Supporting Co-Survivors

CURE, Spring 2006, Volume 5, Issue 1

Resources for co-survivors.

A number of cancer organizations provide outlets for co-survivors to connect with education and support resources. Here’s a sample of what’s available:

American Cancer Society’s Cancer Survivors Network

www.acscsn.org

The website provides both written and recorded interviews with survivors and co-survivors. Registration is available for those interested in having access to a variety of resources, including a monthly e-newsletter and the ability to view personal web pages of other members, e-mail other members, post to discussion boards, and have private chats.

Gilda’s Club

888-GILDA-4-U

www.gildasclub.org

Now open in 19 cities, Gilda’s Club provides a place where men, women, and children with cancer and their family and friends can plan and build life-changing emotional and social support.

Lance Armstrong Foundation

www.livestrong.org

More than 4,000 people have shared their cancer story through the LAF’s Unity Is Strength campaign. By registering on LAF’s website, patients, survivors, and co-survivors around the world can share their stories. Beyond this online community, LAF created a symbol that brought together those affected by cancer. A simple gesture—wearing the yellow LIVESTRONG wristband—embodied the united spirit of people affected by cancer. More than 58 million people now wear this emblem of hope on their wrists.

CureSearch

www.curesearch.org

Discussion boards are available for parents and family members of children with cancer. The online directory includes local, national, and international organizations that offer resources for helping community members, parents, and kids with cancer. A list of useful books and videos are also provided for parents and siblings of pediatric patients.

Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation

800-462-9273

www.komen.org

In a 2004 online poll taken by Komen, almost 91 percent of respondents cited support from family and friends as an important tool when facing breast cancer. To address that population’s needs, Komen created a co-survivor program that consists of a toll-free helpline, online information about breast cancer, a co-survivor message board for tips, and idea exchange and a collection of personal co-survivor stories. Komen also created a pink-and-white interlocking ribbon, designed to represent the relationship between men and women who have fought breast cancer and those who supported them along the way.

The Wellness Community

www.thewellnesscommunity.org

The non-profit’s virtual community includes weekly online support groups for co-survivors, a nutrition center, a mind-body center, and a resource library. A variety of classes and seminars are available at The Wellness Community locations around the world, including relaxation, stress management, and exercise.