At Cancer Sherpa, we partner with you to chart the course of your individual healthcare journey and advocate for you until you are able to advocate for yourself.
Clare Matschullat is a cancer survivor and the Founder and CEO of Cancer Sherpa. Over 25 years ago, Clare was a teenager when she was first diagnosed with cancer and found herself fighting for both her independence and life. Several years later, in remission and a sophomore at Duke University, Clare received a phone call from the frantic aunt of a classmate who had just been diagnosed with cancer. Panicking, she said, “Jennifer said to call you because you’d know what to do.” That day Clare became the Cancer Sherpa.
In the eighteen years since that dorm room phone call, Clare has helped family, friends, colleagues, and clients navigate the endless complexities and frustrations of the American healthcare system. Now Clare, along with her team of healthcare professionals, does this full-time for anyone who needs their help. While Clare’s network of hospitals and medical professionals was born from her personal cancer journey, professionally she has experience in medical research, biotechnology, and fundraising across public and private healthcare sectors. She received her BA in Political Science and African Studies from Duke University and completed her certificate in premedical studies at Columbia University. Clare also worked in the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health while pursuing her Masters.
In addition to working with cancer patients, their families, and extended care teams, Clare sits on the Children’s Board at Columbia, which she co-founded at Columbia University. Clare serves as a board member and Development Chair at The Holy Family Day Home in San Francisco, California. Since 1999, Clare has been an active volunteer at Paul Newman’s Hole In The Wall Gang Camp for seriously and terminally ill children, where she was once a camper. Clare is committed to education and loves supporting Duke University as an Alumni interviewer.
We can help you navigate questions that you might have in your journey:
Order diagnostic tests
Refer to a teaching hospital for follow-up tests and, if necessary
What prompted you to see your physician?
Who made the cancer diagnosis?
Are you confident in your physician and their findings?
Locate and help contact top oncologists and surgeons specializing in your cancer type to review your primary diagnosis
Facilitate further diagnostic testing if necessary
Evaluate and discuss differences in diagnoses and prognoses and how they inform treatment and trial options
I was recently diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma at 38. I was planning on following the advice of the diagnosing ENT doctor to seek treatment at the local health center. After speaking with Clare, I agreed to a second opinion. Clare relentlessly worked her network to get me an appointment at a world-class research facility in San Francisco with expediency! My healthcare covered it, and I was treated with cutting-edge immunotherapy and radiation. I am currently in full remission. The peace I felt once I was in the hands of the right people is hard to describe; I can't thank Clare enough for pushing me out of my comfort zone. - Matias L, San Francisco, CA
Clare leads discussions about the “Big C” with another important C - Compassion. With an approach forged from her dedication to listening to the patient and their family, she feels like a true partner in arms in the fight against cancer. - Jean S, San Jose, CA
As a care-taker, the initial cancer diagnosis is terrifying. Clare was a great guide. She was not only a great companion but extremely useful in understanding what was going on, deciphering medical jargon, and just being there for moral support. Her energy is contagious, and that was also very helpful for the patient. She was readily available whenever we had doubts or wanted a referral for a second opinion. I don't think that we could have gotten through the process without her. - Veronica L, Miami, FL
Clare is the most knowledgeable person I have met in the world of navigating cancer . Being a survivor herself , she knows what to do in any type of health crisis . I know, first hand, as my daughter has congenital heart disease and Clare has been her inspiration and rock most of her life. - Mary O, Bourne, MA
I recently recommended Clare to a young friend whose husband was experiencing a series of stroke-like events that seemed beyond the expertise of their local hospital to diagnose. Clare listened to my friend’s story, recognized how unwise it was for the other hospital to discharge him (twice), and advised her about the Mayo Clinic, where her husband was diagnosed and successfully treated for a rare and very serious disorder which could have had catastrophic consequences if left untreated. I am immensely grateful to Clare for helping my friend and her young family. - Robert H, Marin, CA
Cancer may be the great equalizer, but we recognize that not all cancer patients are able to pay our rates. We believe that each patient deserves to benefit from the collective wisdom, experience, and resources of those of us who came before them. Please contact us, we want to work with you regardless of your ability to pay.