11/07/10 — Local survivors offer helping hand to breast cancer patients

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Local survivors offer helping hand to breast cancer patients

By From staff reports
Published in News on November 7, 2010 1:50 AM

When someone hears those dreaded words, "You have cancer," they may go through a myriad of emotions from feeling overwhelmed, vulnerable and alone, to confused and even numb.

The American Cancer Society can help with the Reach to Recovery program. Through the Reach to Recovery program, specially trained volunteers, who are breast cancer survivors themselves, offer on-one-one comfort and support to newly diagnosed breast cancer patients.

These volunteers offer the patient a way to voice their fears and concerns to someone who has "been there." They offer a source of comfort and an opportunity for emotional grounding and informed decision-making.

"All the volunteers are dedicated and passionate about helping others through their breast cancer journey with hope and courage," said Frances Creech, Wayne County Reach to Recovery coordinator.

The Reach to Recovery program in Wayne County has been active for many years and has helped hundreds of women across the county to cope and get through the emotional effects of the diagnosis.

"American Cancer Society volunteers help patients in ways no one else can" said Christine Yancey, Wayne County American Cancer Society representative.

"They speak volumes to the fact that there is life after cancer and they too will get through the experience."

The patient can also get up-to-date information on treatment options, coping with side effects and more.

Every effort is made to match patients with a volunteer who is similar in age and who has had a similar breast cancer experience.

Newly diagnosed cancer patients are encouraged to take advantage of this free service by calling the local coordinator Frances Creech at 919-778-3335 or contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-ACS-2345.

For more information on volunteering for the Reach to Recovery program, call Christine Yancey at the American Cancer Society at (252) 414-7152 or e-mail christine.yancey@cancer.org.