OjaiCARES Mission and History
OjaiCARES is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides free services and support to people in the Ojai Valley touched by cancer: individuals with new diagnoses, those receiving treatment, and survivors as well as their family and caregivers. OjaiCARES is our community’s only comprehensive cancer resource center, serving over 300 individuals since its inception in 2013. OjaiCARES believes that an informed patient is an empowered one. We provide an array of non-medical services from patient navigation and advocacy, including that critical first contact when a test result or diagnosis has been received, to support groups to integrative mind/body services.
OjaiCARES Cancer Resource Center’s mission is to provide a guiding hand and compassionate heart to people with cancer and their loved ones through services that educate, support and empower people through the cancer journey.
Prior to 2013, individuals dealing with cancer in our Valley had to drive to Ventura or Santa Barbara or further to receive such support. OjaiCARES began because its founder, Susan Kapadia, upon finding the support and community she had been looking for at The Breast Cancer Resource Center of Santa Barbara, realized how valuable such a support center would be for herself and others in our own community. The rapid growth of our client base has borne this out.
Incorporated in July 2013, OjaiCARES was granted 501(c)(3) not-for-profit status in March 2014. In April 2014, we moved into our current offices, providing a safe haven and gathering place for individuals touched by cancer in our community.