CanCare volunteers are cancer survivors and caregivers who engage with newly diagnosed cancer patients and their caregivers, providing one-on-one emotional support, practical advice and hope.  Support volunteers are matched with clients by cancer type, treatment method, life stage, age, and gender. 

Message from Lynn Joye,
 Charleston Representative

Between the year 2000 when my dad was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer and the year 2016 when I was diagnosed with stage II Her2+ breast cancer, not much had changed in the way of psychosocial support for cancer patients and their loved ones in the Charleston area.  So, five years ago I decided I would follow in the footsteps of women like Anne Turnage, Kay Royal, Marilyn Burdick and Jenny Ridnour whom I met through volunteer work with CanCare. These intelligent, spunky and compassionate women have made a major impact in the cancer community by providing patient advocates inside hospitals and training one-on-one peer mentors to be matched with patients and caregivers who need emotional support.  I’d like to thank these women for inspiring me to bring CanCare to the Charleston area.  After a cancer diagnosis there is simply nothing quite as powerful as speaking with someone who has experienced what you are facing and CanCare provides a safe and convenient way to make these valuable connections happen.  And it doesn’t matter when someone realizes they need support.  Sometimes it isn’t until after treatment is over that people find they are ready to process what they’ve been through and how they want to move forward.


Actress Viola Davis has written a moving memoir entitled “Finding Me” in which she talks about running away from the poverty and abuse that plagued her childhood.  She was so desperate to simply survive that it wasn’t until her adulthood when she was safe and had time to reflect that she realized in her heart that she was still running. This got me to thinking about how people who receive a cancer diagnosis often find themselves in a mode where they are willing to tolerate just about anything so as to beat the cancer and survive.   While more and more people are surviving cancer, more and more people are also being diagnosed, so it’s time we put more measures in place to help people cope with cancer treatment and its aftereffects. We are all so focused on running to and crossing the finish line of “no evidence of disease” that if/when we are lucky enough to get there, we often don’t know what to do with ourselves.  We find ourselves asking, “What now?”  What happens next varies. Some are able to put their cancer experience behind them and pick up where they left off, while others find themselves depressed or stuck in a new and unfamiliar place. I think Viola Davis’ advice to those trying to come to terms with trauma is appropriate for cancer survivors too.  For those who feel they are still running or searching to redefine themselves, she recommends asking the old you to pass the baton to the new you, but first you must do the work of deciding who you want the new you to be.  She says, “Be brave” and “YOU decide.”  I love that.

As we embark on a new season, I’d like to ask you, our clients and volunteers, “What do you want CanCare Charleston to look like going forward?  Would you like us to do things differently?  Would you like to see CanCare volunteers inside area infusion centers and waiting rooms?  We would love the opportunity to speak with several pairs of volunteers and clients to hear how CanCare has affected you for the better.  If you would allow us to video some of these conversations, I believe we could really affect change in area hospitals and cancer centers.  If you’re open to speaking with us, please reach out here.

Yes, I am open to being interviewed.


CanCare Charleston Is Growing!
– A warm welcome to our newest members: Robin Adams, Sue Kraft, Troy Leboeuf and Vincent Skotko.– According to records on the CanCare portal that became active September 2020, CanCare Charleston has supported over 200 clients, 62 of which are from South Carolina!  

-If you have ideas how we might attract more clients from South Carolina, let us know!

Local Volunteer Spotlight:  Pam Miller
This month we are highlighting one of our beloved local volunteers, Pam Miller, who has supported over 24 clients.  Pam is a wife, mother of two adult daughters, grandmother to three grandsons and a stage IV pancreatic cancer survivor of 8 years.  Pam had been healthy and working for 20 years when she was diagnosed at age 61 with rare neuroendocrine cancer.  An eternal optimist, Pam recalls deciding, “The fight is on!”  She had the tail of her pancreas removed as well as her gall bladder, spleen and 9 lymph nodes.  Cancer had also spread to her liver, her 7th rib and her femur bone.  Pam has had a radioactive isotope called “Y90” put in her liver tumor twice and had 4 injections of radioactive Lutathera at Duke. Pam has taken one chemo drug after another to keep her cancer at bay. Affinator and Sutent have unfortunately caused heart damage (Pam now has a pace maker), diabetes and thyroid damage, but Pam and Jim have been embracing life to the fullest.  In 2000, Pam and Jim started traveling.  All the photos in this edition of our newsletter are Jim’s. You can check out his work at  Their travels have taken them from Iceland to Africa.  Their next adventure will be to Switzerland, but Pam will always find time for her CanCare clients. “I’ll call a client from Africa if I have to,” says Pam.  She continues to encourage people to talk to their doctors, ask questions, always have a back-up plan and know what trials are available. She is quick to remind people, “You are your own best advocate!”   Thank you, Pam, for your example and encouragement. 
Dining with Hope 

The American Cancer Society  supports Hope Lodges across the country.  Did you know the very first one was created by Carol Grotnes Belk on Calhoun Street in 1970?  Every Hope Lodge provides a free home away from home to folks needing a place to stay nearer their cancer treatment.  Our local Hope Lodge needs our help!  

We have the opportunity to prepare dinner for the residents of our local Hope Lodge September 21st.   We are looking for 6 vaccinated volunteers who are willing to arrive around 4:30/5:00 to prepare a meal for 45 people in the spacious kitchen of our Hope Lodge.  Dinner and dessert will be served at 6:00. If you’re interested in helping either by buying the groceries, paying for the groceries, or preparing the actual meal, please respond here. [email protected]

More information can be found at the link below.


CanCare Training 
We are looking for people interested in working on our training team!  If you are already a CanCare volunteer and have the interest and skillset (teaching, counseling, or public speaking experience) please contact Lynn Joye.[email protected]Online trainings will take place the following weekends via Zoom:
October 8-9November 12-13
Upon receipt of an application CanCare will reach out to schedule an interview and a brief Zoom tutorial.  Link to application is here.
Lynn Joye – Founder – [email protected]843.732.8063
Todd Joye, MD – Medical Outreach – [email protected]Elizabeth Christian, MD – Medical Outreach – [email protected]Don Wilbur, MD – Medical Outreach – [email protected]Mary Wilbur, RN – Medical Outreach and Trainer- [email protected]Louise Harvell – Faith Outreach and Trainer – [email protected]Jean Anglin – Communications – [email protected]Karen Gaddy – Communications- [email protected]
HealthLinks Magazine lead image CanCare Charleston article

We’re Featured in Charleston’s HealthLinks

The September October 2021 issue of HealthLinks includes an article about CanCare Charleston. Written by Cindy Landrum, the article gives readers an understanding of what we do and why. Charleston’s CanCare organizer Lynn Joye was interviewed for the article and provides insights into what and why the organization exists.



HealthLinks Cover Logo

“Meeting actual survivors on the other side of their cancer journey is reassuring to newly diagnosed patients…”

“The beautiful thing about CanCare is that you continue to heal as you help others,” she added. “It is helpful for us, and it gives the newly diagnosed and their loved ones the hope they may not have even known they needed.”

Download a PDF of the article
CanCare Charleston Patrons Jerry and Susan Brown

Invested Volunteer donates seed money

We recently invited one of Charleston CanCare’s first donors to write a letter explaining why he decided to contribute seed money to our new CanCare affiliate and we share his note with you to thank and applaud him for his philanthropy and caring.



“I am an 18-year survivor of multiple myeloma, a lethal blood cancer. For most of those years, I have looked for ways to use my story to encourage other people with cancer. Two years ago, I realized that CanCare could enable me to help people with the same kind of cancer I recovered from. I currently support six cancer patients, four with multiple myeloma.

As I became more invested in helping develop the structure and leadership of CanCare of Charleston, I saw an immediate need to build revenue to both support and expand our local program. I also knew that contributions from within our organization would encourage outside donors to offer us gifts and grants.

My wife Susan and I are committed to tithing — giving 10% of our income to Christian ministries. Most of that tithe goes to the church, but we also give to more than a dozen other nonprofits, especially those in which we are personally involved. Naturally, we felt the need to make a gift to CanCare. We hope that this “seed money” will support training, videos, brochures and other goods and services that will help us reach people who so desperately need survivors by their side.”

CanCare Charleston's second volunteer training class

Our Volunteers have lived through Cancer

This is a photo of our second CanCare class (#87).

In this class we had 13 volunteers who survived the following cancers:

  • stage 2 bladder
  • stage 1 ER+ breast
  • stage 2 ER+, PR+, and Her2+ breast
  • stage 2 triple negative breast
  • stage 2 lobular breast
  • Paget’s disease
  • stage 2 and stage 3 colon
  • stage 2 kidney
  • stage 1 lung
  • stage 1 melanoma
  • stage 3 multiple myeloma
  • stage 2 and stage 4 prostate
  • stage 2 renal.

And in this class we had caregivers to loved ones who had had the following cancers:

  • breast
  • melanoma an
  • prostate.
Cancare Charleston's first volunteer training class
Our Volunteers have Been on the same Cancer Journey as you and your loved one

Do you know the types of cancers our volunteers have experienced?

At our first training class, we had 12 volunteers attend who had survived the following cancers:

  • stage 3 ER+ breast stage
  • 2 HER2+ breast
  • stage 3 colon
  • stage 3 esophageal
  • acute myeloid leukemia
  • stage 3 lymphoma,
  • stage 3 stomach
  • stage 3 tongue.

We had caregivers whose loved ones had had the following cancers:

  • stage 2 breast
  • stage 4 colon
  • stage 4 lung, an
  • stage 4 pancreatic.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please go to this page to get more information.

Cancer patients can get help from a licensed counselor

Jeannine M. Harrell, MA, a licensed professional counselor associate with offices in Mount Pleasant, is offering a complimentary session to local cancer patients, or caregivers, or CanCare volunteers.

Jeannine Harrell, MAMs. Harrell says, “Human beings are naturally resilient, but it’s also natural to feel overwhelmed at times.” She notes on her website that counseling helps as you explore the emotions you have related to the issues in your life. 

How does counseling help cancer patients?

According to and the American Society of Clinical Oncology, getting counseling can help you:

  • Learn ways to cope with a cancer diagnosis and feel less overwhelmed and more in control.
  • Explore what your cancer experience means to you.
  • Manage depression and anxiety.
  • Manage cancer symptoms and treatment side effects, such as pain and fatigue.
  • Learn how to communicate effectively with the health care team.
  • Address relationship issues with family and friends.
  • Discuss financial concerns and identify helpful resources.
  • Explore options and get feedback about important decisions.
  • Consider workplace issues and strategies to manage them.
  • Discuss your concerns about what comes after finishing treatment.
  • Learn how to help your family understand and adjust to changes in routine.


November 2019 CanCare Charleston volunteers

Newest CanCare Volunteers Complete Training

On Saturday, November 15 and Sunday, November 16, the third local class of CanCare volunteers completed their training which was held at St. Andrews Anglican Church in Mount Pleasant. This was the first time that the training was done entirely by local trainers: Ken Alexander, Louise Harvell, Lynn Joye, and Mary Wilbur. In addition, Dr. Elizabeth Christian, a retired oncologist, gave a talk to the volunteers. The training was also attended by Teresa Doyle from the Houston CanCare organization who observed and provided feedback to the trainers. Women from St. Matthews Lutheran Church provided lunch for the group on Saturday.

All CanCare training classes, no matter where in the country they take place, are numbered so our graduates can proudly refer to the class they attended.  CanCare began in Houston, TX and  now has affiliates in Colorado Springs, CO, Atlanta, GA and Charleston, SC. 

Class #96 was trained in Mt. Pleasant, SC and had survivors of the following cancer types:

  • stage 2 ER+ and PR+ breast
  • stage 1 lobular breast
  • Paget’s disease
  • basal cell skin
  • Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • multiple myeloma.

This class had caregivers to loved ones who had had the following cancers:

  • breast
  • acute leukemia
  • Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

We extend congratulations and a warm welcome to the newest certified CanCare volunteers!

Tri-County Cancer Survivors-National Cancer Survivor Day

Tri-County Cancer Survivors Event 2019

On the afternoon of Sunday, June 2, Lynn Joye, Louise Harvell and Jean Anglin attended the National Cancer Survivors Day event which is hosted each year by the Tri-County Cancer Survivors Organization. The event honors survivors and their caregivers and includes guest speakers, music, information tables, food and other activities.

Continue reading “Tri-County Cancer Survivors Organization Hosts National Cancer Survivors Day Event”