LBBC is preparing our staff and volunteers to address the needs of women diagnosed with breast cancer who may find themselves without resources due to the recent closing of Y-ME.
“For the sixteen years I have led LBBC I have had the privilege of learning from and partnering with many organizations,” says Jean A. Sachs, MSS, MLSP, LBBC’s chief executive officer. “One of those organizations is Y-ME which was founded thirty-five years ago at a time when there was little to no support for a woman diagnosed with breast cancer. They have played a key role in encouraging women to share their stories and support each other via the Y-ME Hotline, and I was saddened to learn of their decision to cease operations. Their closing marks the end of an era.”
The loss of Y-ME means that thousands of women may potentially be without the peer support they have come to depend on through their use of the Y-ME Hotline. Fortunately, LBBC provides a similar service to its constituents in the form of our toll-free Breast Cancer Helpline.
“LBBC’s services, especially our toll-free Breast Cancer Helpline, are more vital than ever,” Jean says. “We have taken the necessary steps to ensure that our Helpline can and will accommodate additional activity in light of Y-ME’s closing, and we are committed to providing this service, as we do with all of our resources, to any woman in need.”
LBBC’s Helpline is staffed by volunteers who have had breast cancer. All volunteers are required to complete a thorough three-day training and receive ongoing education in order to participate in the Helpline program. LBBC volunteers answer the Breast Cancer Helpline live on Tuesdays from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. All other calls are answered within 24 hours.
Dikla Benzeevi, who has been living with metastatic breast cancer (often referred to as “mets”) since 2002, worked with Y-ME as a Hotline volunteer for 7 years. When she learned of Y-ME’s closing, she reached out to LBBC and requested to be added as a volunteer for LBBC’s Breast Cancer Helpline. “There are several metastatic breast cancer survivors I counseled on a regular basis through the Y-ME Hotline,” Dikla says, “and I don't want them to feel they can't reach me anymore. I also want to be available to others with mets who call in on any hotline.”
“LBBC also offers a personalized matching service where you can connect with someone in similar circumstances,” says Lynn Folkman, CMP, LBBC’s volunteer coordinator. “Our Helpline number is (888) 753-LBBC (5222), or women can request a call online.”