A dear friend of mine was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Luckily it was caught early enough, but she will still have to go through a long, drawn-out process of chemotherapy and radiation.
I began to research how she could receive help during this difficult time in dealing with her cancer diagnosis. Breast cancer runs in my family, so this information won't only help her, but might be something I need for future reference. I discovered some resources that the American Cancer society offers that people might not be aware of.
1) Cancer Survivors Network. The American Cancer Society runs this program. Basically it is an internet social and help network for cancer survivors and their families. Through this network, you can connect with others that might be experiencing the same thing you are. (www.cancer.org)
2) Buddy Check Twelve. This is a unique program only in the north Florida and south Georgia area. The program was started by local WTLV Channel 12, to serve as a monthly buddy check cancer screening program. Jenny Blaylock, a local TV journalist and announcer was the originator of the program along with the news station. Since the inception of the program, it has expanded to serve as a social and financial network for others either presently dealing with breast cancer, those who are survivors, or family members. The program has recently expanded to other cities, using Buddy Check Twelve as a model.(Experience)
3) The Women's Center at Baptist Hospital in Jacksonville. I discovered that the Women's Center at Baptist Hospital , which is a center dedicated to women's health in North Florida and South Georgia, runs their own cancer outreach program. I advised my friend to transfer her health care there, as her present hospital doesn't offer such a program. One program they offer is called Bosom Buddies. They have support meetings, give workshops to help women to learn how to advocate for themselves, and have even held fund-raisers such as art shows. (ww.womenscenterofjax.org/services/community-education.asp)
4) Through Buddy Check Twelve another program sprang up. Jeannie Blaylock's fellow anchor, Donna Hicken now Donna Deagan, developed breast cancer. She kept the name of her organization, even after her remarriage to fellow anchor, weatherman Tim Deagan. She works directly in connection with Baptist's Women's Center and Bosom Buddies to raise money via her yearly marathon. Her organization networked with local Catholic Charities to help out with financial needs to those with breast cancer. Catholic Charities screens each prospective recipient based on their needs at the time. Some of the money that Catholic Charities receives to help women with breast cancer comes directly from the Donna Hicken foundation.
My friend felt a lot better after I had researched what was out there in the Jacksonville area for a women dealing with the diagnosis of breast cancer. It is a trying time, and knowing that you have help, both emotional, spiritually, and financially, can go a long way to helping the person to make to through the experience. My hat is off to all the agencies and individuals who help women who have breast cancer.