Veterans, the brave and resilient people who fought for the very freedom we now enjoy, are often struggling with both the physical and the emotional aftermath of their military service. Up to 20 out of 100 veterans have to live with the agonizing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder as a consequence of the horrors they witnessed or were part of while on active duty. However, it is also very important to raise awareness of the prevalence of cancer among veterans, whose cause may surprise you. In a lot more cases than people imagine, veterans develop cancer as a result of toxic exposure.
Since the beginning of the last century, which was full of terrible conflicts, members of the military have been heavily exposed to hazardous agents, including asbestos, mustard gas, Agent Orange, lewisite, benzene, PFAS, lead, and radiation. It is important to know that the health effects of toxic exposure emerge only within several decades after the first contact of the person with the dangerous agent, which is why it was only recently that the number of veterans who struggle with cancer has significantly increased. The following are the most common malignant diseases among veterans:
- lung cancer
- colorectal cancer
- prostate cancer
- bladder cancer
- skin cancer
Nevertheless, toxic exposure can result in numerous other cancers. A good example in this respect is mesothelioma, cancer that occurs on the outer lining of the lungs and that is caused only by asbestos exposure. Shockingly, 30% of mesothelioma patients are veterans, as asbestos has been used in tremendous amounts by the military between the 1920s and the 1980s. Unfortunately, the life expectancy of people with mesothelioma is very disheartening, with most patients surviving for just one year or less.
Every year, approximately 48,000 veterans receive a cancer diagnosis throughout the country. Sadly, many of these courageous people don’t benefit from the emotional support they need as cancer patients, as they are left to battle this unmerciful disease on their own, which can take a great toll on their mental health. This is the main problem the Heroes and Sacrifices campaign is trying to alleviate.
What Is the Heroes and Sacrifices Campaign About?
As a novel initiative, the Heroes and Sacrifices campaign is proposing to raise awareness of veterans who are suffering from cancer, as well as to offer these amazing people a little emotional support. Participating in this campaign is very easy, as the only thing you have to do is prepare a gift basket in which you should include objects that are useful or comforting to a cancer patient, such as hygiene products, freshly cooked food, comfy socks, books, crossword puzzles, and fluffy pillows. Your gift basket will be received by a sick veteran, which is bound to put a smile on their face. Both individuals and businesses can partake in the campaign.
Some may argue that simply receiving a gift basket won’t make a big difference in the life of a person who is going through such a challenging journey, but we beg to differ. Over the years, we’ve seen that it’s actually small acts of kindness that can truly change the day of a cancer patient from depressing or bland to hopeful. A gift basket whose content was carefully thought out by a stranger will instantly make people who are fighting cancer, especially veterans, feel seen, appreciated, cared for, and valued.
Furthermore, when you make a gesture like this, you will benefit from it as well. When you are given the opportunity to help someone in need, it feels good to be that person, and you will experience what psychologists refer to as a “helper’s high,” a unique emotion that people feel after doing a good deed. Your act of kindness will enhance the life quality of veterans with cancer at least for a while, as you will be taking a proactive role in supporting these heroes during their journey, which can be extremely overwhelming at times.
The Team of Rock the Treatment Joins the Heroes and Sacrifices Campaign
Because we feel deeply about both cancer patients and veterans, refusing to join the Heroes and Sacrifices campaign upon hearing of it was out of the question. Therefore, we partnered up with the people behind it and contributed to it the best way that we could. Since the idea of the initiative coincides perfectly with the nature of our business, we thought that our help will be welcomed. Gift baskets filled with items that are suitable for cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy or radiotherapy have become our specialty, so our contribution to the campaign has been held in high regard.
If we’ve sparked your interest and you decided to join the Heroes and Sacrifices campaign, too, you can do so by filling out the form on the official page. Whether the gift basket comes from a person or a business, your gesture will be greatly appreciated, and you will undoubtedly brighten up the day of the ill veteran who will receive it.