At Give InKind we recognize that the challenges of life do not follow a schedule. This buying guide is intended to suggest ways to help young women who are in treatment for breast cancer – holidays or not. Sometimes an acknowledgment of difficulty during a season steeped in joy is a gift in and of itself. We offer this guide with love and respect.
Give InKind spoke with Emily Helck about ways to support young women (under 40) who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Helck, a writer and advocate who has worked for the Young Survival Coalition, and written for numerous media outlets, is herself a young survivor.
Helck reminds that younger patients are a population who may not have faced a medical crisis prior to diagnosis. They, like many young adults facing cancer, wish to be empowered – be it through information, treatment options, and more. Says Helck:
“Some of the most helpful things people did for me during my own treatment were gestures that were supportive, but also allowed me to make my own choices — a gift card to a grocery delivery service, for instance, made a big difference for me. I felt very out of control at times during treatment, so there’s something to be said about the importance of being able to pick out exactly what I wanted, while still feeling supported by friends and family.”
Similarly, be mindful of “incidental” costs associated with any treatment. Among these are things like transportation. Ride-hailing services are a great gift for people who are urban dwellers and may not know people with cars. They can be useful for people who may feel too ill to drive after a treatment. No one wants to take public transportation after a treatment of any kind – and exposure to germs can be quite dangerous. Younger people, used to their own agency and coping with the suspension of that, often struggle. They appreciate an easy ride home.
Younger people with uncertain finances (who may not have a lot yet in savings) also appreciate help in covering expenses that insurance may not always cover. They may not be able to work for a time. Over the counter supplements can help a lot in easing side effects of treatments – but they add up. Preparing for surgery and recovering from surgery can be expensive and gift cards for use at a store with a pharmacy are useful. (Such cards also protect the privacy of patients who may not wish to spell out every personal medical need they may have).
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.