Participants in the Women with Cancer Support Group met for a Christmas dinner in December.

Participants in the Women with Cancer Support Group met for a Christmas dinner in December.

Group offers support for women with cancer

Members of the Abbotsford group share experiences and information

An Abbotsford group is providing support to women who have been diagnosed with cancer.

The Women with Cancer Support Group meets the third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at Garden Park Tower (2825 Clearbrook Rd.) and is facilitated by Edith Goodfellow, herself a cancer survivor.

Goodfellow has been running the group since 2010, after the Canadian Cancer Society stopped offering peer support groups.

She wanted the group to continue and, because she was a trained facilitator, decided to run it on her own.

“I asked around and wrote letters asking for a little financial support so I could afford to have refreshments, run off pamphlets I designed for our group, pay speakers plus small extras needed to run the group,” she said.

Goodfellow said the most difficult challenge over the last five years has been making the group’s existence known to women who have been diagnosed with cancer.

“I have women tell me they had a very hard time finding a support group when we are right here just waiting for these ladies to come to us,” she said.

The group provides an opportunity for women to share experiences and information, listen to speakers and provide emotional support.

Goodfellow said among the topics frequently discussed at the meetings are the side effects and long-term consequences of cancer treatment and the potential spread of the disease.

Goodfellow said although it is difficult getting the word out and find participants, she feels a sense of accomplishment when the women thank her and say they feel a bond with the other group members.

“It makes me feel that going through cancer myself was not in vain – that I’ve been able to take that time of my life and my struggle with cancer and do something to help others who face that same challenge,” she said.

For more information about the Women with Cancer Support Group, call Edith at 604-289-0630.