You are not alone. Get support. Whether you have been diagnosed with cancer, just learned about your hereditary cancer risk or have known about it for many years, trained FORCE volunteers are available to offer resources and confidential support.
Support > Local Support

California

Hi! We are California’s Impact Leader Volunteers!

If you have any questions or are in need of support or information, please feel free to email us. We are happy to chat about available resources, information, and support that you may find helpful. As you navigate your hereditary cancer experience, know that you are not alone and that you can reach out at any time. We look forward to hearing from you.

Scroll down the page to locate your local area support meetings. 

You can also be matched to someone who shares a similar experience as you through FORCE’s Peer Navigation Program. Learn more at www.facingourrisk.org/pnp.

If you need immediate assistance, please contact Diane Rose, VP of Volunteer Programs.

Events

Do you have a family history of cancer? Are you considering genetic testing, waiting for results, or have already tested positive for a genetic mutation?

You are not alone. Network with others who understand what you’re going through. It’s a great opportunity to ask questions or just listen in a safe, supportive environment. Feel free to bring a friend or family member.

Join us and live your life empowered!

FORCE Virtual Support Meeting August 8, 2021, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm Pacific Time

Led by

West Valley/Ventura Leaders: Amy Yoffe and Brenda Lam

RSVP

Email Amy at amyoffe@sbcglobal.net

Additional Information

Guest Speaker: Dr. Georgeanna Huang, Plastic Surgeon.


FORCE American Sign Language Virtual Support Meeting August 11, 2021, 7:30 pm Eastern Time

FORCE American Sign Language Virtual Support Meeting
Led by

This meeting is held in American Sign Language, led by Debbie Lesser, CI/CT, (RID Certified Interpreter) and Alicia Wolfson, (MA, MSGC).

RSVP

Register to attend  

Additional Information

Debbie Lesser holds a Certificate of Interpretation, Certificate of Transliteration and is a RID Certified Interpreter. Debbie learned of her BRCA 1 mutation in 2013 and is a trained FORCE Peer Navigator and State Impact Leader since 2017. 

Alicia Wolfson is a Deaf Genetic Counselor that recently received her degree in Genetic Counseling from Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) in May 2021, and a Master of Arts in Communication Studies from California State University, Northridge (CSUN) in 2011. Wolfson has worked with, and been a member of the Deaf community for over 20 years. Her work experience includes working as a Research Coordinator at the Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness, Inc. (GLAD) to help create breast cancer information and prevention materials in ASL, as well as with UCLA's Deaf Genetics Project to provide information about hereditary cancers in ASL. Wolfson is fluent in ASL and has a strong interest in increasing the Deaf community's awareness and access to genetic counseling, as well as to improve training for genetic counselors in working with Deaf patients. 


FORCE Virtual Support Meeting August 17, 2021, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm Pacific Time

Led by

Bay Area Leaders: Rachel Hodan, MS, CGC and Amy Armes, LMFT

Hosted by

Bay Area Cancer Connections

RSVP

Email info@bayareacancer.org


FORCE Virtual Support Meeting August 18, 2021, 6:00 pm Pacific Time

Led by

San Diego Leaders: Jill Rafia, Andrea Procko and Heather Clark

RSVP

Email Andrea at andreap@facingourrisk.org


FORCE LGBTQIA+ Virtual Community Meeting August 24, 2021, 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm Pacific Time

FORCE LGBTQIA+ Virtual Community Meeting
Led by

Will L. (they/them) and Maddie W. (she/her)

RSVP

Register to attend

Additional Information

Are you LGBTQIA+ and do you have a family history of cancer? Are you looking for connection with other LGBTQIA+ people navigating hereditary cancer? This new group is a great opportunity to ask questions in a safe, supportive environment and connect with other LGBTQIA+ people navigating hereditary cancer.


12th Annual Joining FORCES Against Hereditary Cancer Conference September 29, 2021,

12th Annual Joining FORCES Against Hereditary Cancer Conference
Led by

Renowned hereditary cancer experts

RSVP

Learn more and register  

Additional Information

Attend our virtual international conference designed to empower individuals and families facing hereditary cancer on September 29-30, 2021. Whether you are a cancer survivor, previvor, healthcare provider or caregiver, this powerful conference has something for you – and it is FREE for all attendees.


FORCE Virtual Men's Meeting October 6, 2021, 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm Eastern Time

Led by

Scott Lanman, Brad Hertz and Mike Philbin

RSVP

Register here

Additional Information

Join other men to ask questions and learn about information and resources available for you and your family. Knowledge is power, and here's a chance to hear how others are managing their inherited cancer or cancer risk.


FORCE People of Color Virtual Support Meeting October 13, 2021, 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm Central Time

Led by

Carmen Pace, Wenora Johnson, Forum Shah, MS, CGC, Karlena Lara-Otero Ph.D., MS, CGC, and Andrea Crawford, MS, CGC

RSVP

Register here

Additional Information

Register to attend or email Wenora at wenoraf@gmail.com if you have questions. Does cancer run in your family? Take charge of your health and learn about hereditary cancer and inherited mutations. Connect with other Black/African American, Asian, Latina, Hispanic and Indigenous people to share your story, ask questions or just listen in a safe, supportive environment. Partners, caregivers and loved ones are welcome.


FORCE Virtual Support Meeting October 16, 2021, 10:30 am - 12:00 pm Pacific Time

Led by

Los Angeles Leaders Carly Miller and Sarah Spaltro

RSVP

Email Sarah at sarahs@facingourrisk.org

Additional Information

Guest Speakers: Dr. Stephen Kim, Gastroenterologist at UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center will discuss the risks and benefits of screening for pancreatic cancer. We will also have time for our regular support meeting with special guests Wendy Conlon, CGC and Rachel Shapira, ScM, LCGC, both certified genetic counselors who can answer basic questions. 


FORCE Virtual Support Meeting November 14, 2021, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm Pacific Time

Led by

West Valley/Ventura Leaders: Amy Yoffe and Brenda Lam

RSVP

Email Amy at amyoffe@sbcglobal.net

Additional Information

Guest Speaker: Dr. Andrew Li, Gynecologic Oncologist


Local Leaders

Annette Seelig (Walnut Creek)

Annette Seelig (Walnut Creek)
Email

Amy Yoffe (West Valley / Ventura)

Amy Yoffe (West Valley / Ventura)
Email

Marlene Cunningham (West Valley / Ventura)

Marlene Cunningham (West Valley / Ventura)
Email

Brenda Lam (West Valley / Ventura)

Brenda Lam (West Valley / Ventura)
Email

Carly Miller (Los Angeles)

Carly Miller (Los Angeles)
Email

Sarah Spaltro (Los Angeles)

Sarah Spaltro (Los Angeles)
Email

Annina Cooper, MS, LCGC (Kaiser Southern California Permanente Medical Group)

Annina Cooper, MS, LCGC (Kaiser Southern California Permanente Medical Group)
Email

Heather Clark (San Diego)

Heather Clark (San Diego)
Email

Andrea Procko (San Diego)

Andrea Procko (San Diego)
Email

Jill Rafia (San Diego)

Jill Rafia (San Diego)
Email

Rachel Hodan, MS, CGC (Bay Area Cancer Connections)

Rachel Hodan, MS, CGC (Bay Area Cancer Connections)
Email

Courtney Rowe-Teeter, MS, CGC (Stanford Cancer Center South Bay)

Courtney Rowe-Teeter, MS, CGC (Stanford Cancer Center South Bay)
Email

Karlena Lara-Otero Ph.D., MS, CGC (Stanford Cancer Center South Bay)

Karlena Lara-Otero Ph.D., MS, CGC (Stanford Cancer Center South Bay)
Email

Chandler Means, MS, LCGC (Providence St. Joseph Health, Southern California Region, Genetic Medicine)

Chandler Means, MS, LCGC (Providence St. Joseph Health, Southern California Region, Genetic Medicine)
Email

Carol Ko, MS, LCGC (Providence St. Joseph Health, Southern California Region, Genetic Medicine)

Carol Ko, MS, LCGC (Providence St. Joseph Health, Southern California Region, Genetic Medicine)
Email

Dillon van den Berg, MS, LCGC (Providence St. Joseph Health, Southern California Region, Genetic Medicine)

Dillon van den Berg, MS, LCGC (Providence St. Joseph Health, Southern California Region, Genetic Medicine)
Email

Danielle Williams, MS, LCGC (Providence St. Joseph Health, Southern California Region, Genetic Medicine)

Danielle Williams, MS, LCGC (Providence St. Joseph Health, Southern California Region, Genetic Medicine)
Email

Susy Malca, MS, LCGC (Providence St. Joseph Health, Southern California Region, Genetic Medicine)

Susy Malca, MS, LCGC (Providence St. Joseph Health, Southern California Region, Genetic Medicine)
Email

Sandra Brown, MS, LCGC (Providence St. Joseph Health, Southern California Region, Genetic Medicine)

Sandra Brown, MS, LCGC (Providence St. Joseph Health, Southern California Region, Genetic Medicine)
Email

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"FORCE has over 350 volunteers across the country, ensuring no one faces hereditary cancer alone."

Sandy Cohen
FORCE SVP of Volunteer Services
and Previvor