Diagnosis Day - the day that the Speiers’ lives changed forever. All of a sudden they were thrown into a confusing swirl of tests, surgery dates, opinions (and more opinions), caregiving crises, schedule juggling. There were new words to learn that they’d never heard or imagined they’d ever need to know. Doctors, nurses and hospital support staff entered their lives in intimate ways. They found themselves on a crazy roller coaster flying at a breakneck pace.
Angel and Kevin used their phones to take notes and manage a calendar, but there was a lot that got lost or forgotten. Keeping track of lab results, blood tests and medications was overwhelming. Most of the time, things felt absolutely out of their control - and that was with Kevin’s knowledge as a licensed RN.
Their story is an incredibly common one, which is why Angel was so excited when she discovered CanPlan, a planner scientifically designed with survivorship in mind. In fact, it was her desire to share CanPlan that planted the seed that would eventually grow into the Kick Cancer’s Ass Kit, our newest and best selling kit. Angel knew it was time to lean into her “Peace, love, and f*ck cancer” motto, so she created a kit that supported cancer patients while helping them give a giant middle finger to their diagnosis. We’re super pumped to be offering the newest version of CanPlan as part of our KCAK.
CanPlan - Helping Patients and Their Caregivers Kick Cancer’s Ass
CanPlan is a unique planner - a roadmap to recovery - designed specifically for cancer patients and their caregivers. The company seeks to assist cancer patients on their journey by bridging the gap between natural and conventional treatments and inspiring each patient to create their own personal holistic plan to beat cancer. It provides tools for monitoring and tracking every detail of a patient’s illness, daily reminders, and guidelines for positive living, all with the intention of putting control of a patient’s life back into his or her own hands. (Check out more of its many features and benefits here.)
CanPlan was created in 2016 by Sharon Kim after she lost her mom to cancer. During her mother’s battle, Sharon became her caregiver and quickly discovered how out of control the cancer journey can become. Later, as she grieved the death of her mom, she began to discover a gift of purpose rising from her pain - she would start something to give other fighters a chance to have a different end to their story.
And this planner becomes the story. It’s meant to be filled with both the daily struggles experienced by the sufferer and the moments of clarity when meaning is brought to pain. The end result is a documented journey in the form of a marked up CanPlan, bearing witness to each road traveled, each heartbreak, each battle hard-won. Patients who have used it describe it as a journal, organizer, scheduler and therapist all in one.
The newest version, included in our KCAK and funded entirely on Kickstarter, comes as a binder so that each user can customize it to their own personal journey, adding, removing and relocating pages as needed. It’s designed to help fight chemo brain and promote positivity. As cancer fighters use it to keep track of each day and then put it all together at the end of the month, they gain a deeper understanding of the progress they made and they pinpoint areas that need improvement. This leaves them feeling empowered, hopeful and focused.
A glance at CanPlan’s Instagram account gives you an idea of just how much this product is helping people all over the world. Sharon has built a community of cancer patients by offering an avenue for discussion, self-reflection, encouragement, education and inspiration. Her handwritten prompts are an illustration of the ways in which she’s poured herself into this passion. CanPlan’s ambassadors also make cameos from time to time as each one shares how she is actively using the planner in her journey toward healing.
One of our very favorite things about CanPlan is their commitment to eventually get one into the hands of every person who wants to use it, regardless of whether or not they can afford it. To that end, CanPlan offers a Pay It Forward program for those who believe in the benefits of the product but don’t have a direct need for it. Supporters can purchase a planner for a patient in need and CanPlan will split the cost. Once the recipient has received the donated planner, patrons will be given their name and a summary of their cancer story in order the see the direct impact they are making on someone’s life.
Moving Into the Future
CanPlan has big ideas for the future of the brand. Their end goal is to reduce the rates of death from cancer by coaching both doctors and patients on what a holistic approach to treatment looks like by funding educational programs. These programs would teach doctors and patients how to use the CanPlan to improve the doctor-patient relationship and make it as effective as possible given the short amount of time and mental capacity doctors have to offer each of their patients. They would love to provide seminars, webinars, an online database of resources and 24 hour support for both the patient and the doctor.
And while their current focus is on teaching patients that they CanPlan to beat cancer, they would love to eventually extend their reach beyond the war ground of cancer to anyone facing a huge life crisis, whether that be a disease, mental illness, or even a circumstantial crisis.
Do you love this as much as we do? Want to do even more to support CanPlan’s vision? Check out ways to donate here. And if you’d like to support a loved one battling cancer, check out our KCAK, featuring CanPlan version 3 - a cool, edgy, fun kit with a kick-ass theme and everything you need for boring hospital stays, waiting rooms and treatment centers.