Monday, August 29, 2011

MD Anderson Cancerwise Post

I am honored to share my story via MD Anderson Cancer Center's Cancerwise site.

Overwhelmed with gratitude,
Emily Tickle Thomas

Friday, August 26, 2011

The First 40

As of today - ahead of our September 1st goal, The Cancer Card Xchange has mailed out gifts to 40 people dealing with cancer. FORTY people since June 1. 

FORTY people have opened their mail on any given day of the week to a gift. A bright spot. A bit of joy in the middle of an uncertain time. Because of your generosity and support, FORTY people know that someone cares that "People are good." 

Overwhelmed with gratitude,
Emily Tickle Thomas 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

CCX - Cline Ellis Photography Partnership

Special Promotion from Cline Ellis Photography:

Never before have we discounted sessions during our busy Fall season, but we want to help this GREAT cause!  The Cancer Card Xchange accepts donations of re-gifted or newly purchased gift cards and distributes them to people dealing with cancer.  

How can you donate and save on your fall portraits?  Contact us to schedule your portrait session by October 31, and we will allow you to use $50 in gift cards to pay for $100 of your regularly priced $125 session fee!  In other words, you give a $50 gift card donation plus $25, and that covers your session fee. You save $50 and help someone fighting cancer at the same time...what a deal! 

In addition, bump up your donation with an additional $25 card, and we will give you one 8"x10" classic print of your choice. 

For all details, follow this link.

Overwhelmed with gratitude,
Emily Tickle Thomas

Friday, August 12, 2011

Thirty-One Gifts Fundraiser

Please join 
Donna Collinsworth, Thirty-One Sales Rep
Emily Thomas
on Thursday, August 25th for a 
Thirty-One Gifts shopping day.  
40% of sales for the month of August will go directly to
The Cancer Card Xchange!

8:30 - 10:30am
6:30 - 8:30pm

1772 Cypress Springs Lane
Collierville, Tennessee

**Unable to attend? 
Order via email or
at online
(25% of online orders will be donated)
The Cancer Card Xchange is a nonprofit recently formed by Emily Tickle Thomas. This organization accepts donations of recently purchased and re-gifted gift cards and distributes them directly to cancer patients. The goal is simple - to brighten the day of someone going through a difficult time. 
To read Emily's story and learn more about 
The Cancer Card Xchange, go to
Also, check out the story The Commercial Appeal 
did about this new nonprofit

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Oral Cancer Facts

This link is to a podcast with a doctor, Ann Gillenwater, MD, who is discussing oral cancer (the type I was diagnosed with in 2007).  I actually know Dr. Gillenwater from our visits to MD Anderson Cancer Canter in Houston, Texas. 

Oral cancer is treatable if caught in its early stages. Sadly, most are diagnosed in more advanced stages which makes it much more difficult to effectively treat. More information can be found on MD Anderson's website.

Some highlights of this interview:

  • Oral cancer diagnosed in approximately 30,000 people per year in the US resulting in approximately 7,000 deaths.
  • The demographic on the rise - Young white females with no risk factors/ most with no genetic factors/ family history.
  • Early detection is key to successful treatment. Sometimes there are no symptoms. Thorough dental exams can detect precancerous lesions, which can be removed before cancer develops.
  • Common symptoms include: ulcer that doesn't heal and/or lump, sore and bleeding gums.
  • Most cases present in advanced stages.
  • Tongue is most common site of oral cancer.
  • Surgery is usually first step in treating oral cancer.  Radiation and proton therapy are also used. Chemo has also become an option before surgery and in some cases, preventatively.
  • Oral cancer is highly preventable with early detection when survival in 90th percentile. If caught in advanced stages that decreases to 50%. Education...people and dental professionals.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Story about CCX in The Commercial Appeal

Thank you Cindy Wolff for writing this story and to Kyle Kurlick for taking a flattering photo of me and for helping spread the word about what we doing.  

Please share this with your friends and family. Comments on the story on The Commercial Appeal's website welcomed!

Click here for link to story:
CA STORY 8-4-11

Overwhelmed with gratitude,

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

In his own words: CCX by Tommy Gardner

"Every now and then, a human being surprises you with their innovation, compassion and selfless care for others.  Such is the case with our friend Emily (Tickle) Thomas.  Emily has started a nonprofit initiative called The Cancer Card Xchange, under which she distributes unused or donated gift cards (Target, Wal-Mart, Gas Cards, whatever you have) to individuals who are fighting cancer.  The net effect is to mitigate some of the expense, inconvenience and discomfort associated with their cancer treatment.

If you've experienced a cancer diagnosis and treatment, even second-hand, you are familiar with the challenges that arise as a result.  Even with great insurance coverage, there are many costs such as travel, meals, incidentals, and lodging that the patient has to cover on their own.  It isn't easy, and for some it simply isn't possible.

Each year in the United States, over $4 Billion in gift cards go unused, and it is estimated that U.S. consumers are currently sitting on over $30 Billion in unused gift-plastic right now.  With stats like that, it isn't hard to figure out whom among us needs those cards the most.  That Red Lobster card you got for Christmas in 2009?  That's a nice dinner (and a welcome break from hospital food) for a traveling patient and their kids.  The $100 Visa card you have in your desk drawer?  That's a month's worth of gas money for a cancer-fighter who is required to drive to their treatment location.   The $50 Wal-Mart card you won in a sales contest?  That could be just about anything a patient might need while on the road, from fresh clothes to a cold drink.

Imagine for a moment, if you will:

You have been diagnosed with treatable cancer of some sort or another.  Money is tight, and your treatment requires you to travel 200 miles one-way from your home to a facility in Chicago, Tallahassee, Seattle, Oakland, Memphis or wherever.  You've barely got cash to cover the gas and you're running short on paid time off at work.  You've taken your kids out of daycare to save enough money to fund a portion of your recovery and they accompany you to treatments because there isn't another option.  You've asked favors of everyone you know, and you try to minimize your illness' effect on those outside of your immediate family.

The medical prognosis is improving, but your financial picture is bleak to say the least.  At the point where you are as low as you can get, a cancer survivor named Emily pops into your room to say "Hi!"  She discreetly slips you two gift cards with best wishes from the Cancer Card Exchange network and wishes you a speedy recovery. After some great conversation, she's gone.  Later that day, you are filling up with gas for the ride home.  You and the kids have enjoyed a "whatever you want" meal at a local restaurant for the first time in months, and everyone is happy.  Things are looking good, and your spirits are refreshed, even in light of the treatments that lay ahead.  The Cancer Card Exchange has made your day.

Who WOULDN'T want to be associated with that?

Let's all chip in and assist The Cancer Card Xchange with their excellent work.  This is one of those Karma things, folks.  If you've ever been in a situation in which you were helped by a complete stranger, now is the time to Pay It Forward, and feel good doing it.

What can I do?

  • You can mail your unused (or new!) gift cards to the Cancer Card Xchange at:  PO Box 1004, Collierville, TN 38027.
  • You can log on to and purchase cards for donation right through the website.
  • You can "Like" the Cancer Card Xchange on Facebook to keep up with the inspiring stories of how these cards make a real difference in the lives of recipients.
  • You can follow (and re-tweet) the good news coming from @thecancercardx on Twitter.
  • You can do anything that helps spread the word, including Tweeting, Posting, and emailing your friends and acquaintances to get the word out.
  • Finally, you can remain completely anonymous if you like, many donors do.  Others like to put a name and a face with their donation, and some have even kept in touch with recipient patients after their donation.  It's up to you.

Please don't just smile after reading this.  This is your time to make a small donation that can make a colossal difference in a cancer patient's life. Get up and lend a hand.

Share this with everyone you know.  The faster you act, the more quickly the Cancer Card Xchange can convert your cards into smiles and relief.

Do it now."