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A “lifeline” in the time of COVID-19

Carrie Van Lingen has never spent so much time on the phone.

As a cancer information specialist managing CCS’ Cancer Information Helpline, she says her team is inundated with people looking for answers in the wake of COVID-19.

“There’s a heightened level of distress with people,” says Carrie, “and it’s important to spend more time with each person. Many are more isolated than ever and need someone to talk to.”

These days, your gift of A Phone Call has never been so important in helping us respond to the increased volume of calls we are receiving during the pandemic.

Carrie says many conversations are “heartbreaking to hear,” especially when patients can’t find answers to their questions.

Like the call she got from a man concerned about his wife’s stage-4 cancer after her chemotherapy was discontinued. Or the woman whose mastectomy was postponed and wondered how hospitals would handle cancelled surgeries. And the man with prostate cancer whose surgery was cancelled and was told he had to wait until the worst of COVID-19 had passed.

But thanks to your help through the gift of A Phone Call, Carrie and others are there to support people during a time when they are feeling particularly isolated, lonely and afraid.

“What we offer is really a lifeline for patients and caregivers,” she says. “We are there to offer information and support, and to tell them they are not alone.”