Meaningful, impactful ideas to help show support for breast cancer patients and survivors this October.
What is Breast Cancer Awareness Month? Breast Cancer Awareness Month, also known as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the United States, is a month long event held each October. It began in 1985 as a result of a partnership between the American Cancer Society and the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries. The original goal of the event was to promote mammograms and raise awareness around breast cancer prevention.
Today, Breast Cancer Awareness Month has become so much more. It’s an annual event providing the opportunity to not only raise awareness about prevention and early detection, but also give hope and encouragement to those whose lives have been affected by breast cancer.
We’ve put together a list of ten things you can do to show your support for breast cancer patients and survivors this October and all year long.
1. Offer Your Services to a Breast Cancer Organization or Support Group
While not all of us can participate in The National Race for the Cure or Susan G. Komen 3 Day, we can provide support and encouragement to the people whose lives have been changed by breast cancer by giving our time and talents as a volunteer.
Most breast cancer organizations and support groups rely heavily on volunteers. These organizations are always in need of volunteers that have a variety of abilities. Make a list of your skills then start making phone calls to local organizations to let them know how you can help.
2. Donate Items for Breast Cancer Patients Undergoing Treatment
Cancer treatment centers are always in need of books, magazines, scarves, hats, and blankets for patients at their facilities. A simple Google search can provide you with a list of chemo centers in your area. After you’ve identified the cancer treatment centers near you, call a few of the organizations on your list and ask them what types of items they need most.
3. Help Someone Who Has Breast Cancer Complete Daily Tasks
Breast cancer patients can use more than just support and awareness. Most patients in treatment or recovery need help with simple, everyday tasks. Help out a family member, friend or co-worker by doing daily tasks such as lawn mowing, household cleaning, preparing meals, running errands or walking the dog.
4. Write Cards or Letters of Encouragement and Support for Breast Cancer Patients
Small gestures mean so much to people who are currently facing a breast cancer diagnosis. Dropping off these notes of support and encouragement at chemo centers or hospital cancer wards can have a big impact on these brave individuals who are facing the fight of their lives.
5. Lead a Breast Cancer Awareness Discussion or Host an Educational Session with a Breast Cancer Survivor
You may not be a medical expert or be a breast cancer survivor, but chances are you know someone who is. During the month of October, organize a lunch time discussion at work or a group meeting at your local church or community center. Invite someone to share their breast cancer story or contact a local breast cancer organization and ask if they know of someone on staff who would be willing to come to share their expertise.
6. Send a Letter or Call Members of Congress to Encourage More Support for Breast Cancer Research
You voice matters and it’s important for you to share it. Every letter and phone call makes a difference. Take a few minutes out of your day to contact your local members of congress to let them know how vital government funding and support is to finding a cure and spreading breast cancer awareness.
You can also show your support by signing a petition on The Breast Cancer Site.
7. Make a One-Time or Recurring Donation for Breast Cancer Research
While many people’s lives have been saved through awareness and early detection, we’re still a long way from finding a cure. In addition, there haven’t been many major advancements in breast cancer treatments in recent years. Your financial contribution can help provide funds for improving treatment methods and finding a cure.
Before making your donation, take some time to search for organizations where funds are directed toward finding a cure or provide support for individuals who are unable to afford medical care.
If you aren’t able to make a financial contribution, you can still make a difference by participating in the Click-To-Give program on The Breast Cancer Site.
8. Become a Volunteer Driver for Breast Cancer Patients or Donate Uber Gift Cards to Chemo Centers
The American Cancer Society and many other organizations who support those going through breast cancer, need volunteers with reliable vehicles and current, valid driver’s licenses to drive patients to and from chemotherapy or radiation sessions and doctor appointments.
If you can’t drive patients yourself, you can still help by purchasing and donating gift cards for rides through Uber or Lyft. You can drop off your donations at local chemo centers, hospitals or breast cancer organizations.
9. Purchase a Gift Certificate for a Prepared Meal Delivery Service
Proper nutrition can make a big difference during breast cancer treatment. A well-balanced diet is vital in helping the body to heal and recover during chemotherapy, radiation therapy or other cancer treatments.
Freshly, Daily Harvest, and FreshDirect are just a few of the companies that deliver nutritious, healthy meals straight to your doorstep. But, did you know there is a meal delivery service specifically for cancer patients?
SavorHealth is a company that provides personalized fresh, home-delivered meals designed by its team of Registered Nutritionists that are certified in Oncology Nutrition. You can purchase a pre-paid meal plan or gift certificate through its website. And, the meals are not just delicious and nutritious, they’re easy to prepare and ready in minutes. Just heat and eat!
10. Be There for a Breast Cancer Patient
If you know someone who has been diagnosed with or is undergoing treatment for breast cancer, they may just need someone to be there to listen. While we may see these people as heroes and warriors, they don’t always feel that way. You can be supportive by just being there and being willing to listen to them when they need a friend or being a supportive hand to hold.
No one goes through breast cancer alone. Whether you choose to to act in big or small ways, everything you do makes a difference. Your encouragement and support means so much to a loved one, friend, neighbor or co-worker who is taking on the fight of their life.