Give a Valentine gift that truly makes a difference | SierraSun.com

Give a Valentine gift that truly makes a difference

Special to the Sun

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; This Valentineand#8217;s Day in lieu of purchasing chocolates, cards and flowers for your sweetheart, consider making a heartfelt donation that directly benefits local cancer patients. Every contribution, no matter the amount, has a positive effect. A silent auction where individuals can make a donation can be found at http://www.bestoftahoechefs.org, click the item and#8220;Give Straight from the Heart.and#8221;

Cancer patients face unique challenges beyond their battle with the disease. They need assistance with driving to treatment centers; affording expensive wigs; buying mastectomy products and covering costs for out-of-town hotel rooms for specialty clinic visits, gas expenses and much more. and#8220;Straight from the Heartand#8221; encourages people to make a donation to assist cancer patients in our community with their day-to-day challenges. Several donation options are available.

For instance, a cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy treatment will most likely need a wig to help them with the side effect of hair loss. The average cost of a wig ranges from $300 to $800. Mastectomy prostheses and compression garments also help to make coping with the loss of a breast to cancer a bit easier. Mastectomy products include breast forms and specialized bras. The average cost of a breast prosthesis is $250.

Many cancer patients need to buy more expensive food to supplement their nutritional requirements. Because of the high cost of cancer treatments and care, patients may not have the financial capability to cover this extra cost because theyand#8217;re not working or already are struggling financially. A donation may help someone afford medication, specialty foods or a utility bill. Cancer patients and their families greatly benefit from all community contributions. A donation in any amount positively impacts local cancer patients and your support is greatly appreciated.

Transportation costs and occasional assistance with hotel stays are two of the biggest issues facing cancer patients. Often treatments are five times a week for several weeks. Many patients are not able to drive and donand#8217;t have family and friends to assist. Donations cover the cost of fuel cards, public transportation, snow removal and hotel vouchers.

The Tahoe Forest Cancer Centerand#8217;s Exercise for Energy Program is a free patient program offering guidance, support and useful tools to return and maintain health and wellness. Tahoe Forest Health System Foundation seeks grants for partial funding, but it needs additional financial support. The six-week program costs $200 per patient, or sponsorship of the entire class for $1,600.

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The community can also support Tahoe Forest Cancer Center Programs by attending the 2012 Best of Tahoe Chefs, and#8220;Viva Italia! A Taste of Italyand#8221; event May 20 at The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe. The top 20 chefs from North Lake Tahoe and Truckee prepare some of their most popular culinary creations. For more information, call 530-582-6271.

and#8220;Having the financial and emotional support of our community to continue existing cancer patient and family support programs along with offering new ones, is a tremendous assistance,and#8221; said Martha Simon, chief development officer, Tahoe Forest Health System. and#8220;Proceeds from the Best of Chefand#8217;s event, now in its 13th year, and individual donations, make a huge difference in the lives of our cancer patients.and#8221;

For a full list of silent auction items that benefit local cancer patients visit http://www.bestoftahoechefs.org. On Valentineand#8217;s Day this year, give a true gift of love.

For more information about Tahoe Forest Health System, visit http://www.tfhd.com.

and#8212; Submitted to aedgett@sierrasun.com