When someone is coping with their breast cancer experience, a friendly face may only be a phone call away.
The American Cancer Society offers a program called Reach to Recovery to help those coping with breast cancer.
For more than 40 years, Reach to Recovery has helped women cope with breast cancer, according to Jodie Spears, communications and marketing director for the American Cancer Society.
After a diagnosis or treatment, a doctor may refer a patient to the program. The patient is then visited by or called by Reach to Recovery volunteers who have been through breast cancer themselves.
"When people first find out they have breast cancer, they may feel overwhelmed," Spears said.
Although these patients are stressed, Spears said they must also make decisions about their medical care.
Reach to Recovery volunteers listen to the patients while also sharing some of their own experiences. Spears said the volunteers receive training to help them talk with patients and provide a measure of comfort.
"Volunteers are breast cancer survivors who give patients and family members an opportunity to talk about their fears and concerns and ask questions," Spears said, noting that Reach to Recovery volunteers offer understanding, support and hope because they have been there themselves.
She said often seeing someone who has come out healthy on the other side of surgeries and treatments is a helpful to the patient and offers encouragement.
Volunteers can also provide literature for not only the patients, but for family members.
For more information or to locate a local Reach to Recovery program, call 1-800-227-2345.