Cancer Resource Center Contributes to Community Sustainability & Resiliency

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Tompkins Weekly 3-30-15

By Fran Spadafora Manzella, LMSW

The Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes (CRC) is a local non-profit serving people living with or affected by cancer in Tompkins and surrounding counties. We provide a number of services to help preserve the energy and resources of individuals going through and following cancer treatment and those who care for them including one to one assistance at our offices on State Street in Ithaca and at Cayuga Medical Center. Other programs include support groups, wellness activities such as gentle yoga, caregiver support, and a free boutique offering wigs, head scarves, hats, prostheses, bras, etc.

A more recent program, our Financial Advocacy Program, serves individuals with cancer who may have financial questions and challenges related to their cancer diagnosis. We can help organize medical bills, sort out insurance issues, complete forms, identify resources, and provide advocacy.

CRC provides many of its services in collaboration with other organizations. Due to our partnership with Cayuga Medical Center (CMC), CRC volunteers and staff are present in both the radiation and chemotherapy suites providing patients with snacks, access to information on our services and those of other cancer support organizations, and most importantly, emotional support and empathy. Our presence at CMC helps the medical staff to focus on their roles as health care providers and provides patients and their family members easy access to our support and information.

Another valuable partnership we have is with Cornell University who graciously offers our clients free trips to medical facilities in New York City on the Cornell Bus as well as parking at no cost in one of their lots.  We also have a monthly group with Cornell doctoral students who facilitate discussions on different cancer research topics for the public in lay person’s terms.  Our yoga classes are held at Island Health & Fitness and Ithaca Community Acupuncture offers a sliding fee to individuals with cancer. Each year our organization benefits from the goodwill of many community partners who donate to support our programs and services, sponsor fundraisers or volunteer at our events or with one of our programs. Together we create a strong network of support for those who have cancer and those who love them, sustaining a fabric of resiliency, comfort, and care.

For assistance from one of our financial advocates or to connect with one of our other support programs, please stop by our office, call us at 277-0960, or send us an email at

We also invite you to visit our Web site at, which provides an overview of all our services as well as other resources and information about cancer along with information on our volunteer opportunities. We truly believe that “no one should face cancer alone” and encourage you to connect with our welcoming community of support.

Fran Spadafora Manzella, LMSW is Associate Director Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes



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