Over 40,000 people in Philadelphia suffer with several different forms of cancer according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. One organization that offers extensive emotional and educational support to people affected by cancer is the Cancer Support Community of Philadelphia, located at 4100 Chamounix Drive.
“We provide a lot of information, resources and referral to anyone who calls in to our community and facing cancer diagnosis,” Support Community Program Director Kathleen Coyne said.
The Cancer Support Community of Philadelphia was established in 1993 and is an affiliate of a national organization.
Although Support participants do not receive any medical treatment at the Fairmount Park facility, a wide array of support and healthy living programs are available. Cancer survivors, their families and those currently battling cancer are offered a complete professional program that offers emotional and educational advice free of charge.
The Cancer Support Community of Philadelphia caters to an array of people from different walks of life, who suffer from several diverse types of cancer. “We see people with all types of cancer including solid tumors, breast cancer, lung cancer, blood cancer and leukemia. We have probably seen people with every type of cancer,” Coyne said.
The journey of a cancer patient does not solely include enduring medical treatments like chemotherapy and radiation. It is important for those with cancer to receive education in healthy lifestyles that will benefit them physically and mentally.
“Healthy lifestyle classes here include yoga practices, exercises and a variety of fitness and movement classes. We do a weekly T’ai Chi class. We provide cooking instruction, nutrition education and stress management classes. These are practices that people, regardless if they have cancer or not, can benefit from learning as new ways of dealing with stress, combating side effects of treatment and improving recovery,” Coyne said.
Children are welcome to partake in services. Although the Cancer Support Community does not necessarily cater to children with cancer there are support programs available for children with a parent or significant family relative with cancer. Coyne said that it is a goal to eventually provide services for children with cancer.
Scott Bluebond, the Community’s marketing and communications director, said donations from the public support the services that are offered. A yearly fashion show and miniature golf tournament are among the fundraising activities utilized by the Community, Bluebond said.
Each passing year is a milestone for cancer survivors and to celebrate th recovery of the survivors the Cancer Support Community hosts an annual survivor-ship conference called the Celebration of Hope. “We pick one day of the year to really honor cancer survivors. It will be held at the Hilton Hotel on City Ave. on Oct. 5,” Coyne said.
September is the awareness month for pediatric, ovarian, prostate, thyroid and blood cancers, Coyne noted.
The Cancer Support Community of Philadelphia welcomes all people to participate in the events and resources it offers. To participate or make a donation, visit https://cancersupportphiladelphia.org/or call 215-879-7733.