ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – COVID-19 has put a lot of people at risk, especially those with cancer. The virus has drastically changed our everyday lives and has impacted many including the American Cancer Society.
KRQE News 13 anchor David Romero spoke with the senior manager, community development of the American Cancer Society, Tim Tokarski about the impact the virus has had on the organization and how they have had to alter their operations amid the pandemic.
Since COVID-19, the organization has moved its team from the office to working at home and fundraising events are now taking place virtually. That hasn’t stopped the society as their cancer information hotline is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week at 800.227.2345.
The American Cancer Society estimates around 80% of the calls they are receiving are COVID-19 related.
The society updates their website continually to provide information about cancer and coronavirus. They also provide one-on-one coaching and navigation to cancer patients.
Their Reach To Recovery program pairs newly diagnosed breast cancer patients with survivors and the program has since moved to the virtual space and their lodging program is still supplying cancer patients with a discounted or free place to stay if they have to travel for treatment. In New Mexico, the American Cancer Society is currently funding four research grants that total over $2 million.
Some of that work is focused on the diagnosis and treatment for Human Papillomavirus, Colorectal cancer, and leukemia. They have also received a two-year, $100,000 grant to expand access to high-quality care for American Indian and Alaska Native women at the Gallup Indian Medical Center.
If you are interested in helping, you can make donations to the American Cancer Society online. They also encourage the public to get creative and host a virtual fundraiser at home while practicing social distancing through CrowdRise.