It’s no secret that fighting against cancer involves numerous struggles. Those struggles can continue even after a person survives cancer. It’s important to know that friends and family members of cancer patients and survivors are supporting them to make life easier.
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One way to do so is to let them know about free stuff for cancer patients and survivors. Whether you’re looking for free gifts for cancer patients, or you want to help someone with cancer access a valuable service at no cost, you’ll find there are many organizations that serve this purpose.
The following are just a few examples worth learning about. Keep them in mind if you’re seeking out free stuff for cancer patients.
Freebies and Discounts for Cancer Patients
It’s important that cancer patients focus on their health as much as possible while undergoing treatment, instead of letting other responsibilities drain their energy. Doing so is much easier with these free services:
1. Mercy Medical Angels: Free transportation
A lot of free stuff for cancer patients is actually available to patients with a range of other serious illnesses.
For example, the team at Mercy Medical Angels understands that getting treatment for a serious medical condition can often require a substantial amount of travel. They help by offering cancer patients and others like them free transportation when a patient needs to travel to receive medical care.
They do so in a variety of ways. Patients who need to drive long distances to get treatment can qualify for free gas cards or bus fare. Those traveling by train may be eligible for free train tickets. Thanks to volunteer pilots, patients can also travel by air for free.
Those interested in providing free stuff for cancer patients can also get involved, for instance, by donating unused frequent flier miles or volunteering.
2. American Cancer Society: Free lodging
Travel costs aren’t the only expenses a cancer patient may incur when getting treatment. Those undergoing outpatient treatment will typically also need to pay for lodging.
Luckily, the American Cancer Society coordinates with hotels throughout the country, helping such cancer patients find free or discounted lodging options. They offer these services to patients of all ages, as well as patients with children who may accompany them.
3. Cleaning for a Reason: Free cleaning services
A clean home can have a dramatic impact on the mood and wellness of anyone. When someone is struggling with cancer, even seemingly small pleasures like this can help make their day-to-day life just a little bit easier.
Unfortunately, keeping a home clean can also be difficult when you’re a cancer patient. Treatments can weaken a patient physically, to the point that cleaning is too demanding a task. Additionally, because cancer treatment can be expensive, many cancer patients can’t afford to hire a cleaning service.
That was the case for one cancer patient who reached out to Debbie Sardone, owner of Buckets & Bows Maid Service. She’d called Sardone asking about the cost of her services. When Sardone provided a quote, the caller said she wouldn’t be able to afford her services due to the cost of her cancer treatment, then quickly hung up.
Sardone’s mother had survived cancer. She realized she had the opportunity to help people like her mother and the woman who had recently called her. After sharing her story with other cleaning companies at a major trade show, she started coordinating with others to establish Cleaning for a Reason.
Cleaning for a Reason serves cancer patients throughout the U.S. and Canada. It helps patients find cleaning companies in their area that will offer their services for free. The organization now has more than 1,200 partners, allowing it to serve a large number of cancer patients.
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4. Imerman Angels: Free one-on-one support
It’s important that cancer patients receive support from loved ones and doctors. However, while these people may be able to offer sympathy, they might not be able to offer true empathy. This is simply because if they’ve never had cancer they can’t genuinely know what a cancer patient is going through.
That’s what makes the service Imerman Angels provides so valuable. Imerman Angels provides cancer patients with free one-on-one support from someone who has already been in their position. This gives them a chance to discuss their feelings with someone who can actually understand what they’re going through. Like reading terminal cancer blogs or reading cancer books, discussing one’s feelings with the right person can be very helpful for a cancer patient.
It’s also worth noting that the support Imerman Angels provides doesn’t necessarily end once a patient beats cancer. They may also continue to take advantage of this free service as a cancer survivor.
Imerman Angels offers this free service to people of any age and gender. They carefully work to match cancer patients and survivors with the ideal individual for their personal needs and circumstances.
Freebies and Discounts for Those in Remission
Again, the challenges cancer patients face don’t entirely go away once they’re cancer-free. Recovery is often a very long road. These organizations make that journey a little easier:
5. Livestrong at the YMCA: Free physical training for cancer survivors
You may know about Livestrong due to its association with Lance Armstrong, one of the world’s most famous cancer survivors. Although the controversy surrounding Armstrong’s use of performance-enhancing substances forced him to step down from the organization’s board in 2012, he still helped build something that provides valuable services to many.
One way they do so is through the Livestrong at the YMCA program. As the organization surveyed and spoke with numerous cancer survivors, it became clear that rebuilding strength and returning to physical activity is one of the most challenging experiences many face after surviving cancer.
Livestrong at the YMCA strives to address this by connecting cancer survivors with personal trainers. They develop exercise programs designed for the specific needs of a given survivor. Cancer survivors can work with their trainers for 12 weeks for either no cost or a discounted rate. This training can quite literally help survivors get back on their feet after one of life’s most draining experiences.
Research indicates the program is also yielding measurable benefits for cancer survivors. For example, through surveys, those involved in the program have learned that participants end up less likely to experience fatigue and other lingering symptoms that often strike those recovering from cancer.
6. Cancer and Careers: Free employment help
Returning to a “normal” lifestyle is one of the most important goals for many cancer survivors. If a survivor’s cancer prevented them from working while they were undergoing treatment, returning to normal can partially involve finding a rewarding job.
This can naturally be challenging. When you’ve been out of the workforce for some time, you may struggle to find a way back in.
Cancer and Careers offers help in these circumstances. They provide cancer survivors (as well as patients) with free resume feedback from qualified professionals, giving them advice about steps they can take to boost their odds of finding employment. They also offer such free resources as a job search toolkit, which cancer survivors and patients can download via their website.
7. Chemocessories: Free scarves, turbans, jewelry
Something that may help a breast cancer survivor feel beautiful after undergoing chemotherapy is often one of the best cancer survivor gifts you can give. Iris Lee Knell, who survived breast cancer after a 2009 diagnosis, understands this.
That’s why she started Chemocessories. This organization provides breast cancer survivors with free scarves, turbans, jewelry, and other items that can help them feel better about their appearance as they recover. Like many of the other organizations on this list, Chemocessories serves both breast cancer patients and survivors.
8. First Descents: Outdoor adventures for youth
It’s important that young cancer patients and survivors not feel as though their diagnosis defines them. One way to ensure that doesn’t happen is to focus on developing strength and skills through outdoor adventures.
That’s the idea behind First Descents. Serving both young cancer patients and young cancer survivors, this organization provides them with access to free outdoor recreational programs that involve paddling, climbing, and surfing to ultimately help them define their own identities.
The physical nature of these adventures can also provide young cancer survivors with many of the same benefits of the Livestrong at the YMCA program. By exercising in the form of fun outdoor activities, they may develop the strength necessary to recover more quickly than they otherwise would. They can also connect with other young people who’ve shared experiences like theirs, which is often very helpful at times when they may still need some support from understanding friends.
- “About Chemocessories.” Chemocessories, chemocessories.org/about-us/
- Imerman Angels, imermanangels.org/
- Livestrong at the YMCA, www.livestrong.org/what-we-do/program/livestrong-at-the-ymca
- “Our Hotel Partners Program.” American Cancer Society, Inc., www.cancer.org/treatment/support-programs-and-services/patient-lodging/hotel-partners.html
- “Our Story.” Cleaning for a Reason, cleaningforareason.org/about/our-story
- “Resume Review.” Cancer and Careers, www.cancerandcareers.org/resume_reviews/new
- “What We Do.” Mercy Medical Angels, www.mercymedical.org/Impact-repots
- “Who We Are.” First Descents, firstdescents.org/who-we-are/