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Walking Miracles helps childhood cancer survivors

By Jess Mancini

Staff Reporter

PARKERSBURG — The founder of a cancer organization is promoting its free services and benefits for childhood, adolescent, and young adult cancer survivors and their families.

Brett Wilson of the Walking Miracles Family Foundation is the survivor of childhood cancers. At 49, she has gone through everything childhood cancer survivors would face as they age into adulthood.

“I’ve already walked through the mine field for everyone,” Wilson said.

Walking Miracles supports patients and families, such as helping with travel costs, technologies enhancing patient navigation, counseling and survivorship services. Services are free.

Wilson was in Parkersburg this week promoting the organization and the services it provides that are free of charge.

“We’re trying to reach as many families as we can,” she said.

Such services were unavailable when she was child who at an early age was diagnoses with leukemia and then non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. By the time she was 12, Wilson told her mother she knew what she wanted to do with her life and that was to help families in the same situation.

“We didn’t have any resources back then,” Wilson said.

Wilson established Walking Miracles, based in Hurricane, W.Va.,12 years ago.

A certified counselor and patient navigator, Wilson was 2 when she was diagnosed with leukemia and given six months to live. With treatments and subsequent treatments for the lymphoma, she is now 49.

Her grandmother called her a walking miracle.

Walking Miracles supports travel, navigation, referrals and advocates for patients and survivors.

It’s assistance is:

∫ Travel: Walking Miracles provides families annually with two $250 travel cards. Cards can be used for gas, lodging and food expenses in traveling for cancer treatment.

∫ Tablet PCs: Families are provided an Apple or Android tablet preloaded with information to help them including helpful apps, hotel, hospital and other resource links.

∫ Patient Navigation Services: Patient navigation services frees family to focus on the care and emotional needs of a family member, providing easy connections to resources that address issues like travel arrangements, emotional support and financial advice.

∫ Counseling: Walking Miracles’ referral network provides licensed local counselors who offer a range of emotional and spiritual care for cancer patients and caregivers.

∫ Survivorship Plans: The organization establishes to connect patients to survivorship clinics to help them understand the long-term side effects of their cancer treatments so they may live a better quality of life as they get older.

More information about the Walking Miracles Family Foundation is available at walkingmiracles.org or by calling 833-496-3398.

Jess Mancini can be reached at jmancini@newsandsentinel.com.

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