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PERRY COUNTY – It’s time to fight back against cancer and offer help to patients in Perry County who are battling the disease. The American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Perry County will take place June 8-9 starting at 2 p.m. at Perry Central High School.
“While many people are familiar with the research efforts of the American Cancer Society, few are aware of the full scope of free services available to cancer patients and their loved ones thanks to the fundraising efforts of those who participate in Relay For Life,” said Teri James, ACS staff partner. “These services can be obtained through one easy call to the American Cancer Society at (800) 227-2345.”
According to James, when an individual calls the American Cancer Society they will be connected to a live cancer information specialist. These specialists, who staff the phone lines 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year are specially trained to listen to and identify the needs of cancer patients and their caregivers, then match them with services or resources to meet their needs.
“Our specialists really listen to where the patient is in their cancer journey,” James said. “Did they just get diagnosed and need educational materials? Are they in the middle of treatment and looking for a ride to their appointments? We make sure to manage all requests through to completion. No one will be left to navigate a cancer experience alone when they reach out to us.”
One of the more popular services is the personal health manager kit. This free toolkit is designed to help patients organize all the paperwork and information they acquire as they go through treatment. The American Cancer Society also offers many additional educational opportunities like the “I Can Cope” series. The educational series, held both in-person and online 24 hours a day, seven days a week, covers topics as varied as pain management, finance, health insurance and stress relief.
“Road to Recovery” is also an in-demand service that can be obtained with one easy phone call to (800) 227-2345. This program provides free transportation for a patient to and from cancer-related appointments. The American Cancer Society offers this free transportation program because many cancer patients, for all kinds of reasons, aren’t able to find consistent or dependable transportation to their appointments, keeping them from getting the life-saving treatment they need.
“Some patients don’t have a car, can’t afford the gas, or have friends and family that live far away and can’t help out,” James said. “Road to Recovery matches each patient with a volunteer driver in their area who comes to their house, takes them to their appointments, and gets them back safely. It’s convenient and totally free.”
“Look Good … Feel Better,” one of the American Cancer Society’s more popular programs among women, allows female cancer patients to connect through appearance tools and tips – not to mention a healthy dose of pampering. This program is offered as a collaboration between the American Cancer Society, Personal Care Products Council Foundation and the Professional Beauty Association National Cosmetology Association.
“Women who battle with cancer fight more than just the disease,” James said. “Many women feel a loss of identity from the side effects of cancer treatments, such as hair loss or skin issues. “Look Good … Feel Better” gives women a chance to feel like themselves again and enjoy camaraderie with other women who are facing the same issues.”
“Look Good … Feel Better” is run by volunteer facilitators who are licensed cosmetologists familiar with the appearance-related issues a female cancer patient may face. In each session, these cosmetologists provide women with hair, makeup and skin-care tips, including showing options for dealing with hair loss, such as how to wrap a bandana or scarf, wear a wig, or use accessories to manage their side effects such as hair loss or thinning.
Each woman leaves the session with a free goodie bag of makeup, donated by major manufacturers, to help maintain her new look.
“We have more than 70,000 resources available for patients whatever their needs might be, no matter how big or small, we always try to help,” James said. “Even if a person is just lonely or scared and needs to talk, we’re here. We are dedicated to serving the needs of cancer patients. Our entire structure revolves around helping them get well.”
For more information about the many free American Cancer Society patient programs and services that Relay For Life helps support, or to learn how you can become involved in Relay For Life, call (800) 227-2345 or visit RelayForLife.org.
To register for the Relay For Life of Perry County, visit www.relayforlife.org/perrycountyin.