We Care Cancer Support Group
Laura Weinberg gave the following information on the We Care Cancer Support Group (Fairfield, Iowa) formed after her treatment at Cancer Treatment Centers of America for breast cancer.
Why did you start a cancer support group in your area?
When I was going through treatment at CTCA, the Pastoral Care department was so instrumental in my well-being. They prayed with me and over me during chemo, surgery, more chemo, and radiation. I attended their services and any additional classes or events they held. They took care of me when I was low and rejoiced with me when things were going well. When I heard about their Our Journey of Hope program, I knew I wanted to bring that to our community. After treatment, I invited Reverend McCray and Debbie Pointer to hold a workshop in our town. It was very successful and from those who attended, the desire arose to start a cancer support group in our area.
The main helpers at the We Care Cancer Support Group are (l to r) Margi Gunn, Nancy Teubel, Vanessa Haskins.
When did it start?
What is the vision for it?
We want to support others on their journeys and help educate ourselves and others in greater health and well-being. We want to help ourselves and others to grow in better and better health and happiness in all aspects of their lives, as well as care for each other as the need arises.
How do people find out about your group?
We create flyers and put up posters around town. We submit articles to our local newspapers. There is no charge for this since it is nonprofit. We send announcements through a growing email list. We hold our meetings at the conference room in our local hospital,l and they send announcements through their email contacts. We also participated and are in touch with our local Relay for Life group, and they have a contact list.
How many volunteers do you have?
We have a core group of four who work on the organizational aspects.
How many attend your meetings?
We have between 5-25.
What are some of the difficulties you face?
Getting people to attend the meetings. Some people just don’t want to talk about cancer. Or they don’t know about it, even with our advertising.
What happens at your meetings?
We often have guest speakers to help educate us on various topics related to health and well-being. We offer different healing modalities when there are volunteers to teach them. And we allow time for sharing and caring.
What are some of the events you have had?
Here is a listing from this past year of our monthly meetings. We are taking a break for the winter season and plan to start up again in the spring. Our events are all free.
January 2012, Mind-Body Wellness Techniques for Stress Relief, techniques from CTCA Mind-Body Medicine Department
February 2012, Speaker from the Iowa Cancer Consortium: Raul Calderon Jr, PhD, What You Should Know About Cancer and How to Prevent It -- Let's Talk About Life
March 2012, Speaker: Relay for Life representative
April 2012, Viewing of "Laughology" Documentary, by filmmaker Albert Nerenberg, About why we laugh!
April 2012, Tip Night at Pizza Ranch to raise funds for our Relay for Life
May 2012, Gentle Yoga, with local yoga teacher
May 6, 2012, World Laughter Day, Laughter Yoga session, with local Certified Laughter Yoga leader
May 2012, Participated as a team for Relay for Life, raised funds, did the walk in our local area
June 2012, Speaker, dietician from our local grocery store: Kristopher Klaahsen, MC, RD, LD, "Super Foods to Prevent Disease," what to eat if you are faced with cancer or to help
July/August 2012, Organizational meeting with caring and sharing
September 2012, Sharing and caring and supporting each other
October 2012, Viewed DVD by Dr. Christine Horner, "Natural Approaches to Protecting Against and Fighting Breast Cancer"