Dear Friends,

I want to take a moment to share what the Cancer Support Community has done for me and my family.

My wife found a lump on her breast in 2001, she was fairly young at 36 years old.  Initially her doctor thought it was more than likely a benign cyst, nothing to worry about. I happened to have the day off when she had the biopsy, and we were told it a malignant tumor.  Just typing these words brings me back to that day.  What a shock.  Cancer!  What now, who is the best doctor, what is the best treatment, what are our options, who can we ask?  We were referred to a doctor who happened to be on the Cancer Support Community’s Professional Advisory Board who suggested we go to the Wellness Community, now the Cancer Support Community.  There we found others going through the same experience and the same issues dealing with a cancer diagnosis.

My personal experience with the support groups differed from my wife’s.  I was a care giver, not the patient.  I initially went to the group support meeting to accompany my wife.  We would walk in the door, I went to the family support meeting and her to the newly diagnosed breast cancer group.  In the family support group meeting, I was initially trying to soak up all the information I could from the other participants dealing with the same issues like; What treatments were others receiving? Why that medical protocol? What advice for dealing with chemo side effects?  I wanted information, I wanted to understand what was happening and why.  Our doctor was very good and did his best to answer our questions but I don’t think I ever would have known what to ask if I hadn’t attended the support group meetings.  After a while I began to understand that I too was very much impacted by cancer even if I wasn’t the one with the disease.  As my wife’s treatment progressed and I didn’t have as many immediate procedural questions, I began to see the other impacts that a cancer diagnosis can do to the family and friends of a cancer patient. The uneasiness that accompanies such a terrible disease, the way that other family members want to help, or the fact that they are just as scared, do not know how to help and therefore withdrawal.  My participation in the family support group, I believe, was key to my journey through my wife’s cancer treatment.  Understanding all the dynamics that were playing out and to know that I didn’t go through this alone, there were others dealing with the same issues.

I am confident that I received world class treatment not only from the doctors, but also from Cancer Support Community.  While there were insurance companies and co-pays to worry about from the doctor’s side of the equation, Cancer Support Community was completely free.  In reality, Cancer Support Community requires funds to operate, it is fully funded by the community, no insurance money, etc, just the generous donations from those individuals and organizations with ties to helping people with cancer.    I am very pleased to be a part of an organization that provides such vital services to cancer patients, survivors and caregivers.  The emotional and educational support my wife and I received I know was priceless, and every bit as key to our positive outcome as the actually medical support we received.  Please join me in supporting the very important work of Cancer Support Community by making your own generous donation.

Thank you,

Kerry Brentlinger

Board Member


Please donate if you have been touched by Kerry’s story.  Thank you for your support!

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