Community Assistance for Neighbors with Cancer


What is CAN Cancer?

CAN Cancer is a local appeal to provide community assistance to cover non-medical living expenses for Central Oregonians fighting all forms of cancer.

CAN Cancer was established by Gil, Stu and Corinne Martinez of Wilderness Garbage in cooperation with the Central Oregon Haulers, a group of garbage and disposal companies including Bend Garbage & Recycling, Cascade Disposal, High Country Disposal, Prineville Disposal, and Madras Sanitary Service.

"The way we see it, we are designed by profession to pick up the pieces, to clean up the dirty side of fighting Cancer." ‐ Corinne Martinez, founder and owner of Wilderness Garbage

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Since 2009 CAN Cancer has raised over $315,000.

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You Can 'Pitch In'

These lavender envelopes will be arriving in your garbage billing statements beginning this Spring. Residents who want to make a tax deductible donation can use this envelope to send cash, check or credit card donations straight to CAN Cancer. Read more

Every Dollar Stays Local

100% of the money contributed will be put into a fund with the St. Charles Foundation so that all funds raised will be used directly to benefit local families. This fund will help pay for living expenses such as fuel, travel, and food costs not covered by insurance or other programs. Read more

The Ugly Side of the Fight

It's the ugly side of the fight - the financial and emotional strain. Something CAN Cancer founders Corinne and Gil Martinez know firsthand. When their son, Stu, was diagnosed with throat cancer, the cost of travel to St. Charles from La Pine, and the everyday living expenses, mounted quickly.

Not all families are as lucky. Survivors attest that fighting the disease requires every ounce of their emotional and physical strength. The chances for beating it drop significantly when energy is spent worrying about paying for the gas to travel to a treatment center or the expense of food bought to feed a tired immune system. It was the Martinez' idea to develop a resource for helping families facing these challenges.

Specifically, they wanted a local organization that ensured the money donated would be given directly back to local patients. The Central Oregon Haulers have partnered with the St. Charles Cancer Treatment Center to handle the distribution of aid to local cancer patients who need it most.

One Survivor's Story

When Mark was diagnosed with head/neck cancer; Mark wasn't able to work during his treatment, nor the next few months after he recovered. He and his wife Mary eventually exhausted their savings and retirement fund. They had been keeping afloat through the grace of friends and family and had just begun reaching out to see what assistance might be available. That's when they heard about CAN cancer. The fund was able to help them meet their utility obligations.

"When you're facing cancer; just having people come alongside you and reach out ‐ that's a fabulous blessing," ‐ Mark & Mary.

Donating Online

Online donations can be made by visiting St. Charles Foundation. Select "CAN Cancer" on the gift designation list to be sure your contribution goes straight to our fund.

Keeping Donations In Our Communities

CAN Cancer is relying on the Central Oregon community and the Central Oregon Haulers' customers to 'pitch in' and give their neighbors a fighting chance. Without their donations, there will be no money to help.

"If everyone who receives an envelope pitches in $1 or more, we can help our neighbors-in-need stay strong."

Our communities have raised over $315,000 since 2009, helping our neighbors across Central Oregon battling cancer. The following communities have stepped up to help their neighbors; Lakeview, Prineville, Bend, Redmond, Sunriver, Madras, Burns, Crooked River Ranch, La Pine, Warm Springs, Canyon City, Powell Butte, Crescent, Black Butte Ranch, Sisters, Gilchrist, Prairie City, Terrebonne, Toledo, and Hines.

One hundred percent of donations will help local families with non-medical expenses, such as fuel, travel and foodcosts, while receiving cancer treament.

"I so appreciate your $250 grant! Easing the financial burden is also a contribution to my healing. Knowing that this contribution comes from my own community makes it even more special ‐ rather like getting a hug anytime I'm out and about," ‐ Barbara Wicks.

Why Lavender?

CAN Cancer has chosen lavender to help brand their efforts and boost visibility and recognition of the program. Why lavender? In the world of cancer awareness, the color lavender represents all types of cancer. Because our assistance is not limited to any specific type of cancer and will touch those undergoing all types of treatment, we felt it was the obvious tie-in.

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Program Assistance
St. Charles Heath Care

Program Information
Susan Baker
Bend Garbage & Recycling