Past Projects

What We Do

Past Projects

2020 Goals

1.  Grow our transportation program!  In 2019 Cancer Can’t partnering with Catholic Charities was proving 75-100 rides per month by the end of the year.  While this seems like an incredible amount of support, we are still not serving all of the oncology clinics in our community and there are more people that need assistance in this way.  We would like to begin providing support to more rural patients as well as patients and clinics In Idaho.  We need to continue to grow our volunteer base to provide more rides to service more clinics.  Additionally we are taking steps to obtain gas cards to offer this type of assistance to more rural patients.  We will also be looking at how we can cross the state boarder or offer rides in Idaho.  

2.  The Cancer Can’t grant program rapidly grew in 2019 as we helped many patients and completely ran out of funds.  In 2020 we have more than doubled our budget and will be offering over $50,000 of assistance to cancer patients in our community.  We hope to help twice as many people in financial need as we did in 2019. 

3.  Develop business partners that will offer pro bono services to cancer patients in need as an in-kind donation.  In 2019 we received multiple requests for help with common needs like dental care or dentures as that is not covered by medical insurance.  Dental care is extremely important for cancer patients but is often not an additional expense patients can undertake, however it is important for their health as many infections can start in the mouth.  We plan to partner with local dentist so we can offer this care to patients financially struggling that could not afford it otherwise. 

4.  In 2019 we started a new program “Cancer Can’t take Christmas.   We helped 10 families and provided of $15,000 in gifts and support to these families fighting cancer with young children in the home.  With all the financial a cancer diagnosis adds to a family, it isn’t uncommon to not be able to afford a little extra Christmas magic in December.  In 2020 we will begin seeking out more families that we can help throughout the year and offer the community an option to adopt a family with more time.  We hope to help 15 families and reach $20,000 of assistance in 2020.  

5.  Continue our partnership with the Charitable Pharmacy and provide financial assistance as needed. 

6.  Continue to develop the triage program in partnership with Providence. 

2019 Goals

  1. Often, oncology patients do not have a caregiver that is able to get them to and from all of their appointments associated with cancer treatment. Social workers in treatment centers have worked with over five transportation services in the Spokane area, but none can guarantee rides to cancer patients when they need it. By devoting so much of their energy to finding rides for patients, the treatment centers have little time to focus on other ways to assist patients. Partnering with Catholic Charities, who will effectively be administrating the program, the Cancer Can't Board of Directors has been actively working to grow our transportation program. By hiring a Transportation Liaison to go out into the community to recruit volunteers, we have dedicated a significant amount of time and resources on finding enough volunteer drivers to achieve our goal of guaranteeing ailing patients a ride to and from their oncology appointments when they need them.     
  2. Cancer Can't continues to work with Providence Sacred Heart and other oncology centers to create oncology triage areas in our hospitals so oncology patients would no longer need to go to the emergency room. The medical community has recognized that when an oncology patient experiencing neutropenic fever, pain, excessive nausea or other side effects brought on by chemotherapy, goes to the ER they are at great risk of contracting further illness due to their compromised immune system's innability to fight the many germs that are present in the ER. Their risk only increases as they endure the long wait that is often associated with visits to the ER. Cancer Can't has been advocating for hospitals to adopt a new system where oncology patients would receive priority admittance and be treated in a more sterile environment. We hope to see the efforts of our Triage Project come to fruition this year. In fact, Providence Sacred Heart will be launching a pilot program through its ER in May of 2019, where cancer patients entering the ER will receive priority admittance and be triaged in a separate room from other patients by an oncology nurse. We will continue to champion this project as our goal is to have these systems in place for oncology patients in all emergency rooms throughout the Inland Northwest.
  3. In 2018, we began The Cancer Can’t Grant Program, for oncology patients experiencing financial stress associated with their treatment. Amongst other necessities, our grant program has helped local cancer patients pay for hotel lodging, childcare, and medical supplies. Currently, we release $6,000 a quarter in grants to cancer patients in need. Our goal for 2019 is to grow the grant program so we are able to help even more adults fighting cancer.
  4. This year we will be hosting our 5th Annual Dinner & Auction. This event is the primary way Cancer Can't raises funds for our programs and projects. We are blessed to be a foundation mainly run by volunteers; so, we are able to keep our overhead low. Still, our work of helping to improve the lives of adult cancer patients requires tangible resources, often in the form of money. Our goal, this year, is to surpass the attendance and sales records of our previous years' auctions. Our target is to have over 500 attendees this year and raise $200,000 in sales. The more we are able to raise at the event the more resources we can put into our programs.


2018 Goals

  1. We are exploring a project with Providence Sacred Heart that would be creating an oncology triage center within the hospital. If implemented, oncology patients would no longer need to go to the emergency room! If patients experience neutropenic fever, pain, excessive nausea or other side effects brought on by chemotherapy, they can skip the long wait in the ER and go to a triage center being planned for the oncology floor of Providence Sacred Heart. This project could take a couple years to see through, as it will require a remodel to create a 3 bed triage center, as well as the coordination of all the logistics to offer quality care for patients. The Cancer Can't board has formed a committee that has been working with the Providence Foundation on this project for the last 6 months. We are in the planning stage but things are looking very positive that this will be something that we can provide our community.

  2. The Cancer Can't board is also working on a transportation project for oncology patients. Often patients do not have a caregiver that is able to get them to and from all of their appointments associated with cancer treatment. Currently, treatment centers are attempting to work with over 5 transportation services in the Spokane area. Our goal is not to reinvent the wheel, but to offer assistance with a current problem. We are working to hire a social worker that would become the transportation coordinator and would handle the coordination of rides using existing programs and services. This would free up so much time for the treatment centers to allow them to focus on other ways to assist patients and have peace of mind that the patients are getting to their appointments.

  3. We are hoping this year we will be able to launch a series of classes provided each month that will focus on patient education. Upon diagnosis there are tons of decisions patients face with almost no experience or knowledge of what the path hold before them. These classes will focus on insurance options, Medicare/Medicaid, how to challenge insurance rulings, Social Security, resources available in our community, how to find financial assistance, and more.

2016 Goals

  1. We have passed both House Bill 2468 and House Bill 1765 to effectively create a donation medication program in the state of Washington. Because oncology drugs are on average $10,000 per month, we felt tackling the medication needs of patients was a huge accomplishment toward helping their daily lives. This program is a work in progress. Since passing these laws, Cancer Can't has launched a second non profit called The Charitable Pharmacy Group. The non profit will run and create the donation drug program in our state. This program will allow patients to donate back unused and unexpired medications to participating pharmacies throughout the state. If there is a patient who cannot afford their medication, and we have it available through donation, they can access that medication free of charge.

    Check out the website at
  2. We launched THE NEXT, our sponsor based support program.

2015 Goals

We are working with representative Kevin Parker, along with physicians and pharmacists in our community to try to help patients have better access to medication. On January 29th, 2016 the house committee passed our bill "The Cancer Can't Charitable Pharmacy Act" and will soon move on to the house floor. We are hopeful to get this passed this year.


Cancer Can’t raised enough money to update 16 oncology rooms at Sacred Heart. An average patient spends approximately four days in one of the oncology rooms, but some patients may stay upwards of 50 consecutive nights. These rooms were originally designed to treat patients by administering chemotherapy, stem cell transplants and other important medical surgeries and treatments. One significant thing these rooms were not designed for was to promote patient healing and well-being.

Due to extensive research and a more recent emphasis on optimal healing environments for hospital patients, Cancer Can’t will be updating the oncology floor at Sacred Heart to promote a more healing and positive patient atmosphere. Each room will be equipped with a mini-refrigerator, a microwave, a medical grade recliner and healing nature-based artwork. These much needed updates will help foster control for patients, promote social support and provide access to more soothing and calming artwork surroundings.

By the end of 2015 Cancer Can’t has finalized the design selections with the beautification committee at Sacred Heart. Purchases and updates will be taking place in 2016.

Project Update, March 2016 - Cancer Can't has purchased and delivered all the refrigerators and microwaves for the rooms. Providence is working on updating the electrical system to hold the additional power draw that will be required to run these appliances. Once this update is finished, each room will be supplied with a new microwave and mini fridge.

As of this week, each room should now have its own recliner sleeper that would allow patient's guests to be able to stay with the patient comfortably. Thank you to Kurshaws furniture for helping us with this awesome furniture.

Craig Goodwin Photography has finished editing all of his donated photos. We signed off on the proofs and the art work is now in the printing phase. We should have them within the next 6 weeks along with all new room sponsor signs.

Providence is going to work room by room to update paint and include built-ins for the microwave and fridge. This process should be underway as we speak.