Expanding our support system for people living with cancer

22 July 2019

programs offered through the Wellspring partnership Through a partnership with Wellspring Cancer Canada, the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) is expanding its support system by introducing six new self-care support programs focused on wellness and resilience across Atlantic Canada.

The new partnership and programs reflect CCS's goal to improve the cancer experience by helping people live longer and enhancing their quality of life. They also build upon our existing support system, which is the largest in the country.

The expansion follows a ground-breaking 2018 report by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, which found that people need more tailored, understandable information about their cancer and treatment options as well as support services that focus on the physical, emotional and practical concerns they face after a cancer diagnosis.

"A cancer experience doesn't end at the exit doors of the hospital," says Jane Parsons, Regional Executive Director, CCS, Atlantic Canada. "Getting back to 'normal' after cancer treatment can be challenging and that's why we're here to help and support people to live their lives more fully. These new, free programs will help people looking for ways to improve their well-being, reduce stress or develop skills to cope with a cancer diagnosis."

All programs offered through the Wellspring partnership have been researched and designed specifically for people living with cancer. The six new programs are focused on returning to work, proper nutrition, managing brain fog, relaxation and more. Most of the programs are available in Sydney, Halifax, Yarmouth and Charlottetown and will be delivered by local, experienced and well-trained CCS facilitators. In addition, some online programming can be accessed right from home.

At CCS, we know that having a strong support system, like the one we have been able to expand through our Wellspring partnership, can help people manage life with cancer, find community and connection, and build wellness and resilience.

John Hunt knows just how valuable a strong support system is after experiencing cancer both as a patient and a caregiver. The Woodstock, Ontario, man was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2004 at age 53. But this wasn’t John’s first or only encounter with cancer; both John’s father and son passed away from cancer.

Over the years, John has volunteered in numerous capacities with CCS, including with our peer support program. This program connects people affected by cancer with trained volunteers who listen, provide hope, offer encouragement and share ideas for coping – all from their unique perspective as someone who’s been there.

“The world of cancer treatment can be overwhelming and the peer support program certainly helps put the patient's mind at ease when they get answers to their questions or concerns. This service fills in all the blanks for people.”

You can help fund the largest cancer support system in the country by donating to CCS today or purchasing a Gift of Support.