I have been a volunteer for the American Cancer Society for 8 years. It is great to be part of such an amazing organization that values lives and is working for a better tomorrow.
I was involved with the Relay For Life for 6 years before my 13 year old daughter was diagnosed with cancer in 2004. While she was in treatment I kept a website to keep people informed. Here is an entry from 2004: Tuesday, September 28, 2004 9:30 AM CDT Sat. Sept. 25: Nausea's ugly brother, mouth sores, appeared in the middle of the night. She was in crying, screaming pain. It was awful. Thank the Lord for continuous drip pain medication. It almost helps relieve the pain. It won't help with the open sores. Mostly the pain med and the anitmedics help her sleep and then she's not crying in pain. She can't talk, open her mouth more than a slit or even swallow her own spit. It hurts her to cry. I hate the mouth sores more than the nausea. Let me explain the mouth sore thing. The chemo drugs kill the fast growing cancer cells, but since they can't distinguish between the bad (cancer) and good fast growing cells they kill them all. That's why their hair falls out too. The cells inside your mouth, throat, and gut area are all fast growing. Three of her chemo drugs cause mouth sores plus in the doses she's getting it was pretty much a sure thing. There isn't much they can do. She swabs her mouth with a gel to try to prevent the sores from getting infected and swishes a mouthwash with Benadryl and Lidocane. She hates it and it hurts, but she's a good patient and she does what she's supposed to do. She just keeps on enduring. I'm going to hop up on my soapbox: Having helped with the Relay For Life and the American Cancer Society I thought the research had come a long way (and it has) and bragged about how much better treatments are today (and they are). But, I am now the mother of a 13 year old cancer patient and I've changed my goal: Cancer just needs to be eliminated! There is never a good age to get cancer and as I found out (I thought I already knew, but I didn't really) cancer can happen to anyone at any age. We need to keep funding the research until they can determine who has cells that are going to mutate into cancer and provide a way to prevent it. I am so grateful they know how to cure Hannah's cancer, but the process is beyond what I ever imagined. I am now 100% behind the ACS goal to eradicate cancer. Just wait until the Relay For Life comes around again. You'll be hearing from me. Okay, I'm off my soapbox. Thanks for listening. She endured 7 more months of chemo only to have her cancer return 2 months later. There was no proven treatment available and she had a less than 20% chance of survival so she was enrolled in a clinical trial for the drug Rituxan. This is one of the drugs that helped save her life! It kept her cancer at bay during an infection when she couldn't receive traditional chemo. This drug was funded by the Relay For Life! Relay For Life really does save live! I know because my daughter is alive to tell her story.
American Cancer Society Relay for Life is a great way to fight back against cancer and remember the people it takes away from us. My grandpa died when I was only 2, but I still have memories of him, and always wished that I would have had more memories of my grandpa. Through Relay for Life, I have been able to relive those memories, and help fund research that could possibly prevent my loved ones to lose the fight against cancer as my grandpa did. Getting involved as a high school student has been life changing. I want to continue to fight back against this terrible disease. American Cancer Society makes that possible!
As a mom, who lost her eldest son Douglas, at age 17 to Ewing's Sarcoma, I needed a place to work through my grief. I found it with the American Cancer Society (ACS). My first ACS experience was as a volunteer leader with the Relay For Life in my community. This opportunity led to volunteer leadership at the New England level, an opportunity to exercise my teacher training skills when I joined the National Training Team. As a member of this team, I have traveled to Dublin, Ireland and many places in the U.S. to share information on how to make Relay For Life more successful and how we ALL can make a difference in the Fight against cancer. I'm also a member of the Connecticut Advocacy team, traveling to meet with legislators in Washington, D.C. and my state capitol in Hartford, CT. I am now a mentor to local Relays. I focus on being sure that people know that through their participation with the Relay For Life, that they are a valued member of the American Cancer Society -- and that they are helping people they may never meet to get well, stay well, find cures and fight back!!! There aren't many organizations that you can be a part of that have this level of impact!! I Relay for Douglas and the many others I have met in my journey in fighting back against Cancer.
I have been an American Cancer Society Volunteer for 13 years. It is an organization that truly values its volunteers. ACS gives us the information and skills that we need to fight this deadly disease. They honor us and support us.
The first time I saw all of those survivors on the track I wept. What an awe inspiring time I had that night as I walked around the track for the first time as a survivor. Each year the sea of purple grows and grows because of the research and programs that this great organization provides!!!
Cancer affects everybody. The American Cancer Society not only communicates this message in their education and advocacy efforts, but also illustrates this message through their diversity of volunteers and their diversity of volunteer positions. I have worked with high school students, business professionals, and retirees that have all come together in solidarity to fight against cancer and are equally as passionate about the cause. There is a range of ways to get involved in terms of time commitment and variation of activities such as setting up for events, writing thank you cards, driving cancer patients to treatments, or training new volunteers about the American Cancer Society's mission.
Great time for a great cause. When else could we camp out overnight in beautiful downtown Plymouth? Ir really was a fun time as well as constructive.
The American Cancer Society helps in so many ways. Of course the research end is so important, but ACS goes way beyond that. It provides a 24-hour helpline, where anyone can call with any question or concern. I am involved in the Relay for Life. Our mission is to bring awareness to the community. On a personal note, I believe that the 20 years between my father's lung cancer diagnosis and my mother's lung cancer diagnosis made all the difference. In those 20 years so much progress was made that my mother is a 9-year survivor. In fact, she has survived breast and lung cancer. My review is an attempt to assure that the American Cancer Society gets the recognition it deserves for all that it does.
I feel the American Cancer Society should receive all awards possilby given for being the philanthropists of fighting cancer, cancer research and all things related to end this horrible disease.