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Buddy Check 3 (Reach To Recovery)

Updated: Tuesday, March 19 2013, 11:01 AM CDT
PENSACOLA - When you've been diagnosed with a deadly disease, often you're first instinct is to reach out for help, comfort and information.

In today's Buddy Check Three, Kathryn Daniel finds out how easy the American Cancer Society makes the initial "Reach to Recovery."

They've been friends for more than eight years...Matched up through the American Cancer Society's "Reach to Recovery" program...Survivor Carol Battaglia went to then newly diagnosed patient Yvonne (ya-von) Maddox's house...

On the very day Yvonne was diagnosed with breast cancer, her husband suddenly died...Yvonne was Carol's first reach to recovery partner.

Carol Battaglia; "She had some personal issues and just really touched my heart and I felt like if I don't do anything else I could be a good friend to this lady and it turned around, she's a very good friend to me."

Yvonne Maddox; "She told me a little bit about herself. She had raised seven children, had open heart surgery, and then a year later, Breast Cancer. I though, my goodness, if she can do all that, I can do this."

The pair drew strength from each other...Today both ladies are cancer free and attend all local cancer events as a duo.

Carol Battaglia; "She's my date, I leave my husband at home and take Yvonne to the cancer Christmas parties, we go to Survivor Day together."

Carol says their commonalities drew them together -- and that's a goal for each reach to recovery survivor - patient match. Volunteers are paired with ladies of similar age, diagnosis and treatment strategies.

Carol says the mentors do not dispense medical advice to their mentees, their role is strictly one of moral support...

When she was first diagnosed ten years ago -- Carol initially refused a reach to recovery volunteer match...Thinking friends and family would get her through the battle...But soon realized she needed an insiders view.

After getting well, she trained as a volunteer and has since helped 135 local ladies on their journey through breast cancer.

Carol Battaglia; "I say it's the best gift I ever gave myself and it didn't cost me a dime."

Kathryn Daniel, Channel Three News.


For more on the "Reach to Recovery" program, contact the American Cancer Society at 475-0850
Buddy Check 3 (Reach To Recovery)


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