Reaching Out with Compassion

When Vanessa Echols, one of Orlando’s most prominent news anchors, was diagnosed with breast cancer, it came as a shock. The news was difficult for Echols but instead of hiding away, she fought. Not only did she fight her breast cancer, but now she’s helping fight for others too. With her organization, Compassionate Hands and Hearts Breast Cancer Outreach, Echols is helping other breast cancer survivors and patients cope with cancer, find strength and ease their stress every day.
Echols founded the organization after seeing the needs of fellow survivors and patients during her own battle with cancer. During her treatment, Echols found that cancer patients just like her were finding it difficult to complete everyday tasks. She went in search for an organization that would help to provide support through friendship, help with household responsibilities, and that would help women and men who are battling breast cancer to pamper themselves. When she couldn’t find a group to meet those needs, Echols established Compassionate Hands and Hearts Breast Cancer Outreach. With the support of her own family and friends, Echols has been able to help breast cancer patients and survivors all over Orlando.
While many organizations help breast cancer patients from afar, Echols’ organization does more than that. With financial assistance, local support systems and personalized goodie bags, Compassionate Hands and Hearts Breast Cancer Outreach is able to help those in need while forming close, lasting bonds. One of the main goals of the organization is to support and empower patients and survivors. When the team meets with cancer patients and survivors every month and pampers them with personalized goodies, it’s clear that they are reaching their goal. The road to recovery is difficult, but with Compassionate Hands and Hearts Breast Cancer Outreach, “no one has to walk it alone” says Echols.
How You Can Help:
1. Give a monetary donation in support of the organization.
2. Donate items like shampoo, body wash and other toiletries for personalized goodie bags.
3. Spread the word through social media about getting involved in an outreach event.


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Written by Lyndsay Fogarty

Lyndsay Fogarty has had many roles at Central Florida Lifestyle, working her way from intern to contributing writer to managing editor. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida’s Nicholson School of Communication where she earned her degree in journalism. Along the way, she has learned that teamwork and dedication to your craft will get you far, and a positive outlook on the present will get you even farther.

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