CANCER AID RESOURCE & EDUCATION, INC. (CARE)
118 S. Water St.
Las Cruces, NM 88001
575-652-5407 or 575-649-0598
CARE’s impact in the Doña Ana County community is like no other. CARE was established so that Doña Ana County will have a physical location for any local cancer patient to go to and obtain services or assistance to cope with their cancer diagnosis. CARE is dedicated to establishing or assisting in services, resources, general education, and other additional services that will help address the challenges that many Doña Ana County cancer patients, children and adults, face while receiving treatment for any type of cancer with no cost to the local cancer patients. This need exists in Doña Ana County.
MISSION STATEMENT: CARE intervenes on the financial toxicity of cancer by providing financial support for basic living needs to people who reside in Doña Ana County recently diagnosed with any type of cancer and in treatment to cure, shrink or stop the progression of their cancer, so they may focus on treatment, healing and recovery. CARE’s goal is to be part of the solution to improve health outcomes and cancer survivorship.
VISION STATEMENT: “Our vision is that no cancer patient or family member in Doña Ana County will be without access to information and services.”
When an individual hears the words, “You have cancer” everything in their life comes to a roaring stop. Fear and anxiety take over and not only for the person with the diagnosis, but for their whole family. People handle this hard time differently, but most, after a period, start looking into what their options are and where their supports might be.
That is where CARE comes in. We are not about cancer research or medical care – there are many fine organizations committed to research and medicine and they are doing incredible work. But, for the individual and family dealing right here, right now, with the reality of cancer, we offer “hands on” support. CARE’s focus is to provide assistance to cancer patients who have recently been diagnosed with any type of cancer, within three months of a positive cancer diagnosis with a diagnostic biopsy. CARE assists cancer patients and their families to help them cope with their cancer treatment by assisting them with non-medical expenses/basic living needs expenses while they are in active treatment for any type of cancer. Active treatment usually may involve surgery and/or chemotherapy and/or radiation or a transplant. CARE’s Care and Support Program helps with gas cards to get to treatment, other transportation needs, groceries and nutritional supplements, self-pay health insurance, utilities, rent or mortgage payments, telephone, etc. If treatment requires medical travel outside of the county, CARE helps with lodging, airfare, meals, gas cards, parking, etc. so that the patient can concentrate on treatment, healing, recovery and survival. We can connect them to community resources and information. CARE created the CARE Support Program to help on the onset of a major cancer diagnosis and provide financial assistance for a defined period. CARE’s goal is to be part of the solution to improve health outcomes and cancer survivorship.
Almost all of us have been or will be touched by cancer in our lives. Someone we know and care about or even ourselves will hear those very hard words, “you have cancer”. Our goal at CARE is to be sure that no one has to struggle with the necessities of life during that time. Our goal at CARE is to ensure that while families are dealing with cancer they have dignity and as much strength and courage as we can help provide.
Yolanda “Yoli” R. Diaz
CARE President/Executive Director
In honor and memory of my father, Emilio Rigales Sr., who died of lung cancer, I have chosen to take a different path in my life. I feel very passionately that even though we could not change the outcome of our father’s disease, that I can do something to help others who have been affected with this devastating disease, cancer. Our family has also dealt with the stress of the constant risk cancer has for our cancer survivors in our family. My oldest son, Mario Jr., is a four-time melanoma survivor; he was diagnosed for the first time when he was 23 years old. We also have other family members who are cancer survivors and some who have passed away from this dreadful disease. I know how devastating cancer is to families.
I am a volunteer who helps our community, especially families who have been affected by cancer. It has been said: “There is nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer. With it beats the spirit of service, generosity and compassion…..and the health and well-being of our community, our country and our world.” Let us not underestimate the power of a helping hand, a listening ear, an act of kindness…all which have the potential to change lives by making a difference in lives.
Since 2009, I dedicated my time in a full-time capacity to volunteering for different organizations. Through my volunteering, I learned that the need to help our local cancer patient strongly exists! And, I also learned that there was not a local nonprofit organization to help our Doña Ana County cancer patients who were coping with the diagnosis of any type of cancer. This caused me to take a different focus. Cancer does not discriminate. Any one of us can become a cancer patient. As a result of my experiences, I fully have knowledge that the need to help our local cancer patients exists in our community. At least now, I can say that I am doing something about addressing this need. I am taking action to help our local cancer patients. I will volunteer my time to CARE to make a difference in helping our local community, especially cancer patients who reside in Doña Ana County. I choose to not receive a salary so that more cancer patients can be helped. We have operated this organization as a volunteer group, with no salaries nor payroll expenses, since February 2013 when we incorporated in the State of New Mexico. Our fundraising efforts began in April 2013 with the goal of starting to assist cancer patients in June or July of 2013. We provided assistance to the first cancer patient on July 31, 2013, reaching our goal. We have provided this financial assistance to combat the financial burden, financial toxicity, a cancer diagnosis brings to local cancer patients so that they can concentrate on treatment, healing, recovery and survival. I strongly encourage anyone and everyone in our community to get involved with us and help us help others in our great community!
With your help, we can continue to do the work we do to help others. We thank all of our supporters for being passionate about giving back and helping others who are in one of the most, if not the most, difficult journey of their lives. We thank our supporters for their love of humankind and their voluntary action for the public good. We thank our supporters for making a difference in people’s lives and our community.
We may all need a heart of a volunteer in some point in our lives. Thank you to all our volunteers for being that exceptional person today that any one of us may need in our life tomorrow.
I understand the hardship a cancer diagnosis brings. My father and sister are cancer survivors and we have family members that are survivors and family members who have been lost to cancer. I want to do my part to help our community, including cancer patients that need help while they are going through treatment.
We hope that you join us in this mission to help our local community in the area of cancer assistance, awareness and education, etc.