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Family News and Information     January 2015
In this issue:
Message from Executive Director
As we begin a new year, I am very excited about significant changes we are making at American Childhood Cancer Organization Inland Northwest.
Although sometimes change can be hard, it is a necessary part of life. As Heraclitus said, "There is nothing permanent except change." How we adapt to change, sets our path. As parents of children with cancer, we know that all too well.
Our goals remain the same: mutually support families during extremely difficult circumstances, provide information and solidarity to empower ourselves with the difficult roads we walk. Coming from a place of experience, we can respond in a way that no else can. Putting parameters and structure to our support, strengthens our ability to address increasingly difficult challenges.
Our goal is to continue to provide a grassroots voice and support for children with cancer and their families. The more united we are, the louder our voice and better our support.
There are many challenges and it takes all of us working together “because kids can’t fight cancer alone ®!”
With this in mind, and with a desire to increase ACCO's ability to respond to new and old challenges, I have accepted a new position with our National office as Division Director. As of February 2, I will be leaving my position as Executive Director of the ACCO Inland Northwest.
I will be working to bring ACCO Divisions to other parts of the country. Our goal is that no matter where a child is diagnosed, they and their family will be supported with information, resources, and another parent who knows, understands, and is there to help.
I will also work to unite the many other organizations doing great work so that we can increase our voice nationally.
Together, we can make a significant impact. As you all know, childhood cancer is a devastating disease for the whole family. Having walked that road more than once and knowing first-hand the disruption, I remain steadfastly committed to assisting families with continually accommodating resources to address current issues.
As the survey results (this newsletter) show, there is a great need to provide additional resources at home and to help with end-of-treatment and long-term survivor issues.
Our local goals will remain just as steadfast as well. We are strengthening our teen support alongside the hospital social worker and our adult survivors. We are also strengthening our bereaved parents’ support. In process is a focus group to create a Community Outreach program to address systematically these and other issues.

We have come a long way and we have much work ahead. Nevertheless, I am absolutely certain that our children will lead us and we will significantly impact services for children with cancer and families in meaningful and helpful ways.
I am very honored and grateful for the time I have served as your Executive Director. Without this group, I would not have found the strength to endure Michael's diagnosis and death. I know that my successor will serve our group admirably and lead us where we need to go.
As we progress, we will keep you informed of these and other changes.
With much love,
Mary Anne Ruddis
Extending our Hand to New Families
We extend our hand and support to all families who have heard the words, "your child has cancer."
For assistance, please stop by our office, call 509-474-2759 or 509-443-4162, or email:
Last Thursday of the Month - Hospital Support Lunch.  Thank you Brickhouse Massage and Coffee Bar! And Nov, and Dec lunch sponsors Subway and Qdoba.

Family Support Night at the Hospital - 2nd Wednesday of the month 6-8PM
February 7 - Campin' it Up with ACCOIN - Family Day Camp
April 11 - Hope Run
May 9 - Pink Ribbon Tea
May 29 - Light the Way Dinner and Auction
May 30 - Campin' it up with ACCOIN - Family Day Camp
July 18 - Canines vs Cancer
July 18 - Ride for Life
Golden Heart Award 2015
Nominations can be made at any time throughout the year. Just drop a note to Denise in our office or email

Family Support Night
Monthly - 2nd Wednesday
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
 Next Meeting Feb 11
Please RSVP to Denise Caldewell at
Fred Meyer Community Benefits

Sign up for the Community Rewards program by linking your Fred Meyer Rewards Card to American Childhood Cancer Organization Inland Northwest at
You can search for us by our name or by our non-profit number 93515
ACCOIN Survey Results
Thank you to everyone who took the time to offer valuable input about our programs and services. Together, we can improve our lives and the lives of those who will follow this road of childhood cancer.
We are making some changes and this information will help as we move forward. 
Here are result highlights. If you would like more information or have anything to add, please email:
44% Currently In-Treatment
51% Ended Treatment
5% Ended Treatment but have extended medical interventions
The top three ranked current programs:
Financial Assistance
Personal In-Hospital Support
Family Care Kits (New Patient Bags)
The top three desired programs:
71 % Help with navigating end-of-treatment issues
53 % Parent-to-parent communication at home
44% Information on effectively communicating with the health care team

The top three financial hardships:
66% Eating out vs eating at home
63% Fuel costs for frequent trips
58% Loss of Income
Other suggestions:
A strong advocate role to assist families independent of the hospital
Increased support for families at home
Increased support/resources for out of treatment families
We are currently creating an outreach program specifically to provide more individualized and group support outside of the hospital. Stay tuned!
Bereaved Parents Spa Day
Our bereaved parents are invited to attend a relaxing spa party!
BrickHouse Massage and Coffee Bar
14222 E Sprague Ave, Spokane Valley, WA 99216
Thursday, January 15th, 5:30pm-8pm
(please plan to arrive by 5:15)
Join us for Mini Hand Treatments, Paraffin Dip for Hands, and Chair Massages. Let’s get to know each other and be pampered too! Light snacks and beverages will also be provided.
*Space is very limited; please RSVP to as soon as possible to reserve your spot! Or call 509-443-4162
We want to thank the BrickHouse Massage and Coffee Bar for partially sponsoring this event. Since space is very limited spots will be filled on a first received response basis. If we fill up, we will create a waiting list and if you find that you cannot attend once you have responded, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can fill your spot.
National News:
International Childhood Cancer Day
February 15, 2015 is International Childhood Cancer Awareness Day (ICCD). To honor our Childhood Cancer Warrior’s from around the world, we are collecting the names of children currently fighting or  have fought Childhood Cancer for a new tee-shirt project to increase awareness.
ACCO will be collecting names, January 5th – 12th, [JUST A FEW MORE DAYS] and then will have the ICCD Graphic Tee-Shirt created and shared with everyone to purchase for two weeks, from January 16th – 30th. Our goal is to have the shirts to everyone by February 15th, for you to wear and help raise awareness.

To make this process easier and more efficient for everyone, we are only collecting names in three locations. If you would like to submit the first and last name, or first name and last initial of your Childhood Cancer Warrior, please submit them to us using one of the methods below:

1. In the response section of this related blog post below
2. Via email at
3. In Private Message on Facebook

*If you had submitted a name via email for the last project, but did not make it for the Go Gold 2014 Awareness Shirt, we are going back though our emails and will contact you. We will not collect names from the comment section under posts, as this has proven to create inaccuracies and duplicate submissions. Also, since there will be several posts, going back through the comments in each post creates issues. We have also been approached by a new company to make this shirt and have decided to give them an opportunity to help us with this project. The new shirts will be created, hosted and fulfilled by Booster.

We want to thank everyone in advance for submitting names and helping us raise awareness on this very important day.
The Team at ACCO
Next Family Day Camp
February 7, 2015 
Family Day Camp is part of our get-acquainted program for newly diagnosed families. We also invite a few veteran host families to attend.
If you would like to attend, please contact:
 Marigold at (509) 928-3782 OR (509)993-0782
Member News - New Local Foundation for Neuroblastoma Families
Geneva's Neuroblastoma Foundation (GNF) is a new 501c3 non profit organization located here in Spokane, Wa. 

This organization was founded in August 2014 by Jason and Nichole Stone. Their daughter, Geneva, was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma in July 2013 at the age of 6 months. She underwent surgery and was staged at 2B. She will be celebrating her 2nd birthday on January 31st and is CANCER FREE! Jason and Nichole feel called to help other families battling Neuroblastoma and to raise funds for neuroblastoma research. 
ACCOIN will pass along more information as it becomes available.

If you have any questions or comments please contact Geneva's Neuroblastoma Foundation at (509)599.3643. Nichole.Stone@genevasnbfoundation. Like us on Facebook at
Keep up to date on what is happening.
Please share with your friends. 
We also have a closed group for families - ACCOIN Families and Survivors
American Childhood Cancer Organization Inland Northwest • PO Box 8031 • Spokane • WA • 99203
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