings of Hope:
A Butterfly Release
Saturday, September 10

Join us for Wings of Hope: A Butterfly Release at 10:30 a.m. at Cedar Crest College in Allentown.

Don't miss crafts, henna tattoos, and face painting for kids; refreshments; and a fabulous raffle.

Plus: glorious curtains, filled with hundreds of paper butterflies inscribed with the names of loved ones we want to honor and remember. And, of course, the noon release of 250 majestic Monarch butterflies.

To release a personal butterfly, you may order here. To purchase colorful paper butterflies inscribed with the name of someone you'd like to honor or remember, order here.

We are grateful to Rob Vaughn, News Anchor from WFMZ, for joining us again this year as our Wings of Hope emcee, and thank him for sharing these comments:

The world is cockeyed. Right? We all learned it in school: the planet is tilted on its axis. Off-kilter. Out of whack. You don’t feel it when you walk out of the house – you don’t start leaning to the side or sliding down toward the mailbox – but the tilt is there. (If you hate winter, blame the tilt.)  And the world is out of alignment in more ways than one. Which, if you think about it, is what gives us much of the material we need to put on a nightly newscast. 

Things are not what they should be, or at least not what we’d want them to be.  You know? And our newscasts are a chronicle of this truth. People tune in to see “what’s happening,” which basically means: what went wrong, what’s got people mad, who’s dead, why the money’s running out, etc. Things are out of whack. Of course the news isn’t all grim: I get to share a smile with my co-anchors now and then over a new fun fad (can anyone tell me what Pokemon Go is?) or kids playing in a fountain on the first day of summer. But, by and large, viewers want an image of the world as it is, and it’s often a gloomy affair.

Feeling the tilt
The world-as-it-really-is – a tilted place – includes cancer. As I write this, I’m facing a picture of my father-in-law, now gone for several years. His son, my wife’s oldest brother, is now gone as of a few months ago. Though it did not cause her death, my mom had breast cancer. And even now, my father has just found out that he needs to see an oncologist. It’s news that makes your heart seem to stop for a moment.

Delivering bad news is a weird job to have – but of course that’s the most negative way to put it. We also have the great privilege of helping people be aware of the world-as-it-is, which is a necessary thing; and we have the privilege of telling stories of people at their most noble, at their best, doing what they can to solve problems, to comfort the afflicted, to love the hurting – in other words, to mitigate “the tilt” as much as they can.

Taking flight
So when the good people of the Cancer Support Community of the Greater Lehigh Valley asked me to help out with the annual Wings of Hope event, I said yes. I was glad to do it. And not only do I get to help, in a very small way, with a wonderful event, I also get to mingle with remarkable people who aren’t satisfied to leave a broken, tilted world just as it is, but who are determined to reach out to others with love and embraces and prayers and smiles and the sending forth of butterflies on a Saturday morning in September. If you haven’t been to the Wings of Hope event, you should stop by.  It’s an enriching experience.

My grandkids were recently sprawled on the floor of my house, offering earnest medical care to some small, plastic dinosaurs. (Little Clara decided, for some reason, that dinosaur doctors should turn to Luke, chapter three, in the Bible to find instruction for operating on the ailing creatures; she held the Bible in one hand, glanced at the text, and then proceeded with the operation.) If the earth, tilted on its axis, is a picture of a world marred by cancer and other ills, perhaps my grandchildren’s dinosaur hospital is a picture of the love, the care, and the prayers that this weary world needs. Our lives, says Clara’s Bible, are but “a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” Our time is short, and the news of life is often distressing, but we can choose to offer love, care and prayers. I am glad the Cancer Support Community asked me to have a small role in its good work.  Perhaps I’ll see you at Wings of Hope. ~ Rob Vaughn

Please check out the 2015 event video

Notes from the Executive Director

“Take rest, for a field that has rested gives a beautiful crop."
 ~ Ovid, born 43 B.C. as Publius Ovidius Naso, a Roman poet who lived during the reign of Augustus.

September begins and ends with a new moon, and a full moon emerges in the middle. This month typically represents a time for change – when children (and some adults) return to school causing several adjustments in the household; when the Autumn Equinox officially transitions our calendar from summer to fall; when farms and gardens are nearing the end of their harvests for the year; and when vibrant Monarch butterflies begin anticipating their migration and take flight to rest in Mexico or California.

We often hear program participants and family members say that learning to make wiser choices and healthier life changes are some of the good things they’ve gained from their cancer experience. The Cancer Support Community strives to create opportunities for our visitors and to help improve their lives during treatment and in survivorship.

We hope you’ll join us at our Wings of Hope celebration and fundraiser on September 10th, to rejoice in life, memorialize loved ones and honor survivors. This event is also a poignant reminder that transformation can be beautiful. Come and share some special moments in this season of change.

Here are some other significant national observances to note during the month of September:

  • Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month
  • Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
  • Blood Cancer Awareness Month
  • Leukemia and Lymphoma Awareness Month
  • Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
  • Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
  • National Yoga Awareness Month
  • World Lymphoma Awareness Day (September 15th)
  • Family Health and Fitness Day (September 24)
  • National Women’s Health and Fitness Day (September 28)

“One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn't pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself." ~ Lucille Ball

September will be my last month with the Cancer Support Community. It has been an honor to provide leadership for this fine organization, and I thank you for your support and association during my three years here. I will cherish the relationships and experiences that I carry with me. 

Wishing you well, and cherished chances,
Paula Ream-Dorward

“In our lives, chance may have an astonishing influence - never neglect an extraordinary appearance or happening.  One sometimes finds what one is not looking for.” ~ Sir Alexander Fleming, Scottish biologist, pharmacologist and botanist. – In 1928, Fleming discovered penicillin, though he did not realize the full significance of his discovery for at least another decade.

2nd annual Ride for Hope tickets now available. Pre-register or purchase day of event. If you loved our event last year you will love our October 1 fall ride even more. Click here to purchase.

Click here
to watch our new video.

Each month the Cancer Support Community holds a "Newcomer Orientation" to introduce its programs and services to first time attendees. To help with this introduction, members and staff share information and their personal experiences.

More Ways to Contribute

Don’t forget these optional ways to help the Cancer Support Community of the Greater Lehigh Valley…

Recipes, Courtesy of Prevention

The pot’s simmering…garden fresh!

This month’s recipe column is thanks to Prevention Magazine. For additional health and wellness information, go to

September ’16 Recipes

Spinach and Wild Rice Soup with Pumpkin Seed Pesto


Teriyaki Tuna Burgers

The organization’s 2014-15 Annual Report is available for viewing on our Website.

Thank You, Foundation and Corporate Supporters

Air Products

Air Products

Highmark Blue Shield
Hospital central Services Ironton Global Lehigh Valley Health Network Liberty Property Trust
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. The Hartford Women's 5K Classic Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. Women's 5K Classic      
Bethlehem Morning Star Rotary
Bill Sugra Memorial Fund
BlackRock Matching Gifts Program
Burkholder’s Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc.
Brown Daub, Inc.
Cancer Support Community Headquarters
  Charles B. Patt, Jr. Memorial Golf Outing Charles H. Hoch Foundation
DeSales Athletic Department
J's Run
John A. and Margaret Post Foundation
Keystone Savings Foundation
  Lehigh Valley Business/Journal Multimedia Nancy Run Fire Company & Pink Heals LV Chapter
  Northampton Community College Patt White Charities
  Pendurthi Surgical Associates Phoebe Ministries
  Saucon Valley Country Club Ladies 'Rally for the Valley' Sylvia Perkin Perpetual Charitable Trust
  The Century Fund The Fleming Foundation
  The Rea Charitable Trust Trumbower Hospital Foundation
  Walter & Alma Bastian Fund of the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation  


This list begins at the $1,000 support level.

Gifts of more than $100 are listed in the fiscal year-end annual report.