Kimberly Ivester of the Nassif Community Care Center in Cedar Rapids talks about the impact that Team Breast Friends has had on the local community.
Team Breast Friends (TBF) has partnered with the Nassif Community Cancer Center for the past four years to assist local breast cancer patients in their journey to survivorship. This assistance has come in the form of financial, educational, and emotional support.
Kimberly Ivester is the director for the Nassif Community Care Center in Cedar Rapids, and she has seen support for breast cancer patients and survivors grow in recent years, thanks in large part to the work of her own organization and TBF. According to Ivester, the Nassif Community Care Center is always trying to support the Cedar Rapids breast cancer community by building strong relationships with organizations whose mission is to support patients.
“We really like to focus on and work with organizations that are local so that money raised stays in the region to help local patients,” Ivester said. “Working with Team Breast Friends made perfect sense to us.”
The efforts of TBF and the Nassif Community Care Center have had a significant impact on community members diagnosed with breast cancer. The Nassif Community Cancer Center, also a nonprofit organization, does not always have the funding necessary to purchase supplies or offer treatments that would improve the quality of life for patients. TBF helps the Nassif Community Cancer Center fill these gaps.
With 170 to 180 breast cancer patients diagnosed each year at Unity Point Health – St. Luke’s Hospital, the money that TBF donates is an important investment in the Nassif Community Cancer Center, Ivester said, and it is evident that TBF truly cares about the work they are doing to help breast cancer patients in need.
“The amount of money that TBF raises, and the strong community following that they have, show the very personal touch they bring to every dollar that they raise and every dollar that they give out,” Ivester said.
TBF financial support has allowed the Nassif Community Cancer Center to purchase lanyards for patients to use post-surgery. These lanyards hold the patient’s surgical drains, which make the recovery process more comfortable. TBF aid has also been used to purchase educational books that explain what patients will likely encounter throughout their breast cancer journey.
Research shows that patients only remember 10-20 percent of what is talked about during medical appointments, so having an educational book to refer to later and take notes in reduces stress and increases compliance with their treatment.
“When they’re up at night and not able to sleep because they’re nervous about something, patients can refer to the book,” said Ivester. “It helps calm them down and helps them to understand what the next steps will be.”