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Help Fight Cancer Despite Difficult Times

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By Bayan Raji, Staff Writer

Americans are crunching budgets and cutting back on expenses, and millions have lost their jobs in recent months. But, cancer hasn't taken a break because the economy is in a rut.

Want to help but don't have the funds to make a monetary donation? Here's a list of ways to help a stranger, friend or relative with cancer.

For a stranger:

•    Donate blood - Many cancer patients need blood transfusions for different reasons, including surgery or a low blood cell count. Donating is a quick and free way to save a life.

•    Volunteer at a hospital - Extra hands often are needed to run gift shops, assist in outpatient facilities or run errands.

•    Get a haircut - Several non-profit groups, such as Locks of Love  and Pantene Beautiful Lengths , donate hair to people who lose their hair as a result of cancer or cancer treatment.

Some salons may provide a discount or even a free hair-cut, but hair donations must meet specific criteria. Ask a stylist for more details.



•    Make Search to Fight http://www.searchtofight.org/ your Internet homepage - On this search engine, Yahoo contributes portions of advertising revenue to the fight against cancer when users click on contributing sponsor links.

•    Donate an old car - Have an old car you'd like to give away? Donate it to the American Cancer Society Cars for A Cure program and proceeds will fund cancer research or other initiatives to fight the disease.

For a friend or loved one:

•    Offer to keep a blog - Many cancer patients use the Internet to keep others up to date on their condition or treatment. A Web page or blog reduces the number of times they have to repeat the same information. It is important not to provide personal information without obtaining permission first.

•    Clean - Treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation dramatically reduce the energy level of most cancer patients. Lend a hand by offering housekeeping services, such as cleaning the bathroom or vacuuming.

•    Cook - Make a meal at home and drop it off. Don't feel offended if you aren't asked to stay. Entertaining guests may take too much energy.

•    Go shopping - Buying provisions for someone in a financial struggle is a nice gesture if you have the money. Taking time to pick up groceries is just as good. It saves a friend or loved one time and energy and shows you are thinking of them.

Resources
CarePages - Stay connected with family and friends
M. D. Anderson Blood Bank
M. D. Anderson Volunteers

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