GLENDALE, Wis.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ABCD: After Breast Cancer Diagnosis today announced a year-long initiative – The Power of One-to-One – to significantly increase Statewide access to free peer support for breast cancer patients, survivors, those living with breast cancer and their families and friends.
For decades, cancer patients and their loved ones have advocated for supportive services to complement medical care, from peer support to practical assistance. Today, supportive services, including peer support, are recognized by the medical community as an essential part of easing the burden of the breast cancer journey – from the time of diagnosis throughout life. The National Cancer Institute along with accrediting organizations and professional oncology associations now recommend cancer care providers emphasize both quantity and quality of life issues.
ABCD is dedicated to assuring that all Wisconsin residents have access to personalized survivorship support from the moment of diagnosis, during treatment and every day beyond.
“A variety of studies have confirmed that emotional support complementing appropriate medical care can increase treatment compliance, improve survival rates and diminish distress – from coping with family to work matters,” said ABCD Executive Director, Ginny Finn.
ABCD’s Power of One-to-One Initiative has several components. The first to formally launch is the “Liaison Project,” which involves advanced volunteer training for breast cancer survivors who, in collaboration with ABCD staff, become ABCD survivorship program liaisons to specific healthcare organizations throughout Wisconsin. Liaisons regularly meet with cancer care professionals and other community health leaders to assure easy access for patients and loved ones to ABCD’s Helpline, resource navigation assistance and one-to-one peer support services.
Liaisons are already active in Southeast Wisconsin and the Project is expanding throughout the State. A new $25,000 grant from the Wisconsin Cancer Control Program will support expansion north to the Fox Valley, Green Bay and Wausau areas, to be followed by a southern Wisconsin emphasis in the Beloit/Janesville region. The grant will allow ABCD to assess the effectiveness of the model in each community, customizing the approach on a region-by-region basis. Additional Wisconsin communities will be added as the Project grows and funding partners are secured.
ABCD Board member, Program Committee Chair and breast cancer survivor, Bonnie Anderson said, “Even without studies showing the benefit of peer support, our founder Melodie Wilson Oldenburg and the breast cancer patients she recruited to build ABCD, understood that cancer is so much more than scans, biopsies and treatment. Getting through it requires support that is reliable and consistent from people who understand personally what is like to hear the words: you have cancer. With thousands of breast cancer survivors in Wisconsin and our nation, ABCD has a lot more work to do.”
The Initiative’s additional components include expansion of collaborations already underway in southeast Wisconsin, including work with Hispanic and African American communities, rural areas and sister breast cancer organizations through ABCD’s work on the Wisconsin Breast Cancer Task Force.
ABCD encourages support during October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, by visiting http://www.abcdbreastcancersupport.org, by participating in community breast cancer awareness support programs, such as InterContinental Milwaukee’s Pink Room Project, and attending upcoming events such as Date with a Plate (Thursday - April 6, 2017).
About The Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Control Program
The Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Control Program serves as the state’s cancer prevention and control program, promoting screening, risk reduction and appropriate care for Wisconsinites affected by cancer. The Wisconsin CCC Program is funded through federal, state and University of Wisconsin funds and works collaboratively with private organizations to reduce the burden of cancer. For more information visit: www.wicancer.org
About ABCD: After Breast Cancer Diagnosis
Founded in Milwaukee in 1999, ABCD: After Breast Cancer Diagnosis is now a national leader in providing genuinely personalized information and one-to-one support for people affected by breast cancer – patients, families and friends. Committed to the 4,000+ Wisconsin families newly affected by breast cancer every year, ABCD’s free services are also available nationally via its Helpline (800.977.4121 or firstname.lastname@example.org). For further information visit: www.abcdbreastcancersupport.org