A visit with our Charity Partner, Cancer Care Foundation of Tidewater’s executive director, Tricia Izard
By: Haley Jernigan
July, 2018 . . . Norfolk, VA. The Cancer Care Foundation of Tidewater is a local nonprofit organization who dedicates their time to providing support for cancer patients and their caregivers. The volunteers are there for the patients as they go through chemotherapy treatment. Each day they bring a loving attitude and provide a positive environment in order to make the patient feel more comfortable. As executive director Tricia Izard describes it, the volunteers and company are like “grandmothers” because of their comforting nature and will to make sure each patient feels as comfortable as possible; just as grandmothers provide love, food, and emotional support for their family when in need.
Tricia became involved with the organization thirteen years ago and she has been hooked ever since. She was a teacher for younger children, but once her father went through cancer and lost his battle, Tricia wanted to be a part of the program that helped her father and family during their hard time. She got a call from the former director of the foundation and began her journey.
During my visit with Tricia, one of the most impactful things I took away from our interview was the Humanitarian Grant program that the Cancer Care Foundation has. They provide goods and items to families when they need it most. For example, Trisha told me a story of a patient who missed their chemotherapy appointment because they could not afford the tires they needed for their car; therefore, they could not drive to their appointment. With the Humanitarian Grant, the foundation was able to buy all new tires for the patient, giving them from yet another burden. Tricia also told me that they have never once turned away an application for help. Not only was I touched by this because I have had family who have undergone chemotherapy, but it showed me that the Cancer Care Foundation truly cares for each and every one of their patients and their well-being.
Being one of Altor 50’s Charities of Choice means a lot for the Cancer Care Foundation. Not only does it bring attention to their company, but as Izard states, it also helps to continue to “raise awareness that we are a small, local company helping out. Everything we do is based off of the generosity around us.” Being a charity of choice also helps with fundraising. Because the foundation is smaller than most, there is no fundraising arm to help, so even an amount as small as $100 makes a big difference.
Tricia and I ended our interview with her giving some advice to cancer patients and their families. She said, “be proactive and listen to your body,” trust your instincts and stay on top of your health. More people are surviving from cancer each day, but no matter what happens, the volunteers and workers at the Cancer Care Foundation of Tidewater will always be on your side.