Regardless of what type of cancer a person has, I’ve found we all really need three similar things. And we don’t just need these things at diagnosis. We need these things long term. Everyone can help even if you don’t know us, if you’re short on money or short on time.
#1. MONEY – most of us can’t afford to have cancer. In many cases, a two income home is unexpectedly reduced to one income and some times to no income because one person has cancer and the other person is the full time caregiver. Even with medical insurance, the average patient pays out over $25,000 a year. Many end up using all their savings, their retirement, and sell a lot of their valuables just to pay the rent and put food on the table much less cover the medical bills that pile up day after day. This isn’t just a one time event either. Stage 2+ cancers typically mean long treatment plans and some have multiple surgeries. That’s not cheap! So if you don’t know what to give someone who’s going through the whole cancer thing, give them cash.
#2. TIME – Many cancer patients on long term treatment plans become isolated. They lose their jobs. Their counts become too low to be in public settings. Their immune systems are weakened, so they often avoid large social gatherings. Because of this that old saying of “out of sight, out of mind” seems to come into play. The cancer patient and even the caregiver often feel left out, alone, and sad. Depression is one of the many side effects of cancer. We still need people in our lives no matter how sick we get or how well you think we are. If it’s the beginning of our journey or the end of our journey, we need people to invest in us. It costs the most expensive thing you can give – your time!
#3. SUPPPORT – One of the biggest ways those of us with cance or those who support us cope with the fallout of cancer is to give back. We want the support of our families, friends, and strangers. We never want anyone to have to suffer as much as we did, or we appreciate what someone did for us that made a huge difference in our own journey that we want to pass it on. Many of us start nonprofits, foundations, or memorials. Some of us volunteer, fundraise, and support other causes that benefit others. We know it’s hard for others to understand our passion sometimes, but trust me when I tell you that we really just wish we could ensure no one else ever had to live through what we did. So we give back and we simply ask you to do the same.