The CancerHawk Story

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AlanStoller-Dolphins

Robyn Stoller learned first-hand that a diagnosis of cancer can be both life-altering and devastating.  She also learned that navigating a cancer treatment plan and knowing about, much less making sense of, the information and the resources that already exist is as challenging and confusing as the disease itself.

In March of 2000, Robyn’s 37-year old husband Alan was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma.  After undergoing surgery to remove his kidney, Alan was “cancer free”. Everything was relatively straightforward and other than visits to his oncologist and scans every year, cancer was a non-event in their lives.

Then came the summer of 2009 and Alan had surgery to remove a lump in his arm that he’d had for over 15 years. Over the years, many doctors diagnosed the lump as a lipoma and recommended that he leave it unless was growing or bothering him. However that summer, for no apparent reason, Alan decided it was time to get the so-called lipoma removed.

Several weeks after the surgery, the final pathology returned with a completely different diagnosis- pleomorphic rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare and aggressive cancer. Shortly thereafter, they learned that the cancer had spread to Alan’s lungs. Now nothing was as it appeared to be, and it got worse from there.

As if fighting cancer wasn’t hard enough, they had to find treatment alternatives- both medical and non-medical; travel assistance to get from Houston to DC after Alan had brain surgery; trying to find what we felt was good, sound nutrition information; how to appeal insurance decisions; negotiating payments to doctors; etc.  This took tremendous time and energy that was desperately needed to fight the cancer and raise their children. Despite everything they tried, Alan passed away on one year later at the age of 47.

Since then, Robyn’s research has uncovered thousands of organizations whose sole mission is to ease the lives of cancer fighters, survivors and their loved ones. What began as a desire to share this information and knowledge has grown into a nonprofit organizations whose mission is to connect anyone touched by cancer to the services, products and advice they need to make their cancer journeys a tad bit easier.

Robyn chose the name CancerHawk because hawks are symbolic of messengers and protectors. Keen vision is one of their greatest gifts, which is why they can see things that others may miss.

20 thoughts on “The CancerHawk Story

    1. Robyn Post author

      Hi Chantel – thanks for your note. In order to help you better we need some more information from you. What type of cancer, how old are you, and where do you live? In addition, what type of assistance are you interested in? Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

      Reply
  1. Heidi green

    Hi what wonderful work you are doing. We are in Australia and most Cancer patients find it hard to recieve packs or gift packs as most people won’t ship to Australia. We have just started practical care to offer gift packs at an affordable price to help with all different side effects. But we are having trouble getting our name out there. I was wondering if you would be happy to add our website to your back linking.
    Regards Heidi

    Reply
    1. Robyn Post author

      Hi Heidi, what a wonderful thing you are doing! I am happy to tweet and Facebook about your organization to help spread the word. All of the organizations I back link to on my site however must also offer services to cancer patients in the US. Keep up the good work. #cancersucks #youROCK xoxoxox

      Reply
  2. George Viramontes

    I’m a caregiverfor my best friend who dose not have much time,We were given a month do this traveling.I need help getting him back home to Istanbul Turkey as soon as possible,i’m going with him. so he can see his family and live out what ever time he has left.Please any one that can help me find a way to make this happen.

    Reply
    1. Robyn Post author

      I only know of organizations that help with travel within the United States and that will fly cancer patients to and from long distance cancer treatments. I suggest you connect with the National Patient Travel Center (www.patienttravel.org) as they may know of an organization that can help you.

      Reply
  3. Mandy Yendra

    I am newly diagnosed with stage Iv breast cancer. I have four children between the ages of 2 and 15….we are all devastated. I refuse to give into this cancer. I have to live for a while. Anyway, any news of cancer resources would be so helpful as we were living paycheck to paycheck before the diagnosis, and since I was given six months to live, any new treatments or therapies are greatly appreciated as well.
    Thanks for all you do and God Bless you and your family. I will keep you in my prayers

    Reply
    1. Robyn Post author

      Mandy, I’m so sorry to hear about your diagnosis. On the right hand side of my website, there are links that will direct you to information and resources that can help specifically “Financial, Travel, Career & Legal Assistance” can connect you with organizations such as The Pink Fund that offer financial assistance; “Treatment Options” can connect you to information on personalized, precision cancer treatments that you can discuss with your medical team; and “Breast Cancer” for tons of resources that can hopefully help you in many different areas as you navigate your way through this diagnosis. Sending you much love & light. Stay positive and never give up hope. xoxoxoxo

      Reply
  4. Janey Peters

    Hi : My name is Janey Peters . I have triple negative breast cancer. I have had 2 surgeries Jan. Feb. 2013 I am in chemo now and then go to radiation . So I have a ways to go . I seen on your site that you have free skin care samples for cancer patients . Do you also have a blanket for chemo also . We do not have anything like this where I live . We live in a very small town . I am 59 and sure could use these two things if you have them . I would appreciate it if you would email me and let me know if I am able to get them . My address is :
    Janey Peters
    21722 County Road 9
    Bemidji , Minnesota
    56601
    My phone number is 218-444-5856
    Thank You so much .

    Reply
    1. Robyn Post author

      Hi Janey! We will get you a blanket right away. Re: skin care,please connect with Susan of Moon-Organics. Susan’s email is info@MOON-organics.com and her phone number is 678.463.6648 Sending you much love & light! xox Robyn

      Reply
  5. Deb Pulver

    Hello,
    Started a nonprofit for women with any type of cancer that are are in need of a wig. Would live to speak with someone or have lunch and discuss your program!!

    Reply
  6. don

    Robyn, just a little note to let you know how my wife (Marty)(bile duct Cancer) is doing. We got our hopes up,at Northwestern, about becoming involved in a trial with thera spheres and some type of chemo they were testing to see if it made the tumor more sensitive to the radiation. However they said they thought that on the scan they noticed a few cancer cells between the liver and the peritoneum. Mayo had seen the same things about four months ago and thought it was some type of strandular material in the fat. Apparently that was enough to disqualify one for the trial. We are back in Springfield doing another three months of chemo, (two weeks on one week off), and then back up to mayo. I had written to Mayo about how unhappy we were with our visit to mayo, the head of the oncology department responded very graciously and said when we came back up in three months he would personally take our case and be my wife’s doctor. I will keep you up to date,mentally it is a very difficult time, trying to balance hopes with reality. take care, don

    Reply
  7. Andres Riobueno

    Good afternoon,
    I would like to know if you would be interested in posting one of our articles on one of the pages of your website. Creating cancer awareness is the best way to avoid all this fatal deaths.

    Please contact me if you have any questions.
    ariobueno@asbestos.com

    Reply
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  10. Debbie Panas

    Robin, I wanted to take a moment to say a Huge thank you to both you and your daughter. The chemo blanket that your daughter made and sent is absolutely beautiful and looks and feels like professionals have done it! Every time I have chemo, there is at least 2 patients at a minimum who inquire where I got it. I tell them about cancer hawk which is one of the best resources for someone going through cancer. Trust me this is not my first go around, and although I thought I had all the information I needed to move forward, I am always interested in the new discoveries. In any event, words cannot express how grateful I am that you thought send me my chemo blanket! Not only is it gorgeous, but it is soooooo warm that it is all I need to keep me cozy during treatment.

    Debbie panas

    Reply

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