Relay For Life has been a part of my life since 1998. My family has been touched by cancer many times and the American Cancer Society is always there to help us through. The training we receive as volunteers is top notch. The money raised for the American Cancer Society is well managed and used for so many people. I can't thank the American Cancer Society enough for all they do. The research funded by ACS saves lives every day. Thank you American Cancer Society.
This organization is truly a great non-profit. From its advocacy programs to its support for local events. Their grass roots organization is solid as a rock and serves well. Awareness, support, and advocacy are the strengths.
I've been involved as a volunteer for 10 years with the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life. By volunteering to raise money for research, education, programs and services, I've come to appreciate the Society for all that they can offer. I've seen first hand the joy in a patient's face when they can choose a wig for either free or very little cost due to the financial assistance through ACS. I've also experienced first hand the comforting voice and help from a person on the other end of the phone when I've called 1-800-ACS-2345. My aunt called that number her best friend for a while during the early stages of her diagnosis. I've been a volunteer on local, state and national levels. I sometimes feel like it's a full time job and my husband jokes that the only thing missing is a paycheck. But, honestly, if I were paid, I am afraid I wouldn't have the same desire and passion that I do each day.
My relationship to the society has primarily been through Relay for Life. It continually amazes me that so much is done for cancer patients and their families. Sometimes it is the "little" things that can cause much angst for the patient and their family, and the society does all it can to help not only with the big things like research, but the little things like transportation for treatments, skin care, wigs, etc.
I am a ten year breast cancer survivor and became involved with the American Cancer Society after my diagnois. In the early days of "Tell A Friend" campaign (reminding friends and loved ones to get a mammogram) moving on to Reach to Recovery (being available to help others facing breast cancer)I Can Cope, and Relay For Life for nine years, I have taken up the FIGHT to help and eliminate cancer whether it be talking to friends about the importance of early detection and diagnois, visiting someone who has a breast cancer diagnois, or speaking directly to my legislators in the State of Kentucky or in Washington D.C. The Society's goal is to eliminate cancer through research, education, advocacy, and service. It is a volunteer driven organization whose staff is constantly sharing new ideas and information. I am very proud to be an ACS volunteer.
My experience with ACS goes back 15 years. As a volunteer with fundraising events from Relay for Life to MSABC to Cattlebaron's Ball, I quickly learned what a truly caring organization they are. The training provided to me as a volunteer has helped me through the years to provide valuable information to those who hear the words, "you have cancer". When I hear this, I quickly offer up a card from ACS with resource phone #'s and offer to talk with these people about any and all services available to them. When a person feels alone and lost, the staff at ACS are there with heartfelt caring and concern. From those on the other end of the 800# to those in my local ACS office, we are fortunate to have these individuals out there. I was an outsider looking in for a long time, until my sister and mom were diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer at the same time. My ACS volunteer knowledge kicked in right away, after the shock had worn off. They both quickly registered and help was on the way! The Look Good Feel Better program was a boost to my sister's self esteem with the beautiful wigs furnished to her. The Road to Recovery program was there for my mom when I had to work and needed that extra hand. Not only the program, but the drivers compassionate nature made the experience better for my mom, and made me feel comforted to know that someone was helping her when I had obligations to fulfill as well. But most of all, the friendship and support that I was given through ACS staff and other volunteers such as myself will be with me forever. My friends, when asked why they continue to Relay or participate in MSABC will always look at me and say, "because she makes me". But they won't ever quit.... they won't ever give up.... I know this because as I look to the heavens and I hear the voices of my mom and sister who lost their battles, I know they are right beside me listening and ready to give more and more every year! This organization has brought so many lives together. When you see the faces of the survivors at the Relay events, you see the thanks in their eyes, the blessings they send out to everyone standing along that track who is clapping as they pass by. When you go to treatment either yourself or with a loved one, you see that smiling face of your "Road" driver, ready to bring you a glass of water or share some funny stories with you as your body fights the battle. When you have victories, such as a shrinking tumor, your ACS staff partners and volunteers will celebrate with you every step of the way. There may be many great cancer supporting organizations out there, but I don't think there are any that can compare to what the American Cancer Society does each year to make things better. We fight for legislation through Advocacy efforts in Washington, DC at Celebration on the Hill; what a wonderful and impressive event! As I attended this, I was even more thankful that I found this organization who does so much! When I traveled locally to Tallahassee to fight for "Pass the Buck", and previously Amendment 6, I was again reminded of the training and support that ACS provides us as volunteers to MAKE THINGS HAPPEN! I could go on, and I will if you let me, but know that this organization is the best there is! Bless all of them for what they have accomplished and I will continue to help support their mission in an effort to rid us all of this disease. Fighting Cancer Together, Pat Holtman
I have been volunteering with the American Cancer Society for about 10 years now. I first started volunteering for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer as part of my High School community service club. Then, in college, I heard about Relay For Life. I began as a participant, then committee member, and then team captain for this wonderful event. My team, consisting of family & friends, has been participating in Relay for 5 years now and we will continue until the word "cancer" no longer has meaning.
I have been involved with the ACS and their signature event for 10 years. As a 2 time Cancer survivor, I have been touched in more ways than one. As a survivor, I have found that there are many resources available to myself and families when they are first diagnosed with cancer as well as continuing forward after remission or cure through the ACS. I have also benefited from being involved and helping others become more aware of what is available to them. As a team captain, I was able to encourage friends and family to become better educated about Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society as well as raising funds to bring awareness to the ACS and cancer research. As a Committee, I have enjoyed being more involved in the process of helping the teams and participants enjoy the Relay for Life, get the most out of the event and learn more about the ACS and it's programs. As a new tri-chair of our local event, the satisfaction will continue with helping others learn what the ACS is all about and what programs they have to offer cancer survivors, caregivers and our general community. Nothing is more touching than being involved with the Relay for Life and sharing the celebration of our cancer survivors during the survivor walk, celebrating with the caregivers and than being moved during the luminary service when you realize how many people and families have been touched somehow by cancer and the American Cancer Society's signature event Relay for Life.
I am a 5-year Breast Cancer survivor. I have been involved with the American Cancer Society as a volunteer for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and also as a team captain and Committee Chair (Survivor Chair) for 5 years. The ACS has been a huge blessing in my life. I benefited first hand from their program "Look Better - Feel Good" when I was going through chemo and losing my hair. This program really helped my self image during this difficult period of time in my life. The American Cancer Society also has various programs to help cancer patients in obtaining rides to their chemo treatments and radiation treatments which is a god send! God Bless the American Cancer Society, its dedicated and hard working staff members and all the volunteers. Together we can fight back and find a cure for cancer!
1-800-227-2345. That is a phone number that is just as important to us as 911. The American Cancer Society. Our lifeline to knowledge and hope. My father and three uncles died of lung cancer. My grandmother had breast cancer. A friend of mine had skin cancer, another friend has lymphoma. I had ovarian and cervical cancer. But no cancer has affected me more than what has attacked my little sister. Brain cancer. My baby sister has been fighting this disease for over 15 years. She lost her job, lost her medical insurance. Lost her ability to financially support herself. Lost her ability to drive, lost her car. Lost her home, lost her freedom, lost a lot of her friends. She had a second surgery in Feb. 2008. After she finally started to wake, she had a lot of difficulty recuperating. There were so many things to take care of. So many decisions to be made. Where do we start? What was going to happen next? Our mother, father and I were at the hospital and were strangers in town. We knew no one. How could we make decisions; we all lived in different states? As a Warren Township Relay for Life participant for the past few years, I knew exactly where to start. We called 1-800-ACS-2345. Carolyn was the friendly voice on the other end of the line. She made us feel welcome; she did not rush us off of the phone. She began by letting us know that we were not alone and that they were there to help us in any way they possibly could. She guaranteed that we would not have to go through any more confusion or apprehension on our own. She began by getting our name and address so that she could send us the information we needed quickly. She then started to help us assess our resources and needs. She went step by step explaining each and every detail of an organization that was referred to us. She gave us phone numbers, addresses, websites, emails, contact names, what they could provide us, hours of operations so that we could make educated decisions on what was needed. Carolyn provided us with information on financial assistance for her rent and the outstanding medical bills that were mounting daily. Carolyn provided information for obtaining medical supplies, support groups, transportation for therapy, volunteer pilots providing transportation to and from Washington, DC at the National Cancer Institute. She provided us with numerous resources starting with long-distance caregivers to a foundation founded for my sister’s specific type of cancer, the National Brain Tumor Foundation. She had information on housing for the family while we stayed in Charlotte, at no cost to us. She gave us information on how to find a case manager to help organize all of her doctor appointments and treatments. How to schedule meals on wheels, pharmacy supplies delivered to your home, visiting nurse, housekeepers, insurance representatives, financial attorney to ward off the bill collectors. How to enlist volunteers to help, pre-plan for schedules and supplies, cooking, cleaning, bathing, communicating with your health care team and even our local bank. So many items that never entered our mind but we DID need. We felt such a relief that we had a game plan and could actually see things falling into place with organizing, thus taking the load off of my sister so that she could focus on herself and getting better. I am happy to say that my sister has moved to an apartment in Tennessee near our mother. She is able to cook simple meals and clean. She still has a small issue with her balance but that is improving. Her great personality is coming back and I so look forward to razzing my little sister again! Her short term memory has its ups and downs but the doctors have given us encouragement. I’m so proud of her and I love her so much! It’s amazing how far she has come in such a short time. So if any volunteer for the Relay for Life or employee of the American Cancer Society questions if they are doing the right thing, you don’t think you can spare the $20 right now to donate, think again. Please reconsider. The lives you change and affect, may be your own. Or maybe someone you will never meet in your lifetime. Either way, by the help you provided either monetarily or volunteer wise to the American Cancer Society, WE now have hope that tomorrow is going to be better than today.