Breast cancer survivors sought to help others


The American Cancer Society Hawaii Island Field Office is recruiting new volunteers for its Reach to Recovery volunteer program. The volunteers are breast cancer survivors who are more than one year past the last date of treatment, who are willing to be that hand to hold, that voice to uplift and the comfort of knowing someone cares.

“Help create a world with more birthdays. Consider becoming a Reach to Recovery volunteer and help other women through their journey,” said breast cancer survivor Ginny Bush, who coordinates the Hawaii Island Volunteer Program.

The next training session will be April 13 at the American Cancer Society office from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Call 935-0025 for more information.

Imagine sitting in the doctor’s office waiting for your mammogram results, hoping that everything is clear. Somehow, in the back of your mind there is that little piece of doubt. The doctor enters the room, sits in the chair across from you and states: “We’ve found a suspicious lump on your breast and will need to schedule a biopsy.”

In a week or two you are back again in the doctor’s office, but this time the physician says “You have breast cancer.” A hundred thoughts race through your head: What do I do? How do I tell my husband? My kids? What does my future hold for me? Do I even have a future?

At the American Cancer Society, Reach To Recovery volunteers offer one-to-one peer support to help guide newly diagnosed breast cancer patients through their journey. Each of these giving volunteers have been on that roller coaster ride of physical, emotional and financial challenges. They’ve survived and are willing and able to help others through their journeys.

“Helping another woman on her breast cancer journey is a great thing and makes me feel wonderful,” Bush said. “I strongly encourage other survivors to volunteer today and help be that one voice that makes a difference in the life of another. With all our voices blending together we can stand strong and survive.

“Cancer can be a very isolating disease. Having someone to talk to who has been through a cancer diagnosis and understands the difficulties that come with it makes the journey a little more bearable,” Bush said.

“To have someone who is willing to share their experiences and let others know that they are not alone can be life-saving.”

 

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