Giving a Pat on the Back

Patricia Nelson of Levittown was devastated when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer. She wasn’t sure how she was going to get through the battle alone. But she did and now she works to ease the feeling of aloneness that other women and men experience when they are first diagnosed with breast cancer.

Nelson is a volunteer for the Adelphi Breast Cancer Hotline and Support Program for women and men across New York state who are fighting breast cancer. The hotline provides these cancer fighters with access to a hotline where they can speak with volunteers like Nelson who are there to provide them with hope and support.

“It feels wonderful to volunteer at the hotline,” Nelson said. “There is no better feeling when you know you have helped someone through what you know first hand is a really tough time.”

In order to be a volunteer, Nelson had to complete a training course. The course is run September to October in which future volunteers learn how to be the best helpers they can be. Nelson said that her training process helped her to “learn to be an “active listener”

“So I can really hear what the caller is saying,” Nelson said. “It also helped me to learn how to address the caller’s concerns in a calm, supportive, non-judgmental way.”

While the hotline and program are housed on Long Island, the hotline is available to anyone across New York state. Nelson said that they even occasionally have callers from out of state.

“We try to direct [those callers] to the proper organizations or agency’s where they live” Nelson said.

The Adelphi Breast Cancer Hotline and Support Program also puts on events and fundraisers, helping to raise money for breast cancer.

The fundraisers and events allow anyone in the Long Island Community to get involved. Nelson’s favorite fundraiser is Creative Cups, which is an art exhibition where participants design and build works of art out of bras that are auctioned at a gala in the spring.

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Adelphi Breast Cancer Hotline and Support Program

samantha wieder

Samantha Wieder is a 2014 summer intern at Long Island Pulse. She is a junior at Binghamton University. Follow her on Twitter at @samashwieder.