Organize Support

A cancer diagnosis is a tragedy that hits not only a family but an entire community. Cancer does not discriminate based on age, race, religion, socioeconomic class status, how nice someone is, how fit they are or how healthy they eat…it could happen to anyone. Cancer is a fear had by many if not everyone. My prayer for anyone who hears those three dreaded words from the doctor, “you have cancer”, that you feel the overwhelming love from family, friends, co-workers and community asking how they can help. What a beautiful thing…countless people wanting to help in your time of need. Yet, when you’re diagnosed, it’s hard to know what you need to do for yourself. Let alone what others can do for you. Many don’t want to ask for help or admit they need help. Let them. Let your loved ones be apart of your journey. If there is any good that comes from cancer…it is perspective that life is precious, valuable and not infinite…at least on Earth. Share the perspective you will gain through your experience and let them share the burden that is far to heavy for one person to carry alone.

How to organize your community?

My sister and I met with a representative of a wonderful organization, Gloria’s Angels, which desired to lift burdens and build communities so people can focus on caring for a family member with a life-threatening condition. The organization is named after a beautiful little girl, Gloria, who passed away from cancer. Her community rose up and helped Gloria and her family in many different areas of life so they could focus on Gloria. The objective is to organize the community into different categories representing the needs of the cancer survivor, identify a team captain for each team and identify the liaison between the cancer survivor and team captains.

How we organized my sister’s community?

Teams/Categories of Needs

  • Housecleaning
  • Fruit, Veggie, Juice Prep, Meal Delivery
  • On-call Jill care
  • Babysitting for Ricah
  • Fundraising
  • Driver to acupuncture, doctor appointments, massage
  • Administrative tasks (thank you list and possibly write letters)
  • Drugs/Supplements
  • Prayers
  • Projects: Yard work and car maintenance
How we communicated the structure to Jill’s community?

Dear friends and family of Jill, Alex & Ricah,

First of all, thank you to everyone who has helped Jill and Alex over the last couple of years. You have given Jill millions of blessings to count every single day. Thank you to all the people who have donated money to help relieve their financial stress and ensure Jill has the funds to go to acupuncture, massage, and pay for supplements and medications. Thank you to all the people who have provided meals, fruits and vegetables to ensure Jill has nutritious food when she has no energy. Thank you for all the gifts to lighten their load. Jill and Alex feel like they can’t say thank you enough; they are so appreciative for everything that their community has already done for them. They would not have been able to fight without all of you. Also, thank you to those who have expressed a desire to help and continue to support them as their battle continues. For those that don’t know me, I’m Annie Dullum, Jill’s sister. I’m sending this note out to everyone that I know of who cares for them.

As many of you know, Jill’s battle with cancer continues. She is undergoing an oral chemotherapy which promotes nausea, exhaustion along with hand and foot pain. This means more time, energy and emotion for everyone in the Alvord/Dullum family as Jill continues battling. At this critical time, her co-survivors can use support of her community more than ever. We recently met with Gloria’s Angels, a nonprofit agency which seeks to serve families caring for a loved one with cancer. With their help, the main goal we hope to achieve is to enable the Alvord/Dullum family to focus on recovery, not weighed down with other burdens. They have done some awesome things to help families in situations like this by helping to organize the community to serve their needs. Gloria’s Angels can help us to serve the Alvord family in some new ways that make it even easier on us, the helpers committed for Jill’s long term recovery. After our meeting, Jill agreed to let Gloria’s Angels help knowing that her husband and mom need the support the most. I have been asked to serve as the “focal point” for this by coordinating the support community’s activities on their behalf.

We want to initiate Team JillWe want to share Gloria’s Angel’s tools and techniques for getting organized as a true team. We also want to discuss the different areas (see below) people would like to help so that we can set the plans for supporting the Alvord family as soon as possible. If you know of other people who might like to be part of the Team Jill please feel free to forward this email on to them as well. I have provided the list of teams we have been discussing to fully support Jill and her family. The objective is to have a team captain for each team that will coordinate that specific effort and I will keep the team captain updated with Jill’s ongoing needs.

  • Housecleaning
  • Fruit, Veggie, Juice Prep, Meal Delivery
  • On-call Jill care
  • Babysitting for Ricah
  • Fundraising/Money Collection
  • Drivers to acupuncture, doctor appointments, massage
  • Administrative Tasks (thank you list and possibly write letters)
  • Drugs/Supplement Team: Prescription refills by phone and tracking, pharmacy pick-up, supplement purchasing and prescription organization
  • Prayer Team
  • Project Team: Yard Work, Car Maintenance, & Baby Proofing Alvord Home

Please reply by letting me know how you would like to help by selecting a team from above. Please also let me know if you would like to be a team captain.

How Jill’s community showed support?

Jill always felt indebted to the world for the countless acts of kindness from her friends, family, and co-workers. She had a beautiful soul with a heart as large as the community who supported her. When Jill needed assistance she was the best at clearly letting us know. She would let me know what she needed and I was able to reach out to team leads for their help to coordinate someone to step in and help.

How I organized my community?

My needs were far different than Jill’s considering I was not battling with a newborn, infant and toddler. I was also able to learn from Jill. The resources we found to counter Jill’s side effects were tools I immediately had and hope I am sharing easily on this site. (More to come…)