In one way or another, most U.S. families have been affected by cancer. After years of awareness campaigns, we as a society are pretty cognizant of the devastating impact that cancer has on patients and their loved ones as well as the importance of early detection. So let’s go a step beyond awareness and think about how we can support cancer patients and their caregivers.

 

1. Write Letters:

Being diagnosed with cancer and undergoing treatment is downright scary. Dropping off handmade cards or letters of encouragement to treatment centers or hospitals can go a long way in brightening someone’s day. Knowing that someone cares and remembers is like a light in the darkest hour.

2. Be Specific:

If a friend or relative is diagnosed with cancer and you want to help, try to be specific about how you plan to help. Offer your help by taking the kids to soccer, vacuuming the house, bringing dinner over on Sundays, etc. Everyday tasks will become big chores for this family. If you really would like to help, be specific about what you can do to save them the stress of asking. With everything going on in their world, they may forget an open-ended offer entirely.

3. Know Where Your Donation Goes:

If you would like to donate more than time, that’s wonderful! Just be sure you know where your donation is going. Some companies and organizations are rather ambiguous about how charitable contributions are spent. Consider donating to specific research initiatives or organizations that focus on patient support.

There are also smaller, local organizations that make a big impact on their community. For example, in Verona we have Minette’s Angels, a foundation named for longtime resident, Minette Grosso McKenna, which provides assistance to local breast cancer patients and scholarships for Verona students pursuing a degree in Nursing. Find out what your area has to offer by searching online or checking with your local health department.

 

Obviously this is not an exhaustive list but just a few examples of how we can show others our support. It doesn’t have to take a lot to make a big difference!