What is The Carewell Community?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013
By, Oliver Calasanz


The Cancer Resource and Wellness (Carewell) Community Foundation, Inc. was envisioned by the late Dr. Jessica “Jackie” Fernandez Suntay, and her husband, Robert “Bobbit” Abad Santos Suntay. Their commitment to establishing Carewell was inspired by their experiences at The Wellness Community (TWC).  They were convinced that the quality of both of their lives, as well as the efficacy of Jackie’s medical treatment, had been greatly enhanced and improved by the programs they joined and the support they received at TWC during the latter part of 2003.  Headquartered in the United States, TWC is an international, community-based psychosocial support organization that provides free resources and services to persons living with cancer.

Carewell was incorporated in 2005 as a Philippine, non-stock, non-profit foundation.  It opened its doors at the S & L building in Makati City in September 2006.  Carewell started out with one support group composed of 6 members, along with a handful of volunteers carrying out its programs and activities.

In 2007, Carewell became the first International Affiliate of TWC in Southeast Asia.  Two years later, in November 2009, TWC merged with The Gilda’s Club to form The Cancer Support Community (CSC).  CSC is currently the largest global network of community-based cancer support organizations.  Now part of the CSC, Carewell belongs to a network of centers with referral services and reciprocal programs that span North America, Europe, and Asia.



At present, Carewell serves approximately 600 persons with cancer and their loved ones at its Makati center.  Carewell remains volunteer driven, with well over a dozen doctors, counselors, and wellness professionals generously offering their time and talent in service of the local cancer community.

All Carewell’s resources, services, and programs are offered free of charge to persons with cancer and their loved ones.  Any person affected by cancer can join Carewell at no cost.  We rely on the generous contributions of organizations, groups, and individuals whose lives have been touched by the illness.


Vision, Mission, and Goals

Carewell’s vision is a vibrant community of people with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary for living life fully despite the challenges of the disease.  In order to bring our vision to fruition, our mission is to provide support, education, and – most important: hope – to all persons with cancer and their loved ones.  To achieve Carewell’’s mission, our goals are to provide the resources, programs, and activities needed to help alleviate the 3 psychosocial stressors most commonly experienced by people affected by cancer: unwanted aloneness, a sense of loss of control, and feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.

Carewell intends to realize its vision, carry out its mission, and achieve its goals via deploying its core resources, programs, and services:

  • A library and resource center
  • Medical consults and referrals
  • Support groups and counseling
  • Wellness and fun activities
  • Talks and workshops
  • Access to other individuals, groups, and organizations serving the Philippine cancer community

Carewell primarily deploys these core resources, programs, and services at its center in Makati.  However, upon request, Carewell may also offer them at other sites to better meets the needs of those whom we serve.

Some of our previous events have included sessions on yoga, qi gong, art, dancing, pilates, and reiki.  We have held talks on cancer awareness and prevention, as well as on how to cope with the disease.  We’ve taken our members on weekend field trips to the mountains, the beach, and other replenishing places.  We also have had lots of FUNdraising events including: concerts, funruns and bikerides, tennis and golf tournaments, restaurant benefits, and more.  In the near future, we plan to include other healing modalities such as Theta Healing to our regular offerings.  We are looking forward to providing our programs and services at neighboring hospitals and treatment centers.  Carewell plans to begin working on with other individuals, groups, and organizations keen on setting up their own cancer support centers.

To learn more about Carewell, please visit: www.carewellcommunity.org On Facebook, we are The Carewell Community Foundation.

  • https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tumors-Suck/145877928814836