With the start of July comes the beginning of raising awareness for sarcoma, a rare type of tissue cancer, which is represented by the yellow ribbon of hope. Imerman Angels currently has 270 active sarcoma Mentor Angels and 57 Caregiver Mentor Angels. Since 2011, 186 sarcoma fighters and 82 caregivers have been helped through our free 1 -on-1 cancer support services. Imerman Angels is proud to be celebrating and participating in Sarcoma Awareness Month.
Get to know the facts. According to www.sarcomalliance.org…
- Sarcoma is a cancer of the connective tissue, and can occur in any location in the body
- Sarcomas are divided into two main groups, bone sarcomas and soft tissue sarcomas
- About 13,000 people will be diagnosed with Sarcoma this year, and approximately 50% will be men and 50% will be women
- Sarcoma is more likely to affect children and young adults rather than older adults, and more than half of those diagnosed with the disease are under 60
- About 1% of people diagnosed with cancer are diagnosed with Sarcoma specifically
- At any one time, there are approximately 50,000 people struggling with Sarcoma
Believe it or not, Sarcoma Awareness Month started early for a few Imerman Angels’ volunteers who attended the 3rd Annual “Living with Sarcoma: Facing Today with Hope for Tomorrow” event in May 2014 that was hosted by Froedtert and The Medical College of Wisconsin Sarcoma Program, and the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Imerman Angels Outreach Coordinator, Jackie Herigodt, was approached and invited to have representation at this Milwaukee event. Jackie was thrilled for this opportunity to build relationships with other cancer centers outside of the Chicago area while spreading awareness to individuals touched by sarcoma.
“There were people who had not heard about Imerman Angels but were excited to get more information about either connecting with an angel or becoming an angel themselves… I felt proud to spread the word,” stated Carolyn Wesley (volunteer pictured below with her twin sister). Since this event, we have reached more individuals touched by sarcoma and hope to help many more!
In addition, sarcoma has touched one of our own here in the Imerman Angels office. In 2013, Megan Alexander joined Imerman Angels as a volunteer Cancer Support Specialist before being contracted to help support our mission. Being a long-time sarcoma survivor, Megan is excited for this month in particular. She was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma at just ten days old. Rhabdomyosarcoma is a type of cancer that can occur in many places in the body and is the most common soft tissue tumor found in children. After multiple surgeries, chemo and radiation, Megan was in remission by age three. While Megan helps connect individuals touched by various types of cancer every day, she is currently a Mentor Angel to two caregivers who are caring for family members with sarcoma.
Sarcoma Awareness Month begins today, and we hope you join Imerman Angels in spreading awareness!