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“Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Once you do, you not only lighten your load, but you allow people who really want to help to do just that.
Former Giants Coach, Tom Coughlin
Who do you go to for Coaching?
Have you been a part of a loved one's Cancer Team?
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We want to share news & information with you and for you!
  • Interview with Coach Coughlin
  • Where Can You Find a Cancer Coach?
  • How to make water better and other important nutrition for a cancer journey!
  • FREE CONSULTATIONS in Coaching and Nutrition!
September Awareness Month 
Look out for more on each this month and message My Cancer Family  to be featured!
Are you new to My Cancer Family?
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Have you been on a cancer journey with a child?  Do you know someone going through this right now? 
 If so, the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation is the team you may need to help you get through (and you don’t even have to root for The Giants :) 
Coach learned earlier in his career that his coaching skills were meant for off the field too. 
The foundation helps keep families in their homes, food on the table, the lights on, and so much more when a family is tackling childhood cancer by providing comprehensive financial, emotional, and practical support. The Jay Fund, the nonprofit organization of 2X Super Bowl winning head coach Tom Coughlin, was established in 1996 in the memory and spirit of the late Boston College football player, Jay McGillis, who lost his battle with leukemia. From diagnosis to recovery and beyond, the Jay Fund is part of the team, allowing parents to focus solely on their child’s well-being.  The mission is to BE THERE for parents facing the unthinkable so they can BE THERE for their child. 
My Cancer Family
What you have done is exactly a Cancer Family.  Can you tell us why from what you experienced with Jay, and now others, a cancer family is so critical when tackling the emotional, physical, and financial aspects of a cancer diagnosis?
COACH Coughlin
A cancer diagnosis affects the whole family – emotionally, financially, and physically. In 1991, we saw this firsthand when Jay McGillis, the inspiration for the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation, was told he had cancer. Jay played safety for the Eagles when I was head coach for Boston College’s football team. He worked hard, was a great teammate and friend, and always tried to be his best.
Cancer is both expensive and exhausting. It can take a heavy toll on everyone involved. When the team and I learned of Jay’s illness, we had that very human reaction of wanting to help. The McGillis family was part of our community and all of Brockton wanted to show their support. His teammates started a Liftathon and raised $50,000 to help the McGillis family with their medical bills. I made almost daily visits to the hospital to sit and talk to Jay. I would like to think I was encouraging him, but maybe it was the other way around. His sister came home from law school to care for him. We were all hoping for a miracle, but unfortunately, Jay’s battle didn’t have the happy ending we prayed for.  
But Jay’s battle and death had a silver lining. It united so many people, and inspired me, Judy, and our kids to help others going through the same thing. To date, the Jay Fund has helped over 5,000 families tackling pediatric cancer and provided over $16 million in financial support.
My Cancer Family
How do you create a "family" for all of the families going through a cancer journey?
COACH Coughlin
No one fights cancer alone. It takes a team. Who is part of that team? It’s your family and friends, doctors and nurses, child life specialists, social workers, teachers, neighbors, and more often than not, people you don’t know and might never meet who are donating money and time to support organizations, GoFundMe pages, and offering up prayers and words of encouragement.
My Cancer Family
Your fund helps families in many ways, household expenses, financial coaching, sibling support, children are eligible for college scholarships, and so much more - can you share specific stories of children and families who have benefitted?
COACH Coughlin
There are so many wonderful young people who have become part of the Jay Fund family over the years. One story that sticks out to me is about a young man named Rudy Wells. Rudy had cancer as a young boy. We were able to support his family financially and emotionally during his cancer journey. He ended up becoming a scholarship recipient turned Jay Fund intern turned medical student. Today, Rudy is studying to become an oncologist and hopes to practice at the same hospital where he was treated. That’s a story with the kind of happy ending we love and hope for. Unfortunately, every cancer journey doesn’t end that way and the foundation is there for families in those dark hours, too.
My Cancer Family
Do you have any "Coach" advice for families going through this?  
COACH Coughlin
I would tell families not to be afraid to ask for help. Once you do, you not only lighten your load, but you allow people who really want to help to do just that.
For those on the sidelines, I would encourage you to get in the game. Offer to make dinner, buy groceries, pick-up kids from school and after-school activities. Donate to organizations in the cancer space who are working directly with hospitals and patients. Whatever you can do to help, do it.
My Cancer Family
How do you feel to be able to help so many people in this way off the field?
COACH Coughlin
It’s a privilege to be able to help so many families. This is Jay’s legacy and he would be proud. He would also tell us there is always more work to be done.
My Cancer Family
Do any of your former players get involved and help with the families?
COACH Coughlin
Players from both the New York Giants and the Jacksonville Jaguars have come to events, made donations, visited with families, and provided encouragement over the years. It’s a long list, and I don’t want to leave anyone out. But the extensive network of alumni players has been nothing but generous with their time and talents. It’s truly humbling. I can never say thank you enough. 
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Do you need a Cancer COACH?
The Cancer Journey - Free Consultation Session
We love a few of their missions and thoughts.  
“Move from Panic to Powerful” and “Rather than a battle, a cancer journey is an invitation to personal power and meaning.”
The Cancer Journey offers a FREE consulation to all and we would try it!
The Cancer Coach provides personalized health plans with private coaching support for people going through cancer treatment and recovery.  
The Cancer Coach applies their Anti-Cancer Super 6 program - nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress management, detox and gut health.  Their aim is to guide and support you to a new life that reduces treatment side effects, supports immune health and recovery and reduces the risk of recurrence. Their qualified coaches are also cancer survivors! 
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How water can taste better and what foods are best with a small budget and no cooking skills?
When I was diagnosed with Cancer, I remember asking my oncologist if I should change my diet.  I remember him saying it wasn’t necessary.  The truth is, I did change a lot.  I started reading and learning and wanted to cut certain things out of my diet.  I don’t know if it was right or wrong, but I know it feels right to me.  And at the very least, it can’t hurt!  So I thought it would be great to share more here for those of you going through a cancer journey.  
Meet Yonni Wattenmaker, of YonAppetit, who has also been the Executive Director of Breast Cancer Alliance.  Yonni is also a certified integrative nutrition coach.  Yonni’s grandparents both had cancer and Yonni had a scare with basal cell carcinoma last summer.  She has taken all of her knowledge and passions and experiences to help cancer patients with nutrition.  Yonni is offering 3 FREE 15 Minute Consultations to the first My Cancer Family members who reach out to her!
Why is it so important for everyone on a cancer journey to talk to a nutritionist?
Everyone’s cancer journey is unique and their path to wellness is individual as well.  A certified health coach can help with everything from nausea to sleeplessness, to rebuilding strength and gaining or losing weight. Survivorship is increasingly common but how people eat, move, and manage stress are essential pieces to that success.
If someone on a cancer journey is going to cut out 3 things, what should that be?
There is no one size fits all approach to recovery but limiting sugar and alcohol consumption and avoiding tobacco are three good places to start. 
What 3 things should everyone on a cancer journey add to their diet?
Again, each story is different, and there are so many who struggle with intolerances to dairy, gluten, nuts and so on, but overall green leafy vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains are important for everyone.
If people don't cook and don't have a large budget, can you suggest 3-5 meal options that are healthy and easy to do that will support their overall health while going through a cancer journey
Oatmeal made with water with walnuts and hemp seeds
Vegetable soups and stews with beans 
Leafy green salads with lean protein
Hummus with cut veggies, apple and whole wheat pita
Quinoa with sautéed veggies
We always hear --- drink water...especially while in treatment...if people are sooooo sick of plain water...what's the best way to stay hydrated ....
The key to drinking enough water is to drink it at room temperature and have a large, refillable bottle with you. Adding lemon or mint or ginger or cucumber adds a drop of flavor and which you choose can depend on how you feel.
A Place To Call Home During A Cancer Journey
As a reminder, or in case you are new to us, My Cancer Family will be the safe place to go for community, support, resources and help…Everything from getting to the right non-profit that offers FREE programs to helping with nutrition to tutorials for how to put on eyelashes, to sharing wisdom we learned (like why your nose may run all the time), to connecting anyone with a survivor who knows and understands.
Find, Share & Unite
We want to support you and everyone you know who has had cancer, is going through treatment, or is newly diagnosed and their families and anyone who is affected by Cancer.
Cancer Sucks.  F*** Cancer. We Hate Cancer. 
We know this already.  We can’t change that for you. 
We CAN change your journey. 
We WILL make it easier and better.
We are YOUR Cancer Family.
Stay Positive,  
Denise & the My Cancer Family family