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Listing: Cancer Resources for Patients and Families

Media Type

Online Resource

Reviewed Date

Feb 22, 2024


The resources listed here on cancer diagnosis, treatment, and next stages provide authoritative, sensitive, and comforting information for patients of all ages and their families and friends. 

*Those with an asterisk are specific to children and adolescents.

*Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF)
Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) is changing the lives of children with cancer by funding impactful research, raising awareness, supporting families and empowering everyone to help cure childhood cancer.

American Association for Cancer Research
The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer through research, education, communication, and collaboration.

American Brain Tumor Association
The American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) was the first national nonprofit organization dedicated solely to brain tumors. For nearly 40 years, the Chicago-based ABTA has provided critical funding to researchers working toward breakthroughs in brain tumor diagnosis, treatment and care, and it Is the only national organization providing comprehensive resources and serving the complex supportive care needs of brain tumor patients and caregivers from diagnosis through treatment and beyond.

American Cancer Society
The web site has information about  many of the challenges of cancer and survivorship, including "words of inspiration" from cancer survivors. You can search for information by cancer type or by topic.  ACS provides a list of support groups in your area, or you can join online groups and message boards. The American Cancer Society Road To Recovery program provides transportation to and from treatment for people with cancer who do not have a ride or are unable to drive themselves. Call to see if your zip code has volunteers for transportation.

For patient education on Fatigue please click this link: https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/cancer-control/en/booklets-flyers/getting-help-for-fatigue.pdf

American Institute for Cancer Research
AICR focuses on cancer prevention and research. One of their main causes is to provide tips and tools on how to decrease the risk of cancer by including/excluding certain foods in your diet. The AICR also provides funds for cutting-edge research to help prevent and survive cancer.

American Lung Association
1-800-LUNGUSA or 1-800-586-4872
The American Lung Association is committed to defeating lung cancer and supporting those affected by this disease. They offer a variety of resources and information about lung cancer. 

*Beads of Courage
Beads of Courage is an international program created in response to the need for more supportive care programs for children with serious illnesses. Beads of Courage embraces the different meanings beads have in various cultures while giving patients the opportunity to assign their own meanings to beads.

Belong app creates a social network for persons with cancer and their families.
The app provides access to health care professionals. 

Breast cancer Information for Women with Disabilities
Please click the link below for breast cancer screening information for women with disabilities.

*Children with Cancer A Guide for Parents
This guide aims to give parents practical support that can help you find a doctor, talk with your child, help your family to cope, organize medical and insurance information, and learn about additional resources. It also includes information to help you learn more about specific types of childhood cancer, tests and procedures, treatments and clinical trials, health issues during treatment, steps to take if treatment isn’t working, and survivorship.

Cancer and Careers
Cancer and Careers is dedicated to empowering and educating people with cancer to thrive in their workplace by providing expert advice, interactive tools and educational events. 

800-813-HOPE (4673)
CancerCare is a national non-profit organization that provides free professional support services to anyone affected by cancer: people with cancer, caregivers, children, loved ones, and the bereaved. They provide counseling, support groups, financial assistance, and publications on Cancer topics.

Cancer Matters
Cancer Matters is brought to you by Johns Hopkins Medicine and provides support and resources to help you and your loved ones navigate the necessary resources.

Cancer Support Community 
Cancer support community provides resources and professional emotional support for persons and their families with cancer. To find a location or join a web chat click on the link below.

Cancer Wellness Centers- Grayslake, and Northbrook, IL
The Cancer Wellness Center offer psychological and emotional support at no charge to cancer survivors and their loved ones. Programming includes education, stress reduction, family programs, supportive groups, and individual counseling.

Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition
no contact phone
The Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition is a database of organizations that provide financial information and/or resources to persons living with cancer.

Cancer Legal Resource Center
1-866-THE-CLRC (1-866-843-2572)
The Cancer Legal Resource Center is a program of the Disability Rights Legal Center (DRLC) that advocates for employment, housing, estate planning. 

Cancer.Net - American Society of Clinical Oncology
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) provides this website to assist patients and families make informed health care decisions. The site provides information on more than 85 types of cancer, multimedia resources, advocacy measures, names of publications that can be ordered, and an online database for finding an oncologist. For a complete listing of cancer resources for children with cancer please click on the following link: https://www.cancer.net/navigating-cancer-care/children/childhood-cancer-resources

The CaringBridge is a website that allows people to get updates and provide support to persons with cancer. 

Chicago Prostate Cancer Center 
630-654-2515 | 815 Pasquinelli Drve, Westmont, IL 60559

CDC - Women with a Disability and Breast Cancer Screening
If you are a woman living with a disability, you may face challenges that make it hard to get a mammogram. The CDC lists some questions to ask when scheduling your mammogram that can help you prepare for your appointment.

*Chai Lifeline -Midwest
In addition to serving hundreds of children and their families across 12 states, Midwest programs are changing the lives of families across the nation. Regional leaders created both "Wish at the Wall," a remarkable journey to Israel for teens who have completed treatment for cancer or who have learned to manage complex chronic illnesses, and regional family days at major amusement parks
6600 N. Lincoln Avenue, Suite 300
Lincolnwood, IL 60712
847.763.1818  https://www.chailifeline.org/region/midwest

A program of the Scott Hamilton CARES initiative (the Cancer Alliance for Research Education and Survivorship). This is Scott Hamilton's personal program designed to promote cancer awareness while raising significant funds for cancer research.

Cancer Support Center-Mokena and Homewood, IL
(708) 478-3529
The Cancer Support Center provides resources to persons with cancer and their families and loved ones free of charge. Programs include; support groups, yoga, nutrition, counseling, and health information.

*Children's Brain Tumor Foundation
Children's Brain Tumor Foundation was founded by parents, physicians and friends. It’s mission is to improve the treatment, quality of life and the long-term view for children with brain and spinal cord tumors through research, support, education, and advocacy to families and survivors. Service provided include medical information, support and advocacy, and research.

*Children's Cancer Research Fund
Children’s Cancer Research Fund supports cutting-edge research in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cure of childhood cancers. In addition to supporting research, they oversee a variety of support initiatives to ensure that families have access to support groups, caregiving and other related non-medical resources.

*Children's Oncology Group
The Children's Oncology group provides up-to-date information for children and their families from the time of diagnosis. Information is based on the expertise of professionals working in childhood cancer. To find a Children's Oncology Group location please click on the link.

*Children's Oncology Services, Inc. 
Camp One Step 312.924.4220
Provides camping and programs for children with cancer.

*Coalition Against Childhood Cancer 
Coalition Against Childhood Cancer (CAC2) is a collaborative network of nonprofits, corporations, and individuals from 36 states and five countries, supporting and serving the childhood cancer community. CAC2 members effectively advance a variety of childhood cancer causes by unifying their efforts.

*Compass to Care
(312) 515-9490
The mission of Compass to Care is to provide a free Non Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) solution to access life-saving cancer treatment and clinical trials for children fighting cancer and facing poverty or cancer-related financial toxicity (CRFT).

Corporate Angel Network (CAN)
CAN provides free flights for persons with cancer to and from approved cancer treatment facilities anywhere in the United States on unused seats on corporate jets.

Culinary Care, Inc.
They provide free meals prepared by local restaurants that are delivered with compassion by a community that cares to eligible cancer patients.  One main criteria is that persons must be undergoing outpatient chemotherapy infusions at one of  four hospitals in Chicago: Northwestern Medicine, Rush University Medical Center, University of Illinois Medical Center and University of Chicago Medical Center.

Cleaning for a Reason
Cleaning For A Reason is a nonprofit organization that serves all the United States and Canada. Their mission is to provide 2 free house cleaning sessions to women undergoing treatment for any type of cancer. Cleaning services are dependent upon availability of volunteers.

A database provided by the National Library of Medicine that is comprised of publically and privately funded research.

College Scholarships for Cancer Survivors and Patients
College scholarships provides financial information and resources for persons who are cancer survivors or patients with cancer.

Facing the Mirror with Cancer  A guide to using makeup to make a difference
312.420.5610 | Chicago
This resource provides step-by-step instructions and color photos to show how survivors can use skin care, makeup and grooming techniques to minimize changes to their appearance during treatment.  Sections on skin and nail care are appropriate for men as well as women, and special tips for teenagers are included

Feel More Like You
Walgreen's sponsors a program entitled, Feel More Like You™ whereby qualified staff provide beauty consultations for people undergoing cancer treatment. To locate the nearest store, go to the link and click on find a store.

Gilda's Club - Chicago, IL
Gilda's Club Chicago provides a warm and welcoming meeting place where men, women and children diagnosed with cancer,and family and friends, join with others to build social, emotional and informational support as an essential supplement to medical care.

Grind for Life
The mission of the Grind For Life organization is to provide financial assistance to cancer patients and their families when traveling long distances to doctors and hospitals. In addition, we educate and inspire these patients and families involving cancer survival and recovery with Mike Rogers’s story.

*Guide to Help Children Understand Cancer
Medline Plus guide for parents of children with cancer, to help them understand the developmental levels and changes that may occur with treatments, and how to talk about this with their child.

Guest House Chicago
(312) 996-1167
Guest House builds community and healing by providing comfortable, affordable accommodation for patients and their families throughout their treatment.

(800) 270-1897
HairToStay is the first nonprofit company to help patients afford cooling systems for hair loss due to chemotherapy and cancer related treatments.

Heaps of Hope
Heaps of Hope reaches out to some of the most vulnerable in our society: women with a cancer diagnosis. It was inspired by one woman's journey through breast cancer with the desire to reach out to other women during this time.

Long term care for a person with a disability can become expensive. Non-medical expenses such as caregiving and housing are often not covered by insurance. HelpHOPELive teaches patients and families how to set up a fundraising drive to support these out of pocket costs. This nonprofit organization serves as an intermediary for managing donations and supplying documentation required for tax purposes.
Persons who have had an organ transplant or traumatic event resulting in spinal cord injury, brain injury or amputation are eligible for this program.

Imerman Angels
866-IMERMAN (463-7626) - Chicago
Imerman Angels is a federally registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization providing one-on-one cancer support: connecting cancer fighters, survivors and caregivers.  Imerman Angels partners a person fighting cancer with someone who has beaten the same type of cancer.

Joe's House
Joe's House provides a nationwide online service that assists persons with cancer and their families locate discount lodging near their treatment centers. To search: Go to www.joeshouse.org, and choose a state where you are having treatment from the drop-down box on the Homepage. You can then search by city and lodging will appear on a map. Click the name of the lodging facility from the list.

*KidsHealth Cancer Center
KidsHealth Cancer Center contains information for children, adolescents, and parents on topics related to childhood cancer.

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is dedicated to assisting patients and families with a variety of resources. To find a chapter nearest you, click on the link below:
For patient education on fatigue, please click the following link:

Living Beyond Breast Cancer
(855) 807-6386
Living Beyond Breast Cancer connects persons with breast cancer to key information and community support.

LiveStrong Survivor Care Program
(877) 236-8820
LIVESTRONG Survivor Care offers assistance to all cancer survivors, including the person diagnosed, caregivers, family and friends. The program provides education, information about treatment options and new treatments in development, counseling services and assistance with financial, employment or insurance issues. To provide these services, LIVESTRONG SurvivorsCare has partnered with several organizations, including CancerCare, Patient Advocate Foundation, and EmergingMed.

LiveStrong at the YMCA
LiveStrong partnered with the YMCA of the USA to offer a free program to get persons living with cancer back in physical activity. Persons will receive either a free or low cost exercise program tailored to their needs. 

Living Well Cancer Resource Center-Geneva, IL
(630) 262-1111
Provides programs and support for all persons affected by cancer.

*Locks of Love
Locks of Love provides hair pieces and wigs to children and adolescents with hair loss. Hair pieces and wigs are free of charge to those who qualify.

Look Good, Feel Better®
Look Good...Feel Better is a national public service program that helps cancer survivors manage changes in their appearance through by education.

Lotsa Helping Hands
Lotsa Helping Hands is a web–based community that assists caregivers and families in crisis to organize meals, rides, and other needs through the use of a group calendar. The organizing system is free, private, and easy to figure out, and it can channel offers of “what can I do to help” into meaningful assistance to a family.
By using it, a family can:
* Organize rides to medical and therapy appointments
* Coordinate meal preparation and delivery
* Manage logistical tasks
* Communicate and share information with message boards, photos, and announcements
* Provide medical status updates

Lurie Children’s Blog: Supporting a Family in a Difficult Time: Do's and Don’ts
When someone you care about is coping with a difficult diagnosis, grieving the loss of a loved one, or undergoing a significant transition, it can be difficult to know how best to support them. Two families and one child life specialist from Lurie Children’s share their perspectives on the gestures and messages that may deliver a meaningful impact in the wake of a trauma.  

Meals on Wheels - Chicago
(312) 744-4016
Meals on Wheels Chicago is committed to ensuring seniors and individuals with disabilities have the resources they need to maintain quality of life while staying independent in their own homes. MOWC partners with The Chicago Department of Family and Support Services and the Chicago Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities to ensure these communities benefit from a variety of programs designed to address food insecurity and isolation while improving accessibility and independence.

Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)
The MMRF provides information on latest research, connects you to a patient navigator, financial resources and support.

National Cancer Institute
The National Cancer Institute provides comprehensive cancer information in English and Spanish on statistics, clinical trials, research, types of cancer and treatment, NCI drug dictionary, dictionary of cancer terms, NCI publications to order or download, and cancer-related topics. PDQ - Physical Data Query is also available on their site.  Please see "Taking Time" booklet to assist with all aspects in coping with a cancer diagnosis. https://www.cancer.gov/publications/patient-education/taking-time.
For patient education on fatigue please click the following link:https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/side-effects/fatigue/fatigue-pdq

For parents with a child who has cancer:https://www.cancer.gov/publications/patient-education/children-with-cancer.pdf

National LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender) Cancer Project
The LGBT is the leading National LGBT cancer survivor support and advocacy nonprofit organization.

*National Children's Cancer Society
800.5FAMILY (800.532.6459)
With over 30 years of experience serving nearly 42,000 children and distributing over $65 million to families, the NCCS is a master navigator of the daunting world of childhood cancer. We help families stay strong, stay positive and stay together.

National Comprehensive Cancer Network
The NCCN, an alliance of 19 of the world's leading cancer centers, is the authoritative source of information to help patients and health professionals make informed decisions about cancer care.

National Ovarian Cancer Coalition
1-888-OVARIAN (682-7426)
NOCC provides patients and the medical community with information about ovarian cancer, such as facts, treatments, peer-support forum, and a database of cancer-related resources.

National Wigs for Cancer Society
Wigs for cancer society provides free or low cost wigs that are made from human hair. Go online to complete the  three simple steps.

National Women's Health Information Center (NWHIC)
The National Women's Health Information Center is a service of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Web site offers information on a variety of women's health concerns, including body image. 
Some information on the site is available in Spanish.

Northwestern Medicine Supportive Oncology
The strain of being diagnosed with and living with cancer can be overwhelming. Patients and families may need help coping. Northwestern Medicine offers supportive oncology services to provide both emotional and practical support for patients and their families during all stages of cancer, from diagnosis, treatment, to recovery.

Northwestern Medicine Living Well Cancer Resources 
Living Well is dedicated to delivering programs and services that encourage, empower, support and offer hope to thousands of newly diagnosed patients with cancer and their families every year. 
Summer 2023 Program Guide (PDF)

Patient Advocate Foundation
The Patient Advocate Foundation assists persons with cancer to resolve insurance, debt, employment and discrimination issues due to their cancer diagnosis.

Second Act
Second Act is a special place where individuals facing significant changes in their life due to cancer can find help and inspiration to look forward to the next act of their lives. They can learn about and purchase products to help them regain and maintain a positive self image.

Shop Well with You
(800) 799-6790
Shop Well provides a body-image resource for women surviving cancer, which includes a booklet on body image, written resources that can be downloaded, tips on what to wear to camouflage certain treatments and side effects, and contact information for stores, catalogs, and online retailers that carry the featured clothing items.

Surviving Breast Cancer
Founded by a young women in 2017, Surviving Breast Cancer now serves those diagnosis, caregivers, and families globally. Leveraging technology and breaking down access and barriers, Surviving Breast Cancer puts people first, listens to their needs, and then sets out to create the programs, services, and educational content based on the needs of the breast cancer community.
5 Cedar Street, Suite 1
Boston, MA 02119

Susan G. Komen Foundation
Komen has always believed that where you live should not determine whether you live, and for decades, Komen and its network of Affiliates has worked to level the playing field for medically underserved populations.

Warriors in Pink
Ford Motor Company is dedicated to helping those persons impacted by breast cancer by supporting, empowering and providing resources to the persons with breast cancer. To learn about programs, click on the website link. Available Monday thru Friday 8AM to 8PM.

Wellness House for Living with Cancer-Hinsdale, IL
The Wellness House for Living with Cancer offers psychological and emotional support at no charge to cancer survivors and their loved ones.
Programming includes education, stress reduction, family programs, supportive groups, and individual counseling.

Wigs & Wishes®
Wigs & Wishes® By Martino Cartier is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing wigs & granting wishes to persons battling cancer. Salons and stylists throughout the world empower women by providing them with complimentary make-up and styling services. This organization also grants wishes to children with cancer.



This content is for informational purposes only and may not be comprehensive. Information contained does not imply an endorsement from Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, and does not replace the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.  See here for further details.© Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (formerly Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago). Henry B. Betts LIFE Center – (312) 238-5433 – https://www.sralab.org/lifecenter


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