Homer Alaska - Letters

Story last updated at 10:54 PM on Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Help for those with breast cancer

This year more than 400 women in our state will sit across from their oncologist and hear the words: "You have breast cancer." It will be a moment where their lives will go from the usual daily concerns of home and career to the very real fears of a possible surgery, what treatments are available, how it will affect their family and marriage, and finally, how will they ever meet the growing mountain of bills that will surely follow?

That is why the American Cancer Society has developed its Reach to Recovery program. Reach to Recovery is a free program where volunteer breast cancer survivors provide one-on-one support, inspiration and information to assist women who are newly diagnosed with the disease. As breast cancer survivors themselves, the volunteers know exactly what the women are feeling as they meet with them in person or over the phone; after all, they have already heard their own diagnosis and have walked a mile in their shoes.

A diagnosis of breast cancer is a frightening ordeal, but you don't have to go through it alone. For those women in our community who are newly diagnosed and are looking for someone to talk to, I strongly encourage all of you to call the American Cancer Society to learn more about our Reach to Recovery program and schedule a low-key, confidential meeting with one of our caring and compassionate volunteers. If you are a breast cancer survivor and would like to be a role model during the journey of other people with breast cancer, please call (907) 276-8610.

Mary Whalen

Quality of Life Manager

American Cancer Society