Americans are crunching budgets and cutting back on expenses, and millions have lost their jobs in recent months. But, cancer hasn't taken a break because the economy is in a rut.
Want to help but don't have the funds to make a monetary donation? Here's a list of ways to help a stranger, friend or relative with cancer.
For a stranger:
Donate blood -- Many cancer patients need blood transfusions for different reasons, including surgery or a low blood cell count. Donating is a quick and free way to save a life.
Volunteer at MD Anderson -- Extra hands often are needed to run gift shops, assist in outpatient facilities or run errands. Apply to become a volunteer.
Get a haircut -- Several non-profit groups, such as Locks of Love and Pantene Beautiful Lengths donate hair to people who lose their hair as a result of cancer or cancer treatment.
Some salons may provide a discount or even a free hair-cut, but hair donations must meet specific criteria. Ask a stylist for more details.
Donate an old car -- Have an old car you'd like to give away? Donate it to the American Cancer Society Cars for A Cure program and proceeds will fund cancer research or other initiatives to fight the disease.
For a friend or loved one:
Offer to keep a blog -- Many cancer patients use the Internet to keep others up to date on their condition or treatment. A Web page or blog reduces the number of times they have to repeat the same information. It is important not to provide personal information without obtaining permission first.
Clean -- Treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation dramatically reduce the energy level of most cancer patients. Lend a hand by offering housekeeping services, such as cleaning the bathroom or vacuuming.
Cook -- Make a meal at home and drop it off. Don't feel offended if you aren't asked to stay. Entertaining guests may take too much energy.
Go shopping -- Buying provisions for someone in a financial struggle is a nice gesture if you have the money. Taking time to pick up groceries is just as good. It saves a friend or loved one time and energy and shows you are thinking of them.