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American Cancer Society challenges and consistencies

Jennifer Evans
Redwood Falls Gazette

The American Cancer Society (ACS) has seen a new challenge this year, as have so many organizations.

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only changed how we do our fundraising events, but it has had a huge impact on cancer patients as well.

Many people who put off their annual screenings due to fears of being exposed to the coronavirus. This could mean a missed or late diagnosis.

We are working to address the needs of cancer patients during this difficult time, and we are researching ways to understand its continued impact in the future.

One thing has stayed the same.

The American Cancer Society is available to help 24/7. Simply call 1-800-227-2345 day or night for the most trusted cancer information for you and your loved ones.

In addition to the toll-free number, there are virtual support options that help cancer patients and their family through diagnosis, treatment and survivorship.

You can connect with trained, caring helpline staff in several ways, including video chat. During a video chat, you can ask questions and get accurate, up-to-date cancer information to help you make informed health decisions. To schedule a video chat, visit cancer.org/videochat.

Our Cancer Survivors Network (CSN) is a safe, online community where survivors and caregivers share their stories, ask questions and get support from each other. With a chatroom and more than 40 discussion boards, CSN allows you to connect with others who have a similar cancer experience.

CSN members can also send private messages to other members, build their own support network, post blogs and more. To register for a free CSN account, visit csn.cancer.org.

The American Cancer Society’s “tlc” Tender Loving Care program helps women with appearance-related side effects by offering a variety of affordable wigs, hats and scarves as well as a full range of mastectomy products. You can purchase hair-loss and mastectomy products from the privacy of your own home by visiting tlcdirect.org.

For more than 35 years, Relay For Life participants and volunteers across the world have come together to honor and remember loved ones and take action for life-saving change, however, COVID-19 forced the postponement of fund-raising activities this past year.

Fundraising for the American Cancer Society is more important than ever, and we can’t allow progress to be put on hold because of the pandemic this past year.

Cancer won’t stop, and neither can we.

Whether we come together in person or virtually for our events, we need to rally together in the fight against cancer and make a difference.

We envision a future where we no longer live with the threat of cancer.

Unfortunately, that future is at risk and there is a mission urgency.

Funds raised help the American Cancer Society conduct breakthrough research, provide 24/7 support for cancer patients and access to lifesaving screenings.

If you weren’t able to donate this year, and are able, you can still help save lives by making a donation. You can find us at RelayForLife.org/RedwoodCountyMN and click the donate button.

We hope to see you at next year’s event. Our plan is to hold our 2021 event July 30 at Gilfillan Estates.

Think about how you can get involved. We need you now more than ever.

Stay safe and well, everyone.

– Jennifer Evans serves as a senior community development manager for the American Cancer Society, Inc.