Cancer survivor draws from own experience to help others

When Alana Carrington lay on the floor in her house and told God she wanted a change, she was not expecting the response to come in the form of being diagnosed with cancer and later losing her job. Nevertheless, that is exactly what happened.

In January of 2008, Carrington walked out of the hospital, threw her hands up in the air and started crying. She had just been diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. She spoke out to God and beckoned, “I told you I want to get close to you and now you’re going to kill me?”

For a short period, Carrington was bogged down by her diagnosis and said she was frustrated because she couldn’t figure out how this fits into God’s plan for her.

But after her treatment, Carrington figured out how to turn the situation into a positive. In 2012 she started the Carrington Cares Foundation (CCF), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides resources and educational outreach for cancer patients and survivors.

Facebook/Alana Carrington Facebook/Alana Carrington

CCF is focused on easing the economic load for patients going through treatment. That support can be gas cards, rental assistance, or a food shelf.

CCF was formed in response to the conditions Carrington saw throughout her treatment. She became aware of how lifeless the treatment process can make people. “People around me were so sad,” she said. “I never went in there like that because I wanted to give somebody hope.”

By forming CCF, she said she hopes to provide relief for people going through treatment, so they don’t feel so hopeless. “People hear the word cancer and they get so scared,” she said, adding, “I want to be there to help them so they are not so afraid.”

There have been some bumps along the way. Carrington has had trouble getting funding for her programs, in spite of hosting two fundraisers a year — the Pink Carpet Affair in the fall and a taco party in the summer.

Also, when Carrington started CCF, she was nervous about all of the intricacies that came with starting a nonprofit and found the entire process intimidating. Consequently, it wasn’t until 2015 that CCF received the nonprofit status.

“In the beginning, I was just scared. Now it’s time to start applying and getting these grants and running these programs,” Carrington said.

Within the next two years, Carrington hopes to be working full-time at CCF, and within the next five years, she wants to expand her program state-wide and beyond.

Born in St. Paul’s Rondo neighborhood, Carrington is the oldest of four siblings. She confesses she was not a good sister growing up. But, a look at her professional resume paints a different picture.

Carrington worked as an educational assistant for St. Paul Public Schools for 23 years, at the Salvation Army for seven years, and currently works as a case manager at the Union Gospel Mission.

“That’s just me. I am going to help you, and if I can’t, I’m going to find someone who can,” said Carrington.


23 Comments on “Cancer survivor draws from own experience to help others”

  1. Alana carrington I love you everyday of the week and even on weekends your friend for life Walter (qbear) banks Jr

    1. LOL!!! OMG!!! I can not stop cracking up! Walter you are hilarious! I love you back… and always will. Thank you for taking the time to leave such a sweet message.

      I pray you are in the BEST health ever!


  2. God had a plan for you and he sure made sure you were here to tell your testimony and also to spread yourself among others whom could us your support,to those in the same situation. Alana your a God fearing woman and a woman with a big heart. Keep spreading your love. ❤️

    1. Val,
      The tears won’t stop! I am SO overwhelmed! Thank you for EVERYTHING you have supported me and CCF from the begging and I am GRATEFUL! I Love you to LIFE!


  3. Just know that you have always been strong. in our lives…YOU, continue to show us what believing means.

    1. Thank you for seeing the strength in me… Sometime it’s hard to be the strong one, today have learned to draw ALL my strength from the lord!

      Thank you truly comes from the HEART!

  4. Your obedience and Faith is everything! Keep fighting the good fight of faith. Stay strong in the Lord and you will always when. So proud of you. Peace, Love and Happiness.

    1. Thank you comes from the HEART! Staying strong , keeping the faith and fighting the good fight is something I’ll do till the day I leave this earth.

      Thank you for always encouraging me and for your continued prayers!


  5. Alana is a champion for people. She always leads by example. I watched her work with children and families for years at the Rondo Center.

    My wife is a cancer survivor and I am totally ecstatic that she has taken this mission on in Minnesota. Salute!

    1. Don Fanncis,

      I appreciate you. You have always been an encouragement to me. Thank you for the example you set when we were at Rondo,

      Please give your wife my blessings and tell her I’d love to her about her journey through cancer.


  6. What a blessing to see your infectious smile and read your deeply inspiring story. It is encouraging to read first hand the true story of someone who asked God for one thing and he used a disease to answer a prayer. May God continue to bless you and empower you to continue your ministry to others. ??????????

    1. Denise, Thank you truly comes from the HEART! I appreciate your kind words and encouragement. God has blessed me to be a blessing and as long as I have breath in my body I will spread the word of God to help save others.


  7. Alana your incredible and a blessing to many! As i deal with the treat of possibly loosing somene that means the world to me and living everyday seeing her fight with unimaginable currage gives me the understanding how important what you have done and continue to do for families in a fight with an awful awful villain.!

    Thank you!


    1. Kim, what you are doing is also so very important… I watched you and you are an amazing support. Going through this thing called cancer is NOT at all easy as you know and having a someone by your side can make all the difference in the world.

      Thank you for your kind words they mean a lot! Please connect with me when you have sometime.


  8. Alana, I just saw and read this article. WOW!!! So beautiful!! I have a dear lady who lives in WI that has cancer. She does have family support but…I just see in your photo the love, sharing & caring and compassion you have for others. And, of course with your dear late grandmother (Mrs. Gloria Wright who I have known since I was a little girl) being a nurse, this too is a caring and compassionate career so I can see where your true caring and compassion began…and with your mom (Lynn Wright who I have also known since a little girl) has a career who needs caring and compassion so…the Wright family is FULL of caring & compassion and this is truly beautiful and awesome and, thank YOU! to you and the Wright Family! Keep on keeping on.

    1. Melinda,
      There’s SO much I want to say… But this is hard, (in a good way) You went to the root of how this all got started, My grandmother (I MISS HER SO MUCH) and my mother who’s been there from the beginning. Thank you for your AWESOME, kind, loving, well put together words.

      I am for ever grateful!.


  9. Alana!!! I love you and wish you nothing but blessings in your journey my sista’?
    My youngest brother was recently diagnosed and is now free of cancer even before his chemo sessions were finished ?
    I will definitely share this with him.
    I have to see you when I come home to visit very soon.
    Peace and blessings!

    1. Tracy,

      I love you more 😉 Thank you for your words of encouragement … Truly from the HEART Thank you. Also, please share with your brother and let’s definitely connect and soon,

      Love and blessings!

  10. My cousin has always been special to me (before she could have known she was). She has always been full of life and making sure everyone else was as well. This article, is only a testament to what I’ve always known and loved – I’m so thankful others can now experience this as well…….love Mingo.

    1. Mingo,

      I just don’t even know what to say! Man…. I LOVE you like a brother. Your words are POWERFUL and have made the rest of my year 😉 Seriously, I am beyond grateful! Thank you TRULY comes from the HEART!

      Love, Lonnie 😉

  11. My God! I don’t even know where to begin. I am OVERWHELMED by all the love and support, Today, is the first time I am seeing these comments. I WILL respond to each comment individually. You ALL have blessed my socks OFF!

    Thank TRULY you comes from the HEART~

  12. Ms. Alana, it amazes me to see just how strong you are and where you came from. You are the true definition of strength. Your strength and courage inspires me daily. You are an blessing not just to me but sooo many others. Thank you for you words of encouragement and when needed tough love. You are proof that God is God all by himself and your testimony will change so many lives near and far. God has so much in store for you hunny?. Thank you, much Love, & mad Respect ???

    1. Passion,
      My God what POWERFUL words. I am in tears… I appreciate you more than you’ll ever know. Thank you TRULY comes from the HEART!


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