LETTERS

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN
We need support for support group

Last year I was diagnosed with cancer. Today I am doing fine. When I was going through treatments I had many questions. I wanted to find someone who had survived my kind of cancer, was my age, and had kids so I could ask questions.

The nearest support groups were in Newton, Wichita, or Hutchinson. I decided I would change that. With the help of Hillsboro Community Medical Center, a support group has been formed for anyone in Marion County and beyond.

The support group is for current patients to meet with other patients and gather information. It is for survivors who are sources of information and, by being there, are symbols of hope to current patients.

It is also for survivors who are getting ready to go in for another check-up. Only other survivors know the emotions around those days and weeks.

The support group is for family members. Cancer affects the entire family.

We have topics for discussion or guest speakers each meeting. I would like to invite oncologists to speak at our support group meetings, but we have a problem. We need people. Physicians will come speak, but they need more than six or eight people in attendance.

It’s a conundrum. People don’t need to come to every meeting. It’s not like you will be kicked out if you don’t come. However, we need people to keep the group going.

This month, Vickie Walton is visiting our group. She leads a cancer support group in her hometown of Derby. She will share her story and also tell about a Victory in the Valley program called Canine Friends. Handlers and their therapy dogs volunteer to participate in this outreach.

These volunteers offer visitation, free of charge, at Victory in the Valley’s Hospitality Centre, Victory House, VV Support Groups, and cancer patents’ homes upon request.

We meet at the HCMC Conference Room, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8. Refreshments are served.

I hope to see you there.

Marsha Setzkorn-Meyer

Marion

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