For many, the diagnosis of a chronic illness can be isolating, even with support from family and friends. Some people still feel that no one can relate to what they are going through unless they have experienced the same diagnosis. In their desperation, there is somewhere they can turn to for this kind of support. The funds for this support comes from donor contributions given to Community Health Charities of Nebraska during annual workplace campaigns. Our member charities can connect people with support groups where they can learn more about their diagnosis and talk to others who are experiencing similar problems.
Susan G. Komen® Great Plains connects people with support resources in their area at every stage of diagnosis and treatment. “Support groups offer community for those who share the experience of being diagnosed and treated for breast cancer,” said Mikayla Findlay, Grants and Community Outreach Coordinator at Susan G. Komen Great Plains. “There are support groups for those recently diagnosed, people in treatment, as well as post-treatment survivors.”
People without access to in-person support groups in their area are still able to participate, thanks to technology. Beginning in May, SHARE is offering a telephone support group for women newly diagnosed with breast cancer, which will meet on the second and fourth Monday starting in May. New participants can register by calling 844-275-7427. Also, Susan G. Komen offers a traditional online message board for women to find virtual support in the comfort of their own home, accessible here. A moderated, closed Facebook group is also available by searching for “Komen Breast Cancer Group” or via this link.
“Anyone can ask their patient navigator or call our office at 402-502-2979 to receive help finding a support group or more information about remote options for those with mobility issues or who would have to travel great distances,” said Findlay.
While it’s important for people to connect at different stages in treatment, it's also important for people to meet others their age who are going through the same thing. Organized by volunteers, JDRF’s Empower1 is a program for those with type 1 diabetes (T1D) ages 12 to 18 to come together and have some fun while meeting others who are also living with T1D.
“The goals for Empower1 are to provide an opportunity for education on disease management, share ideas and experiences and most importantly, provide support to make sure the type 1 diabetes (T1D) adolescent community knows they are not alone,” said Amber Fuller, BSN, RN and JDRF Volunteer.
During adolescence, there is often a decline in disease management, which can continue in adulthood, and if good blood sugar is not maintained long term health complications can develop, Fuller said.
“Lacking a support structure including friends, peers or mentors can have a strong impact on the success or failure of diabetes care and self-management. In research, peer support programs have shown to be an effective method to approaching this challenge. Empower1 is a program for those living with T1D ages 12 to 18 to connect with one another.”
Empower1 meets the second Thursday of every month from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at Children’s Hospital in Omaha at Classroom 1, but visit www.jdrf.org/Omaha for up-to-date information.
Other charities who are part of the CHC-NE family offer support groups, as well. For more information, visit our calendar of events.