McKesson's Community Days to Benefit 15,000 Cancer Patients in Need

McKesson's Community Days to Benefit 15,000 Cancer Patients in Need

More than 15,000 employee volunteers to package Comfort Kits, help give cancer patients needed items to provide comfort and relief during treatment

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- From October 14-19, 2013, McKesson employees in more than 150 locations across the U.S. will participate in the 15th Community Days program, an annual company event. During Community Days, McKesson employees will gather for large group volunteer projects benefiting the local communities where they live and work. This year, employees will help create more than 15,000 Comfort Kits, cancer care packages that will be distributed through Giving Comfort, a program of the McKesson Foundation.

Each year, 1.6 million people in the U.S. are newly diagnosed with cancer, and nearly 600,000 cancer patients will die. Giving Comfort was established to provide cancer patients with Comfort Kits filled with the most needed and requested items to provide comfort and relief during chemotherapy treatment.

"While the search for a cure continues, patients fighting cancer need our help right now," said Elizabeth Howland, managing director, development of Giving Comfort. "Cancer is a brutal disease, both physically and financially, and can take a significant toll on both patients and their families. We hope that the efforts of McKesson's employees nationwide and the distribution of Comfort Kits will help make treatment more bearable for these patients."

Nearly one quarter of people with cancer will exhaust all of their savings as a result of treatment costs, even with insurance. Eleven percent of cancer patients cannot afford food and basic necessities due to treatment costs. Giving Comfort provides relief to these patients through Comfort Kits filled with items including a warm blanket, toiletries, a warm cap, a journal and other frequently requested items to help them as they receive treatment.

"Cancer patients in this country receive an incredibly high level of care from public and private health systems. Nevertheless, they are unlikely to receive much in the way of basic comfort items to help them get through treatment with dignity, hope and comfort," said Carrie Varoquiers, president, McKesson Foundation.

Through generous donations by individuals, Comfort Kits are provided to patients in need free-of-charge. One hundred percent of individual donations go directly to purchasing and delivering Comfort Kits through the Giving Comfort Distribution Network Partners, which include the Mayo Clinic, the American Cancer Society, and Ronald McDonald Houses.

The Giving Comfort team surveyed hundreds of cancer patients and oncology professionals, conducted in-person interviews and focus groups, and sorted through product samples, fabric swatches, prototype bags and more to make sure the kits are as useful and comforting as possible for those in need.

In addition to providing donated kits, Giving Comfort provides an e-store that allows individuals to purchase a Comfort Kit online for a friend or loved one, regardless of income, and have the gift sent directly to the recipient's home or hospital room with a personal note enclosed. All of the proceeds from these kit sales go directly back into supporting Giving Comfort.

To learn more, please visit

About Giving Comfort

Started in 2012, Giving Comfort is a program of the McKesson Foundation focused on providing patients undergoing cancer treatment with the comfort items they need at a time when they need them most. We fight cancer with comfort.

About McKesson Foundation

The McKesson Foundation is a healthcare foundation focused on providing funding to organizations that provide non-medical direct services to low-income cancer patients in the U.S.

The McKesson Foundation also funds cancer research through its Mobilizing for Health® grant program. Specifically, through Mobilizing for Health®; the Foundation funds research projects focused on mobile phone-based interventions for low-income patients, with a priority interest in early detection and cancer management.

For more information about the McKesson Foundation, please contact us at

Hanah Smith, 734-679-6348

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  California


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