Who We Are & What We Do
The Cayman Islands Cancer Society provides education on cancers, provides direct assistance to cancer patients and their families and much, much, more!
The small non-profit organization, set up in 1995, has five full-time staff members and has a “mighty corps of community volunteers who help us accomplish our mission all year long”, explained Jennifer Weber, Operations Manager of the Cancer Society. The Cancer Society receives no money from the government and exists through generous donations received from individuals and corporations. “We are an independent organization. We do not pay membership dues to any overseas cancer organization. As such, we have the ability to have money raised in Cayman stay in Cayman,” Ms Weber said.
Education & Awareness
The organization provides education to help prevent cancer through topical presentations to companies, churches, schools and community groups. “Awareness is key, so we are getting the word out to the people and the newspapers as often as possible. We also provide health fairs for the community in Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac,” she said. The Cancer Society also promotes early detection by providing free mammogram vouchers, pap test vouchers and prostate exam vouchers year round to people who have no insurance or have insurance that does not pay for preventative diagnostic testing. “This is an expensive program for us to provide but it saves lives, so it’s critically important,” said Ms Weber. The Society also provides direct assistance to people with cancer in a variety of ways, including giving them access to a lending library of books and lending and renting them hospital beds, wheelchairs or walkers. The organization also provides free counseling to cancer patients, families and friends. Throughout the year, there are designated cancer months, when the Cancer Society places articles in local media and holds presentations.
For women who have lost their breasts to cancer, the Cancer Society is the exclusive retailer of prosthetic breasts and bras on Cayman. “We are able to get these important things for women who have had mastectomies at a reasonable price and if the cost is too much for the patient, we provide them at no cost,” said Ms Weber. “Most importantly, we provide direct financial help to cancer patients who qualify for aid. “We help patients with everything from payments for surgeries and treatments, to airfare and accommodations, to food and rent. The number of patients who need our help is increasing, so our need for funding is great,” she said. The Cancer Society partners with the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority to support additional large scale public health initiatives, such as bringing the HPV cervical cancer preventing vaccine to Cayman. This vaccine will help reduce the rate of cervical cancer in the next generation. The organization also pays the salary of the registrar who is creating a National Cancer Registry so the Islands can finally know the real statistics about cancer in Cayman.