Newswise — ARLINGTON, Va., June 29, 2017 – The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) will award its annual Survivor Circle grants to two San Diego-based cancer support charities: Cancer Angels of San Diego and The Seany Foundation. Each organization will receive an $8,500 grant to support their programs for those who have been affected by cancer and will be recognized during ASTRO’s Annual Meeting, September 24-27, in San Diego.

“The Survivor Circle Grant Program is ASTRO’s way of recognizing the great work that these nonprofit organizations do to support cancer patients and their families,” said ASTRO President Brian D. Kavanagh, MD, MPH, FASTRO. “We are honored to give back to the organizations that work in the communities where we hold our Annual Meeting. This year’s grantees—the Cancer Angels of San Diego and The Seany Foundation—are eminently worthy recipients.”

Cancer Angels of San Diego was founded in 2007 after founder and president Eve Beutler met a single mother with stage IV breast cancer who was having trouble making rent while she was receiving treatment. After raising $33,000 for the cancer patient through a fundraising event, Beutler decided to start a nonprofit aimed at providing financial assistance to stage IV cancer patients for necessities that health insurance doesn’t cover, like rent or mortgage payments, groceries and gas.

“We are beyond thrilled to receive ASTRO’s Survivor Circle grant,” said Beutler. “This grant will help us get school supplies and clothing for children whose parents are battling cancer and would not be able to afford back-to-school shopping otherwise.”

Every month, Cancer Angels of San Diego pays for the rent or mortgage payments, plus a grocery gift card and gas gift card, for between 25 and 30 San Diego County families, many of whom are headed by single mothers battling stage IV cancer. The nonprofit reassesses the families’ caseloads monthly and offers ongoing financial assistance, if needed. Since Cancer Angels of San Diego is run entirely by volunteers, they have no administrative costs and every dollar goes toward helping the hundreds of cancer patients and their families they support each year.

Beutler said many of the cancer patients they work with were middle-class before their diagnoses—but not being able to work and not having long-term disability insurance has created financial devastation for these families. And Beutler said the problem is not uncommon—according to one study, 68 percent of cancer patients reported financial burden due to medical bills.

“Without our help, most of our clients would be homeless,” said Beutler. “We have gotten many families that were previously living in their cars into homes.”

Beutler hopes that the ASTRO grant will help bring attention to this problem. “We want to build an awareness that this is happening in every community,” Beutler said. “Maybe someone will read about this and want to start a Cancer Angels in their own town.”

The Seany Foundation’s mission is to fund meaningful projects that enhance the lives of children and families affected by cancer, mainly through day, overnight and weekend camps designed for pediatric cancer patients and their siblings; children of cancer patients; or children who have lost a family member to cancer.

“Cancer doesn’t just suddenly stop one day,” said Bernard Mauricia, director of development for The Seany Foundation. “Families continue to feel the toll that cancer takes on them for years. Our goal through our camps is to bring joy back into these children’s lives and to allow them to experience a sense of normalcy that they likely haven’t felt since before their cancer diagnoses.”

The organization’s chief executive officer and his wife founded The Seany Foundation in 2006 to honor their son, Sean Robins, who passed away after battling Ewing sarcoma, a cancer that affects soft tissue and bone. Its initial goal was to fund pediatric cancer research but now focuses on projects that help kids cope with cancer.

Four years ago, The Seany Foundation took over operational control of their camps from the American Cancer Society, which began the program in 1983. Known as Seany’s Camp Reach for the Sky, these are free camps for kids with cancer and their siblings. There are three sessions every summer in Southern California—one for children with cancer; one for siblings of children with cancer; and one day camp for both pediatric cancer patients and their siblings. They also host weekend camps for teen patients, survivors and siblings, as well as camps for families with a parent with cancer and families who have lost a parent or child to cancer.

With the grant from ASTRO, The Seany Foundation will be able to cover the cost of 12 campers to attend its weeklong overnight camp, Resident Oncology Camp (ROC), for children ages 8 to 17 who have cancer or are cancer survivors. Due to the need for round-the-clock medical equipment and care at this camp, its annual cost is $65,400.

They also hope to expand support of other patient care projects they are involved with, like Art from the Heart, an annual art show for children with cancer and their siblings held at Rady Children’s Hospital–San Diego, with the help of the ASTRO grant.

“Pediatric cancer survivorship rates are going up, which means it’s important to put resources toward helping kids deal with their new realities of living with cancer,” says Mauricia. “This grant from ASTRO will help us fund more programs and support a greater number of kids and their families—increasing the long-term impact of our work.”

For more information about Cancer Angels of San Diego, visit For more information about The Seany Foundation, visit To learn about ASTRO’s 59th Annual Meeting, visit To view past Survivor Circle grant awardees and more information about the Survivor Circle grant and award winners, visit



ASTRO is the premier radiation oncology society in the world, with more than 10,000 members who are physicians, nurses, biologists, physicists, radiation therapists, dosimetrists and other health care professionals who specialize in treating patients with radiation therapies. As the leading organization in radiation oncology, the Society is dedicated to improving patient care through professional education and training, support for clinical practice and health policy standards, advancement of science and research, and advocacy. ASTRO publishes three medical journals, International Journal of Radiation Oncology • Biology • Physics (, Practical Radiation Oncology ( and Advances in Radiation Oncology (; developed and maintains an extensive patient website, RT Answers (; and created the Radiation Oncology Institute (, a nonprofit foundation to support research and education efforts around the world that enhance and confirm the critical role of radiation therapy in improving cancer treatment. To learn more about ASTRO, visit