Powerful things happen when you bring people together to learn about and support the needs of breast cancer survivors and their loved ones. As part of a grant from the Women’s Breast Health Fund of the Community Foundation, the Young Breast Cancer Survivor’s Network (YBCSN) found out just how much it means to bring together groups of survivors, loved ones and the partner organizations who serve them.
Laughter, tears, passion, love, expressions of joy and fears filled the room at the UAB School of Nursing as men, women and children found opportunities to talk, learn and just spend time together. Sessions at the February 2013 panel focused on work issues, exercise, relaxation, massage as well as medical conditions such as lymphedema and cognitive changes –more commonly known as “chemo brain.”
A session for men only provided a special view of ways to help the survivor through treatment and beyond. A therapist from Oasis Counseling Center and UAB Honors nursing students spent time with children of survivors.
A Survivor’s Panel brought everyone together to listen and learn, generating connections that many attendees plan to continue in order to provide support and encouragement to each other.
This first workshop is just part of the effort by YBCSN to reach out to women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer before menopause. The overwhelming response is an early and positive result for grantmaking from the Women’s Breast Health Fund, which focuses on serving breast cancer survivors and their loved ones. If you represent a nonprofit organization working in this area, contact Madeline Harris to find out more about this special fund of the Community Foundation.