Offer a Helping Hand to a Loved One with Cancer


If you know someone who has recently received a cancer diagnosis, you may be wondering how you can help them this holiday season. Often just a small gesture and a helping hand can mean a lot to someone dealing with cancer.

Shayna Hamilton, RN, MSM, CMSRN, Nurse Manager at St. Elizabeth Healthcare Cancer Care Center, says, “One of the biggest concerns for patients undergoing cancer treatment is transportation. Offer to help drive them to the store, treatment, or to visit family and friends.”

Other ways you can lend a helping hand this holiday season to a loved one with cancer:

  • Help them cook, clean, shop or decorate. If your loved one who has cancer is hosting a gathering during the holiday, they may not have the energy to get everything done and your help may be just what the doctor ordered.
  • Ask what you can do for them. For some, the holidays can seem like a lonely time. In my experience, patients will let you know when they are tired or need help. Simply asking “How are you doing?,” or “Is there anything I can do for you?” can start the conversation.
  • Stop by for a visit. Treatments have changed and keep changing. There are not as many side effects as there used to be. Letting your loved one know that you are there for them to help, listen, or just be a friend. The idea is to encourage them, give them strength and hope.
  • Surprise them with a small gift. Patients who are in or have completed treatment go through many changes. Their tastes may change, their skin may change, they may have some sensitivities in their fingers and toes. Little items like favorite foods, mints, gloves, warm cozy socks, lip balm, soothing bath items, gentle music can help with some of these changes.

If you would like to give a helping hand or a small gift to a cancer patient at St. Elizabeth Healthcare Cancer Care Center, we accept direct donations of new items including hats, scarves, gloves, blankets, lip balm and lotion. We also accept donations to the Cancer Care Foundation. If you are interested in donating please contact the St. Elizabeth Foundation at (859) 301-3920.