Did you know that we have a local support group for cancer patients, survivors and caregivers? This wonderful group was started in 1989 by Jan Whitebook, and she remains the leader of the group today. Jan has a very personal connection to cancer having been the loving caregiver for her sister who lived with lymphoma for 11 years. Her sister was so thankful for the love and support of her local group that Jan started the Marco Island Support Group in her memory.
The mission of the support group is to support the whole person through programs and friendship, as well as provide an uplifting and positive experience to all who attend. Our local group meets twice a month on the first and third Thursday from October to April at the Marco Health Care Center at 40 Heathwood Drive. The group is open to anyone affected by cancer (men, women, caregivers, family, or friends) and who want to share their experiences, exchange information or simply listento the stories of others. While many of the meetings center on participants sharing their experiences, there are also guest speakers on topics such as nutrition, fitness, medical advances and treatment options that are led by doctors and other experts in their field.
Many members of the support group also participate in American Cancer Society events such as the Relay for Life and the gala, The Imagination Ball, by attending the events and/or volunteering on event committees. In particular, the survivor luncheon and the Luminaria Ceremony at the Relay for Life are typically attended by support group members.
For more information about the Support Group, please contact Jan Whitebook at 239-394-8536.
This is an ongoing series of columns dedicated to informing the Marco Island community about The American Cancer Society, the nationwide community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and service. The Marco Island American Cancer Society office is located at 583 Tallwood, Unit 101 and is open daily from 9 AM-5 PM.