Special Updates: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation remains committed to the health and wellness of our community amid the spread of COVID-19. Below you will find all communication specific to the Coronavirus crisis and what A Breath of Hope is doing to help. 


An important message from our leadership

03/23/2020

Dear Friends,

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.

Nancy Torrison
Executive Director

 


Coronavirus and upcoming ABOH events

03/12/2020

Dear Friends of A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation,

As you know, the World Health Organization announced that COVID-19 is now a pandemic. As COVID-19 continues to spread and given the increased risk to the community members we serve, A Breath of Hope’s Board of Directors and staff have made the difficult decision to cancel the larger physical events and meetings scheduled in the next few weeks and temporarily close the A Breath of Hope office to visitors. Our team will work where they are comfortable next week – some in the office and some off-site. But rest assured, the work to save lives and change lung cancer outcomes will continue as always.

We will continue to monitor the situation in the days and weeks to come and stay in touch. Know that our highest priority is to keep our community well.

EVENT NEWS: Because our community members may be at higher risk of coronavirus, we will move the March 21st Women’s Wellness Tea from a physical to a virtual event. For those who have registered or still plan to register, we hope you will grab a few friends, put on your pretty spring hat, and join in on the following:

  • The Bags, Bling & Beauty Silent Auction will take place online and bids will be accepted from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Saturday, March 21st. All you need is a cell phone to participate. Detailed descriptions and photos will be available for items in the auction and ABOH staff will be available via phone and email to answer questions or provide additional information.
  • All three breakout sessions will be offered Saturday, March 21st at 10:00, 11:00 and Noon – all registrants are welcome to attend any or all sessions. All you need to join the video session is a cell phone or computer. Q & A with the presenters will be available as always.
  • All paid registrants will be given $20 off any A Breath of Hope event held this year. You will receive instructions to register for a reduced price if you’d like to take advantage of this savings. More about our events here.

Tea registrants: Watch for an email from our event planner, Amy Thompson, with details about participating in the virtual Tea next Saturday. Email us with any questions or concerns.

For now, our program services (patient rides, companionship visits and support groups) will not be affected, but rest assured, we will take precautions to make sure our volunteers are healthy and our group sizes are small until the threat has passed.

Again, to do our part in reducing the spread of disease in our community, we plan to honor social distancing. We are committed to keeping our social media channels and website up to date on office closings, event cancellations, or changes to our program services. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Click the icons below to follow our work and our response to the current pandemic.

As always, we wish you and your loved ones good health and peace of mind as we navigate these new waters together. You are in our hearts.

Sincerely,

Nancy Torrison, Executive Director and Julie Opheim, Board Chair

 


COVID-19 Considerations for Those Living With Lung Cancer

03/10/2020

Important Reminders Regarding Coronavirus:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) those at greatest risk from COVID-19 are older adults and individuals with a serious medical condition, including those with lung disease. This affects many in our community. We care about your health and ask everyone to remember these simple precautionary measures:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water and for at least 20 seconds (sing Happy Birthday or the ABCs to yourself).
  • Hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol is a good option when soap and water aren’t readily available.
  • To the extent you are able, avoid touching high-touch surfaces like elevator buttons, door handles, handrails, etc.
  • Avoid touching your face, nose, eyes, etc.
  • Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated areas or enclosed spaces and all non-essential travel.
  • If you have symptoms, make sure you cover your cough or sneeze.
  • Stay home when you are sick.

Find the CDC’s complete list of recommendations here.

Additionally, this article from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the world’s largest cancer organization, might be helpful.

A Breath of Hope will evaluate the safety of hosting meetings and events on an individual basis. If you are scheduled to attend an upcoming event or meet with ABOH staff, board or committees, please check your email for communication specific to that particular gathering.

Thank you for your help and cooperation in keeping our community safe and healthy,

ABOH staff


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