Helping those with cancer doesn’t need to be hard. In fact, whether it’s through volunteering, increasing awareness, or donating toward research initiatives, it often only takes 30 minutes or less to make a life-changing impact in the lives of those battling the devastating disease. If you want to make a difference, start with these 10 options. And to learn how common the disease really is, This Is How Likely You Are to Get Cancer in Your Lifetime.
1 Drive a Patient to Treatment
Have some spare time? Hop in your car and use you vehicle to help out a cancer patient in need. According to the American Cancer Society, many individuals either can’t drive themselves or don’t have any way of getting to their treatment, and by being part of the organization’s Road to Recovery transportation assistance program, you could potentially help save a life.
2 Donate Toward Immunotherapy Research
Whether you want to make a one-time donation or set up recurring donations, giving to the Cancer Research Institute goes straight toward helping researchers trying to find immunotherapies—treatments that stimulate the immune system—that could eventually fight off all different types of cancer. And for more insight into the disease, learn the 20 Skin Cancer Symptoms Everyone Needs to Know.
3 Go on a Run
If you’re a runner, there’s a way you can get some exercise and help those with cancer at the same time. By searching for a race near you and registering as a St. Jude Hero, you could raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital while you train. The money you raise goes straight toward everything from treatment to housing so the families of kids with cancer can focus on the health of their child, not paying crazy-high bills.
4 Set Up an Exhibit at an Event
One way to spread awareness about cancer is as easy as borrowing a Health Fair Kit from the Lung Cancer Research Foundation so you can set up a stand at events. By doing so, you’ll not only be an advocate for those suffering from the disease, but you’ll also inform others on how to stay healthy. Plus, you’ll have fun doing it, too: You can teach people about lung cancer through trivia, informative posters, and other materials. And to shed more light on the condition, be wary of the 20 Surprising Habits That Increase Your Cancer Risk.
5 Help Out at a Home Lodge
Many people travel far distances for cancer treatment, and there’s an easy way you can help patients feel right at home when they’re not. The American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Network—which offers accommodations to patients—has volunteer opportunities that involve everything from preparing meals to providing entertainment, and there are 30 lodges across the United States to choose from.
6 Donate Toward Breast Health Services
Many people can’t afford breast health services like mammograms, but donating to the National Breast Cancer Foundation will help women get the services they need that could detect breast cancer early—and potentially save their life. Eighty percent of all funds given to the organization go straight toward educating women about their risks and providing them with the tools they need to stay healthy. And for ways to protect yourself against breast cancer, check out the 40 Ways to Prevent Breast Cancer After 40.
7 Do Some Yoga
Every year, the Lung Cancer Research Foundation has Free to Breathe Yoga Challenge events around the country, where you can build a team of up to 12 people and raise money to fund research. On the day of the event, you get together with your friends and get your om on, bettering your health, honoring those diagnosed with lung cancer, and supporting the cause.
8 Donate Your Hair
Cutting your hair takes minutes—and if you have a lot of it to spare, Wigs for Kids is always looking for donations. By giving a minimum of 12 inches, the organization will be able to create high-quality wigs for children who lost their hair due to chemotherapy and other causes, giving them confidence as they battle their cancer.
9 Do Some Pushups
The Prostate Cancer Foundation started the #PCFPushup Challenge, which will build up your muscles and raise money for the organization that’s always working hard to fund research initiatives that cure, treat, and detect the cancer that affects 1 in 9 men. As you’re fundraising, make the commitment to do 10 pushups for every $20 your raise—and get your friends in on it, too.
10 Donate Toward Education and Care
Another way to help those with cancer is to donate to the American Cancer Society. All the funds the organization receives go straight toward education, care, and research—all things that will greatly benefit anyone trying to fight the disease. You can even make the gift in honor or in memory of someone in your own life. And to learn more about this deadly disease, check out the 20 Surprising Habits That Increase Your Cancer Risk.
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