The Annie Appleseed Project grew out of Ann Fonfa's personal search for alternatives to conventional cancer treatments.
Ann was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 1993 while suffering from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. She refused chemotherapy, then radiation, and sought other answers.
She found so much information, she founded a web site www.annieappleseedproject.org. This led to an all-volunteer nonprofit.
Over time the site accumulated 8,000 pages and is in the process of renewal right now. Currently 90,000 English-readers find the site every month.
It has information for all tastes – there are many pages on nutrition and dietary changes that are useful for people coming off the SAD (Standard American Diet), or those who want to tweak their vegetarian program. There are abstracts from many journals – Ann proudly says "we steal from everyone, but we do credit them." There are patient and advocate-written summaries of meetings from as far back as 1995. There's a section on cancer clinics from around the world, pages on yoga, massage, dietary supplements, FDA and BIG PHARMA issues, a huge section on alternative therapies, and even more.
The Annie Appleseed Project is committed to gathering and spreading information on natural therapies, lifestyle issues, complementary AND alternative treatments from the Patient perspective. Their volunteers attend a large variety of meetings and events around the country, and sometimes abroad. They try to ask meaningful questions, often about the downside (adverse effects) of touted treatments.
The site also contains many links to other cancer advocacy groups, many of whom find their information on CAM issues from Annie Appleseed Project.
Back in 2008 the organization held its first educational conference featuring a variety of important speakers on many topics, serving only ORGANIC food, incorporating a yoga class or qi gong each morning. There was a patient panel where people spoke about their own experiences with CAM protocols, even as the presenters talked about what their clinics or practices offered. A homeopath presented, as did a naturopath, some MDs, PhDs, and the exhibit hall featured products and services that fit with the mission to inform and educate people with cancer. The format has been followed ever since – the 5th conference was held March 1-3, 2012 in West Palm Beach, FL.
Annie Appleseed Project is proud to host its first West coast event September 14-15, 2012 in San Francisco. This meeting will follow the schema already in existence by offering organic lunches, a patient panel, and a variety of speakers from many disciplines. Registration will open sometime in April.
Annie Appleseed Project is primarily funded through small donations from its many supporters and this year for the first time, the budget reached $100,000 – now to bring that in! Advertising is only accepted for the conference journal.
The group also has a talk that is offered to community groups and others entitled Natural Strategies to Reduce Risk. It can be adapted to a variety of needs. Visit the Annie Appleseed Project web site for more information.