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National Cancer Survivors Day®: A Milestone for Survivors and the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge
Society Kicks Off Month-long Celebration of Cancer Survivors

ATLANTA — June 3, 2010 — On Sunday, June 6, the American Cancer Society will join millions of Americans in honoring cancer survivors as part of the 23rd annual National Cancer Survivors Day, organized by the National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation. There are more than 11 million cancer survivors living in the United States, and it is estimated that by 2020 there will be some 20 million people living with a history of cancer.

On June 6, the American Cancer Society also will mark 40 years since the opening of its first Hope Lodge, where cancer patients and their caregivers stay for free when the best treatment options are far from home. The program has grown from a single location in Charleston, South Carolina to 29 Lodges in 20 states and Puerto Rico. Last year, some 50,000 guests stayed at a Hope Lodge, saving more than $20 million in lodging costs. This year, through the opening of two new Hope Lodges, and expansions of two others, the number of available rooms nationwide will climb to nearly one thousand.

The Society has chosen National Cancer Survivors Day to launch a month-long social media campaign celebrating cancer survivors that highlights the many ways the organization is working to create a world with more birthdays. In addition to Hope Lodge, the Society provides many free and confidential programs and services to address a wide range of needs at any stage of a cancer journey, from day-to-day help to the latest information and emotional support. The Society has seen a 20 percent increase in requests for some of its patient and family programs and services over the past year.

As part of this promotion, the Society will ask its supporters to donate $11 toward the fight against cancer to honor the cancer survivors in their lives and the 11 million Americans with a history of cancer alive today.

“Today we honor the 11 million cancer survivors who will celebrate another birthday this year, and we promise to keep fighting for every birthday threatened by this disease,” said Alan G. Thorson, M.D., F.A.C.S., national volunteer president, American Cancer Society. “National Cancer Survivors Day is also a great day to acknowledge the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge, and its important role in helping people get well by easing the burden for nearly 300,000 cancer patients and their families during the past forty years.

The Society offers many programs that meet the immediate challenges most cancer patients face including Road to Recovery, which provides transportation to and from treatment; Reach to Recovery, which pairs newly diagnosed breast cancer patients with trained survivors who help them cope; and Look Good…Feel Better, which teaches female cancer patients beauty tips to manage the cosmetic side-effects of some treatments. Anyone can access these programs and services by calling 1-800-227-2345 or logging on to cancer.org.

For online support and information, the Society provides I Can Cope, a self-paced, online educational class for patients and families at cancer.org/onlineclasses, and Cancer Survivors Network, an online peer support community of survivors and caregivers, at csn.cancer.org. The Society also publishes several books that highlight the importance of survivorship and help people through cancer. The Society’s most recent books that focus on survivorship include:

  • Nana, What’s Cancer?, a loving conversation between grandmother and granddaughter that tackles the tough questions about cancer, and celebrates the importance of family bonds and cancer survivorship. Authored by stage IV cancer survivor Beverlye Hyman Fead and her 11-year-old granddaughter, Tessa Mae Hamermesh.
  • The American Cancer Society Complete Guide to Nutrition for Cancer Survivors, Second Edition covers everything a person with cancer should know about eating well before, during, and after treatment. This book is an invaluable resource for anyone who has experienced cancer, is undergoing treatment, or is interested in making positive changes in the way they eat.

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About the American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing more than $3.4 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we 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. To learn more about us or to get help, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.

 

 

Claire Greenwell

American Cancer Society

404-417-5883

Claire.greenwell@cancer.org