“You won’t believe the conversation I just had,” is a comment frequently heard in The Red Devils office. This time, it was Tricia Hayden, our program manager, recounting the story of one of the hundreds of newly diagnosed breast cancer patients reaching out for support.
The woman on the phone has 20+ years in the restaurant business. Her employer has been great to her, but now she is unable to work because of the side effects of chemo, no heavy lifting. Friends have been helping with car payments, insurance and food, but the mortgage suffered. She's 3 months behind; if she can get through the next 3 months until she's back to work, she'll be fine.
"You could feel her anxiety and desparation. That could be any one of us, or our friends or family member," Tricia said. She and I looked at each other, knowing the limitations of our resources, and the service commitments in place for the rest of the year to our 31 hospital partners and their patients. How could we possibly say “Yes” to this request? Finally, Tricia broke the silence not surprisingly with, “We have to find a way to help her. I WILL find a way.” And we will, for her and so many others … with your help.
The Red Devils improves the quality of life for breast cancer patients and their families by relieving the stress caused by financial and logistical obstacles that interfere with their treatment. With generous donations from caring people like you, those patients benefit from transportation to life-saving treatments. Your donations underwrite their day-to-day family support needs like meals and groceries, utilities, rent and mortgage, and other household expenses that compete with paying medical bills. And yes, when you make a donation you even help with medical costs - doctor bills, COBRA, co-pays, and counseling.
You can make a world of difference in a breast cancer family’s life with the simple act of making a donation. No gift is insignificant. Every gift brings hope. A $10 gift helps buy gas for the woman who has to drive 47 miles each way to radiation for six week. $50 helps a mom rest easier knowing she has a way to put groceries on the table. $100 donations add up to enough to prevent a utility shut off just before the temperature changes.
Make a gift today so that a family survives in the face of breast cancer. Your gift today makes an immediate and practical impact on families like Kim and Jason Stacey or Adriane and David Brooks. Both young families were blindsided by breast cancer. While their families were waging the battle against breast cancer, they were fighting on a second front to maintain stability.
Whether you’re a survivor of breast cancer, a family member or friend of a woman who has breast cancer, or are yet-to-be-touched by the disease, you want the very best for each and every family who struggle with the emotions and coordination of treatment, and everyday life. That’s why we know we can count on you for your gift, today.
P.S. What’s in a Name? The Red Devils name was inspired by Katherine Russell Rich, author of The Red Devil – to Hell with Cancer and Back, which opens a window into the heart of a woman whose life with cancer was marked with courage, grace, and humor. In 2002, Jessica Cowling and Ginny Schardt, the two women whose passing inspired their families to start The Red Devils, formed a team called The Red Devil to walk in the Race for the Cure. The name has been ours ever since. “The Red Devil” is a nickname for the chemotherapy drug, Adriamycin, often used to treat breast cancer.