The group of friends I have here at school is very tight-knit, and I’m so lucky to be a part of it. Recently, one of the friends in our group got some terrible news: her mother has breast cancer. We’re all devastated for our friend and her family, and everyone is trying to think of what they can do. Right now we’re focused on being there for our friend and listening, but we’d like to do something without her asking – whether it’s give a big gift, help her with something in her life (or help her mother directly), or donate to a relevant charity. My mind’s all over the place right now, though, as I’m sure my friends’ are too, so I thought I’d ask the experts for advice.
It’s so sad to hear of your friend’s terrible news. She’s lucky to have such a wonderful group of friends to support her during this tough time.
Tragically, your friend’s experience is not an uncommon one. Roughly 1.6 million people in the United States will be diagnosed with cancer this year. And breast cancer is a relatively common form of cancer: 12% of women (roughly 1 in 8) will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lives. Some types of cancer are more deadly than others, but all are terrible news to hear for the sufferer and his or her family.
So what can you do to support your friend? The most important thing is what you and your friends are already doing: listening and being there for her. Now is a time to make yourself available, ask her how she’s feeling, and listen fully to her answers. Tell her you’re ready to help in any way you feel you can.
With that said, it’s wonderful that you’re thinking of being proactive in helping your friend. It can be tough to ask things of people even when they offer, so health consultants suggest offering to do something specific for your friend – especially if it’s something she’d otherwise have to do herself, like cooking a meal or finishing a chore. If her mother is comfortable with it (and nearby enough to make this feasible), you may even be able to help her directly.
Cancer care has come a long way, say staff at Regional Cancer Care, but there’s still so much work to be done. Unfortunately, developing the drugs that will cure cancer isn’t cheap, say the counselors at pharmaceutical product consulting experts at Global Regulatory Partners. It would be wonderful if money never entered into this issue, but it does, and the price of research, development, regulatory hurdles, and the products and care themselves can be a problem for companies and patients alike. That’s why your idea of contributing to a charity is a great one. Do your research and choose a charity with a good reputation, then make the donation in the name of your friend’s mother. Sending them a notice in a card or by email is perfectly acceptable, and will show them that there are people out there thinking of them.
Your friend is dealing with a tough time, and it won’t get much easier anytime soon. But while she’s dealing with a terrible misfortune, she is very lucky to have friends like you on her side.
“True friends chop the onions and cry together.” – Ljupa Cvetanova