Cancer doesn’t stop for a pandemic, and neither has the American Cancer Society. The American Cancer Society has transitioned services to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic, including:
Hope Lodges are being converted to house front line health care workers. With the spread of coronavirus, we had to make the difficult decision to close Hope Lodges to cancer patients, to protect those we serve. With Hope Lodges standing empty and health care workers being called on to work longer shifts and are often afraid to go home for fear of infecting their families, we stepped in. We are offering Hope Lodges free-of-charge to front line health care workers who need a safe place to stay.
Our 24/7 helpline for answers and support is still operating, and we are investing in capabilities for video chat. 80% of our calls in March were related to coronavirus, and we can’t stop taking those calls. Reach To Recovery, our peer-to-peer breast cancer support network, is also still operating during this time, and has transitioned to be phone and video based.
We are dedicated to providing fact-based answers and support for cancer patients and caregivers, especially with misinformation about the coronavirus circulating. We built a hub on our website, with resources for patients, survivors, and caregivers; we invited Dr. Len, our deputy chief medical officer, on our podcast to talk about what cancer patients need to know about coronavirus; and we’re producing a series of short videos answering common questions that we are sharing across our social media channels.
We’re continually adapting to meet this crisis, and we feel hope because of how our community has risen to the occasion around us. If you want to know more about what the American Cancer Society is doing to support cancer patients during this time, click here.