Singer Songwriter Karyn 805 Inspires Others Fighting Breast Cancer
When Oxnard resident Karen Pecht was 58 years old, she was diagnosed with breast cancer after having a biopsy at the Community Memorial Health System Breast Center following a suspicious mammogram.
Today, Karen has been cancer-free for almost seven years and is enjoying her life more than ever as she embarks on a second career as a singer/songwriter. Karen, whose stage name is “Karyn 805,” released her first album with 12 original songs, called “Entangled Hearts,” in December 2017. She’s been having a blast performing both original music and covers at local clubs and events.
Karen generously gives her time, talents, and monetary donations – including all the tips from her performances – to help other breast cancer patients and survivors in Ventura County through Community Memorial Health System (CMHS) and its Cancer Resource Center. Karen enjoyed giving a free concert on Friday, June 1, at the National Cancer Survivor’s Day celebration luncheon, held at the Coastal Communities Cancer Center at Community Memorial Hospital (CMH) in Ventura. She also makes regular donations for breast cancer patients or survivors like herself through CMH because she wants to help people in her community.
“It’s the first time they’ve had music at this lunch,” said Karen. “I hope to inspire people to keep their dreams alive and go after them.” And the cancer survivor is doing just that.
Karen said she has always loved music and even wrote a song when she was five years old. “I taught myself guitar when I was in junior high school. I played and still play mostly by ear. However, I had many years of training on the piano which gave me quite a bit of background to music in general. I’ve also played the ukulele, flute, oboe, and bagpipes,” she said.
Karen is a singer/songwriter in the “Americana” style, with her music being a mix of country, blues and Indie folk. She looks forward to sharing her music at local venues and events while also supporting breast cancer patients and survivors in the community with free concerts and donations to CMH for the Cancer Resource Center.
“This is new to me and it’s all been a great journey,” Karen said of her budding music career.
The Community Memorial Health System Cancer Resource Center
The Cancer Resource Center, in conjunction with CMH, the Cancer Support Community, and the American Cancer Society, offers free programs and services for cancer patients, survivors, and their families. A cancer diagnosis can be devastating, scary, and overwhelming. The Cancer Resource Center offers a warm place with comfortable furniture, a full kitchen, and a resource library. The staff is a dedicated group of caring and trained people who help patients and offer resources and guidance on a variety of services specific to their needs.
The center offers a wig bank for patients; conducts free cancer support groups; offers cancer nutrition sessions; yoga, Reiki, and Reflexology; and Lymphedema support groups, therapy and screening clinics – all free to patients.
The center also is the home base for the CMH cancer social worker and nurse navigator who provide their services free of charge. They work to provide resources and referrals for the diverse needs of patients, ranging from insurance and financial resources to caregiver, long-term planning, and healthcare decision-making support. They help guide patients and families through the healthcare system, and will even attend patient’s appointments for chemo, radiation, or surgery, at the patient’s request. They provide education about various treatments and side-effects; provide short-term counseling for patients and families; help patients to adjust through the treatment process; educate patients on communication with their families, and other services.
The Cancer Resource Center is a part of Community Memorial Health System’s Cancer Program, which offers the latest treatment and imaging technology. Services and resources offered include inpatient services, the Breast Center, Prostate Institute, Coastal Communities Cancer Center, Cancer Resource Center, plus education and support, palliative care and spiritual care. The program is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.
In 2016, the Cancer Resource Center saw an average of 33 new patients each month for an annual total of nearly 400 unduplicated patients each year. All services are available and provided to patients regardless of where they receive their cancer care and no matter where they live.
- The Cancer Resource Center is located on the CMH campus at 2900 Loma Vista Road, Suite 105, inside the Coastal Communities Cancer Center.
- Phone: 805-652-5459
- Office Hours: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.