I hope this note finds you well and tucked away until the coronavirus threat has passed. It is indeed a trying time – especially for people living with lung cancer.
Although we can’t host in-person events in the near future, lung cancer continues to disrupt lives, and the families we serve continue to need help. That’s why our staff is working hard (from our homes) to find alternative ways to make sure research and education continue, and patients receive the support they need. Watch for notices about a series of virtual support groups scheduled to begin during evening hours next week by Zoom for: Men, Women, and Grieving Families.
We are sorry to temporarily close our volunteer driving and in-person companionship program. We know that our driving and companionship services are important to lung cancer patients. Along with leaders from other nonprofit businesses providing essential services, I am in communication with the Governor/Department of Human Services to receive masks as they become available. As you know, masks and other protective gear remain in short supply and rightfully belong first with healthcare workers. We promise to make our driving program a high priority as soon as we can confidently protect both the cancer patient and the volunteer in the car.
Companionship visits will continue virtually until it is safe to resume in-person visits. Patients and caregivers: Please don’t hesitate to call us if a phone visit with one of our trained volunteers would help alleviate stress. That number is 952-456-2845.
This year is an important time for our research program as we launch new awards and continue to fund an important research project at MIT that focuses on understanding whether the heterogeneity of a tumor is impacting its immune response. There are many unknowns for nonprofit businesses, but for now – other than working from home and changing our events to virtual gatherings, business continues as usual and funding research is a high priority.
During this time, our small but mighty staff is busy innovating and planning for the time when we are free to move around again. We expect a surge of calls for help when the threat has passed, and we will be ready.
The bright spot in all of this is YOU. Did you know that during the Great Recession, individuals increased giving in response to the increased need? Those who could give, did give. A Breath of Hope is now in year 12 of funding research, supporting families and raising awareness for earlier detection, and we aren’t going anywhere. We’ve been part of the improved five-year lung cancer survival statistics and so have you. Thank you for all you do to help A Breath of Hope change the trajectory of the world’s deadliest cancer.
It’s important that we keep our doors open to continue doing what we do best in the fight to save lives from lung cancer. Like most nonprofits, we have experienced a significant drop in revenue recently, yet lung cancer continues to hurt our community. I hope you can help.
Thank you for considering a gift during these trying weeks. Know that our board and staff keep you and your family in our hearts. Stay safe, friends.