If you happened to attend the Holiday Homes Tour back when it started in the early 1990s, you may have seen two young sisters handing out shoe covers or volunteering as docents. As the tour gained momentum and popularity over the next quarter century, those teens grew up along with it, volunteering their time each year in service of people affected by cancer in our community.

This year is no different for Becky and Molly Buck. Both sisters are serving on the Holiday Homes Tour committee, Becky as Marketing Chair and Molly as Raffle and Opportunity Coordinator.

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“When we first started getting together all we did was cry. Now when we get together we can laugh.” That’s Eva Gordon talking about her fellow bereavement group members at the Cancer Support Community Valley/Ventura/Santa Barbara (CSCVVSB). The group, facilitated by Anne Gessert, MS, LMFT for the past 23 years, is offered free of charge to people in our community who have lost a loved one to cancer.

Eva and her friends Eileen Beck, Marilyn Lippel and Maria Potje were kind enough to share the story of the lasting bonds they found in the group.

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My name is Genevieve.  I am eight years old, and I am going into fourth grade.  I live in California.  I love goats, reading, and I love to play with my dog Leia.  Everything about my life is completely normal, except for one thing.

My Dad has cancer.  My Dad has had cancer since before I was born.  He was diagnosed with a rare type called Thymic Cancer, just three weeks after my big brother, Nathan, was born.  He beat it, but before I was even one year old, his cancer came back.  At that point, the doctors knew that it would never totally go away because it has a high chance of reoccurrence. Read more…

 


Amina, left, with Program Director Kayo Matsumoto

 

When Amina Pasha lost her uncle to thyroid cancer, it deeply affected her and her family. The Westlake High rising Junior decided to channel her feelings into a project to help the Kids Circle group at CSCVVSB, and she ended up making a difference in a very unique way!  Read more

 

 

 


 

John “JR” Ray is CEO and Co-Founder of C.I. Partners Direct, a national fundraising and consulting firm headquartered in Ventura. In addition to serving on the CSCVVSB Board of Directors, JR has provided financial support to the organization as well as pro bono mailing and technical expertise to the staff.
JR is a cancer survivor and a member of the Prostate Cancer Networking Group at CSCVVSB. “Since I was touched by cancer, I feel for what others are going through,” says JR. “I know that CSCVVSB can help them talk through treatment options, understand their own or their loved one’s cancer better, and thrive post-treatment.” Read more…