SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — We know the response to COVID-19 and efforts to help stop the spread of the virus has disrupted many things in our personal and professional lives and has impacted businesses in many ways.
But there are also non-profit organizations that have had to adjust during these times. And it can be more challenging for them as they are looking out for more vulnerable communities. One example is cancer patients and survivors, and their families.
In this Ozarks Tonight, Jenifer Abreu talks to Tim Freeman, the Missouri grassroots manager for the American Cancer Society – Cancer Action Network.
Freeman says the organization is adjusting like many others, using technology like video calls and a lot more emails to communicate and get their job done.
“Cancer hasn’t stopped so neither will we. We like to say that we stand together even though we are apart,” Freeman said.
ACS CAN Missouri had to cancel its Day at the Capitol which was scheduled for April. That’s a day when volunteers go up to Jefferson City to meet with lawmakers and advocate for legislation that would benefit cancer research or cancer patients and survivors in any way.
“We were definitely disappointed that we had to cancel our Day at the Capitol, but the health and safety of our volunteers, many of whom are survivors or going through treatment right now – their safety is our main priority. We knew that canceling it was the right thing to do,” Freeman said.
“Even though we had to cancel that in-person opportunity, our volunteers have developed relationships with our legislators over many years, so they are comfortable making that outreach, via phone, emails or video calls.”
The CARES Act that recently passed to help communities get through this pandemic also includes some items that will help ACS CAN.
The American Cancer Society lists the following provisions as:
- funding for the community health centers that serve more than 29 million Americans in over 12,000 rural and urban communities across the nation.
- up to 2 weeks of paid family medical leave so people can take care of loved ones impacted by coronavirus or care for children whose schools have closed.
- guaranteed coverage with no cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing and treatment, so even those who are uninsured or underinsured can get the care they need.
- tax relief for charitable organizations like the American Cancer Society so they can remain on the frontlines serving cancer patients during and long after this health crisis.
We urge that senators request and press for the following changes to the cares act:
Below are some resources for cancer patients, survivors, and families.