Summer  2015

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Welcome to the summer edition of our newsletter, where you will find details of new courses starting in September along with reminders of upcoming events, including the exciting Dragonboat Festival and fabulous Silent Auction. 

There is a section devoted to our amazing volunteers and short articles written by  Aliya, who has been with ESCA for several months and by Nicola who has been been volunteering with ESCA for several years.

We also take the opportunity to report on several of our recent events and show our appreciation for the hard work involved by all concerned.

Finally, remember that further details and much more information can always be found on our website  at
Dates to Remember

Friday 28 August
Bosom Pals Coffee
10:00 - 12:00

Sunday 6 September
Dragonboat Festival

Friday 11 September
ESCA Open House
10:00 - 12:00

Monday 14 September
Gym classes start this week.  See below for further information.

Thursday 17 September
First day of MBCT course and Bereavement Support Group 

Wednesday 7 October
Discussion and information evening
19:30 at YWCA
Details in next newsletter

Bosom Pals Coffee

These informal , supportive get togethers,  take  place on the last Friday of every month from 10:00 - 12:00
at the
Drop-In Centre.

 Mark your diary for the next Coffee Morning

Friday 28 August
Sunday 6 September
Keep the day free for Paddle for Cancer 2015!
The Paddle for Cancer team are busy finalizing plans for this years Dragon Boat festival on the shores of Lac de Joux and we at ESCA are getting very excited for this fun filled day. There are still some slots for new teams to register for the event so please share details with family and friends if you think they would be interested in taking part - and also remind them to keep their calendars free to come up and watch, support the teams and have a great day out.  

Click here to like our facebook page to see more details about the event .

Exciting opportunity to be part of the ESCA Dragonboat team!

 ESCA's own Dragonboat team is looking to recruit paddlers. Last year we did well. This year we may do even better. Maybe not...Our main aim is to have fun. Starting with a training BBQ paddle at Lac Divonne on 6 August at the Port at 18:45, Paddle then BBQ!
So, if you can join our team on 6 Sept at Lac de Joux, do come along. Come for some extra fun and training at Lac Divonne Port, at 18:45 on 6 August. Bring a bottle if you like. Otherwise I will provide the BBQ.
Please let me know if you can make both events, or perhaps only the 6 Sept. (No worries if you miss 6 August). Contact me at

Bosom Pals Team

Anyone having had breast cancer who would like to be part of the Bosom Pals Paddlers team at the Dragonboat Festival on 6 September, please contact Annabel Pulcrano at  or  021 807 1404 / 079 462 8654


The star of the auction is not on auction!  It’s an inflatable Stand Up Paddle, donated by H2O Sensations and the hottest “toy” around for water sport enthusiasts.  Since everyone is abuzz about the donation, we decided to give more people a chance to own it by putting it in a tombola.

Tickets costing CHF 20 each, will go on sale in the Silent Auction tent at 8.00, Sunday morning, 6 September.  But what will make it even more exciting is that only 75 tickets will be on offer, giving every participant a decent chance of winning.  Of course anyone can increase the odds by buying more than one ticket!  The winner will be announced at 15.00 and must be present to collect the prize.

There are plenty of other bargains to match everyone’s budget and interest.  Our most popular category is sure to be VIVA BACCHUS!  Thanks to the generosity and remarkable caves of many ESCA members and their friends, as well as local vintners, we have exceptional offerings of wines, spirits, and liqueurs.  Opening bids for bottles (in groups and alone) range from CHF 30 to CHF 80, including a Magnum of Château Chasse-Spleen Moulis en Medoc 2000, Cru Exceptionnel. 

From Kat Morse at we have two tickets to wine tasting courses and another pair to November’s Salon du Champagne.  Kat, who is our featured donor this year, is a Wine Academy Director, handling all their wine tasting events, and a Champagne Ambassador of Switzerland. In two years she has instructed more than 600 students in the flavors of the grape.  Her goal is “to take the snobbery out of wine one sip at a time.”  Kat has been involved in cancer support organisations all her life, founding a chapter of Colleges Against Cancer and Relay for Life.  While in university she worked at the American Cancer Society.

 A whisky tasting for six from vom Fass plus two bottles of Brockton’s Premium Gin will be on offer as well as special bottles of scotch, rum, and vodka.  Liqueurs are also among the lots.

Land-loving golfers will want to join pro Caroline Goasguen for advice and instruction during 18 holes of golf, this year at the prestigious Golf Club de Genève in Cologny.  This is her third year as a generous donor to ESCA.

THIS JUST IN!!  A necklace made of large fresh water pearls could be yours for only CHF500! 

Minimum bids will range from CHF20 to CHF1,500.  A complete list of the lots will soon be posted on the website.  On the day of the festival, detailed descriptions of each item as well as an explanation of how to place bids will be displayed in the Silent Auction tent. Payments of cash or credit card/ Paypal will be accepted.  

ESCA gym classes starting week of 14 September

Every Monday evening and Thursday morning ESCA offers gym classes led by a licensed Physical Therapist. Physical activity has a multitude of physical and psychological benefits, some especially important to those who have experienced cancer and its often rigorous treatment and side effects. Physical Activity reduces relapses and recurrences.

New classes starting in September:

Date : Monday 14 September  (Mixed class)
Time:  18:30 - 19:30 
Venue:  International School Campus
            11, rte Morillons

Date: Thursday 17 September  (Breast cancer only)
Time: 09:30 - 10:30
Venue:  Webster University in Bellevue

The one hour classes consist of cardio warm up with music, stretching and strengthening exercises and end with cool down and relaxation. Please bring a signed doctor’s approval if you’ve had treatment within the last year.  We kindly ask for a CHF 120 donation to ESCA if you join the class.

For more information you can contact

Mindfulness Course and Support Group starting in September

 There will be a Mindfulness course for Cancer Patients and a Bereavement Support Group both starting in September.   Please contact for further information.

Please note that the next book sale will take place in October
There will be a second-hand book/DVD sale held in the lobby of the Ecumunical Centre on Thursday 8 October from 11.00 - 14.00, all profits going to ESCA.  We look forward to seeing many of you there to browse and hopefully buy.
Library News
Herewith another two books being added to the library, one in the category of life journeys, the other with titles on the subject of coping with cancer.
A lucky life interrupted : a memoir of hope by Tom Brokaw 
One of America’s most well-known journalists and author who worked for the NBC Nightly News programme for over 20 years discovered in 2013 that he had multiple myeloma. His memoir describes the new stage in his life since his diagnosis but also highlighting some of the important historical moments in his career.  David Freedman, an ESCA member will write a book review of this title later on.
Cancer is my teacher by Lucy O’Donnell 
Catherine Blanc, ESCA’s president recommended this book for the library after hearing the author talk at a cancer conference in London recently. This memoir  is easy-to-read and understand, full of good straight-forward advice from a young busy professional woman with children who discovered she had incurable breast cancer at the age of 46 some 5 years ago. It is uplifting and full of hope. 
Irene Bertrand and Sandra Oakley  ESCA librarians  
Summary of the Information Evening which took place on 3 June
The Wednesday Information and Discussion Evening of ESCA, held on June 3, had as its guest speaker Dr. Gregory Wirth, Urologist FMH and Coordinator of HUG’s new Center for Prostate Cancer opened in 2014. This center is based on a concept of coordinated therapy by a group composed of surgeons, oncologists, radio-oncologists, urologists and other relevant specialists and support staff. It takes into consideration the complex nature of prostate tumors and has demonstrated improved outcomes with its global approach and multidisciplinary tumor board. In addition, physicians treating patients in private practice are invited to participate in the discussions. The Center supports its patients’ quality of life, recognizing the disease’s impact on social and psychological states.  The Center has expressed an interest in collaborating with ESCA.
Gary Buell and David Freedman 
Meet some of our volunteers
Ragan Anderson; Gary Buell; Jenny Ghandi; Shinobu Hamada; Aliya Jafari; Blanka Lizner; Milena McRae; Yajna Moloo; Cherith Morgan and Kate Parkyn, all pictured below, attended the volunteer orientation day held in June.  This extremely informative and interesting day provides new volunteers with overall knowledge of ESCA, its history and development plus the various projects, events and support we provide.

The newly orientated volunteers are already contributing in many different areas of ESCA, Ragan and Jenny are working on the resources list for clients.  Gary is a member of the board.  Shinobu is helping us reach out to the Japanese and Asian community.  Aliya is reviewing children's books in our library.  Milena is helping our communications team.  Cherith is our accountant.  Yajna and Kate are actively involved with the events team and newsletter.

Please note that another orientation for new volunteers will take place towards the end of the year.

Hi, I came to Geneva almost three years ago as a trailing spouse.  When I joined ESCA's volunteer base in February of this year, I couldn't wait to become a peer supporter. I thought that my experience as an educator and a yoga instructor would come in handy for this role. I started coming in the Drop in Centre just to observe how things go and what a typical day is like. It has been wonderful for me to meet volunteers and a few clients and observe how each day is different and unique. Not having a specific thing to do in the DIC, I started to write reviews for children's books in the ESCA library. At the ESCA orientation last week, I realized that in addition to being a peer supporter (which ESCA has plenty of for the time being) there are so many other ways to contribute which are fun and engaging.  I look forward to getting more actively involved in the coming months. 
I first became aware of ESCA after coming across an article about their work and the support that they give.  Something hit a nerve as I read and I felt compelled to find out more.  I found myself thinking “if only I had had that kind of support when I was ill…’  I suppose the rest is history - I contacted ESCA and did my initial training towards the end of 2013.  Very soon after, I became involved in the organisation of their annual Paddle for Cancer event.  My role as Volunteer Coordinator was a steep learning curve as I had never seen the event before but it ensured I met a lot of volunteers very quickly and felt part of the ESCA team from the start.  I have found Esca to be a very inspirational organisation, the other volunteers are incredibly supportive, encouraging, approachable, hard working and extremely dedicated.  Personally, I have got as much out of being a volunteer as I have put in.   I have recently trained to become a Peer Supporter.  I would have greatly valued an organisation like ESCA near me during my cancer, 10 years ago.  ESCA cannot provide what your family and friends can but its support from like-minded people who understand what you are going through, that is invaluable and in my opinion, irreplaceable.  
Last (but certainly not least!) a couple of HUGE thank yous

Golf tournament 

On a really hot summer day the golf tournament organized by Barry Metcalfe was a huge success - not only the weather cooperated but everyone had a great time at Divonne Golf Club.  Prizes galore ranged from a super-duper golf bag to Australian champagne, lots of other boozy bottles,  a hamper from Jim’s Mini-Market, golf caps, shirts, tees and golf balls, vouchers for green fees - Barry outdid himself in the variety and number of goodies he had obtained, while Mark Butcher auctioned some of the best.   Thirty-seven golfers signed up and a record CHF 3,233.35 was raised for ESCA.  Congratulations and many, many thanks for all your hard work, Barry! 
Sally Alderson

Football Charity Day

50 enthusiastic budding soccer players participated in a fun day of skills training, speed shooting and mini matches at the Stade de Geneve.  Many thanks to Intersoccer for the initiative and organisation and to Leanne and her fantastic team for manning the fabulous bake sale table, which obviously wouldn't have been possible without the baking skills of all who donated goods, so a huge thankyou to everyone for their efforts.

And finally a quick word about our style


By popular demand (uprising?) the style committee has determined that the lowercase esca was difficult to use, especially when starting sentences, hard to explain to non-ESCA people, and generally a bad idea.  So, when you write text, please use the original capitalised initials: ESCA or the full English Speaking Cancer Association.  The swan logo with lowercase letters will remain the same.


ESCA Drop-In Centre  is on the 3rd floor of the Lac wing in the Ecumenical Centre, 150 Route de Ferney in Grand-Saconnex. We are open Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10.00-14.00.
Please feel free to drop in during those hours to borrow books from our lending library, to read some of the pamphlets there or just to have a coffee and a chat with the volunteer on duty.
Click here for directions to the drop-in centre.

*Parking at the drop-in centre

If you have a parking permit please place it prominently behind your windscreen, and park in white spaces only.  If you forgot or do not have a parking permit, please use the yellow visitor spaces and register your  vehicle at reception.  Be sure to note your parking place number and your license plate number.

*Newsletter policy
ESCA wishes to make it clear that our newsletter is for information about ESCA activities and is not available for advertising by  complementary therapists or others.  We  encourage patients to consult their doctors before undertaking any therapies mentioned or discussed at any ESCA event. 
Copyright © 2015 ESCA CancerSupport, All rights reserved.    

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