So, someone you know has been diagnosed with cancer. Or maybe you’re looking for a way to get your group involved in community service projects. Yeah, I know it’s breast cancer awareness month. But these things apply to ANYONE diagnosed with ANY cancer.
What can you do to help?
- Directly help a person you know with cancer. Mow their lawn, or bring a meal (check to see if there are dietary restrictions, food allergies or dislikes first!), or run an errand like picking up items at the store, even drive them to and from chemo.
- Help out people you don’t know by donating snack items to your local cancer center – things like peanut butter crackers, cheese crackers, granola bars or diabetic / gluten-free snacks are wonderful for people when they’ve been sitting at a treatment center for several hours!
- Crafty? Ask your local cancer center if they need knitted, crocheted or hand-sewn caps, or a lap blanket to keep a patient warm while they sit for several hours in the infusion room.
- Have space? Make up “chemo bags” to be given to new cancer patients: in a reusable bag, include a couple bottles of water, some snacks (above), chapstick, peppermint hard candies, a notebook so they can write down what the doctor says or questions they may have, a couple pens.
- KNOW WHERE YOUR MONEY GOES! There are two cancer-related charities I currently support: Cancer Card Xchange where your money goes to a family battling cancer RIGHT NOW and Metavivor because these donated monies go to research metastatic cancer.
- Get educated. When my son realized that about $0.005 (yes, half a penny) from the sale of a popular energy drink costing $5 was actually going to “awareness” but no actual listed charity, he was FURIOUS. As he should be, in my opinion.
- AND POSSIBLY THE MOST IMPORTANT: Speak out and educate others. Be a voice in the community.
It doesn’t matter what you do, but you need to do SOMETHING to address this Public Health Crisis we call cancer. As the song says, “we all need somebody to lean on.”