May 2022
Kentucky CancerLink is a non-profit organization whose mission is to reduce and/or eliminate barriers to screening, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. We work alongside Kentuckians in need of life-saving cancer screenings or in need of support while on a cancer journey. We strive to be a link to hope...
Greetings from Our Founder:
Hi Friends,

This past April, Kentucky CancerLink celebrated an exciting milestone...our 15-year anniversary! Established in 2007, with the support of countless advocates throughout the state, I was honored to launch Kentucky CancerLink, originally named Kentucky Pink Link. Our primary goal was to provide a much-needed central support system for women and breast cancer patients across the Commonwealth. Our mission to reduce and remove barriers to screening, diagnosis, and treatment of breast cancer was created and a few name changes led to expanding our services to include all cancers. Baby, have we come a long way! I am so proud of our evolution, innovation, and impact.

I am excited to share that after 15 years of dedication, I will be retiring on May 1, 2022. The past 15 years have allowed me to work with such fantastic staff, community partners, and healthcare organizations that shared my passion and supported the vision for Kentucky CancerLink, and for that, I will be forever grateful.

Melissa Karrer will continue to lead Kentucky CancerLink as we step up to the next level of organizational excellence. This transition demonstrates that Kentucky CancerLink will continue to be a statewide leader in patient navigation services and other impactful programs. Since Melissa assumed the role as Executive Director, she has proven her talent and leadership. She holds dear our mission and vision and I have complete confidence that her leadership skills will take Kentucky CancerLink to the next level.

As for myself, I still have a lot of dreams to pursue, but those who know me know that I'm not particularly eager to sit idle. So instead, I hope to spend more time with my family and friends and check goals off of my bucket list.

Of course, I'm leaving a smidgen of my DNA here, and I will continue to support Kentucky CancerLink and contribute in any way needed.

Much Love and Respect!

Vicki Blevins-Booth
Patient Navigation - Gabby Meis
Certified Bilingual Patient Navigator, Certified Community Health Worker
Recently, I had the pleasure of working with a patient in need of a new prosthesis and mastectomy bra(s). She chose to drive from Louisville to the Kentucky CancerLink office in Lexington to receive the items. 

She was so grateful to be able to try the items on, in our patient services room, to make sure they were a good fit and shared that she previously had to pay out-of-pocket for the same items which is why her current prosthesis was in such bad shape. She was so excited to have a new prosthesis and several new mastectomy bras and said it was a "huge blessing.” Additionally, I was able to provide her with a gas card to help with the burden of fuel costs.  

Our team is here to help you find the perfect fit for your prostheses and other items to help make your experience a positive one.

We do work with patients over the phone and can mail items, but patients are also welcome to come to our office to try on wigs, headwear, and mastectomy supplies.

If you are in need of any of these items, please contact Kentucky CancerLink. We have an online wig catalog that you can view, and other wigs in stock that are not listed on the website as well as prostheses, camisoles, lymphedema garments and other supplies.

As a patient navigator, it's my job to help you and be a link to hope!
Welcome Ginger Martinez,
Certified Bilingual Patient Navigator
We are excited to add Ginger to our team at Kentucky CancerLink as a certified bilingual patient navigator!

Ginger's previous experience in the healthcare profession spans 15 years and includes assisting patients with various financial and clinical needs. She is fluent in Spanish and is a (CMI) Certified Medical Interpreter and state certified to interpret for the KY Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

Ginger's passion truly lies in helping patients navigate the healthcare system and working with them to identify helpful resources and removing barriers to screening, diagnosis, and treatment. "I enjoy being the calm in someone’s storm, even if it is for a short time. It's very rewarding."

Ginger is married and has 3 children, one with special needs, which has been her motivation to help others with medical challenges.
Sun Safety and the Dangers of Indoor Tanning
If you grew up in the 80's or 90's, you may have enjoyed outdoor tanning using baby oil and, maybe, indoor tanning as well, using tanning accelerators like Australian Gold and, if you're like many, you're now paying for the "sins" of your youth and wishing you had traded the baby oil for sunscreen when you notice the crow's feet in the mirror.

May is Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness month and according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, research shows that "indoor tanning before the age of 30 increases your chances of melanoma by 75 percent." Research also estimates that "banning indoor tanning for minors under 18 would prevent 61,839 melanomas and 6,735 melanoma deaths leading to $342.9 million in treatment costs. Researchers add, despite legislation in 42 states and D.C., 1.9 million high school students still are using indoor tanning beds."

These days, self-tanners/spray tanning are very popular and much safer than indoor tanning beds. It's never too late to start taking care of your skin and there's no such thing as a "healthy tan."

May is Skin Cancer Awareness month.

Let’s follow some of these tips to help protect our skin from the sun:

·         Wear a minimum of broad-spectrum SPF 30 on your face and body and reapply after sweating or swimming.

·         Use soothing aloe vera gel if you get a sun burn.

·         Remember that UVA rays come through the clouds and windows. Use SPF when driving or if you work by windows.

·         Wear a hat and protective clothing while having fun outside.

·         Avoid tanning beds and use self-tanner instead.

·         Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes and eye area.

If you suspect that a lump, spot, or mole may be suspicious of skin cancer, see your healthcare provider.

Have fun this summer!
Out and About
Melissa and Melanie took a road trip to St. Elizabeth to check out the debut of the Incredible Lung! It is amazing! We had a great time visiting with and making new friends at the cancer center and we always have fun with Kentucky Cancer Program - East staff, Mary Schneider and Khadijah Wallace. This is a great learning tool for lung health!
Attending the UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Networks 15-year Anniversary Celebration
KCL team lunch celebrating Vicki!
Melanie in Morehead at St. Claire for a colon cancer screening event. (pictured with Melissa Hounshell)
KPAP (Kentucky Prescription Assistance Program) is a free service that helps individuals obtain their prescription medications. To learn more, contact a KPAP representative at 1-800-633-8100.
Do you have a resource that might be useful to the cancer community? Let us know, and we may share it in future publications. Email Melanie Hunter at
May Recipes
The Original KY Hot Brown

Created in 1926 by Fred K. Schmidt, at The Brown Hotel in Louisville, this open-faced turkey sandwich features a delicious mornay white cream sauce, bacon, and grated romano cheese. It is truly a Kentucky treasure.

Chocolate Bourbon
Pecan Pie
A trifecta of chocolate, pecans, and bourbon, this Kentucky tradition is the perfect dessert to serve at your Kentucky Derby party. It's like a warm chocolate chip cookie with a bourbon kick.

The Kentucky Oaks Lily

One of the two most iconic drinks served at the Kentucky Derby is the Oaks Lily. A true southern cocktail, it's a crowd-favorite for sure.


KY Gives Day is May 10th!

You can be part of the celebration by giving to your favorite nonprofit (which we know is us!). Visit to find out more.

Contact Melanie Hunter,
Link to Hope Podcast
Until there is a cure for cancer Kentuckians need hope today. Link 2 Hope is a monthly podcast featuring experts discussing ways to remove barriers for Kentuckians in need of screening, diagnosis and treatment for cancer.

Suggestions for what you'd like to hear? Contact Melanie Hunter at to share your ideas!
You can also listen to Link 2 Hope on whichever platform you listen to your podcasts. Subscribe to be informed when new episodes are added!
WKYT - Link to Hope
Each month on WKYT, a Link to Hope story is featured with Amber Philpott.

Our most recent story highlights our own KCL founder, Vicki Blevins-Booth!

THANK YOU to WKYT for their partnership!
Screening Opportunities
Do you need help getting a breast or cervical screening, but are uninsured or underinsured? Call Kentucky CancerLink and we'll get you connected with CHI Saint Joseph Health's Yes, Mamm! and Yes, Cerv! program!

Call Kentucky CancerLink at 859-309-1700 for more information.
In partnership with the Kentucky Women's Cancer Screening Program, Kentucky CancerLink can connect you with a no cost/low cost breast and/or cervical screening close to home.
University of Kentucky
Ovarian Cancer Screening Program
For more information about the ovarian cancer screening program at the University of Kentucky, visit this link.
Lung Cancer Screening Guidelines
Low-dose CT screening (LDCT) is a test used to detect lung cancer before any symptoms appear. Under the new lung cancer screening guidelines, those ages 50-80 who have a 20 pack-year smoking history or who have quit smoking in the past 15 years should get screened for lung cancer. Under the new guidelines, more women, Black and Latino individuals are considered at high risk. 

2425 Regency Road, Suite B
Lexington, KY 40503
Phone: 859-309-1700
Toll-Free: 877-597-4655
Fax: 859-368-8418