Support Group Meeting Information
Eight years ago eight breast cancer survivors pulled together to support one another and founded the "Care, Share and Be Aware" breast cancer support group. The support group provides a vehicle to reach survivors and their families when they are faced with many new difficult challenges. The meetings are held at Houston Northwest Medical Center and are coordinated by The Breast Center. The health care professionals who facilitate the support group meetings are trained facilitators by the American Cancer Society (Support Group Facilitators-Coping with Breast Cancer).
"The meetings are a special time and place for patient survivors to feel they have a safe environment to communicate their feelings whether they are of fear, hope, joy or being overwhelmed by the cancer diagnosis," says Esther Valdez, RN at The Breast Center. "The support group is also a great place to bond with one another and have some fun too."
The group meets the second Tuesday of each month and members share learning experiences and give emotional support regarding aspects of breast cancer. Each month various speakers from the medical and non-medical community are invited to come and discuss ways to help cope and make the cancer journey a less stressful one. "At The Breast Center at Houston Northwest Medical Center, we feel that knowledge is power," says Tosha Morton, The Breast Center Manager.
"As a breast cancer survivor, I and the other seven founding members realized the importance of reaching out to one another and providing support and encouragement," says Chris Hook, one of eight founding members. "It is rewarding to see this group grow and become a more comprehensive support system offered by The Breast Center at Houston Northwest Medical Center."
In 2000 The Breast Center started hosting a small, annual reception as a way to have the breast cancer survivors and their families meet in a more social setting. Over the years, the annual social gathering was referred to as ‘Valentine's Day Survivor Celebration’ and an ‘Open House’ because it was hosted on Valentine's Day. In 2004, it was officially renamed as Celebration of Life because that is what it has become, a celebration of life. "Every year the group celebrates their fellowship and survivorship with The Celebration of Life," says Morton. "The response has been overwhelming."
Today seven of the original founders are still actively involved. The eighth founder, Denise Veillon, passed away at the age of 42 and in her honor the group founded the Denise Veillon Memorial. Each year The Breast Center acknowledges a special person with the "Denise Veillon" award.
For more information about the Care, Share and Be Aware support group, call 281-440-2862 or 281-397-2952.
CARE, SHARE AND BE AWARE BREAST CANCER SUPPORT GROUP
Date: Meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month
Time: 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Location: Atrium Boardroom