My name is Clare Matschullat, and I am a long-term cancer survivor. I’ve been a cancer patient advocate since I was diagnosed and have helped countless pediatric, adolescent, and adult cancer patients and their families. Here are some patients and caretakers I’ve worked with who want to share their stories.

Client Testimonial

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.

-JS, San Jose, CA, Age 37

V L, Miami, FL, Age 44

As a caretaker, the initial cancer diagnosis is terrifying, and the second time around, it is just as bad.

My father was diagnosed with leukemia, and my brother, who quarantined with him in the hospital for over a year during COVID, was subsequently diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. 

Clare was a great guide for me and my family on both occasions. Twice, she was a great companion, extremely useful in understanding what was going on, deciphering medical jargon, and just being there for moral support. Her energy is contagious, which was also very helpful to my father and brother. 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. 

When my brother got his initial diagnosis, Clare was even more hands-on. She reacted immediately and found the best specialist in the field at the world-class cancer center near him and got him an impossible appointment. She was also readily available to suggest the other important things to consider when you get an outpatient cancer diagnosis, like helping solve what to eat, where to get a massage, and other outside help you don’t even know you need. Once treatment options were given to my brother, she was also a sounding board for different options and followed up with how he was feeling every step of the way. Clare is an amazing sherpa when going through this process, and I wish everyone faced with these diagnoses had a chance to have her guide them through it.

Client Testimonial

I met Clare as a graduate student, and over the course of two decades, I have become her friend and mentor. When I received a cancer diagnosis, I initially pursued multiple opinions and ultimately chose to undergo less invasive surgery at a top cancer center. However, when it became clear that my cancer had metastasized, I contacted Clare, and she not only helped me see I needed in-home support but that I would be far more comfortable with additional assistance and a pain management protocol between my outpatient treatments.

-KM, Sarasota, FL, Age 80

JD, San Francisco, CA, Age 53

I called Clare at Cancer Sherpa and got exactly what I needed.  Clare is incredibly talented.  She’s part doctor, part psychologist, and part former patient. 

After what seemed like years of dealing with symptoms, answering questions, multiple blood tests, scans, pokes, and prods, not only did I not have answers, but something even more scary was discovered.  From starting with GI issues, now doctors were telling me I had some rogue proteins/cells that could result in blood cancer – something called MGUS.

I have certainly had people in my life with cancer, but I have never personally had a scare like this.  I had so many questions:  where to start?; what to do?; who to see?;  how bad is this?; what further testing should I be doing?; what type do I have?…the list goes on.  My first thought(s) were, of course, all bad…but later veered towards the fact that I needed help – someone who could quickly help me navigate through all of this.  

I called Clare at Cancer Sherpa and got exactly what I needed.  Clare is incredibly talented.  She’s part doctor, part psychologist, and part former patient.  She not only quickly read through my condition but proceeded to go through my results and identified THE expert doc to see at Mayo Clinic.  She also calmed me down by sourcing multiple studies and reports about the favorable type of MGUS she figured out I had.  Her personal experience and connections were invaluable both in expediting my next steps in the hospital world but also in managing my anxiety.  Happily, all is well physically for me, and my mind is at ease, largely thanks to Clare.  I appreciated her approach, logic, and results so much that I recommended her to another friend in need. 

Thank you so much, Clare/Cancer Sherpa!

Client Testimonial

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.

-ML, San Francisco, CA, Age 38

CL, Napa, CA, Age 66

Clare and her network help you navigate serious medical concerns by connecting you with top specialists for a second opinion, answering questions about insurance coverage…

Clare and Cancer Sherpa are unique resources in that they don’t just bridge the gap between a newly diagnosed patient and the medical system; they are the bridge. Clare and her network help you navigate serious medical concerns by connecting you with top specialists for a second opinion, answering questions about insurance coverage, and locating the best hospitals for your specific needs. 

On two separate occasions, Clare’s advocacy helped two of my closest friends in very difficult situations. The first was identifying emergency medical care for my son’s significant other. She had been having severe pain and had gone to her college’s local emergency room, where she was told she needed emergency surgery. Upon hearing this, I contacted Clare and let her know that my son would be calling to review the tests and diagnosis with her, as this diagnosis did not sound right to him or his significant other. 

Clare gave them a list of questions to ask before any further decisions were made. She then reviewed this young woman’s insurance and confirmed that she could be transferred to a world-class medical center for a second opinion and treatment in the same city later that day. Gratefully, Clare’s help and direction to the second hospital made a significant difference in that my son’s significant other received a very different diagnosis that did not require emergency surgery but regular follow-up screenings to monitor a potential cancer risk.

Over a year earlier, Clare was instrumental in reaching across the world to help my friend receive a second opinion on her nephew’s brain tumor diagnosis and treatment. She wanted to confirm that her nephew was receiving the most comprehensive care for his type of aggressive brain cancer at his hospital in Beirut, Lebanon.

She and her family desperately wanted a second opinion but didn’t know how to navigate it internationally. I suggested Clare and Cancer Sherpa. Clare, knowing that the situation was critical, reached out to her oncologist, who specializes in their nephew’s type of brain cancer. With Clare’s assistance, my friend had all her questions answered by a leader in the field within twenty-four hours. Clare was also able to help my friend and her family prepare for some of the difficult stages ahead.

My friend remarked how comforting it was for the family to receive the second opinion and how grateful they were to receive the information so quickly during a difficult time.

Client Testimonial

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 that hospital to discharge him (twice), and advised her on how to get into the Mayo Clinic if/when he had another episode. When he did have his third episode, they went to the Mayo Clinic as instructed, and her husband was diagnosed and successfully treated for a rare and very serious disorder that could have had catastrophic consequences if left untreated. I am immensely grateful to Clare for helping my friend and her young family.

-RH, Marin, CA, Age 68

TR, San Francisco, CA, Age 34

What do I do?  Are we sure it is pancreatic cancer?  What is the prognosis?  How can I help?  All of these questions were running through my head, and I had zero clue how to answer them.

I received the call we all feared…it was my mom. She was calling to tell me my father had just been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  What do I do?  Are we sure it is pancreatic cancer?  What is the prognosis?  How can I help?  All of these questions were running through my head, and I had zero clue how to answer them.

That is when I contacted Clare.  She helped me to take a breath and understand that the situation was very serious, but there were things I could do to help improve my father’s odds.  She guided me through how to communicate with my father’s doctors, what questions to ask, how to determine that he was in the optimal position to survive, and, ultimately, helped me transfer my father to a different hospital with a better track record of treating my father’s specific type of cancer.  

If you are wondering how Clare may be able to help you or if her service is worth it, I would like to relay to you what I consider to be her superpower.  I spoke with Clare briefly about my family’s situation, and she was able to lay out the progression of events for the next few weeks.  She was spot on and was able to prepare me and my family for each of the events, decreasing our overall anxiety and allowing us to spend time together instead of worrying about what was going to happen next. 

Client Testimonial

As a pediatric oncology nurse practitioner, Clare’s pediatric nurse practitioner to be exact, I was subsequently diagnosed and treated for two separate cancers of my own. I have come to view cancer, both personally and professionally, as a chronic condition that needs regular follow-up. Clare has been there every step of the way, helping me manage my follow-up scans and appointments, and is there to listen when it gets tough.

-RH, Englewood, NJ, Age 72

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FREE 30-Minute Consultation

In this call we will review your preliminary cancer diagnosis, what tests and scans you have received, and discuss how we can help you choose the right treatment and medical professionals for you.