As many women with breast cancer know, it can be an expensive disease. Who wouldn’t appreciate a helping hand? The good news is it’s available, if you dig deep enough.
Bethany Kandel, former journalist, discovered this when she was diagnosed with breast cancer six years ago. “During my treatment, I received a free wig from the American Cancer Society” says Kandel, who discovered a variety of organizations that provide everything from free lymphedema sleeves to help with transportation. “I realized there are so many people going through cancer who could use this assistance, but there was nobody compiling all of the freebies in one place.”
So Kandel decided to close the loop. Her website, Breast Cancer Freebies, lists dozens of resources for breast cancer patients and survivors, including financial assistance, fitness items, magazines and wellness retreats, to name a few.
Many of the organizations who provide free products and services are small organizations that were created to honor a loved one who has lost their battle with cancer. One example is Sharesheret, an organization that provides a package of toys and games (known as a Busy Box) to occupy young children while their mothers go through treatment.
“If people find a grassroots organization that has helped them, I try to encourage people to give back, with money or with time,” says Kandel.
According to Kandel, giving back is the key to why she began Breast Cancer Freebies in the first place. She believes that it’s important for women to support each other throughout their breast cancer journeys.
“I couldn’t have done any of this without help along the way. It’s a club I wouldn’t choose to join, but I have met so many amazing women,” says Kandel. “I feel so good giving back because of all of the people who have helped me. It inspires me to help people financially – or even just to pamper someone a little.”
If you know of an organization that provides free products or services to breast cancer patients, please email Bethany at BreastCancerFreebies@Gmail.com. Or Tweet us or Facebook us your favorite resources to share with other survivors.