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FCSS Cancer Support Group providing assistance to area residents

Posted on January 4, 2024 by Sunny South News

By Heather Cameron
Southern Alberta Newspapers
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Starting January 10, Family and Community Support Services in Coaldale will be facilitating a drop-in support group for cancer patients and family of cancer patients from 7pm-8pm on every second and fourth Wednesday of each month.

“The Cancer Support Group is designed to encourage mutual support between participants, develop greater openness and emotional expressiveness about the challenges resulting from receiving a cancer diagnosis, treatment and living well with cancer,” said Michael Fedunec, Counselling Services Supervisor at FCSS. “This group is supported by FCSS but is being facilitated by a volunteer resident of Coaldale who has a heart and passion to see that those who are struggling with cancer and their families are not forgotten and that help is just a call away.”

The group participants, Fedunec says, will have an opportunity to share their challenges and their successes in a non-structured facilitated format. 

“They can learn that they are not alone in the struggle and that there are others who are willing to encourage them along the way,” said Fedunec. “We will also be providing the occasional guest speakers who will share information on the various aspects of coping with cancer, et cetera.”

Fedunec says that the group is open to individuals of all ages and their families/caregivers and is not limited to geographical boundaries. 

“We are pretty excited to lend our support to the residents of rural communities who do not have access to this kind of support,” said Fedunec. “In fact, most cancer patients have to travel into Lethbridge where most support groups are run during the daytime, which prevents people who work nor have the financial resources to travel into the city. This support group is crucial as research has shown that cancer support groups reduce traumatic stress symptoms, reduce other psychological symptoms and distress, improve coping, enhance disease knowledge, improve quality of life, reduce pain, and increase survival rates.”

FCSS Counselling Services, Fedunec says, will also make available 10 free one-on-one, couples, or family counselling sessions for those persons who are needing further assistance in dealing with mental health issues. 

For more information about the group or to register, call Henry Faubert at 403-331-7087. 

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