I first became involved with Breast Cancer Options five years ago as a volunteer and am now currently serving on their board. The organization has experienced cuts in funding this year and is struggling but continues to provide the services it has in the past. We sponsor a camp in the summer for children whose parent has breast cancer; acupuncture treatments; peer support groups; advocacy and information about breast cancer and treatment. The organization serves Ulster, Columbia, Orange, Dutchess and Green counties in New York State.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002 and at that time, I was unaware of Breast Cancer Options. When I did learn of BCO, I wanted to give back and so I became a volunteer. Based on all I know about the organization now, I wish I had been aware of their services. I certainly could have used the advice and support the organization provides to the community and individual people. Even after diagnosis and treatment, I have received invaluable advice from Hope Nimeroff which has included doctor referrals, lastest treatment trends and other complimentary treatments. This organization is such an asset to the resident's of our area.
When I heard my diagnosis, I wanted information on everything what was available in both mainstream and complementary medicine. The Internet was loaded with questionable material. I got to Breast Cancer Options through a book. The founder, Hope Nemiroff, immediately took my call. I liked that I could discuss options that had been carefully researched. A lot of women don't know that this is a strictly local organization, providing services in the Hudson River Valley exclusively--that's an important distinction. There are publications available, organized seminars, a yearly conference--even a camp--Camp Lightheart-- providing respite for patients and a fun-filled vacation for kids affected by the disease. Comprehensive information that's reliable and current here at home makes Breast Cancer Options an excellent starting point on the journey to recovery.
Breast Cancer Options provides free support groups for women with breast cancer facilitated by knowlegable and caring women. I gave a talk on nutrition at one of the support groups and helped several women understand some serious health problems they had been experiencing since their chemotherapy. They had nowhere else to go to ask the questions and find the answers they needed. These support groups and the free breast cancer forums that Breast Cancer Options provides fill a huge gap in services and in information for women with breast cancer and their families. This free service is empowering hundreds of women in the area to take charge of their health and their recovery.