We are talking today with Kim Elmore, Community Outreach Director for Cancer Services of Gaston County.
GA!: Kim- tell me about Cancer Services…what are your main programs or services?
Kim: Cancer Services of Gaston County is a local non-profit agency that has been around since 1977. Our mission is to serve the community by actively promoting healthy lifestyles and to provide support and services needed by people living with cancer. Our services are free of charge. We also provide prevention education and awareness in schools and in the community.
GA!: What’s the best or most meaningful part of working at Cancer Services?
Kim: Hopefully, making a difference in someone’s life. Hearing those words, “You have cancer’” is devastating. It takes its toll not only on the patient, but the family and caregivers. It is devastating emotionally, physically and financially. Being able to help in any way to take some of that burden off is very
rewarding. I used to be over the tobacco education program and I always said that if I reached just one kid and kept them from picking up a cigarette, then I had made a difference. That is such a good feeling!
GA!: Tell me about Faces Of Hope?
Kim: Faces of Hope is one of our 3 major fundraisers. It will be on Friday, April 5, 2013 at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. We sell tickets,and have a silent auction and raffle. The name comes from the fact that we choose every year a new face or faces of hope who are featured at this event. They are our clients who share their story of how they faced cancer.
GA!: How are you funded-I know you have a fund raising event coming up?
Kim: We are a United Way partner. We also are a Susan G. Komen Charlotte for the CureWe apply for area grants through the Carrie E. and Lena V. Glenn Foundation and participate in Run For The Money. We have 3 major fundraisers: The Gaston County Amateur Golf Tournament which was in September, Pumpkin Pi 5K which will be Nov. 3 at Lineberger Park, and Faces of Hope Party, April 5, 2013 at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. We also rely on community support from local businesses and individual donations.
GA!: So you can either provide services in house, or act as aliaison for services…what would be an example of each?
Kim: Our clients can come to our office and pick up liquid nutrition (Ensure), adult briefs and juice and Gatorade. We also have medical equipment like wheelchairs, canes, walkers and shower seats that we loan out. We also have wigs and bras that women going through breast cancer can come and try on which we provide free of charge. In terms of being a liaison, we can help get our clients into medication and co-pay assistance programs to help them with
GA!: Tell us about your educational programs.
Kim: We provide tobacco education programs in the schools and out in the community trying to educate our kids about the dangers of tobacco. We offer a Cessation program to help people quit smoking. We also provide BSE (breast self-exam) and TSE (Testicular self-exam) programs in the school and community and we offer a breast health program to women to name just a few.
GA!: What is the most important or useful thing that Cancer Services does that most folks aren’t aware of?
Kim: Just the services that we provide to help Gaston County residents
living with cancer and the fact that are services are free of charge. Also, that we even exist. We are often confused with national organizations.
GA!: Are you involved with Relay For Life?
Kim: That is the American Cancer Society. We do not receive any funding
from Relay for Life.