Cancer can cause emotional and financial burdens; Cancer Services Network is there to try and ease those burdens.
Cancer Services Network is one of the nine agencies served by the Nolan County United Way. According to the executive director of Cancer Services Network, Nancy Estes, their main goal is to increase survivorship rates among those stricken by cancer.
On the financial side, underserved cancer patients of Nolan County and the West Central Texas can take advantage of assistance involving cancer prescriptions, food suplements, medical equipment, supplies, transportation reimbursement, COBRA Insurance Continuation and emergency funds information and referrals. Social workers are also available to link cancer patients to other resources.
On the emotional side, support is offered through support groups, educational seminars and seasonal social activities.
"Services are determined by the recommendations of the treating physician," Estes said. "The level of services provided is based on a sliding scale determined by household size and income."
Most of the services, that Cancer Services Network provide are available at no charge to the clients. According to Estes, at the end of November, CSN had a recorded financial assistance distribution to 438 clients. They also have provided 5,800 units of service, for a total cost of $116,961.
"One unit of service is equal to one prescription or one trip reimbursed for travel to and from radiation or chemotheraphy," Estes said.
Nolan County United Way has been helping contribute to the support of Cancer Services Network since 2008. Their support has helped with the Patient Assistance program.
"This program helps with funding for Nolan County residents who seek our services," Estes said.
She continued on to say that all the money allocated by the Nolan County United Way is desiganted for patients living in Nolan County.
"When people support the local United Way campaign, you are helping Cancer Services Network," Estes said.
Contributing to the United Way is just one way to offer support to Cancer Services Network. Throughout the year, CSN has several fundraising events; Western Heritage's Rhinestone Round Up, Fashions for the Cure Style Show and a 5K Fun Run Walk and Waddle.
"People can also contribute by sponsoring a third party fundraising event, to benefit CSN," Estes said. "They can also contribute by spreading the word about our agency and letting cancer patients know that our organization is available to help."
Estes said that most of the CSN clients are referred by their physicians or a social worker, at one of the cancer treatment centers or hospitals.
Services are directed at helping survivorship rates increase, but they are not only for cancer survivors. Family members, friends and the general public can also take advantage of the educational programs offerred. The educational events are geared at informing caregivers, family members, the general public, as well as cancer patients.
According to the Cancer Services Network brochure, all fundraisers and activities are focused on bring volunteers and cancer survivors together to celebrate life and share in one another's victories. Their statistics show that Cancer Services has touched the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Central Texas, since its founding in 1998.
Clients can also contact Cancer Services Network directly by calling 325-672-0040. During the call, prospective clients can find out about the program and services that are offered. Cancer Services Network is located in Abilene, at 100 Chestnut Suite 100. For more information visit www.cancerservicesnetwork.org.