CANSURVIVE GYN CANCER SUPPORT GROUP

Rating: 5 stars   21 reviews

Issues: Health

Location: P. O. Box 26207 c/o Brenda Lamb, Secretary Birmingham AL 35260-0207 USA

Mission: To provide emotional, educational, and spiritual support for women with gynecologic cancer and for those who love and care for them. and to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms and prevention of these cancers
Results: We continued having 2 meetings per month this year, which provided educational and personal support. E-mail and website communications (and phone calls) help others who cannot attend meetings feel connected to the support group. 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. For awareness: 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.
Target demographics: Women of all ages
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.

2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

As a practitioner caring for women with gynecologic malignancies, I simply cannot place a value on the role that the CanSurvive group plays for many of my patients and their families. Not only do group members function as a tremendous support network for people affected by gyn cancer, they serve as advocates, fundraisers, and above all as friends. It is a tremendous organization and I am very proud to be affiliated with such a wonderful group of people.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

The CanSurvive group has been my lifeline for support, information, and a sense of connection to fellow survivors. I am an 8 year ovarian cancer survivor and I live a six hour drive from my doctor and the CanSurvive meetings. However, they have done a remarkable job of keeping me connected via email. Because of CanSurvive encouragement, I attended the national conference in Washington D.C where I met survivors from all over the country. This was empowering for me and I realized the importance of keeping our law makers informed of the needs for funding for cancer research.
Because I live in a remote area, I felt quite alone after my diagnosis. There was no one close to me who had experienced gyn cancer and treatment. I started my own local support group with women who were breast cancer survivors. I also provided symptom cards to the shops in my area. For the past 8 years, I have been able to connect through CanSurvive with others in my geographical area who have ovarian cancer and I have stayed in touch to offer support. Being part of this unique group of women has been a true blessing to me and I am grateful for the leadership.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Continue to reach out to those who cannot attend the meetings.

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I am a survivor of a rare gyn cancer, choriocarcinoma (or GTN). I found out about this group at my doctor's office where I took my chemo treatments. It has been great to gather with other ladies who have been down this same path. We have all been dealt the blow of receiving the diagnosis of cancer, we have all endured cancer treatment from surgery or radiation or chemo. There is something to be said about being with people who truly understand these difficulties, yet are able to offer encouraging words and endeavor to lift your spirits! I have enjoyed making friends in this group. Cheryl is great about keeping everyone informed. There are many activities and opportunities to interact, volunteer and get involved in awareness campaigns and fundraisers.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Periodically offer child care for group meetings. (Once or twice a year, maybe?) Cancer is not a respecter of age, and many of us are mothers of young children. There may be more involvement from time to time if there was something offered for little ones, too.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Some

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

As a twelve year survivor of ovarian cancer I have found CanSurvive to be a wonderful support group where ladies with gyn cancers and their care givers can meet once a month to share their experiences, ask questions of others and gain support from peers. We also gain knowledge from our speakers who present a variety of issues all of which are pertinent to our circumstances. Most of all I enjoy the fellowship and sharing of all those who attend.
CanSurvive is very active in “getting the word out” and trying to educate others to be aware of those very vague symptoms of ovarian cancer. I certainly didn’t know any signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer so I am quite happy to volunteer with our group to let others know what the warnings are. We also have literature available for all the gyn cancers.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

listen to others and try to fulfill all needs.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

The day I attended my first meeting with CanSurvive was a great day for me! I had never taken part in a support group before and didn't know quite what to expect. I was worried that the meetings might make me feel depressed at a time when I was trying so hard to be positive and happy. Instead, I found the meetings to be extremely uplifting, very informative, and just what I needed. I wish I had attended them sooner---while I was going through chemotherapy---as I have received so much support from the wonderful members I have come to know and love. Many like me attend alone but are certainly not lonely---there are new friends and dear friends to see each time I attend. The officers and members are always friendly and reach out to others to make each person feel a part of the group. The meetings are interesting and just what I need to learn something new and ways to help others. My thanks and praises go to the officers who work so hard to meet the needs of its members. CanSurvive is a joyful group!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I think the organization continuously makes improvements when needed. The officers continuously ask the members for their ideas for meeting topics and ways to improve what is taking place.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I am a 9 year ovarian cancer survivor. My sister-in-law, she was my caregiver, and I were able to attend the May 17, 2013 meeting. We were really impressed with the way the meeting was conducted. We really enjoyed meeting other survivors and all that attended the meeting that day. Dr. Estes had a round table discussion on all the new things that are being worked on, as far as research and new ways to treat the GYN cancers. I really enjoyed meeting Cheryl Bourne, the head of the group, and Dr. Estes. I am looking forward to attending another meeting. I am trying to start a new support and information group on these cancers in my area. CanSurvive has been a great help to me in how to get things going. Thank you so much to all who are involved with CanSurvive.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Unsure

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

"The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each others' life". To me,these words of Richard Bach embody the spirit of CanSurvive. I truly do not know where I would be now without the support and generosity of this fine group of people that I am proud to call family. I am thankful for them daily and am blessed to have them in my life. I feel that, even though I have the absolute best in medical care, these fine friends heal in other ways. In good times and in tough times, they make you feel as though you can share anything. God Bless CanSurvive.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

This is a great group of people who come together to share & give knowledge, support, fellowship, and where new friendships are born too. Even though I have missed more meetings than I have attended, I enjoy reading each e-mail the group sends because they help me stay up to date about what is happening locally and afar, and about all topics close to my heart. The topics close to me heart would be those concerning gyn related cancers. This is because in Feb. 2010, I was diagnosed with stage 3-C Ovarian Cancer. I was 46 at the time. I had a reoccurance in July 2012, and am currently in a 2nd remission since that first diagnosis in 2010. This group helps women and caregivers by sharing medical knowlegde, chemo related issues, food and exercise, and the list goes on! Humor has helped me get through some tearful moments, and with that being the case, I'll add that this is "one cancer club" you would want to be a part of, because of all the good things it does for anyone touched by gyn cancers!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

We all have a story of how our lives unfold. Chapters and milestones to achieve and to embrace but we are never ever prepared for the news that you have the "C" word. It changes everything and you lose control of your own life and your path takes a turn that you can never be truly prepared for. My journey started with my yearly womanly checkup. I had not been having any issues and I was about to turn 50 in a few months. I had no symptoms that were impacting my daily life; so, just imagine the shock and disbelief when your doctor advises you that you have Stage III c Ovarian Cancer! Your first inclination is to run to the computer and goggle ovarian cancer! That can be the most devastating piece of this process and prognosis. The survival rates are not encouraging to say the least. It felt like I was handed a death sentence for a crime I did not commit. Why was I being punished in this way? What had I done to cause this disease to invade my body and spirit? The medical professionals did their best to ease my anxiety and take the best possible care of me from a medical perspective, but, it is the human spirit that will falter faster than the body if you have nowhere to turn. I found my salvation the day I attended my first CanSurvive meeting. I was welcomed with such openness and grace. My spirits were immediately lifted; to be able to talk to women, who were living with ovarian cancer, hear about their personal trials and tribulations; Issues they had encountered and how they were able to overcome and survive. I left that meeting with a renewed sense of it will be OK. I have new friends to support me and help me learn to live with my illness. I am happy to say that I am on the road to recovery and have been living my life with a new sense of gratitude and wanting to give back to my community of woman fighting the same battle. CanSurvive was a blessing when I needed it the most and that to me is PRICELESS.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

My mother recently passed away after a five year long battle with ovarian cancer. My mom lived in Montgomery and wasn't able to attend group meetings but the members of CanSurvive made her feel included by sending her encouraging messages and providing her with a "Lydia Project" bag while she was undergoing treatment. When my mom was admitted to the hospital and eventually to the palliative care unit in January 2013, CanSurvive sent her balloons, cards, and some group members even took time to visit with her. I appreciate all the amazing gifts CanSurvive gave my mother in such a difficult time but I am even more touched by their generosity of taking the time to comfort me and the rest of our family.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful?