BOZEMAN -- Sometimes, it’s nice to spend time with people who share a common link.
Sadly, cancer can be that link.
As MTN News continues our series of stories looking at some of the programs offered by the Cancer Support Community of Montana, we highlight those groups brought together by cancer - and the larger group that helps make that happen.
We all, at some point in our lives, will be touched by cancer. For some of us, dealing with the disease at a younger age is what brought them here. That and a hot meal.
“I think especially because of me, I’m pretty young to have cancer or at least there’s not a lot of people so it’s kind of nice to have a place to go to talk about stuff and kind of share experiences,” said cancer survivor Zach Clements. “I get sick of talking about cancer all the time, but it is nice every once in and while to talk with people that have gone through similar things. You can share experiences that way. I find that pretty beneficial.”
Cancer takes its toll, physically, mentally and financially on those dealing with it. Sometimes, it’s nice to just escape all that and spend time with people you know understand that toll.
“Education is a big thing that we do here,” said Jasmine Surina, CSC Operations. “But also some of the informal like community barbeques and dinners that we do here is such a huge impact on the lives of our participants. Watching them build that community here, it’s really incredible to watch.”
“I was surprised how established the organization was here, right in Bozeman,” said Clements. “I didn’t expect that. I started a lot of my treatment at a bigger hospital down in Denver and I don’t even think they had quite as good of support as they have here. I was pretty impressed, I didn’t expect that.”
“We can’t do what we do without our entire community,” said Surina. “Obviously from the participants that walk through our door, to the individuals and businesses that support us, but it’s incredible to see the entire community come together and make what we do possible.”
How does Cancer Support Community provide all these services without charging those who use them? Well, it’s all in the name.
“Absolutely free of charge to all our participants,” said Surina. “We’ve never asked a participant for a dollar. We’re able to do all of these amazing things through the support of our community.”
For many, the loss of hair is some of the most difficult things to deal with when it comes to cancer treatment. We conclude our series on Friday by looking at Cancer Support Community’s special program to specifically help with that issue.
Cancer Support Community Montana: Free counseling programs after cancer diagnosis
Cancer Support Community Montana: Healthy lifestyle programs help with cancer diagnosis
Cancer Support Community Montana: Free programs for those facing cancer