Volunteers: Motivated to Help Others

Many cancer survivors are moved by their own experience to help others facing diagnosis and treatment. The American Cancer Society salutes all volunteers nationwide during National Volunteer Week, observed this year from April 6-12. Find inspiration and hope in these stories of volunteers who are making a difference in the fight against cancer.  

close up portrait of Sherrie Grasty

When Sherrie Grasty was diagnosed with breast cancer, she vowed to beat it, and then do everything in her power to help others beat it, too. Since then she has served on committees, given speeches, prepared dinners, organized volunteers, and spent countless additional hours working for groups including the American Cancer Society.


photo of Brianna Commerford holding a microphone

Since completing her treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma, Brianna Commerford has become a national spokesperson for childhood cancer, spoken before the US Congress about a bill to help develop new childhood cancer treatments, and helped raise more than $30,000 for the American Cancer Society through Relay For Life.


photo of Inge Scott

Hospital volunteer Inge Scott tells patients in the chemotherapy infusion center at University of California, Irvine Medical Center, “Take one day at a time; always look on the positive side; and never give up.” Scott knows what she’s talking about. In December, 2010, she was diagnosed with rectal cancer that had spread to her liver.


photo of Dave Wesley

After his prostate cancer diagnosis, Dave Wesley  began volunteering with his local American Cancer Society office in Sacramento and he hasn’t stopped. Since then he’s chaired committees, sat on boards and helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars through local and national events including Relay For Life and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.


close up portrait of Jemma Cabral

Hodgkin lymphoma survivor Jemma Cabral said, "As a 2-time cancer survivor, I have made it my personal mission to make a difference in the lives of those who have been touched by cancer." In 2009, in honor of the 25th anniversary of Relay For Life, Cabral decided to attend at least 25 events in honor and memory of 25 people whose lives had been touched by cancer. In the end, she attended a total of 30 events in 6 states, Puerto Rico, and Canada. She has delivered more than 30 speeches, served on several committees, and chaired 3 events in 2 different states.

photo of Robert Webster and his daughter in front of ship

Robert Webster says lying around feeling sorry for himself is not for him. Even though he’s in treatment for advanced colon cancer, Webster is working to restore the beaches of Galveston, Texas, participating in a clinical trial, and attending meetings of a cancer support group that he founded. Webster says, “I know in the long run I’m not going to win. But until then I can still juggle the balls; still do the fights.”

Want to get involved? Learn about the many ways to support your American Cancer Society. Share your own cancer story and help provide comfort and courage to others whose lives have been touched by cancer.  

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

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