H.O.P.E. Blog

Annual Shrimp & Bull Roast Coming Up

If you have not attended the H.o.P.E. Shrimp & Bull Roast in previous years, then you're missing a chance for great food, DJ & Dancing, Door Prizes, Silent Auction and much more. Enjoy all of this with a great group of people and all in the name of supporting cancer patients and their families through H.O.P.E.

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Shrimp Bull Roast 2016




6th Annual Golf for H.O.P.E. Tournament

The Bon Air Country Club will be hosting the 6th Annual "Golf for H.O.P.E." Tournament to benefit all cancer patients and families.  Support H.O.P.E. by entering the tournament or taking advantage of one of the many ways of sponsoring this worthwhile event.

Logo BonAirCCGolf HOPE2016WHEN:  Sunday, October 9, 2016 / 12:00 Noon Shotgun Start

WHERE:  Bon Air Country Club, 2287 Clubhouse Road, Glen Rock, Pa

FORMAT:  Four Player Scramble

ENTRY FEE:  $100/player (includes green fee, cart fee, dinner)

ELIGIBILITY:  Open to All Golfers


Download the Tournament Entry Form or contact the Bon Air Pro Shop at 717-235-2091.



The ABCs of Skin Cancer

skin cancer word cloud picThe skin protects against heat, sunlight, injury, and infection. Skin also helps control body temperature and stores water and fat. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. It usually forms in skin that has been exposed to sunlight, but can occur anywhere on the body.
Skin has several layers. Skin cancer begins in the epidermis (outer layer), which is made up of basal cells, squamous cells, and melanocytes.

There are several types of skin cancer. Squamous cell and basal cell skin cancers are sometimes called nonmelanoma skin cancers. Nonmelanoma skin cancer usually responds to treatment and rarely spreads to other parts of the body. Melanoma is more aggressive than most other types of skin cancer. If it isn’t diagnosed early, it is likely to invade nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body. The number of cases of melanoma is increasing each year. Only two percent of all skin cancers are melanoma, but it causes most deaths from skin cancer.

UV Rays are the Culprit

UVA rays penetrate deep into the dermis, the skin’s thickest layer. Unprotected exposure can lead to premature skin aging and wrinkling and suppression of the immune system. UVA damages skin cells called keratinocytes in the basal layer of the epidermis, where most skin cancers occur. The beautiful golden or bronze tan we achieve is actually the result of injury by the sun to the skin’s DNA and the consequent darkening of the skin to prevent further DNA damage. UVB rays will usually burn the superficial layers of the skin.

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma is a cancer that grows on parts of your skin that get a lot of sun. It’s the least risky type of skin cancer and if caught early can be cured.

The tumors start off as small shiny bumps, usually on your nose or other parts of your face. But you can get them on any part of your body, including your trunk, legs, and arms. If you’ve got fair skin, you’re more likely to get this skin cancer.

Basal cell carcinoma usually grows very slowly and doesn’t show up for many years after intense or long-term exposure to the sun. You can get it at a younger age if you’re exposed to a lot of sun or use tanning beds.

This type of skin cancer rarely spreads to other parts of the body, and the treatment is almost always successful, especially if it’s caught early. However, sometimes new carcinomas can grow, so it’s important to check your skin for any unusual-looking growths and get them checked by your doctor.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell skin cancer most often occurs on areas of the skin that have been in the sun, such as the nose, ears, forehead, lower lip, and hands. But it also may appear on areas of the skin that have been burned, exposed to chemicals, or had radiation therapy. Squamous cell cancers may rapidly grow into large masses and spread to nearby lymph nodes.

Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common skin cancer in light-skinned people. It is rare in people who have dark skin. More than one million cases of squamous cell carcinoma are diagnosed each year in the U.S.

Signs and symptoms of squamous cell skin cancer may include a firm red bump, a growth or patch of skin that feels scaly, bleeds, or develops a crust, or a sore that doesn't heal.

Treatment involves surgical removal of the affected skin and may include radiation therapy or topical chemotherapy. When it is properly treated, the cure rate is high.


Like all cancers, melanoma develops when DNA damage in a cell triggers genetic mutations that cause the cell to multiply rapidly and to form new, abnormal cells. Melanomas can form anywhere on the skin, and they can also form in the eyes, mouth, and genital and anal areas. Close to one million people were living with melanoma in 2012, the last year for which statistics are available.

The rate of new cases of melanoma has been on the rise for the past 40 years, even among children. The major risk factor for developing the disease is exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays, either through direct sunlight, tanning beds, or sun lamps. Other risk factors include:

  • A family history of melanoma or multiple mole melanoma syndrome
  • Fair skin that burns and freckles easily         
  • A history of blistering sunburns
  • A weakening immune system, either from disease or medical treatment
  • Being a man over 45
  • Increased age (although melanoma is one of the most common cancers among people under 30)

The American Cancer Society has a method it calls the ABCDE rule for checking moles for skin cancer, since the first sign of melanoma is often a new mole or changes in an existing one.

                A: assymetrical shape

                B: irregular borders

                C: different colors within one mole

                D: a diameter bigger than a pencil eraser

                E: evolving shape, color, or size of a mole

A mole that itches, oozes, bleeds, or is ulcerated is also suspect and should be examined by a dermatologist.

Treatment of melanoma can range from minimal surgery to remove the cancerous tissue to more extensive surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy.

Survival depends on what stage the cancer is found in. Stages 0 or I can have a five-year survival rate of 97 percent and a 10-year rate of 95 percent. Stage II’s five-year survival rate ranges from 53 to 81 percent, and the 10-year rate from 40 to 67 percent. Stage III rates are 40 to 78 percent and 24 to 68 percent. When the cancer is found in Stage IV, the five-year rate drops to 15 to 20 percent and the 10-year rate to 10 to 15 percent.

On The Other Hand…

We’re not trying to turn you into a mole person. Sun is vital to our health. But as with everything else, moderation is key. So here are a few more common sense points, as well as a few you may not have been aware of.

  • Give your body a chance to produce Vitamin D, which is best gained from exposure to the sun. Expose large amounts of skin (at least 40 percent of your body) to sunlight for short periods daily. This usually occurs within 20 minutes or so of ultraviolet exposure during ideal conditions.
  • When you’re in the sun for longer periods, cover up with clothing, a hat, or shade (either natural or that you create using an umbrella, etc.). A safe sunscreen can be applied after you’ve optimized your daily Vitamin D production.
  • Shield your face from the sun daily using a safe sunscreen or a hat, as your facial skin is thin and more prone to sun damage like premature wrinkling.
  • Consuming a healthy diet full of natural antioxidants is another incredibly useful strategy to help avoid sun damage to your skin. Fresh, raw, unprocessed foods deliver the nutrients that your body needs to maintain a healthy balance of omega-6 and omega-3 oils in your skin, which is your first line of defense against sunburn. Fresh, raw vegetables also provide your body with an abundance of powerful antioxidants that will help you fight the free radicals caused by sun damage that can lead to burns and cancer.

This article is reprinted from H.O.P.E. Lifeline (July, 2016) - monthly newsletter distributed by H.O.P.E. Click here to view the full newsletter.  If you would like to receive the newsletter by e-mail each month, you may subscribe today (no cost or obligation and you may unsubscribe at any time).

Meet Our Amazing 2016 Scholarship Winners

2016 HOPE Scholarship Recipients picIn May, 2016, H.O.P.E. presented college scholarships to four outstanding high school seniors through the Jeanette Cartwright Memorial Scholarship program. A special attendee was Ken Cartwright, whose wife Jeanette was the co-founder of H.O.P.E. and in whose name the scholarships are given. This year four students won the awards (all girls (!), see more about them below) and each of the young ladies told the audience a little about herself.

As you read their biographies you’ll see two consistent threads: the first, of course, is that each of these four girls has witnessed cancer in her family, often in more than one loved one. The second is that mainly as a result of this experience with cancer each of these girls is planning to enter the medical field so that she can help others through their own health crises. Compassion and empathy are the two words that best define these four exceptional young women.

Megan Bowers

Eastern High School senior Megan Bowers not only knows she wants to pursue a career in nursing, she has already enrolled in York College’s nursing program and plans to graduate with her degree in 2020. Cancer has surrounded Megan. Her mother was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer when Megan was very young and 12 years later her step-sister was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Fortunately both are currently cancer free, but two of Megan’s grandparents died from cancer and her aunt is battling brain cancer.
Despite (or because of) these health fears in her loved ones, Megan excelled in and out of school, with honor roll grades in the most rigorous classes and active membership in the FFA and other organizations. She participated in both Relay for Life and her school’s Mini-Thon. Her FFA involvement ran the gamut from horse judging, poultry and dairy evaluation, land evaluation, and floriculture to public speaking. In this latter category Megan won second place for public speaking in York County in 2014 and 2015 and second place in last year’s Voice of Democracy contest.

Megan is looking forward to earning her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing and wants to experience “as many different avenues as [her] nursing career will allow, such as working in the intensive care unit, emergency room, pediatrics, and labor and delivery.” She is excited to be able to help others the way her mother and sister were helped as well as make them proud of her achievements. No doubt they already are.

Zoe Kamin

Our scholarship winners this year seem to have been given extra hours in their days. There’s no other way to account for all that they accomplish. Northern High School senior Zoe Kamin crammed superlative grades and academic accolades, community service, school leadership, church involvement, the cello, and a part-time job into her packed life and still finds time to get out in nature and to play her guitar.

Zoe attributes her drive and achievements to her family members: her mother who has raised her and her younger brother; her grandmother who battled breast cancer as she was helping raise Zoe; her great aunt who also battled breast cancer; and her grandfather, “a man [she] had respected and seen as a strong individual.” She says that seeing the strength in her family members in adversity “has allowed me to appreciate my life each day I wake up. I know that I will get through hard times and I intend to make the most of the life I am given.”

Zoe has chosen to attend Messiah College because of its smaller size and its feeling of community, as well as the fact that the campus is surrounded by nature. She, too, plans to enter the nursing program and graduate as a Registered Nurse because of a desire to improve the lives of others. With her intelligence, drive, and compassion she’ll make a difference in countless lives.

Brea Keiser

Like many young people who have experienced a family member’s battle with cancer, Brea Keiser decided early on that her career path would be nursing. Brea’s grandmother, whom Brea describes as “the strongest and most inspirational person that I have ever met in my life,” valiantly fought cancer for six years, leading to Brea’s decision to study medicine to become “the best nurse that I can be by showing compassion while caring for every patient I can.” The Spring Grove High School senior will excel in this field if her actions for the past four years are any indication. Almost all of her extracurricular endeavors involved helping people.

From helping in a group counseling program as an “autism buddy,” to serving as a peer mentor for at-risk freshmen and elected as the group’s president this year, to event coordinator for Mini-Thon, to service in the Key Club, Brea’s major focus is helping others. Her rigorous academic schedule and part-time job, on top of all these other commitments, would fill anyone’s day, yet Brea also found time to volunteer as a patient aide at York Hospital and help as a counselor at a special-needs church camp. Oh, yes, and she was also captain of her varsity lacrosse team this year.

Brea plans to attend the University of Arkansas, where she has been accepted into the Honors College. In addition to the fact that the school has an excellent nursing program, it is also within 30 minutes of where her older sister now lives. However, we hope that Brea will bring her training and compassion back here when she graduates.

Erika Myers

Cancer has been a part of Dover Area High School senior Erika Myers’s life for as long as she can remember. In fact, seven years before Erika was born, her mother was first diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. When Erika was three she lost her grandfather to Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and that same year her mother’s recurred. Fortunately for Erika’s family her mother responded to treatment, although the little girl learned very young that “everyone can be sad and everyone cries, even daddies.”

Erika’s high school resume reveals impressive achievements in and out of the classroom. An excellent student, she was editor of her high school’s yearbook, an officer in the FFA, a freshman mentor, and student council representative; she also played varsity softball and runs track. But Erika’s passion has been fighting cancer through fundraising. She coordinated the money-raising portion of her school’s Mini-Thon last year and raised the highest individual amount as well. This year she was a Thon captain. As a freshman she organized a team to participate in the Relay for Life and was its top fundraiser every year for four years. Through her membership in the FFA Erika and another student organized a huge, carnival-style community event last year to raise money for a good friend who was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia as a sophomore.

Last July Erika’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent surgery and chemotherapy and is doing well once again. Erika lost her grandmother to esophageal cancer in 2012. As she puts it: “Rather than allowing all of these unfortunate events impact me in negative ways, I have allowed them to make me a better, stronger person.” This unbelievably strong young woman will be attending Lock Haven University because of its great health science program, with her intended major of athletic training. If anyone can help someone get back into the game, it will be Erika Myers.

This article is reprinted from H.O.P.E. Lifeline (June, 2016) - monthly newsletter distributed by H.O.P.E. Click here to view the full newsletter.  If you would like to receive the newsletter by e-mail each month, you may subscribe today (no cost or obligation and you may unsubscribe at any time).

Essential Oils Can be Just that... Essential

essential oils aromatherapyBy Jean Lillquist (Editor HOPE Lifeline Newsletter)

At a recent H.O.P.E. Support Group meeting, the topic was essential oils, which are aromatic compounds that come from distilling the fluids of plants. The oils that result are mixtures of hundreds of compounds and are extremely concentrated. They are most commonly known for their use in aromatherapy, and when inhaled are thought to benefit conditions such as stress, headaches, anxiety, pain, mood disorders, jet lag, insomnia or poor sleep, nausea and vomiting, and migraine. The oils can also be ingested or applied to the skin.

There are several hundred essential oils available, and probably even more suppliers. There is no federal regulation on who can manufacture or sell essential oils. An excellent source of information on selecting and using them is www.takingcharge.chs.umn.edu, from the University of Minnesota. It is important to consult someone who is trained in their use as they can cause considerable harm if used incorrectly, and it is important to consult your doctor as well before you begin to use them.

That said, here are five of the most commonly used oils in aromatherapy that have been found to be helpful in the treatment of certain conditions (information taken from www.verywell.com):


Breathing in the scent of lemon essential oil may significantly improve mood, according to a 2008 study of 56 healthy volunteers.


Said to possess sedative properties, lavender essential oil has been found to help relieve anxiety and insomnia in several studies. A study published in 2007 also shows that lavender inhalation may help alleviate agitated behaviors among older adults with dementia.

Tea Tree

Long used in folk medicine to treat cuts, burns, infections, and other skin conditions, tea tree oil may help kill staph bacteria, according to a 2009 report. Other studies show that it may be effective in the treatment of warts, athlete’s foot, and dandruff.


After sniffing the scent of rosemary for five minutes, volunteers in a 2007 study showed a significant decrease in their levels of the stress hormone cortisol.


Taking peppermint oil in capsule form may help reduce some of the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, according to research published in 2007. Applying peppermint oil directly to the skin has also been shown to help relieve tension headaches.

Frankincense Extracts May Help With Cancer Treatment

Maybe you heard a recent item on the news about the use of essential oils extracted from frankincense in cancer treatment. This is a field that has a lot of promise. The use of frankincense as a curative property goes back nine thousand years to ancient Egypt, where it was thought to be sweat of the gods. For thousands of years it has been known to quell disease-causing inflammation, support heightened immunity, and prevent dangerous infections.

An Iraqi immunologist, who has teamed up with medical scientists from the University of Oklahoma, has observed an agent within frankincense which stops cancer from spreading and which induces cancerous cells to close themselves down. The task is now to determine which of the 17 active agents in frankincense oil this one is, because some of its ingredients are allergenic and patients cannot be given the whole thing.

Also, researchers at the University of Leicester in the UK have isolated a compound in frankincense that they used to kill cancer cells in vitro, and they’re encouraged that this can become an additional treatment in the future after clinical trials.

This article is reprinted from H.O.P.E. Lifeline (May, 2016) - monthly newsletter distributed by H.O.P.E. Click here to view the full newsletter.  If you would like to receive the newsletter by e-mail each month, you may subscribe today (no cost or obligation and you may unsubscribe at any time).



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