Petites idées 10 000 $

Description :

Our community is women in the Northwest Territories experiencing any type of cancer. A person is considered to be a cancer survivor from diagnosis onwards for the balance of their life. We want to strengthen the connections and mutual support among NWT female cancer survivors, empower them to support others dealing with the cancer in their communities, and reduce the isolation of women facing cancer especially in smaller isolated communities. To do this we propose to hold a two and half day Regional Cancer Survivors’ Retreat for approximately 25 women dealing with any type of cancer in October 2019. The Retreat will include cancer survivors from the North and South Slave and Deh Cho regions of the NWT, comprising half of the communities in the territory.

In the NWT geographic distance and cultural and language barriers add to the overwhelming emotional and physical challenges experienced by cancer patients. Particularly for cancer survivors from more remote communities, it may not be possible for them to share thoughts and feelings with others who are going through or have already gone through the cancer experience. There may also be persistent myths and fears about cancer in traditional communities that can make it difficult for a cancer survivor to speak with others about what they are going through.

The Survivors’ Retreat provides psycho-social support and opportunities to share personal experiences with others on the same journey. The Retreat creates a safe environment where participants are able to reflect on, explore and articulate their cancer journey through guided discussions and creative expression using an art medium. Participants come away with an informal network of support. In the long term, evaluations of past retreats have shown that participants experience more balanced/healthy lifestyle, reduced feelings of isolation, and are able to address cancer related psycho-social issues and gain hope for the future.

Currently in the NWT there is no psycho-social support program available to help cancer survivors address the personal and family emotional impacts of cancer although such programs exist elsewhere in Canada. Cancer survivors who have benefited from the experience of a Survivors’ Retreat often want to return that gift and pay it forward by providing support to others diagnosed with cancer. We spearheaded cancer peer support training in 2017 in collaboration with the Canadian Cancer Society which has helped develop cancer peer support groups in some communities. Empowering cancer survivors through the proposed Retreat will help the peer support movement grow, ultimately benefiting cancer survivors (male and female) across the NWT.
The proposed Retreat will also give cancer survivors information and skills to share with others going through cancer. For example we will include sessions on nutrition and cooking for people recovering from cancer, methods of relaxation and other skills.

We limit the Retreat to female cancer survivors as there can be issues that women are not comfortable discussing in a mixed group.

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NWT Breast Health/Breast Cancer Action Group

Emplacement : Yellowknife