Survivor helps cancer patients land COVID vaccine appointments

DIX HILLS, Long Island (WABC) -- For those battling cancer, the pandemic has been a medical nightmare as they have been put in a new category for the COVID vaccine.

And like others, they have found the process of trying to get an appointment a battle of its own -- so that's where others have stepped in to help.

"When you get diagnosed, you feel just completely alone and the world just kind of stops," said breast cancer survivor Jenny Kim.

Kim, of Dix Hills, 38, was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer last July and has endured three surgeries and chemo since August. She did it all with four kids under the age of 10 at home all during the stress of a pandemic.

Buy on Wednesday, Kim, who qualifies for the vaccine, had no trouble getting it because someone else had her back.

Lucy Han, of Forest Hills, is also 38 and also a mom and breast cancer survivor -- and very skilled at auto-refresh.

Han spent upwards of 100 hours at her computer this week, and as a member of a young survivor's group known as "5 Under 40," has now secured vaccine appointments for 77 young breast cancer survivors in the Tri-State area.

She said its a mission of mercy during a very difficult time.

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"It's another layer of uncertainty on top of when you're diagnosed with cancer," Han said.

Most of the uncertainty is because it has just been so difficult to get vaccine appointments.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that when those with comorbidities suddenly qualified this week, as many as 10,000 per hour were trying on the state site.

The founder of "5 Under 40" explains that the sisterhood of young survivors is so powerful because it has to be.
"Women under the age of 40 are at highest risk of mortality, we tend to present more aggressively," founder Jennifer Finkelstein said.

For Kim it's one more "shot" at better odds -- and some normalcy.

"Having four children at home under the age of 10 was the biggest challenge," she joked.

Click here to show your support for "5 Under 40."

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