Breast Cancer Connections expands, Vista Center on the move

Two California Avenue area nonprofits relocate nearby

Two nonprofit organizations that have made their homes for years in the California Avenue business district of Palo Alto are on the move to new digs, though neither is going very far.

Breast Cancer Connections relocated at the end of August to 2335 El Camino Real and has announced both a name change and expansion of services. Meanwhile, Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired will temporarily leave its longtime home at 2470 El Camino Real next Tuesday to make way for the block's redevelopment. It will operate out of 3200 Hillview Ave. in the Stanford Research Park for two years and return to 2500 El Camino Real in 2016, staff said.

Breast Cancer Connections, which earlier this year expanded its services to aid people touched by ovarian cancer, has been renamed Bay Area Cancer Connections.

"In our first twenty years, we helped over 20,000 individuals who were impacted by breast cancer," said Karen Nelson, the nonprofit's executive director. "With our new name, we are acknowledging our new abilities to help those with ovarian cancer and are allowing for our programs and services to reach even more individuals."

The nonprofit, which serves clients from throughout the Bay Area and provides free programs and services that address the needs of cancer survivorship, moved to the larger space so the organization could offer more simultaneous programs and consultations, staff said in a press release.

Bay Area Cancer Connections' largest program, the Gabriella Patser Program for early breast-cancer detection among low-income uninsured young women and men, serves 14 Bay Area counties.

In celebration of the new location and name, Bay Area Cancer Connections will host a housewarming on Sept. 12 from 5 to 7:30 p.m., kicking off with a ribbon cutting ceremony with Rep. Anna Eshoo.

Meanwhile, Vista Center, which aids 2,600 vision-impaired people each year, has worked out an arrangement with its landlord, Stanford University, to return after the site's redevelopment. Stanford is building below-market rental housing on the block at California Avenue and El Camino and will include ground floor space for Vista.

"Today, when nonprofits are finding it difficult, if not impossible, to remain in Palo Alto, Vista Center clients, staff and volunteers are thrilled to be able to continue our long association here," Executive Director Pam Brandin stated in a press release.

Vista aims to help people remain independent in spite of moderate to severe vision loss. Its services include low-vision evaluations, technology training, information and referral, counseling and support groups, low-vision education classes, a health library, orientation and mobility training and training in activities of daily living. Its youth services include teachers of the visually impaired in the classroom and a youth group.

— Palo Alto Weekly staff

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