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Cancer society seeks advocacy volunteers

December 26, 2000|By STACEY DANZUSO, Chambersburg

Cancer society seeks advocacy volunteers



CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - With a packed agenda for 2001, the American Cancer Society of Franklin County is recruiting volunteers to serve in a variety of capacities.

The greatest need is for volunteers with good communication skills who are comfortable calling local legislators and area businesses, said Jennifer Pittman Rosenberry, cancer control specialist.

"We really need advocacy volunteers - people who can do letter-writing and talk to legislators about issues as far as the tobacco settlement and health-related bills that come up from time to time," Rosenberry said. "This is kind of sporadic and people might not have a lot of notice and just have to run with it."

Pennsylvania has received $465 million of an $11 billion settlement with tobacco companies.

She said the American Cancer Society could also use help from people interested in getting clean air indoors.

As part of an ongoing program, Rosenberry said the society needs volunteers to inventory which local businesses have smoke-free environments and which ones don't.

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"People need to be willing to talk to local businesses, restaurants and entertainment facilities and convince them they might want to go smoke-free," she said.

Rosenberry said the society is lacking in volunteers for those particular endeavors and can always use more people in some of the other programs.

Around Mother's Day, the Tell A Friend program will kick into high gear as volunteers are trained to encourage women to get mammograms.

For Father's Day, the emphasis will be on prostate cancer awareness, Rosenberry said.

Some of the year-long programs include Reach to Recovery, which matches women who have undergone cancer treatment with women recently diagnosed with cancer. Look Good, Feel Better enlists the help of cosmetologists to help women deal with appearance-related changes from chemotherapy and other cancer-related treatments.

"They teach women if their eyebrows fall out due to chemo where to put them," Rosenberry said. "It sounds like a minor program, but it really does help women's self-esteem."

There will be a training session in January for any cosmetologists interested in volunteering.

The Road to Recovery program is where Fort Loudon, Pa., resident Dick Hoover chooses to lend a hand.

The retiree drives cancer patients back and forth to doctor's appointments, often at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, whenever needed.

"My wife went through very serious cancer of the pancreas and liver at Johns Hopkins and she recovered from that. I've been through it, and it's necessary for someone to be there for people," Hoover said.

He is one of between 15 and 20 Road to Recovery volunteers who shuttle patients in and out of town.

"I also feel that you're probably the winner by volunteering because most people are very good people and they appreciate it," he said.

Rosenberry said the society welcomes anyone interested in volunteering for any of the programs.

"What they do depends on how much time people have and what their interests are," she said.

Anyone interested in volunteering with the American Cancer Society can call 717-264-4412.

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