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ACS celebrates the efforts of countless volunteers

By Staff | Apr 13, 2011

In celebration of the 38th annual National Volunteer Week (April 10-16), the American Cancer Society recognizes and celebrates the efforts of its more than three million volunteers nationwide who have helped make a difference for people facing cancer since 1913.

In Tyler County, countless volunteers give their time and talent to fight back against the disease, including Pat Dawson, a Relay For Life volunteer and this year’s event co-chair, who is determined to help end cancer during her lifetime.

“The reason I volunteer through Relay is because cancer is all around us,” said Dawson. “I have several family members who have cancer, some are survivors and some have lost the battle; but I Relay because I lost one of my dearest friends to cancer. That made cancer very real to me and I’ll not forget how horrible this disease is and how much suffering it causes. At the present time I have another friend who is battling cancer. Our area seems to be hit so hard with cancer – it’s all around us.”

The Points of Light Foundation and Volunteer Center National Network sponsor the annual National Volunteer Week, which began in 1974 with an executive order by President Richard Nixon.

“Volunteers are the foundation of the American Cancer Society,” said Carrie Thrash, ACS community manager. “Volunteers have been crucially important in enabling the American Cancer Society to help people facing cancer since we were founded in 1913. As we celebrate this week, I want to thank each of our volunteers in Tyler County for dedicating their time and energy to our cancer-fighting mission. We are so grateful for the Society volunteers of yesterday, today and tomorrow, as they are helping save lives and create a world with less cancer and more birthdays for future generations to come.”

In addition to Dawson’s efforts, many volunteers in Tyler County contribute to helping people stay well, get well, find cures and fight back against cancer through a variety of roles, efforts and American Cancer Society programs, including:

Relay For Life More than three million Americans (including 500,000 cancer survivors) participate nationally in the Society’s signature overnight community event. Volunteer teams celebrate the lives of those touched by cancer, remember loved ones lost and fight back against a disease that takes too much.

Patient programs and services Dedicated Society volunteers provide direct assistance and service to help people stay well and get well in a variety of ways. Volunteers assist in driving patients to and from treatment, helping women with the treatment related-side effects by teaching them skills to help their appearance through the Look GoodFeel Better program, and providing one-on-one support as survivors to newly diagnosed breast cancer patients through the Reach To Recovery program.

Legislative advocacy The Society’s advocacy affiliate, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, has a grassroots volunteer network of hundreds of thousands of volunteers who successfully work to fight back against cancer and send strong messages to lawmakers about issues that matter to people touched by cancer.

The American Cancer Society listens, shares, heals, and nurtures a spirit of hope and a culture of caring through voluntarism. To learn more about how you can saves lives while fulfilling your own through volunteering, visit www.cancer.org/volunteer.

The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end cancer for good. As a global grassroots force of three million volunteers, the organization fights for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. They save lives by helping the community stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early, helping patients get well by being there for them during and after a diagnosis, by finding cures through groundbreaking discovery and fighting back through public policy.

As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing more than $3.5 billion, The American Cancer Society turns what they know about cancer into what they do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year.

For more information, call 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.