A charity set up in the US almost a decade ago is to bring its fundraising efforts to help those suffering from cancer to the UK.
We Support U’s goal is to to improve health prevention, screening and survival among undeserved, low-income communities and to be the comprehensive link between healthcare providers, cancer patients and their families and community resource.
The charity is a community-based nonprofit organisation providing support services for individuals and families. It was originally set up in 2013 by Bertha Tiznado of the Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization in San Diego County, but is now spreading its wings overseas.
To help with this, Bertha has appointed former East Midlands businessman Sukhi Ghuman, CEO of US-based Octavian USA, as Chair, and Reshma Sheikh and Amanda Butler, Managing Director and Commercial Director respectively of Nottinghamshire-based facilities management firm Octavian UK to lead the UK efforts to raise funds for (predominantly breast) cancer sufferers that cannot afford treatment and screening.
Bertha explained the reasons behind the expansion of the charity. She said: “I have more than 28 years’ experience of collaborating with the Oncology center where Sukhi is in charge. We met in a meeting and I admired his professionalism, charisma and desire to help our people who are most in need.
“We have plans to be the number one organisation, where we can be the link to provide the best medical services and the best quality of life to all our people who are going through a cancer diagnosis.”
Bertha’s day-to-day work for We Support U includes supervising and training volunteers for various outreach programs, co-ordinating and promoting support groups and screening events that provide women with information and education, carrying out free on-site clinical breast examinations, pap smears and screening mammograms.
She also helps patients from the screenings navigate their care path, establish links with the community to promote educational programs and the services of the organization, coordinate fundraising events for support groups including an annual 5K run/walk fundraising event.
Bertha added: “For many years I have provided spiritual, emotional and financial resources to patients in the underserved communities, and supportive care and navigation for the patient, to help improve the high morbidity and mortality rate experienced in the underserved population.
“Of additional and immediate value to the proposed research is my experience in the development of bilingual educational programs, including a network of healing through various programs.
“I am sure that with Sukhi, Reshma, Amanda and the whole board’s professionalism and desire to help we will improve the quality of life in patients who are experiencing this terrible disease that is cancer, which affects the whole family.”
Sukhi Ghuman, CEO of Octavian USA, added: “This is a cause very close to my heart having lost my own father to cancer. When I saw the amazing work that has and is being done by Bertha, when she asked me to assist and help grow the charity, I was absolutely delighted to accept.
“My aim is to use my global contact base to help raise funds, which in turn will allow Bertha and her team to help more and more people fight this awful disease, who ordinarily could not afford to do so.”