Cancer Outreach

A cancer diagnosis is life-changing news for anyone, but for residents of the Eastern Sierra, who live far from cancer hospitals, travel for oncology treatment is an addition to the litany of logistics on a patient’s road to recovery.

In 2023 alone, Mammoth Hospital’s Cancer Outreach Program, which is funded entirely by donations, provided almost $100,000 in financial support to 42 patients who needed to travel out of the area for their treatment.

The Cancer Outreach Program was the brainchild of Brian Venneman, who was diagnosed with lymphoma in his early thirties at Mammoth Hospital. He had to travel to Los Angeles for treatment at USC’s Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and “I know at least once he slept in his car outside the hospital,” says Dr. Yuri Parisky, Director of Radiology at Mammoth Hospital and a personal friend of Brian’s. “It really broke him. He wanted to make sure that nobody else had to have that same experience.”

Brian beat the lymphoma that he fought in the early 2000s but died in 2014 two years after a melanoma diagnosis. Every August, the Mammoth Hospital Foundation hosts a golf tournament in his honor. In 2023, the 20th annual Brian Venneman Cancer Outreach Golf Tournament raised over $113,000 for the program.

The Cancer Outreach Program honors Brian’s life while serving others—a donation of $4,000 can fund a cancer patient in active treatment, helping them with travel, lodging and food costs. A donation of $1,500 can assist a patient in their “maintenance” treatment, ensuring, for instance, that a cancer in remission is monitored and does not return. Gifts also help to cover the cost of infusion treatments at Mammoth Hospital when patients can receive them closer to home.

“Most of my patients now are going to be survivors,” says Dr. Parisky. “With early detection, the great majority of cases we see are cures, and have a short period of intervention financially.”

You can donate to the Cancer Outreach Program here or send a check to:

The Mammoth Hospital Foundation, PO Box 100 PMB 487, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546

Hear longtime community member, Lina Lambert, talk about our Cancer Outreach Program in the video below: