ICanServe Foundation

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ICanServe Foundation, Inc.
Founded 1999
Founder Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala, Crisann Celdran, Becky Fuentes, Bet Lazatin
Focus "Early breast cancer detection"
Area served
Method Promotion of breast self-examination, clinical breast examination, mammography
Key people
Tang Singson, President and Lanie Eusebio, Executive Director
Website www.icanservefoundation.org

ICanServe Foundation, Inc. (ICanServe)[edit]

ICanServe Foundation, Inc., formerly Information on Breast Cancer and Other Services,[1] is a non-stock, non-profit organization that advocates early breast cancer detection through breast self-examination. Based in Manila, Philippines, and co-founded in 1999 by journalist Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala, a breast cancer survivor, the advocacy group empowers women with breast cancer and women cancer-related information so they can have a voice in their own health care. Its mission is to arm women with breast care health and breast cancer information so they can make informed decisions about their health. It also provides access to special services that will help the breast cancer survivor recover and heal more effectively.

ICanServe is not a support group.[1] Although ICanServe provides services to elevate the capabilities of and networks with support groups all over the Philippines, it does not itself conduct regular support group meetings nor does it provide services often expected from support groups such as private talks/seminars and medical/dental clinical missions. Volunteering and/or membership in ICanServe does not prevent volunteers/members from volunteering and/or membership in other organizations, associations, networks and support groups whose mandates or goals do not contradict ICanServe's mission of spreading information and hope.

Flagship (informational) projects[edit]

1. Ating Dibdibin - the first community based breast cancer screening program in the Philippines; conducted under the auspices of the American Cancer Society and with a grant from Pfizer Foundation (USA) and Pfizer Foundation Philippines, Ating Dibdibin was first conducted in Marikina City, Metro Manila from June to December 2008; the project facilitates treatment of all women diagnosed with breast cancer during the screening period and aims to make the early detection program permanently included under the local government's health budget; Instructional videos on breast self-examination were produced for Ating Dibdibin (Take Your Breast Care to Heart) narrated by singer and actress Lea Salonga in English and actress Dawn Zulueta in Tagalog. A Visayan-language video was later produced, voiced by Cebu-born singer Raki Vega.

2. Silver Linings (2005, 2008, 2011) - national homecoming and educational forum for breast cancer survivors, their families and supporters [2][3]

3. ICanServe handbook (1999, 2002) - a directory of services available to the breast cancer community in the Philippines, first published through a grant from Bristol Myers-Squibb (Phil), Inc.

4. Email/phone hotline - an informational/facilitation service for the cancer community. Celebrity members of the e-group include actresses Maritoni Fernandez and Melissa De Leon Joseph, writer-director Bibeth Orteza and model-trainor Patty Betita.

5. Website - www.icanserve.net allows ICanServe to reach breast cancer survivors, especially Filipina survivors, across the globe

6. Multi-media campaigns - ICanServe ties up with Philippine broadcast networks to air ICanServe-produced television and radio commercials that promote early breast cancer detection during Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October); ICanServe, in cooperation with C-Network, also produced English-language and Tagalog-language videos that demonstrate self breast examination to support Ating Dibdibin, as well as raise funds for women diagnosed with breast cancer during the program's screening period.[4][5]

Fund-raising projects[edit]

1. Tickled Pink (2006, 2007) - bazaar of unique finds

2. Pink Kitchen (2007, 2008) - food festival that gathers premier chefs who want to support breast cancer awareness campaigns [6][7][8]

3. Gifts that Give Back - ICanServe-produced year-round gift items available on the ICanServe shop online, proceeds help raise awareness and subsidize medical care for breast cancer patients undergoing treatment; In 2011, model-actress Tweetie de Leon-Gonzales, professional soccer player Yannick Tuason and singer-actress Lea Salonga-Chien helped with the foundation's fund-raising activity by modeling ICanServe-branded merchandise. Tweetie de Leon-Gonzales and Yannick Tuason modeled the ICanServe Be In The Loop t-shirts designed by Team Manila. Lea Salonga-Chien modeled the limited edition ICanServe Swatch.

Other projects/activities[edit]

1. Collaboration with donors/sponsors - for fund-raising and/or awareness campaigns, ICanServe may be chosen as a beneficiary of socially responsible institutions or individuals for anniversaries or occasional special projects [9]

2. Cancer Chat/Forum - two-hour educational lecture on self breast examination and breast cancer risks, normally sponsored by organizations, corporations, or local government units that donate funds in support of ICanServe's high-impact information campaigns

3. Patient Services - accepts donations of medicines, headwear (wigs, hats, bandannas), prostheses, and cash for distribution (free or with subsidy) to breast cancer patients in target communities

4. Message Boards - online forum for breast cancer survivors and caregivers accessed via www.icanserve.net/forum/

5. ICanServe e-group - online support group for women cancer survivors (a patient service); it facilitates doctor referrals and is a venue for comparing treatment notes and sharing experiences; over 200 email addresses have enrolled (as of December 31, 2008) with members based in the Philippines (Manila, Quezon City, Muntinlupa, Rizal, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga, Bacolod, Baguio), USA, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, South Korea, Saipan, Malaysia, and Singapore

6. Get-togethers - occasional potluck gatherings of e-group and/or message board members

7. Volunteer opportunities - survivor volunteers serve in ICanServe projects (for fund-raising or awareness) in gratitude for help received while they were in treatment; or as in the case of non-survivors, in honor the struggle of their loved ones who battled or continue to battle cancer


In the October 2008 issue of Marie Claire Philippines, the following ICanServe Foundation supporters wore the ICanServe shirt in what was called the Pink Shirt Campaign to raise awareness and advocate early breast cancer detection through breast self-examination: race car driver and TV host Gaby dela Merced; medical oncologist Dr. Malu Tiambeng; singer Bituin Escalante; mother of three Sigalit Djemal; models-and-columnists Isabel Roces and Rissa Mananquil; entrepreneurs Eva Abesamis, Susan Reyes, Crisann Celdran, Ruby Gan and Lucille Locsin; Senator Pia Cayetano; model and environmentalist Bianca Araneta; former Representative Charlie Cojuangco; columnist Mayenne Carmona; singer and Sexy Chef restaurant owner Rachel Alejandro; model and jewelry designer Tweetie de Leon; artist Isa Lorenzo; writer and director Bibeth Orteza; film director Carlitos Siguion Reyna; broadcast journalists Cheche Lazaro and David Celdran; breast surgeon Dr. Diana Cua; fundraiser Frannie Jacinto; actress Melissa de Leon-Joseph; Marikina City Mayor Marides Fernando; student and model Isabelle Daza; fashion designer Lulu Tan-Gan; and news anchor and TV host Chiqui Roa-Puno. They also appeared in a video documenting the Pink Shirt Campaign.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Magsanoc-Alikapala, Kara. ICanServe, A Network of People, Places & Services for the Philippine Breast Cancer Community, 2nd Edition. Metro Manila: ICanServe, 2002.
  2. ^ San Juan, Thelma, ed. "Breast cancer survivors hold reunion in Cebu", Philippine Daily Inquirer. September 2, 2008, page C1. Published by The Philippine Daily Inquirer, Inc., Makati City.
  3. ^ Velasquez, Winnie, ed. "Homecoming for breast cancer survivors", Malaya. August 23, 2008, page B20. Published by People's Independent Media, Inc., Manila
  4. ^ Trillana, Gerardine Fe C., ed. "Lea, Dawn present videos on breast cancer detection", Malaya. October 2, 2008, page B14. Published by People's Independent Media, Inc., Manila.
  5. ^ Jimenez-David, Rina. "Breast care and body love", Philippine Daily Inquirer. December 9, 2008, page A13. Published by The Philippine Daily Inquirer, Inc., Makati City.
  6. ^ Poblete, Johanna D. "Dine for a cause", BusinessWorld. October 17–18, 2008, pages 3 and 12 of Section 4. Published by BusinessWorld Publishing Corporation, Quezon City.
  7. ^ Lo, Ricardo F., ed. "Pink Kitchen II: A celebration for a cause", The Philippine Star. December 5, 2008, page E-1. Published by PhilSTAR Daily, Inc., Manila.
  8. ^ Ventura, Dinah, ed. "Fresh Finds at Pink Kitchen II", The Daily Tribune. December 5, 2008, page 11. Published by The Tribune Publishing Co., Inc., Manila.
  9. ^ Maniego, Gianna G., ed. "GE Women's Network joins 'Think Pink' movement", Manila Standard Today. December 9, 2008, page C1. Published by Kamahalan Publishing Corporation, Manila.