Ann Fonfa

Delray Beach, FL

I founded an all-volunteer nonprofit Annie Appleseed Project to provide information and education about natural approaches to reduce cancer risk, recurrence, conventional treatment toxicities and learn about so-called ‘alternative’ therapies from the patient perspective (lifestyle changes, complementary therapies and alternatives.)

Because this is an area that is not subject to patents, the pharmaceutical industry and medical community mostly ignore it. I saw an area of need. It is a huge hole in the system. I was diagnosed with breast cancer while suffering from severe Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. I was unable to take chemotherapy and had to figure out how to stay alive. I started a study group to talk about options and, over time, others began using some of my methods to help themselves. I realized I could share really useful information.

From its inception, the Annie Appleseed Project decided to challenge the existing treatment paradigm, to question the existing research methods and subjects, and to propose new directions for true Integrative Oncology. Other people with cancer (all volunteers) have gotten involved and produced reports on treatment responses, clinic visits, meetings attended and much more.

The information I gather at cancer conferences and from medical/scientific journals is shared via social media, our website, our e-newsletter, our annual conference, smaller one-day meetings and on the telephone or via email directly to individuals. Many people gain what they need from articles I have written and shared with other cancer group newsletters. And I get much positive feedback:

John wrote: ” You give others hope for a new life.”
Linda wrote: ” I so appreciated being reminded what a great resource you are!”

What I’d like the world to know about older workers is that we have lots of energy and experience. We love helping people and we have learned enough to be good at it. I tell people I have the strength of ten – and knowing that my work really helps people feel better and gain hope – is worth everything to me.