American Cancer Society Offers Support through Holidays

December 18, 2012

The American Cancer Society (ACS) reports that about 4,400 South Dakotans will be diagnosed with cancer in 2012. The ACS released the following statement about caring for cancer patients and their loved ones this holiday season:

Holiday festivities filled with joy are in season, but for cancer patients, their loved ones, and caretakers, this time of year may be especially challenging. The American Cancer Society offers free information, day-to-day help, and emotional support to help you through every step of the cancer journey, so patients, survivors, and loved ones can focus on getting well, even during the holidays.
"You never really appreciate everything you are blessed with until the day you realize it can all be taken away,” said Matt Ellefson, a Sioux Falls cancer survivor and father of five. “The Holidays are a time that brings family, friends, and loved ones together. To me, that's a chance to show them my unconditional love and let them know that I am blessed to have them in my life. Don't ever assume that there will be another day to tell them how you feel. Even if you're blessed with many special people in your life, tell them all and tell them often.”
The American Cancer Society offers a variety of programs in your area that can help lessen the burden of cancer for patients and loved ones:
Cancer Survivors Network and WhatNext are online support networks for anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer. Have questions answered, learn more about your diagnosis, and find the support you need.

Road to Recovery: The American Cancer Society coordinates local community volunteers to give free rides to lifesaving treatment and check-ups. American Cancer Society volunteers in the U.S. gave free rides to treatment to more than 15,000 cancer patients last year.

Patient Lodging Program: When clinics and hospitals are far from home, South Dakota’s Patient Lodging Program and local hotels provide free overnight stays.

Reach To Recovery: Breast cancer survivors are matched with newly diagnosed breast cancer patients with a similar situation (type of cancer, stage in life, etc.) for emotional support and useful information.

Look Good…Feel Better: Cancer takes a toll on the body. Trained volunteer cosmetologists teach women how to cope with skin changes and hair loss using cosmetics and skin care products donated by the cosmetic industry.
Support by the numbers in the past year:
The American Cancer Society provided more than 1,600 South Dakotans with cancer information, programs and services. Road to Recovery volunteers across the nation gave 15,000 rides to patients. In South Dakota cancer patients received more than 1,000 rides to and from treatment. Hope Lodge provided 250,000 free nights of lodging to 40,000 patients and caregivers. Look Good…Feel Better helped 200 South Dakotans deal with the physical side effects of cancer. 110 South Dakotans facing breast cancer found understanding, comfort, information and resources with Reach to Recovery. 37,000 South Dakotans visited to learn about cancer and how to prevent it.
If you or someone you know could benefit from one of these services, or for locations and details, visit
Cancer information is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at 1.800.227.2345 or at, the Society’s comprehensive and trusted website.

Related: Holiday Eating Tips If You're in Cancer Treatment

About the American Cancer Society: 

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, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping you stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early, helping you get well by being there for you 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 $3.8 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, an estimated 13.7 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit

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