A new peer support group for women dealing with cancer will hold its first meeting in Yellowknife Wednesday night.
The support group is being run the NWT Breast Health/ Breast Cancer Action Group, and is open to women who have been diagnosed with any type of cancer.
There, women will have the opportunity to talk with others fighting the disease or those who have survived it.
Rosanna Strong is a board member with the NWT Breast Health/ Breast Cancer Action Group as well as a cancer survivor. She told Moose FM a support group of this kind is lacking in the territory.
“We felt, as a group, that a volunteer group could provide peer support groups across the Northwest Territories,” she said.
“We work very closely with the [NWT’s Department of Health] on cancer initiatives and ideas of how to support people and peer support was one we felt we could do.”
The idea of a support group was one of several recommendations to come out of a recent NWT study that mapped the cancer journey for residents from diagnosis to survivorship.
Four members of the action group are now trained in leading support groups for cancer survivors. Strong says women in every stage of their cancer journey can benefit from meetings like this.
“It’s huge,” she said. “I’m a survivor myself and there was nothing formal when I was diagnosed. It’s amazing how people come out of the woodwork.
“They hear from a friend of a friend of a friend and they may not know you directly, but they call you and say, ‘hey, I know what it’s like.’
“When you’re able to talk to someone who’s had this shared experience, it’s huge. It’s a way of connecting and not having to put up any barriers.”
Wednesday’s meeting will be held in room 309 at Aurora College, starting at 7:00pm. The group hopes to hold regular meetings on the last Wednesday of every month.