Saturday, October 11, 2014

Reach to Recovery--Volunteer Survivors Reaching Out

C. Coimbra photo

An 84-year-old breast cancer survivor, and a Florida County Elections coordinator, wrote: 

I'm a breast cancer survivor, and I help women who've had surgery for breast cancer. I've volunteered for the Reach to Recovery program for twenty-two years.

Reach to Recovery works because all the volunteers helping women through the trauma of breast cancer and surgery have been there themselves. Seeing the volunteers, women know they can beat this. It's critical that women see a survivor. A patient's eyes light up when I say it's been twenty-nine years since I had my operation.

The Reach to Recovery program was founded in 1952 by Therese Lasa, a breast cancer survivor. Like others before her, she had no one to turn to during that ordeal. The American Cancer Society adopted the program the same year I had my surgery, in 1969. I read about the program in the New York Post and asked my doctor. "Shouldn't I have one of these visitors?" The doctor said, "What do you need them for?" That feeling of being alone I will never forget. I felt hopeless.

I guarantee anyone who volunteers will feel better emotionally, physically, and psychologically. I don't care who you are or what you do. The people I know who volunteer have smiles on their faces. The hours they give are worth more to them than any money they could ever receive.

No comments:

Post a Comment