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Advocates seek volunteers

Christina Nelson

Volunteers are being sought by Carson Advocates for Cancer Care to be part of the board of directors, participate in committees and help at special events.

The group assists cancer patients in nine counties in Northern Nevada and has about 25 volunteers.

“But we need more than that,” said David Piel, one of the founding members of the group. “I would say we have a core of 15 (volunteers) who show up to meetings – who aren’t on the board – and who show up at every event.”

He said they’re hoping for another 25 volunteers to participate in events planning, grant writing, speaking in front of local charities and office work.

The group is also looking for a volunteer to head the events committee, which would automatically put them on the board of directors.

Piel said there are no special requirements for the events committee chairman. Whoever takes the job will be trained by the group.

“If there are some people that are qualified, the patient care committee would like some help,” Piel said.

To be a part of the patient care committee, a volunteer must be a nurse, doctor, medical technician or somebody with medical training because the committee screens applicants and makes sure they’re getting the right treatment, Piel said.

Joe DiLonardo, president of the board of directors, said since the program expanded to include more patients, more volunteers are always needed – especially for fund raising events.

The group’s money comes from these events, state grants and money from a tobacco settlement grant given by the Nevada Legislature. The program director is the group’s only paid employee.

Carson Advocates for Cancer Care currently supports about 60 patients by paying for prescription medication and educating patients and their families about cancer.

DiLonardo said he believes cancer research is important, but the group takes a more grass roots approach.

“All the money that we collect stays right in this local area,” DiLonardo said. “Our effort is to take care of the local people who are in dire need.”

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer should contact Carson Advocates for Cancer Care at 883-7477. Officers, committee leaders and members will be elected at a meeting on Aug. 28 at 5:30 p.m. at 808 Cathedral Parkway.

To volunteer: 883-7477.

Next meeting: 5:30 p.m. Aug. 28 at 808 Cathedral Parkway.