AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY CARES
Did you know that we have a local support group for cancer patients, survivors and caregivers? This wonderful group was started in 1989 by Jan Whitebook and she remains the leader of the group today. Jan has a very personal connection to cancer having been the loving caregiver for her sister who lived with lymphoma for 11 years. Her sister was so thankful for the love and support of her local group that Jan started the Marco Island Support Group in her memory.
The mission of the support group is to support the whole person through programs and friendship as well as provide an uplifting and positive experience to all who attend. Our local group meets twice a month on the first and third Thursday from October through April. The group is open to anyone affected by cancer (men, women, caregivers, family or friends) who want to share their experiences, exchange information or simply listen to the stories of others. While many of the meetings center on participants sharing their experiences there are also guest speakers on topics such as nutrition, fitness, medical advances and treatment options that are led by doctors and other experts in their field.
Many members of the support group also participate in American Cancer Society events such as the Relay for Life and the gala, The Imagination Ball, by attending the events and/or volunteering on event committees. In particular, the survivor luncheon and the Luminaria Ceremony at the Relay for Life are typically attended by support group members.
Another area of support provided by the American Cancer Society is the Look Good… Feel Better program designed for women during cancer treatment who would like guidance and information on how to deal with the side effects of their treatment.
Participants are taught techniques by a licensed volunteer cosmetologist to help restore their appearance and self-image. In addition, wigs and care bags are available at no charge to those that need them. There will be a Look Good… Feel Better information session held at the Marco Island American Cancer Society office on February 4. To learn more about the program and to sign up for your individual consultation, contact Wendy Rivera at 239-642-8800.
Our next support group meeting will be on Thursday, January 17, at 10:30 AM at the Marco Health Care Center, 40 Heathwood Drive. For more information about the Support Group, please contact Jan Whitebook at 239-394-8536 or Wendy Rivera at The American Cancer Society at 239-642-8800.
If you would like to find out more about The American Cancer Society or would like to volunteer to serve on a committee or as a board member, please contact Lisa Honig at 239-642-8800 ext. 3891