Give the gift of love: Tahoe Forest Health System’s ‘Straight from the Heart Program’ helps cancer patients | SierraSun.com

Give the gift of love: Tahoe Forest Health System’s ‘Straight from the Heart Program’ helps cancer patients

Special to the Sun

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. – This Valentine’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. Visit http://www.bestoftahoechefs.org to make a donation.Cancer patients face challenges beyond their battle with the disease. They need assistance 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 more. Tahoe Forest Health System’s “Straight from the Heart” encourages people to make a donation to assist cancer patients in the community. Several donation options are available. For instance, a cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy treatment will likely need a wig, with costs ranging from $300-800. Mastectomy prostheses and compression garments also help to cope with the loss of a breast to cancer. The average cost of a breast prosthesis is $250. Many cancer patients need to buy 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 they’re not working or are struggling financially. A donation to “Live” may help someone afford medication, specialty foods or a utility bill. 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 don’t have family and friends to assist. Transportation costs include fuel cards, taxi and snow removal vouchers. Tahoe Forest Cancer Center would like to offer its patients local hotel vouchers when patients are exhausted from treatment or weather conditions make it difficult to drive home. The Tahoe Forest Cancer Center’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 with an average attendance of 15 patients.The community can also support Tahoe Forest Cancer Center Programs by attending the 2011 Best of Tahoe Chefs, “Denim & Diamonds” event, May 22 at The Ritz-Carlton, Highlands Lake Tahoe. The top 20 chefs from North Lake Tahoe and Truckee prepare some of their most popular culinary creations. For information call 530-582-6271.On Valentine’s Day this year, give a true gift of love. For more information about Tahoe Forest Health System, visit http://www.tfhd.com.- Submitted to aedgett@sierrasun.com