“When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable.
I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest.”
~Henry David Thoreau
Immediate Impact Program
The moment a person hears the words “You have cancer” the fear and anxiety descend. Along with the physical demands of treatment and its side effects, the emotional strain of battling fear can sap a patient’s spiritual as well as physical strength. That’s why we designed the Immediate Impact program to begin at the moment of diagnosis. As founder David Benzer states, “A patient launches his or her fight in the waiting room. If that environment is sterile and cold, it affects your psyche. We need to make waiting rooms places that ease anxiety and provide distractions.”
Based on studies that show the benefits of using visual and audio distractions to decrease fear, anxiety, and to cope with pain, the Foundation provides state-of-the-art audio and video equipment, commercial beverage machines, and other amenities to immediately improve the ambiance of the treatment experience for patients. By creating comforting, life-affirming environments in cancer clinics across the country, the Foundation gives people with cancer and their loved ones an instant advantage in their fight.
To date, the Foundation has impacted the treatment experience for more than 59,000 new cancer patients and 415,000 patient visits.
We are currently working with the following cancer clinics to make donations that provide comfort and ease anxiety for their patients. If you would like to contribute to a specific project or have a suggestion for a cancer center to consider for a future project, please contact us.
- Oncology Hematology Care, Cincinnati Ohio
The Foundation is planning to make donations to Oncology Hematology Care (OHC) in Cincinnati Ohio this Spring. In addition, we are working with the Cincinnati Reds to create awareness, excitement, and community involvement to create a “Strike Out Fear” day at the Great American Ballpark this summer to honor patients, caregivers, and survivors from OHC.
- Stanford Cancer Care Infusion Center
Working with the Stanford Infusion Center, we are identifying patient needs and improvement we can facilitate and will make a donation in memory of friends of the foundation who were treated at Stanford.
- UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, Oakland
We are in early discussions with UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland to identify areas where the foundation can make an impact to Strike Out Fear for the children (and their families) at the hospital in Oakland.
- Kaiser Permanente Oncology, San Francisco
In honor of a lifelong Giants fan, we will be working with Kaiser Permanente Oncology to identify improvements we can make in the patient treatment experience and make a donation in his name.
- The Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Palo Alto, CA
The original Immediate Impact site, the Palo Alto Medical Foundation is where David was diagnosed and treated. We donated a large screen TV and DVD player with nature and travel image discs and a gourmet beverage machine, and an assortment of coffees and teas for the waiting room. In the radiation treatment room, we provided high-end speakers and music. Since that donation, Varian, one of the manufacturers of radiation machines, began to include an iPod dock in each machine for patients to listen to their preferred music during treatment.
- El Camino Hospital Cancer Center, Mountain View, CA
In honor of friends treated at El Camino Hospital, we make a monetary donation to support the work of another foundation, Rooms that Rock for Chemo, to create soothing environments in five chemotherapy infusion rooms.
- UCSF Helen Diller Breast Cancer Clinic, San Francisco, CA
A large screen TV and DVD player were installed in the patient waiting area at the Breast Cancer Clinic at UCSF Helen Diller Breast Cancer Clinic in San Francisco. One of the most moving experiences in the history of the foundation and support for our mission to assure that patients know they are not alone happened when we were taking these photos. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations stipulate that patients cannot be photographed without a signed waiver. The day we took the photos, the room was completely full of patients waiting for treatment. Practice Manager, Diana Bretzinger, asked several of the patients to move for a moment to assure that they were not photographed. As the patients were reseated in another area, a woman from the back of the room asked: “Are you the people who donated the TV?” Foundation President, Lynn Hammerschmidt answered “Yes” and spontaneous applause broke out. She then introduced Founder David Benzer and told the group about David’s Stage IV diagnosis, recovery, and creation of the foundation. One man volunteered “This is my first time here. If you can make it, so can I.” We were all in tears. There are no words to describe the divinity of that moment.
- Virginia Piper Cancer Center, Scottsdale, AZ
An information kiosk was installed in the entry lobby to provide information and directions for patients and their caregivers. In the family waiting room, we provided a large screen TV from family members to relax while their loved ones were in treatment. The day of the dedication ceremony, Dave Stewart and the Arizona Diamondbacks generously sponsored a day at the ballpark for 100 cancer patients, survivors, caregivers and Virginia Piper staff. We were invited on the field before the game to watch batting practice for both the Diamondbacks and the Giants and participated in a special pregame ceremony to honor the experience of people diagnosed with cancer and the medical team.
- National Jewish Health, Denver, CO
In memory of Dan Rotante, David’s friend and colleague, the foundation donated five iPads and medical-grade cases for use by patients during chemotherapy at National Jewish Health in Denver, CO where Dan was treated. A patient (or family member) can use an iPad to connect with other family members or friends, listen to music, read a magazine, play games, or access the Internet. The feedback received from patients using the iPad during treatment is that their time in treatment passes more quickly which eases anxiety.
- UCSF Helen Diller Family Cancer Clinic, San Francisco, CA
A second big screen TV and DVD player were donated to the UCSF Helen Diller Cancer Center. Installed in the waiting room, it provides a visual distraction for patients and their families. In addition, UCSF provides brochures on the foundation for patients who are interested in finding out more. Feedback from patients and staff has been extremely positive.