at PO Box 46070, Madison, 53744 United States
Stomach cancer awareness and education, supporting families affected by stomach cancer, funding stomach cancer research No Stomach For Cancer, Inc. is an approved 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Our Story In 1982 Elaine Kuck Chelcun died of gastric cancer. She was 52. Elaine left behind her husband, Fred, and four children. In 2007 Elaine’s son Greg, 56, was diagnosed with Stage IV gastric cancer. Greg passed away on February 8, 2009, leaving behind his wife, Cindy, and two children: Brian and Johanna. Greg’s diagnosis caused his sister Karen and other members of the Chelcun family to investigate whether genetics might have played a role in the re-appearance of gastric cancer in their family. It had. Testing revealed that the Chelcuns shared a rare genetic cancer syndrome: HDGC. Sadly, this discovery came too late for Elaine and too late for Greg. Other members of the family, however, underwent prophylactic total gastrectomies – and in each case, post-surgical testing revealed the presence of undetected cancer in their stomachs. These members of the Chelcun family – along with families worldwide who share this condition – owe their lives to those who have chosen to study HDGC and to spread awareness about the importance of genetic testing. NSFC: The Early Efforts During Greg’s illness, the Chelcun family designed a wristband to symbolize their solidarity and to share with extended family and friends. They adopted the words Kia Kaha, which means be strong in the face of challenge in the language of the Maori (mou-ree) people of New Zealand, where HDGC was first identified and where research continues to be strong. Be Strong Hearted became a source of strength, and it propelled the Chelcuns to expand the scope of their HDGC-related efforts. It became clear that to combat this devastating disease much needs to be done in terms of education and awareness, and significant funds need to be raised to support research. In July 2008 the Chelcuns spearheaded a fundraising effort within the Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin: The Be Strong Hearted® campaign of The Chelcun Family Fund For Stomach Cancer Research. They also launched the first version of this website, known at the time as BeStrongHearted.org. Growth Beyond All Expectations The website drew visitors from all over the globe, almost immediately. The Chelcuns knew of only 100 families affected by HDGC when the site launched. Soon they began to hear from other families in the same discovery process, often triggered by the tragic and early death of a family member. These families were struggling in their searches for information and support, just as the Chelcuns had. The Be Strong Hearted® Campaign garnered attention from the media and from medical and genetics professionals and researchers worldwide. The Campaign was off to a spectacular start, raising funds for the advancement of critical research, and creating a support network for providing reliable, accurate information for affected families. Establishment of No Stomach for Cancer, Inc. Tremendous response to the website and to The Be Strong Hearted® Campaign made one thing clear: in order to make a real difference, the Chelcun family needed help. It was time to move beyond the family and create a nonprofit organization with broad public support and governance. Accordingly, No Stomach For Cancer, Inc. was established in September 2009. NSFC undertook immediate international fundraising for diffuse gastric cancer research, and will continue the Chelcun Family’s effort to provide resources and support for affected families worldwide. To learn more visit www.NoStomachForCancer.org Dedication NSFC lovingly dedicates its mission to Elaine Kuck Chelcun, to Greg Chelcun, and to all around the world who have lost their lives and their loved ones to HDGC and other diffuse gastric cancers. We honor those fighting this unique challenge today. Kia Kaha, Be Strong Hearted!
Our mission is to support research and unite the caring power of people worldwide affected by stomach cancer. The organization is also focused on advancing awareness and education about stomach cancer, including Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer (HDGC), provide a support network for affected families, and support research efforts for screening, early detection, treatment, and prevention of stomach cancer. Our Envisioned Future: A world without stomach cancer Our Mission: To support research and unite the caring power of people worldwide affected by stomach cancer Our Core Values: We are people who care about the health and well-being of those affected by stomach cancer. We believe: All people should have an opportunity for a life free of stomach cancer Emotional support, connecting with others and a sense of belonging are vital to affected families Our work must be conducted in a fiscally responsible, trustworthy and ethical manner Collaboration and partnership will move us toward success Our Key Priorities: Advance awareness and education about stomach cancer – with special interest in Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer (HDGC) Establish and maintain a network of support for affected families Support research efforts for early detection, screening and prevention of stomach cancer Sustain a strong and high performing organization
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