Friends Helping Friends Through Cancer

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October is Breast Cancer awareness month, what will you do to help your friend? “Take action” website relieves patient and family of everyday chores and also offers practical tips and suggestions to help.

WhatFriendsDo.com

"WhatFriendsDo was a perfect fit for what we wanted to accomplish. We needed to organize a team, develop a plan, assign tasks, raise funds and communicate, communicate, communicate"

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According to the American Cancer Society, cancer causes 25 percent of deaths in the United States. That means one of out of every four of your friends or family may be diagnosed with cancer. How can you help your loved ones, in tangible, practical ways, through cancer, or other medical crises?

WhatFriendsDo.com offers these ideas to help friends recovering from cancer:

  •     Offer to drive: Offer to drive friends to chemotherapy treatments and give their primary caregivers time for self care. Take along a basket with snacks and magazines for other caregivers.
  •     Write thank you notes: While your friend is receiving treatment, bring blank note cards and write thank you notes on your friend’s behalf.
  •     Plan a dinner date: Meals brought in are an incredible help, but if friends are able to get out, take them on a lunch or dinner date. Offer to run a few errands along the way if they feel up to it.
  •     Take it back: Give your friend an empty bag. Yes, an empty bag. Attach a note indicating that the bag is for all the items that need to be returned to stores or dishes that need to be returned to friends who fixed a meal.
  •     Plan a housecleaning party: Ask your friend if it’s OK for some “elves” to clean house at a specific time. Suggest everyone brings cleaning supplies so you don’t have to hunt for them. Leave a surprise or two in the house—a scented bar of soap or a vase of flowers beside the bed.
  •     Organize medical files: Assemble and organize a three-ring binder to keep track of a friend’s medical papers and records. Include sections for bills, medical history of family members, emergency contacts, appointments, health professionals’ business cards and questions and answers.
  •     Plan a yard work day: Weed flowerbeds, trim shrubs, mow grass or rake leaves.
  •     Fix it!: Ask your friend to make a “honey do” list—little household repairs they don’t have time or energy for—changing light bulbs, tightening doorknobs, weather stripping and oiling squeaky doors.

WhatFriendsDo.com, is a free website that helps family and friends mobilize a care team to respond with organized and real-time assistance.

“WhatFriendsDo.com is the one-stop site for the friends of a person going through a crisis,” says Aimee Kandrac, co-founder of WhatFriendsDo.com. “It’s much more than sending a message that says ‘I’m thinking of you.’ It’s the roll-up-your-sleeves and take action portal.”

The web portal hosts an online sign-up to relieve a sick or grieving person of common responsibilities—cleaning out the refrigerator, writing thank you notes, even driving kids to soccer practice, as examples.

“Many people want to help out in a crisis, but just don’t know how,” Kandrac says. “WhatFriendsDo.com gives concrete recommendations and tools to quickly and easily transform their concern into action. It’s just what friends do.”

"WhatFriendsDo was a perfect fit for what we wanted to accomplish. We needed to organize a team, develop a plan, assign tasks, raise funds and communicate, communicate, communicate," says Lee Dworshak, Team Coordinator for long-time friend, Marty Anderson.

“Many people want to help out in a crisis, but just don’t know how,” Kandrac says. “WhatFriendsDo.com gives concrete recommendations and tools to quickly and easily transform their concern into action. It’s just what friends do.”

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Aimee Kandrac
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