Recently I’ve had the opportunity to volunteer at Relay For Life—a fundraising walk held nationally by the ASC. Here survivors are celebrated, those who lost the battle are remembered, and a community is brought together to further advance cancer research and one day eliminate the war entirely. Being in such a positive environment with people voluntarily raising awareness about an ever-pressing issue helped me to realize how much more recognition this organization deserves for all it does.
Founded in 1913 with it’s headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, the American Cancer Society became a voluntary organization devoted to helping those who face cancer, educating the public about prevention, that also offers ways for families to pay homage to members lost to cancer. Still highly functioning today, they are an inclusive agency working diligently to accomplish their goal.
For those presently affected by cancer, the ASC offers Treatment & Support, which assists in thorough education about one’s diagnosis and treatment options, finding the right healthcare plan, advising families and caregivers, and more. Their hands-on support services are available nationwide and include rides to treatment, lodging facilities, and recovery meetings with survivors who have volunteered. In memoriam to those who have lost their lives at the hands of cancer, there are options to donate a gift that will fund research. At their hosted public events, survivors are honored and luminarias (paper lanterns) can be dedicated to loved ones.
And as if they weren’t already a stellar organization to easily stand behind, they have recently refused to hold a fundraising event at the Mar-a-lago resort, owned by Donald Trump.
“Our values and commitment to diversity are critical as we work to address the impact of cancer in every community.” said spokeswoman Miriam Falco, “It has become increasingly clear that the challenge to those values is outweighing other business considerations.”
As the upcoming breast cancer awareness month (October), is nearing, the American Cancer Society’s website is a great place to further educate yourself about the effects of cancer and how to prevent it. Or even offer help to anyone in your life who is fighting a cancerous battle. The number of people in the U.S. living with cancer was reported to be over 14.5 million in 2014, and is expected to rise. It wasn’t until two of my family members were diagnosed did I develop the urge to really educate myself about prevention and those affected, but hopefully the diagnosis of someone you know won’t have be the primary motive for you to be aware.