Sunday, February 6, 2011

Everybody Loves a Freebie

Everybody loves a freebie. And there are times in life when you really deserve a freebie. So today we're sharing a list of giveaways for patients undergoing treatment, and we’ll add more as we come across them.
Look Good Feel Better
Look Good Feel Better is perhaps the most familiar service donation program for patients - you’ll see it promoted periodically in fashion magazines. Since 1989, this program offers makeovers to women undergoing treatment for any type of cancer. The organization connects patients with volunteer aestheticians who teach them beauty techniques to help manage the appearance-related side effects of cancer. What we didn’t know is the group also offers an informational website for men undergoing treatment and runs a website plus hospital-based group programs in 18 cities for teens of both genders who must deal with the appearance, health and social side effects of cancer treatment.

Cleaning for a Reason
This foundation coordinates with professional residential maid services to offer general cleaning to cancer patients once a month for four months as a way of giving back to their community. Because they are a small operation, the Texas-based Cleaning for a Reason accepts a maximum of 50 applications each day, beginning at noon Central Time, Monday through Friday. Although the organization is represented in all 50 states and Canada, cleaning services are available in limited geographic areas. The group recommends clicking on their interactive map before applying to be sure there is a participating cleaning service in your area.

Stowe Hope
In the highly competitive travel and tourism business, this idea is genius: plan a wellness conference after ski season in Stowe, Vermont, and offer free hotel rooms to cancer patients. This year’s Stowe Hope event is April 29 to May 1, with registration opening March 1. Billed as retreat and outreach experience, it promises education, enlightenment and fun. The weekend is filled with doctor-led seminars, hands-on workshops and other opportunities addressing physical, emotional, spiritual and financial aspects of this broad disease. The area’s lodging association members donate hundreds of rooms each year to new attendees and their loved ones, according to the organization’s website.

Corporate Angel Network
Far fewer people may need a free plane ride to access medical treatment than say, need their kitchen floor mopped (see Cleaning for a Reason, above). But for those who do, this program could be the difference between medical progress and the status quo. The Corporate Angel Network offers empty seats on corporate jets to cancer patients and companions. Patients must be ambulatory and not in need of medical support while traveling. Eligibility is not based on financial need, and patients may travel as often as necessary. Patients must e-mail or call toll-free within three weeks of their appointment at a recognized cancer treatment center, and have back-up plans with a travel agent or airline, as Corporate Angel Network cannot guarantee a flight will be available to match your traveling requirements.

Free Communication Tools… Priceless
And of course there’s this: the Patient Loving Care Doctor’s Memo. We think you can’t put a value on having an effective conversation with your doctor, so offers a free downloadable guide that can be typed in, saved on your computer, printed out and used again and again. The PLC Doctor’s Memo download package will walk you through how to collect your thoughts, jot them down in a clear format and present them to the doctor in a way that will lead to meaningful conversation so you can both understand your condition and find solutions to problems you're encountering.

Do you deserve a freebie? You bet.

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