Losing my grandmother and great-grandmother to cancer were experiences that left a lasting impression on me. They were catalysts for my involvement with various nonprofits nationwide, trying to raise awareness and funds to benefit others in similar situations.
Then, I watched a close friend of mine suffer tremendous financial burden as she battled cancer. It really opened my eyes. Before her treatment, both she and her husband worked professional jobs for years and got by quite nicely. But when she got sick and could not work, the couple really struggled to pay their mortgage and provide for their three children. The husband's income was not enough to make ends meet. They needed help.
Most cancer organizations focus on research to find a cure, and without a doubt it's an imperative that cannot be overstated. But what happens to patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation while they wait for that cure? How do they pay their bills? Unfortunately, most of them encounter the same situation as my friend: They struggle. After seeing the effects of cancer firsthand, I felt compelled to step into a role that would highlight patients' unique needs and move people to help in a very real and significant way.
I decided to take on the position of National Spokesperson for Beckstrand Cancer Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps improve quality of life for cancer patients by offering supportive counseling, resources and, perhaps most importantly, direct financial assistance for critical day-to-day needs like rent/mortgage, food, utilities, gas and transportation, health insurance, medical co-payments and prescriptions.
There is no other organization around providing this kind of help to patients of every age with any type of cancer on such a large scale. We're enabling patients to continue their life-saving treatment uninterrupted and giving them the hope they need to focus on recovery.
I feel so passionately about our work at Beckstrand because I have actually met with the patients being served by the Foundation and I can see the positive impact it is having on their lives. I visit with boys and girls, men and women, from every ethnic background and socioeconomic group and the reminder they offer me is this: Cancer is a disease that does not discriminate. And that means that each of us is affected in some way by cancer, whether we are battling it ourselves or know someone who is, and it is going to take each of us getting involved and giving back to win the war.
Step one was getting the word out, something I've had the opportunity to share with so many through television and print interviews, through public service announcements and more. I'm certainly grateful to fans of my work on CSI: Miami and All My Children who have really taken up this effort alongside me. So many cancer patients have seen this press and reached out to the Foundation.
Now we need your help to make a difference,
so please, donate today. Visit Beckstrand.org and together we will provide
help and offer hope to cancer patients in need. It starts with you.