A Sister's Story: Finding Help Through 1-800-227-2345
When Patti Moy first walked around a Relay track, the Indiana resident was exposed to signs about the many services the American Cancer Society offers.
"I was amazed with how many things [ACS] does," said Patti. These signs did more than tell Patti about what ACS does in the fight against cancer...they also helped her learn the toll-free number for reliable cancer information: 1-800-227-2345.
Knowing about the number meant Patti had a resource to turn to when her sister Marilyn, who had been battling brain cancer since 1996, had to have surgery in North Carolina. Patti and her mother, who lives in Tennessee, traveled to North Carolina to help Marilyn. They found that they didn't have enough information to prepare for what was to come, and though Patti wasn't the primary caregiver, she knew anyone can call 1-800-227-2345 for help.
"I knew I had to call. Even if there was only one thing that they could help us with, at least it would be one thing. But they helped with everything. It was amazing how much help we got."
Patti was able to get information for Marilyn about transportation to treatment, finding a caseworker, and the special diet she would need to follow after her surgery. Patti also received information about long distance caregiving and caregiver support groups for herself and her mother.
"It was such a relief to finally have a game plan, which took the load off of my sister so she could focus on herself and getting better," said Patti, who was also relieved to find herself connected with a real person.
"She was very empathetic about what we were going through. It was like talking to my best friend. She was absolutely wonderful, so patient. It was great."
Patti, who is a Relay team captain this year, was eager to come back and share her story with others as proof of the important work they were doing to raise money to fight back.
"A lot of times volunteers do fundraisers and they don't see where the money goes," said Patti. "I wanted people to know that this is real, it's something you can hold on to, and it's something you can look forward to and rely on."
Patti's sister was able to move back to her home and begin living her life again in May. "It's amazing how far she has come in such a short time," said Patti. "I attribute a lot of it to the help we received."
The toll-free number is available day or night for anyone who needs information, day-to-day guidance, and emotional support through their experience with cancer.
"The American Cancer Society is our lifeline to knowledge and hope," emphasized Patti. "You're going to get good information, and you're not going to have to go through it alone."
Having cancer is hard. Finding help shouldn't be. If you or someone you know needs information, resources, or support, please call your American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345.