Seacoast Cancer Groups Join Forces to Reach Cancer Patients During COVID-19

On Belay, My Breast Cancer Support, Yoga in Action, Betty J Borry Breast Cancer Retreats, and the North of Boston Cancer Resource are joining to stay connected with local cancer patients during these difficult times. Cancer patients and survivors have compromised immune systems, putting them at high risk during the COVID-19 pandemic. Recognizing what important role connection and community play in the face of coping and healing, Seacoast-based, cancer-focused non-profit leaders have come together to determine ways to reach out to these patients and their families.

These collaborators will be launching a monthly series through Zoom called: Through it Together. Free to cancer patients, their families, and caregivers, these sessions will focus on an uplifting topic and provide a chance to connect with others. Each month, a new topic will be addressed. Topics may include a panel of leaders of local resources, expressive arts, nutrition and wellness, yoga, and meditation, and more. Participant suggestions for future topics are welcome.

The world has had many changes in a short amount of time, deeply impacting cancer patients and their families. Limited social contact, restricted outings, lost income, and delayed appointments can all add up to a lot of uncertainty, fear, and frustration. In addition, there are many changes in staffing at local cancer centers due to pandemic demands, mergers, and re-shuffling. It is important for patients to know that support is still here for them, even if they are not as in as close contact with their referring providers as they would normally be.

On Belay’s mission is to offer one-day adventure programs to children ages 8-18, who have a family member with a cancer diagnosis. Due to the pandemic, these programs are on hold, but staff are still looking for ways to support and connect with their participants. My Breast Cancer Support offers cancer-center-based Hope Chests with gas and grocery gift cards and assistance grants to help local breast cancer patients in need cover living expenses, household assistance, and more. Yoga in Action has shifted their free in-person classes to online offerings for cancer patients, as well as programs other underserved populations who may be struggling. Betty J Borry Breast Cancer Retreats typically offer a way to connect with other patients and survivors through adventure and expressive arts and the North of Boston Cancer Resource offers a comprehensive on-line guide of community support and resources as well as a web-based Speaker Series.

The first of the series “Through it Together” will debut on August 6th at 7:00 pm. Session 2 will feature an expressive arts experience and takes place on Sept. 10th at 7:00 pm.  To learn more, visit https://throughit2gether.eventbrite.com for online registration and sign-on instructions.