This national non-profit organization, based in Baltimore, is led by a board of directors of top physicians, business leaders, and families that have been touched by Esophageal Cancer.
History: ECAN was founded in 2009 by Mindy Mintz Mordecai and an impressive group of dedicated professionals after she lost her husband of 14 years to Esophageal Cancer. Angry and frustrated because she believes that her husband and thousands more like him might never have died had they been aware of the link between Heartburn and Cancer, Mordecai is determined to prevent others from suffering the pain Esophageal Cancer has caused her family.
Accomplishments:Over the past 3 years, ECAN has made significant strides in the fight against Esophageal Cancer. Among ECAN’s successes:
- A Guide for Patients:In July 2012, ECAN published an innovative Guide for Patients providing comprehensive and clear information about the link between Heartburn and Cancer. The guide is designed to help patients advocate for their own health care and is available as a free download from the ECAN website at www.ecan.org/patient_guide.
- Critical Research:ECAN successfully advocated with the National Cancer Institute to change course and include Esophageal Cancer in its groundbreaking genome mapping project known as the The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA).
- Legendary Partnership:In April 2012, ECAN partnered with the estate of film icon Humphrey Bogart whose life was cut short in 1957 by Esophageal Cancer. The Estate is working with ECAN to develop a nationwide public awareness campaign.
- Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month: ECAN led the effort to have April designated as Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month. In 2009, Maryland Governor O’Malley declared April EC Awareness Month. With ECAN’s support over the past 3 years, more than 80 gubernatorial declarations of EC Awareness month have been achieved across the country. This year, with the support of Former Congresswoman and Undersecretary of State Ellen Tauscher, ECAN is working toward the first proclamation by both chambers of the U.S. Congress supporting April as Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month. Tauscher survived a diagnosis of Esophageal Cancer in 2010.
- Events that make a Difference:ECAN continues to sponsor its annual dance event, the Cancer Dancer. In April 2012, with nearly 300 in attendance, ECAN hosted the first Gala ever held in the U.S. to focus on Esophageal Cancer advocacy. The 2013 Cancer Dancer is set for April 6, 2013 and is expected to draw even larger crowds. ECAN supporters across the United States are hosting events like 5K walks and runs, golf tournaments, bike rides and other benefits to increase awareness about Esophageal Cancer and support ECAN's mission.