The added expenses that accompany a cancer diagnosis can put tremendous strain on many patients’ budgets. The med student musicians with Jamming for Hope are doing their best to alleviate that pressure so cancer patients can concentrate on what’s important—getting well.
The local non-profit recently made what it hopes is the first of many contributions to the Cancer Center currently under construction on the Edgewood campus of St. Elizabeth Healthcare.
Jamming for Hope is a charity comprised primarily of medical students that raises money through music, according to Chris Harwood, who started the charity in 2017 with the help of his father. The band that makes up Jamming for Hope plays in local venues and collects donations to benefit cancer patients.
To date, the group has collected several thousand dollars. The money donated to St. Elizabeth will help provide support through their Holbrook Minning Legacy Fund, which offers critical support to cancer patients while undergoing treatment.
“It feels really good when we draw up that check. It makes me feel more engaged in my community,” said Harwood, who plans to hold one event per month and make, “small, frequent donations” to the Cancer Center.
That kind of support is huge, said Diane Neltner, a Clinical Social Worker at St. Elizabeth, who works with cancer patients who have limited resources. “If we didn’t have the support from the community and St. Elizabeth Foundation, there are so many people who would fall through the cracks,” she said.
Neltner uses the money from groups like Jamming for Hope “to help cover the basic needs that have to be met to allow them to focus on their treatments.”
All types of community involvement are vital to the success of the new Cancer Center, according to Dr. Dan Flora, a Medical Oncologist at St. Elizabeth.
“We’ve all been touched by cancer,” said Dr. Flora. “The more we raise, the more we can help with the day-to-day needs of cancer patients. This money helps provide needed ancillary support. If we can take that stress off our patients it will help them get through their treatments easier.”
Providing “whole person care” is one of the cornerstones the new Cancer Center is based upon, according to Dr. Flora. The 250,000 square-foot facility is scheduled to open in fall 2020 and intends to be a beacon of hope for those suffering from cancer in the Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati region.
Services at the Cancer Center will include:
- New precision medicine program
- Increased education, screening and prevention services
- Extensive clinical research
- Multidisciplinary care and expertise in one location
- The most advanced diagnosis and treatment options available in the region
- Genetic screening
- doTerra Center for Integrative Oncology Services for holistic care including essential oils and aromatherapy, yoga, meditation and a spa for patients undergoing cancer treatments
“We’ve centered the care around the patient,” said Dr. Flora. “Everything we’ve done, every decision we’ve made, we’ve done with the patient in mind.”
Contributions from the community are an integral component of that vision. The players of Jamming for Hope are committed to doing their part.
“I created this charity to combine the two things I love the most: music and medicine,” said Harwood. “We are fighting, one song at a time, to ensure that our friends with cancer will receive their treatment and will not be forgotten.”
Visit www.jammingforhope.org for more information about the charity and a schedule of their upcoming performances.