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When a helpline becomes a “lifeline”

22 June 2020

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

As a cancer information specialist managing CCS’ Cancer Information Helpline, Carrie says the line 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 take more time to spend more time with each person. Many are more isolated than ever and need someone to talk to.”

These days, your support 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.” Like the call she got from a woman whose mastectomy was postponed due to COVID-19 and wondered how hospitals would handle the backlog of cancelled surgeries.

Thanks to what you make possible, Carrie and others are there to support women with breast cancer during a time when they are feeling particularly 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.”