CAN Cancer is a local appeal to provide community assistance to cover non-medical living expenses for Willamette Valley Oregonians fighting all forms of cancer. CAN Cancer was established by Gil, Corinne and Stu Martinez of Wilderness Garbage in cooperation with all the Central Oregon Garbage Haulers.

“The way we see it, we are designed by profession to pick up the pieces, to clean up the dirty side of fighting Cancer.”
– Corinne Martinez, founder and owner of Wilderness Garbage.

The Mid-Valley Garbage & Recycling Haulers, in conjunction with local hospital foundations are working together to give our neighbors assistance with their fight against cancer.


100% of the money contributed will be put into a fund with the local hospital foundations, so that all funds raised will be used directly to benefit local families. This fund will help pay for living expenses such as fuel, travel and food costs not covered by insurance or other programs. These funds fill a void where other programs and insurers fall short.


These lavender envelopes will be arriving to you with your new recycling calendars in October. Residents who want to make a tax deductible donation can use this envelope to send a check or credit card donation straight to Salem Health Foundation. Online donations can be made by visiting www.salemhealth.org/foundation and clicking on “make a gift” to access the form. On the line, “I want my gift to be used for” select “other” and make a note you are giving to CAN Cancer. You also can make a donation by visiting www.santiamhospital.org. The CAN Cancer fund for Willamette Valley is managed by the Salem Health Foundation in Salem and the Santiam Hospital in Stayton.


CAN Cancer has chosen lavender to help brand their efforts and boost visibility and recognition of the program. Why lavender? In the world of cancer awareness, the color lavender represents all types of cancer. Because our assistance is not limited to any specific type of cancer and will touch those undergoing all types of treatment, we felt it was the obvious tie-in.


It is the ugly side of the fight – the financial and emotional strain. Something CAN Cancer founders Corrine and Gil Martinez know firsthand. When their son Stu, was diagnosed with throat cancer, the cost of travel to St. Charles from La Pine, and the everyday living expenses, mounted quickly.

Survivors attest that fighting the disease requires every ounce of their emotional and physical strength. The chances for beating it drop significantly when energy is spent worrying about paying for the gas to travel to a treatment center or the expense of food bought to feed a tired immune system. It was the Martinez’ idea to develop a resource for helping families facing these challenges.

Now Mid-Valley Garbage & Recycling Haulers have formed a CAN Cancer program in our area and has partnered with Salem Health Foundation and Santiam Hospital to handle the distribution of aid to local cancer patients who need it the most.