The Commonwealth Cancer Association, a community-based nonprofit organization that advocates for a cancer-free Commonwealth and provides support to cancer patients, survivors, and their families, saw a 50-percent increase in their number of clients in 2011.
CCA assistant program manager Naomi DLG Benjamin said that from 44 patients in 2010, the number rose to 66 in 2011. These cancer patients were diagnosed with common forms of cancer such as lung, breast, and cervical cancer.
Benjamin noted that majority of their patients had breast cancer.
“These numbers show that even with an island so small, cancer exists everywhere,” Benjamin told Saipan Tribune. “And many of the people in the CNMI are affected by this deadly disease.”
Benjamin disclosed that CCA gave these patients funds to assist them with buying hospital equipment such as hospital beds, wheelchairs, and oxygen concentrators; nutritional supplements such as Ensure and Glucerna; personal care items; mastectomy bras; and vitamins.
She said CCA was also able to provide support services for cancer survivors and caregivers through monthly Survivor Support meetings. In 2011, a total of 162 participants attended these support meetings.
Benjamin expressed her appreciation to all of CCA’s individual, families, and corporate contributors. Last December, the family of the late Gerard Sablan donated $1,500 and a bedside commode. This month, another family who wished to remain anonymous donated a hospital bed, a wheelchair, and a bedside commode.
“CCA was able to provide the support services needed for our cancer patients in the CNMI because of their generous donations and support,” she said.
Benjamin added, “That is why in 2012, CCA strives to continue spreading awareness and education about cancer, and the available support resources on island.”
To help CCA or for more information, visit their office next to NMPASI along Middle Road, call 682-0050 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.