Today, February 4, is “World Cancer Day.” Why give such an ugly disease a day of its own? The goal is to get as many people as possible to talk about cancer, to raise awareness and spur educational efforts, and to encourage everyone around the world to take action. To prevent, fight and overcome. And to make a difference in the lives of others who are facing the disease.
Since 2001, the Atlanta Cancer Care Foundation has been focused on providing much-needed financial support for local patients when they need it most. When their biggest concern isn’t what the doctor is going to say at their appointment – but whether they can get to their appointment at all. When they have to make hard decisions: do they buy groceries this week, or refill their medication? When they haven’t been able to work for months because of the effects of treatment, but the bills haven’t stopped coming. Every day, a cancer patient here in Metro Atlanta makes decisions like these.
The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be nearly 49,000 new cancer diagnoses in Georgia by the end of 2017. And as the need has grown, ACCF has been there to meet that need. What started as an organization serving dozens of patients a year has grown to one that serves hundreds; in 2016, we helped 862 patients throughout our 17-county area. This year, we want to do even more. This year, we will be “Making a Difference for More Than 1,000.”
Making a difference means working together. Last year, more than 30 medical practices referred patients to ACCF for assistance; their social workers, case managers and physicians recognized a need, and knew that we were here to help. Community organizations and service providers share information about our Patient Financial Assistance program with their clients, counting us among the resources that can assist when it’s needed most. And hundreds of individuals, families and businesses have stepped forward to provide the critical financial support that makes it all possible; their donations – whether large or small, a one-time check or a monthly gift – truly make a difference.
Today, in recognition of World Cancer Day 2017, I invite you to join the Atlanta Cancer Care Foundation and hundreds of community leaders, survivors, medical providers, caregivers, local businesses, friends, colleagues and family in Making a Difference for More Than 1,000.