CANSURVIVE GYN CANCER SUPPORT GROUP Overview
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c/o Brenda Lamb, Secretary
Target demographics: Women of all ages
Someone who had 3 hours of volunteer time could: man an awareness table; set up/clean up a support group meeting; contact speakers for meetings; help make up patient bags in November
Geographic areas served: Primarily the greater Birmingham area, although we communicate with many patients from all over Alabama and adjoining states who are treated in Birmingham
Programs: The CanSurvive GYN Cancer Support Group:
- provides 2 support group meetings per month. We share, have speakers on relevant topics, or do a fun activity which allows us to interact with one another during the activity. It is so important for patients to be around others who have walked in their shoes.
- sends cards, flowers, and/or balloons to patients who are having a tough time;
- talks one to one with people about GYN cancers at awareness events in September and throughout the year such as the Southern Women's Show;
- provides some gas and gift cards for patients that are distributed by a social worker, clinical care coordinator, or directly by us;
- helps with some personal needs (e.g., gowns, incontinence supplies, toiletries for an unexpected hospitalization, etc.);
- provides e-mail/website communications about our activities, speaker notes from meetings, local ovarian cancer foundation events, and research news;
- screens and order educational and emotional support literature for patients;
- and, can provide assistance to send members to meetings such as the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance annual meeting.
We put together 230 bags for patients receiving treatment. These are distributed in late November through early January. Some of the items in the bags were lip balm, hand sanitizer, toiletries, toothbrush and toothpaste, magazines, pens, tissue, candy, and a handwritten note of encouragement.
We joined with a local ovarian cancer foundation for a stand-up comedy fundraiser. Many patients were able to attend at no cost.
We sent flowers, cards, and balloons to uplift patients. We called many newly diagnosed patients.
We lit the Alabama State Capitol in teal (the GYN cancer ribbon color) on September 4th. The lighting ceremony featured patient, physician, advocacy, pastoral, and family speakers; Alabama’s First Lady Dianne Bentley proclaiming the day as GYN Cancer Awareness Day in Alabama; and, a band whose family members had been affected by these cancers. We filled a 56 passenger bus with people from greater Birmingham and Huntsville for the trip. Other people from around the state joined us at the ceremony. We designed a tee shirt for this event and partially underwrote the cost of the trip.
We manned an awareness table at several local events and at the four days of the Southern Women’s Show. It was not unusual for us to talk to women who needed to follow up with their gynecologist.
Our Moore LIfe to LIve Golf Tournament in April 2013 distributed grants to 4 patients.