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Final Updates from the 2022 Survivor Circle Grants Awardees based in Texas

By Jennifer Jang, ASTRO Communications
Posted: December 12, 2023

In fall of 2022, two Texas-based organizations, Breast Cancer Resource Center (BCRC) and Thrivewell Cancer Foundation were selected as ASTRO’s Survivor Circle grant winners for the services they provide to cancer patients, their families and caregivers. Each organization received a $10,000 grant in October and were honored at the 64th Annual Meeting in San Antonio. Specifically, the Survivor Circle Grant Program provides financial gifts to two cancer support organizations in the state hosting ASTRO’s Annual Meeting. ASTRO followed up with both organizations to learn more about how the grants provided tangible support in the past year.

Based in San Antonio, ThriveWell Cancer Foundation offers programs and support to improve the quality of life for patients and their families in San Antonio and the Bexar County community. They carry out their mission by providing the following: financial assistance to help offset treatment-related expenses, a complimentary fitness and nutrition program called Diva&Dude, and cancer research funding for local researchers.

ThriveWell used the Survivor Circle award to expand their Patient Assistance Program, which served a record number of patients in their community, 575 to be exact, a 30% increase in patients served over the same time frame the prior year. The grant specifically helped 10 cancer patients pay for their radiation treatment co-payments of up to $1,000 each, allowing the patients to fully comply with their treatment plan. Patient Graciela C. shared, “At a time when I felt my most vulnerable with this disease and everything that comes along with it, it was so comforting to have the support and assistance that ThriveWell provided. I am so grateful to the entire staff and donors who made it possible for me to get through my treatment. I will be forever grateful, and I hope to reciprocate what this foundation has done for me.”

BCRC has provided services for over 28 years in Central Texas. BCRC runs a Patient Navigation program that provides guidance and education to people diagnosed with breast cancer in their community. In addition to their one-on-one patient navigation, BCRC provides support to their clients, including monthly support groups, online forums and their Compass Crew program for health and wellness.

This past year, multiple Compass Crew events were very successful including Healing with Horses and Rowing, and this past spring, they had their infusion room volunteers begin, providing over 580 hours in five infusion centers comforting cancer patients. BCRC held their annual Art Bra Austin event in May and had over 600 attendees cheer on models who are all BCRC clients. They coordinated a retreat for their metastatic clients in August and 33 attended. A survey afterward captured that 92% said it felt good to be with people going through the same thing as they are. BCRC used the Survivor Circle grant to support their patient navigators, individuals who are critical to the BCRC mission of empowering those affected by breast cancer with personalized support and compassion.

The Survivor Circle grant has allowed these two special organizations to multiply their impact. We encourage cancer support organizations in next year’s Annual Meeting region, DC-Maryland-Virginia (DMV), to consider how they too might bolster their support. Applications are open and due in the spring. 

Read about the 2023 California-based Survivor Circle grant recipients. These two organizations received their grants in October at the 2023 ASTRO Annual Meeting in San Diego.

Topics:  Survivor Circle
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