Give InKind’s support pages help answer the central question of how to give or receive support. Here, we consider how to set up a Give InKind support page for a young person (under 40) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, taking into account some special considerations this age group may face.
It is shocking for a young person to be diagnosed with breast cancer. For many younger people, this may be the first serious illness they (or their peers) are likely to face. Nor does a guide imply that anything about a response is easy – no two experiences will be the same. This guide is intended to serve only as a starting point to frame how a caring community can provide coordinated support. Begin by asking the newly diagnosed person what they need. If it is useful, consider identifying a well-placed third party (a parent or sibling, for example), to talk to them about issues that may feel difficult to address (see a sample Give InKind Support Page for a Young Person Diagnosed With Breast Cancer.)
The family situation of newly-diagnosed will frame a starting point for discussion. If the person has child/ren, childcare is likely to be an issue. Use the Care Calendar to add as many actionable items as necessary to scaffold support.
- Food: Meals and groceries are always among the most popular calendar items. Providing food to people in treatment is difficult, as some treatments may cause nausea. Your recipient may have variable appetites and/or strong (and changeable) food aversions. For this reason, if the patient is single, consider sending a gift card for takeout so that your recipient can choose what they can stomach that day. If she has children, it may be advisable to focus on meals the children and/or partner will eat. Keep in mind any food allergies, preferences, or aversions. Are groceries needed instead? If there are children, go ahead and include healthy snacks in grocery or food drop-offs.
- Childcare: (If applicable) If there are two or more children with different schedules, you can easily build that into the Care Calendar. If a parent is receiving treatment, you can create as many items as necessary for children’s extracurricular activities, and/or fun excursions. Although many parents want a break, some find it grounding to be with their children. We recommend checking-in to see how these offers of assistance are landing in real life. Many patients report having good days and bad days, so be sure to check in – empowering your recipient is important.
- Adult/Senior Care: If the circle of the diagnosed includes an older parent, they may need a little attention too. Make sure that prescription refills, rides to/from doctor appointments, or getting to/from religious services are integrated.
- Pet Care: (If applicable) Are there pets to care for? It may be helpful to make temporary arrangements for necessary dog walks, feedings, or pet-sitting.
- Home Services: From maintenance appointments to helping with chores around the house, use this category for any home services that they may feel like too much. In particular, consider laundry, housecleaning, and lawn services.
- Other: “Other" is the ultimate catch-all category. This is a great way to create opportunities for connection that can sometimes get lost in the shuffle of a crisis. “Other" can be used for general support such as Ladies Nights that are fun (either remote or in-person) or less-fun (but still necessary) things like excursions to the pharmacy to pick up a round of medical supplies not covered by insurance. Many younger people who are urban dwellers don’t have a car and getting to and from treatments is logistically complicated (not to mention that public transportation is both germy and unpleasant when someone feels ill).
People will have different financial circumstances. If she is working and needs to take a leave, she may need to contend with lost wages. If she needs to leave her job, she may lose her health insurance.
In addition, younger people tend to be more likely to have student debt and not a lot of savings yet. Make sure to identify a person who will be able to ask about this in a gentle and non-judgmental manner. Underscore that people understand that few people in their thirties can shoulder the medical debt that quickly adds up. If there is such a need, simply enable the fundraising button on your Give InKind page and connect your PayPal and/or GoFundMe account.
The Give InKind Wishlist is another opportunity for others to meaningfully support a young person receiving treatment for breast cancer. Browse Give InKind’s curated list for suggested items and build a Gift Card Train with items that could help in their unique situation. When you see an item that could be helpful, use the “+" icon to add to their Wishlist.
You may also add an existing Amazon Wishlist to your Give InKind page.
Use Give InKind’s do-not-disturb section to let others know about the recipient’s communication preferences. Keep in mind that these preferences can be easily turned on or off as a situation changes.
- Phone Calls: Does the recipient want to communicate with others? If so, what is the best way for others to reach out – a phone call or text? Asking about preferences lets them know they are being thought of even if they aren’t always up for talking.
- Visitors: Does the recipient want visitors? If so, when?
- Flowers: Is the recipient open to receiving flowers? In this circumstance, flowers (while nice) may not be what is really needed. This will depend upon the recipient so go ahead and ask.
Add unlimited updates to keep friends and family informed. This is a great place for the recipient to write to their followers en masse or have a designated page manager let family and friends know about emergent needs, developments, and general updates.
Facing cancer is a frightening experience. Survivors report that they remember with gratitude all those who showed up in many different ways and lent anything they were able to lend in both tangible (and also in intangible) terms. Create your Give InKind Support Page here.
If you have any further questions, visit Give InKind’s Help Center or view our helpful articles about how to support people coping with a breast cancer diagnosis.
Give InKind does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We have an affiliate relationship with many of the advertisers on our site, and may receive a commission from any products purchased from links in this article. See Terms & Conditions.