Cancer Institute offers range of programsWritten by Lori Golaszewski | | email@example.com
Various cancer programs ranging from support groups to holistic health services are offered by the ProMedica Cancer Institute.
“Look Good, Feel Better,” a free skin, hair and makeup program, is available for female cancer patients. Volunteer cosmetologists trained by the American Cancer Society, which co-sponsors the program, provide beauty tips and appearance-related advice to attendees based on their individual needs. Complementary makeup is provided.
“We focus on helping the women feel better about themselves,” said Patti Kaiser, outreach coordinator for ProMedica Cancer Institute. “Each woman is dealing with a different issue. Some have hair loss from chemotherapy, while others have skin conditions. It’s about helping them with their self-esteem.”
The program is offered on the second Monday of each month from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Some evening sessions are also scheduled. Call (419) 824-8822 or (877) 291-1441 for specific dates and locations.
Also available for women is a support group called “Getting Ovar It,” which is geared toward current patients and survivors of ovarian and other gynecological cancers. The group meets on the third Thursday of the month from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Hickman Cancer Center at Flower Hospital in Sylvania.
Kaiser said the support group is unique because individuals who aren’t able to attend in person have the option of participating via teleconference. “If someone is not feeling well, they can call in using a toll-free number,” Kaiser said. “Or they can be in Defiance or Florida and call in.”
Another unique offering, Kaiser noted, is a program called CHAMPS, which stands for Choosing Hope and Moving Past Sadness. CHAMPS is a free three-day summer program for children ages 6 and older who have a loved one diagnosed with cancer. More than 30 kids participated in this year’s program, which was hosted June 23 to 25 at the YMCA/JCC of Greater Toledo.
“ProMedica Cancer Institute is the only program in the area that has a kids’ program such as this,” Kaiser said. “There’s music therapy and art therapy. We break up the kids into different age groups and provide activities at their level. One of the most awesome things is that the kids look around and see that they’re not alone. When they’re at home or they’re going to school, they feel like they can’t talk about their feelings or that people don’t understand.
But every single person there has somebody they love who has cancer.”
Kids coping with a loved one’s cancer diagnosis can also participate in the Next Step program. The one-day program, which is also free, is offered four times a year to children ages 6 and older.
Upcoming programs are slated for Sept. 19 and Nov. 14 at the Hickman Cancer Center at Flower Hospital.
For cancer patients seeking holistic care, the Healing Program offers various classes and workshops that focus on the mind, body and spirit. Tai chi, yoga, Nia (gentle movement using music) and art classes are among the offerings. Call (877) 291-1441 for program times and locations.
Kaiser said she is interested in starting additional cancer support groups in the next year, including an individual support group for men and another for women. In addition, she hopes to reintroduce a Man to Man support group for prostate cancer survivors, which had been previously offered in Toledo but discontinued because of low attendance.
“People need the support not just when they’re diagnosed with cancer but as time goes on,” Kaiser said. “Support groups are important, because they’re able to sit with each other and communicate their fears and worries with other people who truly understand, because they’re experiencing the same things.”
If you or someone you know is interested in joining one of these groups, call Kaiser at (419) 824-8822.
For more information, call the ProMedica Cancer Institute at (877) 291-1441.