Cancer Society recognizes volunteers for their efforts
By Becky Barclay
Published in News on November 14, 2007 1:51 PM
Local volunteers were honored for their service to Wayne County's cancer patients at a banquet Tuesday at New Hope Friends Church.
Holding the recognition ceremony was the Wayne County Unit of the American Cancer Society.
Rose Whitfield received a plaque for her 24 years of dedication to the Reach to Recovery Program. "I have always been one to help somebody else," Mrs. Whitfield said upon accepting the award.
"I like working one-on-one with people and love helping others."
Frances Creech was presented a plaque for her "dedication in the fight against cancer." She, too, is a volunteer with the Reach to Recovery Program.
Other volunteers with this program, who received certificates, were Evelyn Crawford, Shanon Foy, Dora Vick, Diane Weeks, Kim Goff, Barbara Greene, Jenny Herring, Kathy Hughes, Vandana Lewis, Rosa Tourner and Kay Casey.
Reach to Recovery volunteers, who are cancer survivors themselves, give one-on-one help to women with breast cancer. They visit the women, giving them information and support. They also give each patient a Reach Kit, which contains pamphlets and other items.
Awards were also given to Road to Recovery volunteers. This program helps cancer patients with transportation to and from treatments. Volunteers use their own car and gas and donate their time.
Margie Jackson received a plaque for volunteering with the program since 1991. She has kept up with her mileage transporting cancer patients since 1999, amassing more than 3,000 miles.
Presenting the plaque, Helen Harwood, cancer advocate, said of Mrs. Jackson, "She has taken many patients back and forth to treatment. These are people who are by themselves who don't have somebody to help. And others who have somebody, but who have no money for transportation.
"Margie is long overdue for this plaque. Sometimes we'll call her at the last minute to provide transportation to a cancer patient and she does. She is faithful and dedicated and at one time, she was the only Road to Recovery volunteer we had."
Also receiving a plaque was Helen Westbrook. Mrs. Harwood noted that one cancer patient had to be taken to radiation therapy treatments twice a day for seven weeks and Mrs. Westbrook willingly provided transportation.
Other Road to Recovery volunteers receiving certificates were Peggy Kearney, Janice Basden, JoAnn Marriner, Lib Brannon, Tanya Blount, Cliff Harwood and Marie Suggs.
Carolyn Westbrook received a plaque for volunteering with the Look Good Feel Better program, providing makeovers to women going through cancer treatment. She herself is a cancer survivor.
"When I had cancer, the worst thing about it was losing my hair," she said. "When it started coming out, I pulled it all out at one time because I didn't think I could handle it falling out.
"I wanted to ease the burden of that for someone else. Some of the cancer patients I've helped could hardly hold their head up, but they wanted to look good and feel better about themselves."
Mrs. Westbrook is a licensed beautician who now coordinates the Look Good Feel Better program.
Wayne County Unit president Debbie Pennell praised the volunteers at the awards banquet saying, "We are here to honor you, volunteers with the American Cancer Society, for all the work you've put in through the years."
Attending the ceremony was Shelley Thomas, mission delivery manager from Wilmington. She thanked the volunteers for giving of themselves and their time.
"We hope to make Wayne County know about the American Cancer Society programs here and the volunteers who do it," she said. "The American Cancer Society was founded by a group of volunteers. Volunteers are the heart of the organization and we couldn't do anything without you."
Concluding the ceremony, Ms. Pennell challenged the volunteers attending to recruit one more volunteer next year.
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