MERRICK - A hotline for breast cancer patients is under severe financial strain after its state funding was cut.

Director Hillary Rutter says the Adelphi New York Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline and Support Program usually receives about $300,000 from New York State. But this year, with the state attempting to dig itself out of a multibillion-dollar deficit, the money isn't coming.

"We sent out letters to previous donors and clients and we're contacting foundations and we really need people to step up to the plate and do what they can to help us," Rutter says.

In addition to the hotline, the group has provided counseling to about 10,000 people and offered hundreds of support groups.